Teachers and students share their opinion on the new submission system.

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Molly Balison, Web Staff

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Most students are aware that Turnitin has been introduced to Sandpoint High School. The site, turnitin.com, digitally proofreads documents submitted by students to detect the usage of plagiarism.

All past assignments that teachers have accumulated are input into the system’s database which hinders students from getting away with copying assignments completed by upperclassmen.

Most of the English department has implemented this system, but Turnitin will soon be implemented in other classes that have digital writing assignments such as Social Studies and Science. All classes will have the availability to use Turnitin if they desire to do so.

“We don’t want to use this as a punishment, but as an educational tool of what your original work should look like.”  said Principal Tom Albertson, when asked about his purpose for adopting turnitin.

He explained that over the past few years, plagiarism through copying peers and siblings’ papers has become a more and more noticeable issue to teachers throughout the English department.

“We would rather use [Turnitin] to teach about what academic honesty is and what the difference is between your own work and proper citation.” Albertson said.

Science teacher Mike Martz shared that he had experience in working with Turnitin to make it compatible with Schoology and user-friendly for students. He described that the motivation behind turnitin was getting to push students to learn more.

“If students aren’t doing their own work then they aren’t really growing or being educated” Martz said.

Martz said that a lot of colleges use turnitin, so it’s good practice to start using it in high school to get experience with academic honesty.

English teacher Chandra Martz provides insight on her experience with using turnitin at another school that she worked at.

“It’s really becoming quite user-friendly and widespread across all levels high school and college.” Chandra Martz said.

She believes that the key to avoiding plagiarism is citing one’s sources properly which she believes turnitin can help make students aware of.

“I plan to use it in my classes is a way to meet with kids and talk to them about ways to avoid plagiarism and to help them kind of stay a little bit more academically honest.” She said.

Some students agree that the implementation of turnitin is beneficial for the school, while others see it as a hindrance.

Sophomore Katherine Mellander said, “I think it’s good. It keeps students from cheating and not doing to work, but it’s really annoying at the same time. It’s actually a hassle to turn [work] in.”

Another Student, Freshman Olivia Dyk, explained, “I think it’s good to use every once in awhile just to check on everyone to see if they are plagiarizing, but If [teachers] used it on every assignment I think it’s just a pain and a waste of time.”

It will be interesting to see if turnitin sticks as teachers observe students’ progress and decide if it has accomplished what it was intended to make students aware of- academic honesty.  

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