The disclaimer/coversheet, and helping students to create original, properly referenced essays:
Each piece of work handed that is to be electronically tested needs to have a cover sheet, signed or accepted by the student permitting this to be done. You can do this in two ways.
1. You can make the students sign a piece of paper that accompanies each essay. below is an example one. Your department will have a policy on plagiarism. There isn't one standard one for the University, which must be confusing for students doing multiple subjects, but you can make sure that your students are quite aware of your department's policy.
Declaration of originality and authorisation to hold electronically and verify that it is original:
I certify that the material contained in this dissertation is my own work and does not contain significant portions of unreferenced or unacknowledged material. I also warrant that the above statement applies to the implementation of the project and all associated documentation.
In the case of electronically submitted work, I also consent to this work being stored electronically and copied for assessment purposes. Including the department’s use of plagiarism detection systems in order to check the integrity of assessed work.
Do not include the coversheet in the submitted document
The coversheet is an important part of submitting a piece of work, but it should not be submitted as part of the on-line essay. If it is, it will be added to the parts of the essay labelled as plagiarised, thus increasing the reported proportion that has been copied.
2. You can set a declaration of originality within the LUVLE course submission facility. You just have to tick a box when you set up a coursework submission area to do this. This is a piece of text with a default declaration of originality which is held in the configuration area of the LUVLE module, and you can alter it to be whatever you want. When the student uploads work, they have to first declare that they have read and agree to your declaration of originality. It works really neatly, and seeing as you likely to be gathering student work on-line using it anyway if you're reading this, you might as well use it.
Helping students produce original, properly referenced essays:
There are a number of methods that might reduce the number of essays that are flagged by Turnitin for further analysis.
1. It could be an idea to advise students to take lessons on what the overall purpose of an essay is, emphasising the importance of original work, and how to do referencing properly.
2. Students could be asked to submit a short section - maybe a chapter of a more important work like a dissertation in advance of the full work, and check run those through Turnitin. That way any problems may well be detected before anything is formally handed in, and advice can be give to avert the time and difficulty of dealing with a possible incidence of plagiarism.
3. Link to a useful quiz for students.
Many use the Harvard referencing system to reference their publications, and the following link goes through to an on-line quiz that could be used as part of a guide to new students to help them construct essays that reference well.
More information on the subject of plagiarism:
The University's policy on plagiarism is here:
The revised plagiarism framework can be found here (word file):