What is the purpose of an originality report?

The most obvious and time honored use of an originality report is to deter and detect purposeful plagiarism. Can originality reports be used for other, perhaps less obvious, goals?

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  • While this is still technically detecting plagiarism, I worked with an instructor who had students post in discussions each week with relatively similar prompts. She ran the discussion posts through Turnitin to deter students from copy and pasting each week and ensure they were continuing to think about the topics and come up with new ideas. That was interesting to me (and the students!) because many of them did not think it was a big deal to copy themselves. 

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      • Dallas Hulsey
      • Professor of English
      • Dallas_Hulsey
      • 1 yr ago
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      Kathy Williams , that is an excellent use and makes sense. Certainly, all use of originality reports will involve the use of sources, citing, and that sort of thing, but educating students about self plagiarism makes sense, and this is why I have mixed feelings about Turnitin not flagging similarity within a class. 

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      • Christine Gee
      • Academic Authenticity Manager
      • Christine_Gee
      • 1 yr ago
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      Dallas Hulsey Kathy Williams this is an interesting discussion.  The university where I work, WGU, uses a competency-based model.  So, there is no self-plagiarism as students are allowed to recycle their own work to demonstrate competency.  They are not permitted to work with others on papers as they are required to submit their own, individual work.  With this said, this feature of Tii works well for the competency-based model.

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    • Christine Gee  I think the idea of self-plagiarism is one that is really underdiscussed. I've had colleagues that have very different opinions on it. Some feel that if a student wrote it, it is theirs to use however they want. Others feel that students shouldn't be able to reuse work beyond a single course.

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      • Christine Gee
      • Academic Authenticity Manager
      • Christine_Gee
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jennifer Schroeder 

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      • Christine Gee
      • Academic Authenticity Manager
      • Christine_Gee
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jennifer Schroeder Yes, there are different ideas about self-plagiarism.  WGU has a competency-based model so they are allowed to resubmit their own writing for any classes here.  The only exceptions are if the work is copyrighted or there is more than a single author.  Thanks for the discussion!

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  • I tend to encourage both staff and students to see them firstly as 'similarity' reports, as it's really telling you what's not original, not what is original. 
    I've found that in most cases, it's difficulties properly paraphrasing that most students are alerted to, so very much encouraging the TII as teacher, rather than TII as police role. 

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      • Christine Gee
      • Academic Authenticity Manager
      • Christine_Gee
      • 1 yr ago
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      Emma Duke-Williams 

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      • Christine Gee
      • Academic Authenticity Manager
      • Christine_Gee
      • 1 yr ago
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      Emma Duke-Williams wonderful idea Emma!  This is non-threatening, and less abstract for students.  Additionally, I encourage students to cite as if they were having a conversation so that the ideas are credited properly.  

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