Faculty Story: Turnitin for Arts

Read about a UBC example of using Turnitin, featuring Dr. Xiaowen Xu, Associate Professor of Teaching, Chinese Applied Linguistics, Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts. Xiaowen uses the Turnitin standalone tool to allow her students to self-check against plagiarism.

UBC Turnitin Example for Arts

How did you use Turnitin in your course and what made you decide to do this?

I have set up Turnitin for each of the courses I teach at UBC. In these advanced content-based literature courses under the Chinese Language Program, students are expected to enhance their academic writing skills. To achieve that learning outcome, students need to grasp a solid knowledge of academic integrity and avoid plagiarism.

Turnitin can help students prevent basic forms of plagiarism when writing assignments, such as short analysis papers and final papers.

What has been your experience so far?

This term, my students in CHIN 481 have started to use Turnitin from their first draft of their short analysis paper. They found that the immediately generated similarity reports were very helpful to them when they were revising their first draft.

The similarity reports can work as a tool for students to self-check against plagiarism and can further inspire them to do more research on their secondary sources.

What are some challenges/successes in using Turnitin in your practice?

The data on Turnitin are mostly in English. As a result, students may not be aware of potential plagiarism if they quote from other languages without proper documentation or citation.

Having said that, the use of Turnitin has already raised adequate awareness for my students on the importance of using citations properly. In my opinion, that is the first step toward a profound understanding of academic integrity in academic writing.

Turnitin has been a successful tool in helping students discover that [academic integrity] knowledge.

What is your advice for new users of Turnitin?

It may not be perfect, but it works to teach students about the basic knowledge of academic integrity.

It is better to set it up before you release your syllabus and Canvas course, then your students can benefit from accessing a free Turnitin account specially for your course.

Also, remember to provide a note on Turnitin’s privacy policy (as listed in your syllabus).

Our colleagues at the LT Hub are quick in helping you set up your account as an instructor, and they will tell you all the useful tips on how to set it up for each of your courses.

Faculty and staff looking for Turnitin support, please contact us at the LT Hub.

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