What are YOUR plans for the new school year?

Welcome back! We are so excited for school to start here in the Northern Hemisphere and wanted to jumpstart our Turnitin Forum discussion board with a “Back to School” group. Here in the forum, we’re eager to hear what educators, researchers, and Turnitin customers have to say about relevant topics related to education. We’ll participate and moderate as needed, but mostly, we want to hear what you think and create a supportive space where any questions can be asked, support can be offered, and ideas can be explored. We cannot wait to hear from you and as your Turnitin Moderators, wanted to get things started with introductions.  

My name is Audrey Campbell and I am a Content Manager here at Turnitin. Originally from Colorado, I taught elementary school for ten years and loved sharing my passion for reading and writing with students. Now I live in San Francisco, California, and with Turnitin, I get to work with and learn from educators all around the world. I’ve seen how institutions are tackling the challenges of modern education and prioritizing academic integrity in meaningful ways. It’s very exciting to be taking part in this forum and hearing from those in the field who are innovating, teaching, and problem-solving every day. I look forward to connecting with you! Below, my colleague, Ashley, will introduce herself and get us started with a thought-provoking question for back-to-school.

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  • Hi Everyone!

    My name is Ashley Johnson and I am the Social Media Marketing Specialist here at Turnitin. My experience in education ranges from being a part of the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) program in high school and college, to a private tutor in Pleasanton, California. AVID students learned the importance of college readiness, especially when it comes to citations in research papers and long essays. My AVID teacher emphasized the importance of original thinking through paraphrasing techniques and always giving credit where it’s due. She emphasized this not because “it will break our school’s honor code” and I could “possibly be expelled and delay college”, but instead she wanted us to know that, now more than ever, giving credit is important because we live in an internet-based society where information moves faster than you can say “detention!”

    I’ve always had an interest in writing creatively and argumentatively; however, I didn’t understand the importance of citations and paraphrasing until I was a student in my AVID teacher’s class.

    Christina Gee, from WGU, asked a great question from 8 months ago that we’d like to explore more in depth: How do you, as educators, cultivate an environment of academic integrity in your classroom?

    Share your thoughts below and connect with other educators.

    Like 2
  • Hello!


    My name is Emilia Illana and I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Spansih at The Unviersity of Iowa. I have been teaching Spanish over the last 7 years, and my experience in educations ranges from K-12 contexts to higher education contexts. Similar to Asheley, my teachers emphasized the need of submitting original work, but I did not understand the true importance of citing and paraphrasing until I came to the United States.

    In response to Ashley’s question, the current news that are happening in Spain are a great way to introduce the topic of plagiarism in the Spanish classes.


    As reported in the news from the link, The Spanish Health minister of Spain, Carmen Monton, was forced to resign after finding out that she had plagiarized in her Master degree thesis. This case follows that of Cristina Cifuentes, ex-president in the community of Madrid, who also resigned for similar reasons. Currently, the case of the Ph.D. thesis from the president of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, is being investigated.

    Of course the fact that they plagiarized, doesn’t mean they are bad politicians. But the question I asked to students was: Do you think this is a sign of improvement in the country of Spain? And why?

    This allowed for discussion in the classroom, which transitioned to the importance of avoiding plagiarism. It was a great conversation and I even got the chance of teaching them something about Spain and its political system!

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      • Ashley Johnson
      • Social Media Marketing Specialist
      • Ashley_Johnson
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Thank you for your response,   Emilia ! We've been hearing about the news in Spain in the States. Would you mind sharing how some of your students responded to the news (i.e. did they agree or disagree that this is a sign of improvement)?

      • Emilia
      • Emilia
      • 4 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ashley Johnson , thanks for your question. 

      Students definitely agreed, and they also understood it’s a necessary change to promote equity in the country.  Using appropriate references and citations it’s a culture and not just a rule that is being imposed. How would you feel if you go to the hospital and discover that your doctor didn’t actually deserve the graduation title? Wouldn’t you be a little concerned about what he/she prescribes to you? The same applies to politics or any other field.

      In the case of Spain, the issue of plagiarism served to discover many other problematic issues with the institution that gave the titles. So not ALL the blame goes to these politics that were fired. Every institution and every instructor should assume the responsibility of ensuring innovation and originality in the students’ work. Ultimately I believe that appropriate, original, and well-cited work it’s everyone’s’ responsibility.

      And connecting with this last idea, I am wondering if anyone has tried to introduce or talk this topic in a way that is not just a discussion. As an applied linguist, I someone who likes to propose many hands-on activities and games. However, I always feel the discussions about plagiarism are always a little too serious or even threatening. Do think this is an appropriate approach to take? Since plagiarism is a serious topic, would it be appropriate to propose something more fun and dynamic?  

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