Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) was established to provide an academically excellent preparatory pathway for international students seeking entry to the University of Melbourne. Each year, 1,500 international students commence studies at the College, bringing a variety of cultural understandings and prior experiences with academic integrity.
These students are often subject to key risks associated with academic misconduct, such as proficiency in English as a second language, a lack of understanding of proper referencing conventions or pressure to perform well academically. As a result, many students are seen to plagiarise or use a third-party site to complete assessment tasks in their first few months of joining Trinity College.
Trinity College uses Turnitin Feedback Studio to create teachable moments, while also maintaining academic integrity. With Turnitin, Trinity College has reported three key benefits: the ability to deter and educate students on academic misconduct, to meet the needs of students with quality feedback, and to identify plagiarism in a multilingual context.
Dr Dowling believes that providing students with access to their originality reports creates new learning and teaching opportunities.
“I like to provide my students with their Similarity reports to review before they turn in their assignments, to give them the opportunity to edit and resubmit if they think their Similarity score is too high. As a result, I’ve seen students become more meticulous with references and citations, but also acknowledge mistakes, whether they were intentional or not.”
Another key benefit Feedback Studio has delivered is rich feedback for students.
“International students are ‘high needs’ in terms of their feedback on their work and overall progress. By linking comments to assessment criteria in the digital rubric, we can help students understand how their submissions have affected their grade and what they need to do to improve.”
Feedback Studio has also empowered instructors to detect cases of plagiarism in an online, multilingual environment.
“Most international students might be writing their assignments in English, but doing most of their research and reading in their native language. This means that the sources they might be plagiarising from, deliberately or inadvertently, are not in English and therefore, not immediately evident in the originality report.”
“However, with Turnitin, we’ve been able to compare the source with its enormous database of global submissions to turn up examples of text translated from another language. A match is an indicator of plagiarism in translation, or sometimes, contract cheating.”
In 2018, the Pathways school rolled out an Academic Integrity Policy, and Turnitin has become an essential component in fulfilling its obligations.
“We’ve been using Turnitin Feedback Studio for some time, but it’ s no longer something you potentially forget to do; it’s a really important step in how we maintain and protect academic integrity within the Pathways School.”