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Research - Institutional Turnitin Evaluation 2012/13 

To check progress with the policy from September 2012 of required use of Turnitin for originality checking for levels 4-7 (Undergraduate and Masters), a ‘light touch’ evaluation was undertaken during the Michaelmas and Lent terms 2012-13 to consider student and staff experiences. Sixty-nine student representatives and twelve programme directors responded to surveys.  We found:

  • significantly increased use of Turnitin; new policy being implemented
  • experience of the new policy has been generally positive
  • about half of students use the option to submit a draft
  • no evidence of impact on students’ writing, mainly because it was too early to say
  • negative comments mainly related to technical issues
  • students continue to need more help to understand originality reports
  • little awareness amongst students of formative ‘Stage 0’ plagiarism procedures
  • plagiarism cases increasing with a small rise in the proportion of Stage 0 cases


Final Report for Learning and Teaching Committee April 2013|


As a result of these findings, comments received and discussion at the Learning & Teaching Forum, recommendations were made to Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee during Trinity Term 2012/13 around:

  • increasing support for students to interpret and use their originality reports
  • raising awareness of Stage 0 plagiarism procedures

As such, from 2013/14, the Faculty Directors of Learning and Teaching, Faculty Learning Technologists, Academic Learning Advisors and Registry’s Academic Office will be working with staff to take this forward. 

If you have any comments or queries about the research, please contact Simon Starr (below).

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Previous Evaluation - 2010/11 

Evaluation of Turnitin for originality checking during Michaelmas 2010/11 found Turnitin was widely used, most students and staff have positive experiences, there is evidence for Turnitin helping students avoid plagiarism and there is an indication students would welcome more guidance in interpreting originality reports.

Final Report for Learning and Teaching Committee May 18th 2011|

Partly informed by this research, a revised Plagiarism Policy was agreed by Academic Board during Michaelmas 2011/12 which required all coursework for levels 4-7 (Undergraduate and Masters) will be submitted to Turnitin for originality checking and that students can submit at least one draft per assignment and get early help on interpreting originality reports.

The following external outputs also resulted:


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Further Reading

For more information about Turnitin, see:

For general resources relating to about plagiarism in HE, including use of Turnitin and other plagiarism detection systems, see:

For an excellent literature review on the use of plagiarism detection systems:

Some useful articles relating to the use of Turnitin and other plagiarism detection systems: 

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About This Page

If you have any queries about this web page or suggestions for improvement, please contact:

Simon Starr, Learning Technologist
Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit

Office: 01227 767700 ext 2018

Page last edited: 18th July 2013

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