Turnitin Study Shows Impact of Plagiarism Prevention and Online Grading at Higher Education Institutions

Findings from over 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities over five-year period reveal significant reduction of unoriginal writing and rapid adoption of online grading.

Turnitin, the leader in originality checking and online grading, today announced a new study analyzing the impact of plagiarism prevention and online grading technology at U.S. institutions of higher education. The study shows that schools using Turnitin reduced unoriginal writing by 39 percent and that the number of papers graded digitally increased 100-fold over the five-year study.

View an interactive calculator or download the full report with study results by institution type and size.

The study analyzes nearly 55 million student papers from 1,000 colleges and universities to determine the percent change in papers that contain more than 50 percent unoriginal content. The study findings vary based on the type of institution as well as the size of the institution. The greatest reduction of nearly 78 percent occurred in 2-year colleges with a population of 3,000-5,000 students. While results vary after three years of using Turnitin, all institution types and sizes experienced significant reductions in levels of unoriginal writing after five years of use.

In addition, the study shows that the number of papers graded digitally increased from just over 300,000 in 2008 to nearly 3.8 million last year. This growth is propelled by the productivity and pedagogical benefits of online grading, which include:

  • 31 percent time savings for instructors who adopt online grading compared to manual methods;
  • 52 percent improvement in the quality of feedback when using digital grading;
  • 46 percent increase in student engagement when papers are graded online.

Turnitin will discuss the findings in the report during a 30-minute webcast on Thursday, March 13. Register for the webcast.

“Employing technology to evaluate work and encourage original writing among students improves the critical thinking and media literacy skills that are essential for student success,” said Chris Caren, chairman and CEO of Turnitin. “This study shows that instructors are adopting digital tools in order to measurably improve student outcomes.”

The study is released on the heels of a similar study by Turnitin regarding unoriginal content in secondary education, Turnitin Effectiveness: Plagiarism Prevention in U.S. High Schools.

About Turnitin
Turnitin is the global leader in evaluating and improving student writing. The company’s cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer review saves instructors time and provides rich feedback to students. One of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world, Turnitin is used by more than 10,000 institutions in 126 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student papers online. Turnitin also offers iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service for commercial markets, and WriteCheck, a suite of formative tools for writers. Turnitin is backed by Warburg Pincus and is headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with an international office in Newcastle, U.K. For more information, please visit www.turnitin.com.