A Phenomenographic research project looking at HE Lecturers’ views on the plagiarism detection system Turnitin

looking at HE Lecturers’ views on...Turnitin

Peter Shukie


This research employs a phenomenographic methodology to explore the variation in the views of a group of lecturers to the plagiarism detection system, Turnitin. The system was being considered as a mandatory route for all written assignments at the time of the research and the purpose of the enquiry was to uncover some of the ways in which Turnitin was viewed, experienced and had meaning to those expected to use it. Semi-structured interviews were use to gather data, and the results of the analysis highlighted the focus of these lecturers as being largely student centered. The lecturers largely appeared to be advocates of the system; they did recognise that Widening Participation and internationalisation had altered the student demographic, and that some issues may arise with a new cohort perhaps less familiar with academic integrity. In addition there was some concern over the way that management viewed the system, and the dangers of it being used for quantitative monitoring rather than qualitative feedback.

This paper was submitted to the International Integrity & Plagiarism Conference which ran between 2004-2014. The paper was peer reviewed by an independent editorial board and features in the conference proceedings.