‘Turnitin said it wasn’t happy’: can the regulatory discourse of plagiarism detection operate as a change artefact for writing development?

C Penketh, Chris Beaumont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper centres on the tensions between the introduction of plagiarism detection software (Turnitin) for student and tutor use at undergraduate level and the aim to promote a developmental approach to writing for assessment at a UK university. Aims to promote developmental models for writing often aim to counteract the effects of the structural organisation of learning and assessment in higher education. This paper will discuss the potential for the implementation of plagiarism detection software to operate as a 'change artefact', creating opportunities for a departure from the habits of practice created by the demands of writing for assessment and the potential for the emergence of enclaves of good practice in respect of writing development. Tutor and student qualitative responses, gathered via questionnaires and focus groups were analysed in order to investigate the effectiveness of this initiative. In this inquiry plagiarism detection emerges as a dominant theme within regulatory discourses of malpractice in higher education. The promotion of writing development via a tool for regulation and plagiarism detection seems to be a mismatch and the extent to which Turnitin can be operate as a change artefact to promote developmental approaches to writing for assessment in higher education is questioned. The suitability of plagiarism detection software as a tool to promote writing development will be discussed in light of the findings from this inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • writing development
  • plagiarism
  • Turnitin
  • change artefacts

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