Are we forgoing moral standards when adopting emergency remote teaching? The massive ad-hoc move to digital platforms without proper support systems for plagiarism detection risks undermining the trust in online and distance learning as students will not receive enough guidance in academic honesty.
What we have seen from universities and schools in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, to keep teaching while staying safe, is not comparable to in-classroom learning or even online learning. It is great to see that so many have done what they can to manage teaching in innovative ways. But it is still a stark contrast to what happens in a classroom or a well-prepared online course. At the very least, the students never signed up for a distance learning experience. We were all forced into one.
We genuinely believe many valuable lessons are being learned, by both students and educators alike, and that we will see an influx of innovation in education as an effect. The reality now is that many will struggle to find the motivation and engagement to make the most of their learning experience. Feeling detached from both mentors and peers has been linked to an increase in students' inclination to take shortcuts. Faced with the negative effect of social distance, instructors can reduce cheating by communicating what constitutes it and having a discussion about it as part of the learning environment.
With more assignments turning digital, one shortcut is to skip citing sources prudently or plain out handing in other's work as your own. The easiest and most effective way to safeguard against such practices is to implement text-matching software as part of your assignment workflow. Urkund does not only deliver best-in-class accuracy but sits smoothly within your current learning management system's assignment feature. The easy-to-read report is also used by many of our customers as a base for discussion about academic integrity.
Being forced to transform how you teach is not done overnight, and we can not expect to come close to a well-considered online learning experience. However, adding plagiarism checks can serve as learning opportunities about honesty. The benefits will be reducing the inclination to cheat, ensuring your students are acquiring knowledge and fostering a positive moral development.
“Our vision is that people deep down understand that the world is pushed forward by original thinking,” says Andreas Ohlson, group CEO of Urkund. “Striving to support originality is something that will be even more important now than ever before. Which is why I am happy to see our system being used on a scale never seen before with exponential growth over the last couple of months.”
Urkund supports academic institutions, secondary schools, and corporations in their institutional effectiveness and quality initiatives by delivering a fully automated system for checking text originality and preventing plagiarism. The software is fully integrated into all major learning management systems and uses advanced machine learning to deliver test-winning accuracy. With 20 years at the forefront of promoting academic integrity, Urkund now serves over 5,000 institutions in nearly 80 countries worldwide. Urkund is privately owned and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.