Thursday, July 24, 2008

SafeAssign Plagiarism Prevention Tool Available

Some of you may be familiar with MyDropBox which was a plagiarism prevention tool provided by the library. Faculty and students could create an account on the MyDropBox website and then submit papers and check them for originality against a database of billions of documents, scholarly works, articles, and other submitted papers.

MyDropBox was purchased by Blackboard, and our ability to renew our license with the MyDropBox website effective August 1, 2008. MyDropBox is now only available under it's new name, SafeAssign, from within a Blackboard course.

Good thing we use Blackboard!

We sucessfully installed SafeAssign into our current Blackboard LMS system this past maintenance weekend. We've been trying it out so that we can understand how it works. We will soon announce this new tool to the entire campus, add use of SafeAssign to our Blackboard training, and provide tutorials and documentation for those wishing to use it.

Any faculty member wishing to use SafeAssign will have to have a Blackboard course shell for thier course. Faculty cannot gain access to a Blackboard course shell until they have been trained, so please plan accordingly. (Blackboard training is offered online and face:face throughout the year.) For those of you already familiar with Blackboard CE6, there are two ways to submit papers. You can either submit them yourself (in bulk!!) or create a SafeAssignment for students to submit their own papers to. There is also a draft option so that students can check thier papers for originality and make corrections before submitting the final product. I think this tool will be equally as useful for students in learning how to avoid plagiarism in their own works as it will be to help faculty detect plagiarism.

A side benefit to this development is that I have learned how to correctly spell "plagiarism"!

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