Some students will stop at nothing to get a good grade.
Nothing does not include studying, writing papers, or doing the course work on their own. Nothing includes buying papers off the internet, plagiarism, and general cheating. That sure is stopping at nothing – because nothing is really ventured into learning, and nothing is really gained.
To prevent the gain of a good grade which qualifies students who cheat to be on an even keep with students who honestly do the course work, high schools and colleges have found a number of ways to network in doing the necessary detective work. Monitoring term paper mills and their sometimes substandard products is one. Peer to peer collusion in cheating is an increasing problem on the high school and college level. But now there is another way for schools to check up on students who may buy a term paper from their smarter cousin in another state.
Turnitin.com is a search engine that was originally designed to facilitate peer reviews in seminar classes at UC Berkley. By uploading student papers, the ability of a search engine to identify text and match it to different sources became quite apparent. Today, the technology is available for a licensing fee to individual teachers or institutions. Billions of student written non published term papers are in the data base.
Let’s suppose that a student does not want to really write the paper on Charles Dickens, but knows that someone from another high school did. He buys or barters or steals the paper, and turns it in as his own. If that paper has been uploaded to Turnitin’s database it is available for his teacher to catch when his paper is uploaded to the database. I personally know of one student in a high school in New Jersey who was caught this way, using a term paper from a relative in another state. No 4.0 average for you!
Turnitin also has the ability for teachers to utilize their system to grade papers or to set up peer reviews among students, depending on the type of license purchased.
Wouldn’t it be nice if these smart kids would focus on being really smart, instead of trying to outsmart the system? Until they do, teachers will need to utilize tools like these databases so that the rewards of a high grade are fair to all students.