Assessment Matters

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Plagiarism Detection and Support
A2017/25 - 02 Oct 2017

To:

Principal
Principal’s Nominee
All teachers

Plagiarism Detection and Support

Plagiarism has become easier with greater access to digital devices and the Internet. In response to this situation NZQA is considering providing greater support to schools, including the coordination of syndicated anti-plagiarism software.

Detecting plagiarism

NZQA requires each school to have their own assessment policies and processes for ensuring authenticity, as part of their consent to assess. This includes managing plagiarism. Plagiarism is using someone else’s language, ideas or work and presenting them as your own. It can be unintentional or intentional. The latter is widely regarded as unethical and academic dishonesty.

Early versions of anti-plagiarism checkers could also be easily fooled. However, in recent times, plagiarism detection has also become a lot easier though the use of more sophisticated software.

Teachers or tutors are best placed to detect plagiarism by knowing what their learners are capable of in terms of use of language, capability and comparability with other material. In some cases, plagiarism checkers are used for all assessed materials and sometimes only used where plagiarism is suspected.

There are many anti-plagiarism websites and tools freely and widely available for student and teacher use. More advanced software, called Electronic Plagiarism Detectors (EPDs), require fees to be paid and can be quite expensive. EPDs offer more advanced features; such as the ability to check against archived material, keep records, compare to specific websites, read PDFs, check for hidden macros, provide reports, and can integrate with Learning Management Systems.

Survey and syndicated procurement opportunity

NZQA is conducting a survey to gather more information from the sector about the need for, and use of, anti-plagiarism software.

Part of this survey includes seeking interest from schools in joining together to negotiate lower fees for an advanced EPD. This is called a syndicated procurement. This would not involve NZQA purchasing the EPDs but NZQA helping to negotiate a more favourable licensing cost for schools.

We would appreciate it if you could take 5-10 minutes to complete our survey. The overall results will be shared to help inform schools about steps being taken to detect plagiarism. No details of individual schools will be published or shared.

A link to the survey can be found here. We would appreciate feedback by 31 October 2017. For further questions relating to this survey please contact your School Relationship Manager.

Enquiries

Please refer any enquiries relating to this circular to your School Relationship Manager.

School Relationship Manager
School Quality Assurance and Liaison
Telephone: 04 463 3000
Fax: 04 463 3115
Email: firstname.lastname@nzqa.govt.nz

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