Monday, April 23, 2012

TWU's Plagiarism Prevention

One of the reasons why students plagiarize is because they're asked to write papers about subjects for which they are not experts. Since they are effectively incapable of creating their own sophisticated verbiage about the subject, they become inclined to borrow other peoples well-formed phrases. With this in mind instructors may want to encourage students to write at their level or provide low-stakes writing assignments that help them formulate their own verbiage before weaving these assignments into a culminating holistic document, free of "plagiarism."

However, TWU and many college campuses uses the plagiarism-detection software, Turnitin, which is a management and assessment product suite for written assignment that integrates with several course management systems including Blackboard (Bb). The suite is comprised of three products that work together:

2.GradeMark, and

The suite is a sophisticated browser-based product that adheres to HTML 5 standards, utilizing JavaScript (as opposed to Java), which reduces the minimum system requirements required to use the software. Being a web-based product, it is not up to the user to make decisions about upgrades to the software. The developers upgrade on their own schedule, and the user has no choice in accepting the changed functionality. If you are an instructor who is interested in using the software as a tool to help educate students on ethical writing pracides, then it is worth visiting the Product Updates page from time to time to understand how the product suite is evolving.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Texas Distance Learning Association 15th Annual Conference, April 15-18, 2012

The TXDLA Conference will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX, on April 15-18 this year!  The workshops are specifically designed for distance learning administrators, designers, instructors, producers, programmers, consultants, trainers, technicians, help desk supporters, and anyone who wants to come and learn, teach, or mentor.  If you would like additional information, please visit their website at