USING PLAGIARISM DETECTION TOOLS IN ORDER TO CONTROL GROUP WORK SUBMISSIONS IN LARGE COURSES

R. Matos, A. Sousa

University of Porto (PORTUGAL)
Peer education and teamwork are looked upon as important educational tools due to the massification of higher education programmes. As such, teams frequently produce several deliverables throughout a given course, and these should be properly organized and assessed.

As the deliverables submission process often occur in large numbers, any attempt to manage the procedure too tightly is bound to make the evaluators spend a lot of time just checking, controlling and correcting each individual submission; assessing these vast numbers of deliverables, is another problem, which is simply too vast to tackle in this article. Nevertheless, we do use plagiarism detection tools which offer invaluable information to evaluators. These mentioned tools are also used in an unsuspecting way: while allowing the students to submit the deliverables in a loose way, these tools can be used to check, and control any wrongdoing with little effort.

This article shows the details of the implementation and the lessons learned. The prototype was tested in a course which has roughly one thousand students enrolled in, and that had effectively produced a course-portfolio of an organized set with all deliverables in an (almost totally) automated manner.