MAASTRICHT. The UM is going to use new anti-plagiarism software to combat fraud. The new programme is more user-friendly. Safe Assign (part of Blackboard), which has been applied at the UM for the past ten years, will continue to be used.
What is the advantage of two anti-plagiarism programmes? “You offer lecturers a choice,” says Ingrid Wijk, head of the university library. “And it increases unpredictability. Students won’t know which tool the lecturer is using.” That makes it more difficult to cheat. Even the name of the new software will not be revealed, so as not to give students any ideas. 145 UM students overstepped the mark in 2012.
The new programme is considerably more user-friendly, says Wijk. “In particular the reports are easier to read and to interpret. A pilot project with the new software will be started in the autumn. “The second tool is meant for education, but we have also looked at the possibility of applying it to PhD theses. We concluded that it would be possible too.”
It was the School of Business and Economics that took the lead on evaluating plagiarism software. The school was already focused on deception and cheating after they discovered that some students committed fraud during exams using their mobile telephones in the toilets. SBE then installed detection devices. There will soon be a UM-wide trial focussing on fraud detection during exams.