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Plagiarism detection service expands in PH amid switch to hybrid learning

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Global learning solutions provider Turnitin LLC is expanding its presence in the Philippines as the education landscape underwent a massive shift in 2020 amid the pandemic, and schools and universities across the globe accelerated their online learning capabilities.

Plagiarism detection service expands in PH amid switch to hybrid learning
Jack Brazel, head of business partnerships for Southeast Asia at Turnitin

“Turnitin will continue working with educational institutions and support them amid the changing landscape to help ensure fairness, integrity and maintain the quality of learning,” Jack Brazel, head of business partnerships for Southeast Asia at Turnitin, says via e-mail.

Turnitin, a US company, provides plagiarism detection services to promote academic integrity, streamline grading and feedback and improve student outcomes.  

Brazel says the name Turnitin originated from the phrase “Turn in your paper”. The company was founded more than two decades ago when four University of California students built a peer-review application that helped students receive feedback from their classmates, he says.

In preparing work for peer-review, the founders identified text similarities across student content and eventually learned that there was a challenge to ensure integrity in written work. Since then, Turnitin has created and acquired tools to meet the evolving needs of educators and students, according to Brazel.

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Brazel says Turnitin has now built a strong business in providing academic integrity and assessment solutions that have helped ensure confidence in the written works of 40 million students at all educational levels in 15,000 institutions across 140 countries.

The company set foot in the Philippines in 2013 and teamed up with educational institutions such as the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, Ateneo De Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, and the Mapua Institute of Technology. 

“We work with institutions around the country to ensure integrity and that standards of global education are met. We have seen significant growth in the business in the past few years, and we continuously gain and expand our partnership with customers, including UP,” Brazel says. 

He says that since UP started using Feedback Studio in 2015, the university expanded access to the tools to 35,000 students and 1,000 lecturers across 66 colleges this academic year. 

Turnitin Feedback Studio allows instructors to check students’ work for any potential plagiarism by identifying matches to sources, engaging with students through streamlining feedback and grading, he says.

Meanwhile, Turnitin Originality provides tools, reports and data to help instructors feel more confident in identifying many forms of potential misconduct.

“To ensure that the quality of learning was unhampered, UP redesigned courses to suit remote learning. This also involved strengthening its academic infrastructure, including workflows for online submissions by utilizing Turnitin solutions, which helped address the needs of educators and students across 17 campuses,” Brazel says.

Brazel says Turnitin has expanded its operations in the Philippines across partnerships and direct customer as local universities move to modernize and increase their investments in education technology. 

“We are always on the lookout for universities who need support in establishing a culture of academic integrity and assessment technologies. Philippines universities have made progress with adopting technology and we plan to further support them by equipping their instructors with the skills to implement and maximize the use of these technologies. We are also providing support on how to improve assessment design to elevate their students’ learning experiences and ensure that no student gets left behind,” says Brazel.

“This year, our vision is to provide instructors with assessment tools that will help uphold fairness and integrity as the foundation of every assignment and assessment,” he says.

Brazel says Turnitin is set to launch Gradescope which will not only address the pain and time associated with traditional grading, but also help instructors deliver transformative feedback that will enhance student learning. 

“Institutions and instructors have done hard work in adapting to the rapid shift to hybrid learning and we want to continue providing support to ensure that the quality of learning is preserved, regardless of learning modality,” says Brazel

“As we continue with 2021, we expect that educational institutions across the globe, including the Philippines, will continue to adopt a hybrid model of learning and leverage technology to ensure that students receive a high-quality learning experience,” he says.

“With the aid of technology, instructors can develop a good mix of virtual and physical modes of instruction to engage with students and ensure continuity in learning,” says Brazel.

Brazel says that with the changing landscape of education, universities around the world are expected to continue modernizing the way they deliver education.

“Education will become more globalized as universities open their doors to more diverse student populations and establish campuses abroad. This will require educational institutions to be more inclusive, responsive and clear when setting expectations, which is crucial in promoting academic integrity,” says.

Brazel says countries are also beginning to focus on delivery methods to cope with the impact of the pandemic on various educational systems. 

“Governments are addressing this through modernizing their systems and reimagining learning in order to equip students with essential skills that would help them to be more productive life-long learners,” he says. 

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