Software that Harvest Student Homework

Palagarism is big issue. Due to vast amount of submissions universities decided to use special software to check whether content of the homeworks are novel or not. These software does not state that should be accepted as novel or not  but helps to know whether some part of the content is copied / pasted directly- without proper citation and referinging and also  helps the teachers to check origin of the text.

KTH used turnetin for a long time and I was happy with that, then KTH decided to use URKUND. Since I am PhD Candidate I was also using this tool for the text I was writing too. It is better to be safe than sorry, right?If you wonder how it works, let me share you a video:

The strange thing was, I was not able to delete the file from Urkund’s system. My midterm document also includes a recently published article which was not supposed to be available online at public sites. Besides that, It is midterm document, still needs development but if anyone cites similar document that I did, system could show that she/he used similar things with my document and give access to them to download my entire document. Is it the feature that I want?

I  prepare homeworks/ assignments and I want my students to be creative and free to answer questions the way they want to answer. If I use this software for my students’ assignments then their assignments will be in the system for ever. I do not think my students signed for this and I do not think it is fair to have a system that harvest our students all homework.

I informed our IT support about the issue and URKUND will manually remove the document from their system. How many other platforms will harvest users data without their content (or forced to consent?).

It seems,  turnitin had better policy “When a student or educator submits a paper to Turnitin, it is compared against a vast, secure proprietary database of licensed source material, including billions of periodicals, academic journals, books, and web pages. Turnitin also maintains a separate repository of student papers. Each educator (at the discretion of his or her school administrator) can determine whether or not to include student papers in the repository and whether or not to give students the option to opt out. We can remove student papers from the standard repository at the request of a school administrator. ”

Do you want your students’ answers to an assignment to hunt them until forever?

How Moocs are dealing with our students’ submissions?

We lecturers, researchers, citizens should be very careful with this trend.

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