Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Blended Teaching: How Plagiarism Detection Software can Help Educators

 Blended Teaching: How Plagiarism Detection Software Can Help Educators Gain Confidence

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Discover the benefits of using plagiarism detection software in times of blended teaching

Today, EdTech has become more popular than ever before. With traditional in-class education on a hard pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic institutions rely more on e-learning technologies. Apart from conducting fully remote classes, many educators have chosen the blended teaching model. It allows combining both online and in-person education’s strong sides, along with reducing the risk of spreading the virus in school settings.

In fact, most US colleges have chosen the hybrid learning model for the fall semester of 2020. According to the survey, this approach even outruns the remote learning. NYU, MIT, and Yale are just a few universities that currently offer blended teaching to their students. 

Unfortunately, teaching both in-class and online isn’t as easy as it seems. One of the challenges associated with it is assessing and grading numerous students’ works. To tackle this problem and organize blended learning effectively, educators should arm themselves with reliable technologies. Now, let’s explore why plagiarism detection software should become a part of every educator’s blended teaching toolkit. 

5 Advantages of Using Plagiarism Detection Software

Have you ever wondered what online plagiarism detection tools have to offer? Read further to find out their main benefits for blended teaching.  

Accessing a wide range of sources

If you plan on checking a student’s submission for plagiarism, googling suspicious parts from the paper won’t do the trick. The reason is, you need to have access to various online resources, such as articles, blog posts, publications in journals, etc. Luckily, plagiarism detection software has it. Modern tools allow running student papers for comparison with many different sources.

Take Unicheck, for instance. The tool can compare papers and texts with over 100 billion pages across open access sources. On top of that, the plagiarism detection software allows checking papers through the educational databases and historical student submissions from the institution’s database. 

Extensive plagiarism detection 

Unfortunately, a sudden switch to the blended learning model may result in increased student plagiarism. With classes and assignments held online, academic misconduct can seem easy and tempting for students. Copy-pasting, self-plagiarism, submission of papers of other students, text modification, and contract cheating are plagiarism types that are common today. Unfortunately, even an experienced educator can’t notice them in student papers. 

This is where plagiarism detection software will come in handy. Meet ModiFind - an algorithm which detects various suspicious modifications and manipulations within the text. Remarkably, the algorithm detects concealed student plagiarism. Even insertion of hidden symbols, character replacement and text replacement with images can’t be hidden from instructors. Any suspicious formatting is marked as potential cheating, which the educator can then review. 

Enhanced student learning experience

Contrary to popular belief, online plagiarism detection tools are not just the means of punishment. For an educator, using them is a way of enhancing the learning experience and helping students improve their writing. Checking papers with a plagiarism detection tool shows a teacher the common mistakes of students. For instance, a student may struggle with grammar, formatting, referencing, etc. Knowing that, an instructor can reach out to the student and offer some help.

Also, by pointing out the mistakes, an instructor makes sure students avoid making them in the future. In fact, some plagiarism detection software even offers a pre-submission check for students if the teacher enables this feature. This way, students can look for mistakes on their own and improve their papers beforehand. 

Raising academic integrity

Plagiarism detection software helps prevent academic misconduct and dishonesty at academic institutions. No doubt about it, fighting fraud and student cheating starts with teachers. For that matter, using plagiarism checkers during the course should be every educator’s practice. The thing is, not only does plagiarism detection software find academic misconduct cases but also helps reduce their number.  

If students are informed that a teacher will be using a plagiarism checker, this will prevent some of them from cheating. Especially if they are well-aware of the institutional plagiarism policy and the consequences of committing academic misconduct. So whether it’s an exam or a home assignment - every time educators use such tools, they support the culture of academic integrity. 

Educators’ time saved thanks to automation

Advanced plagiarism detection software offers various features for automating the work of teachers. This is especially helpful in blended teaching times where educators have to manage different learning environments and every spare minute counts. Some plagiarism checkers allow checking papers in bulk for the whole class, for instance. Instructors can also leave comments, feedback and grades right in the plagiarism detection tool’s similarity report.

Most importantly, an advanced plagiarism checker can make an educator’s life a lot easier if it integrates with major LMSs (learning management systems). Canvas, Moodle, BlackBoard, and Google Classroom are the systems of choice for most teachers working with e-learning technology. So the best plagiarism detection software will be the one that supports integration with all of them. 

Summing up

It’s no secret that students, teachers, and parents hope that circumstances will change for the better; that soon everyone will get back to conventional in-class learning. Still, the traditional teaching model will hardly be the same again. Having become common, online learning technology tools will likely keep their place in the educational process even after the pandemic. In particular, it's true for plagiarism detection software, which has proven to be so useful for educators. 

All in all, EdTech solutions have established a ‘new normal’ in which blended learning models dominate. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad. It simply means that everything changes and we have to keep pace with the changes. You know what they say, never stop learning as well as teaching. 


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