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Queen’s to adopt new academic tool

After extensive consultation and discussions among a variety of groups, Queen’s University has decided to acquire a campus-wide licence for Turnitin, an academic tool that will support student learning and faculty development.

“I am pleased that Queen’s is joining other Ontario institutions that have benefitted from Turnitin,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “The software, available for the fall 2016 term, will provide numerous learning opportunities for both faculty and students.” While the tool is sometimes understood as plagiarism detection software, Dr. Scott says Queen’s will promote it as a formative and developmental opportunity. “Turnitin will help students gain a deeper understanding of academic citation practices while safeguarding academic integrity.”

“Turnitin will enable Queen’s to adopt an educational approach by encouraging students to check for potential issues before submitting their assignments,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “In this way, students can learn about ways to ensure they are submitting original work. Over time, supports will be developed for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students on using Turnitin as an educational tool.”

Representatives from the Office of the Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), IT Services and the Queen’s University Faculty Association evaluated the software and recommended its adoption across the university. Ten Ontario universities, including the University of Toronto, McMaster, Western and Ryerson, currently hold a licence for Turnitin. Smith School of Business and the School of Kinesiology, Queen’s Economics Department and the Department of Psychology have been using Turnitin under an opt-in arrangement.

“We saw the opportunity to take Turnitin from an opt-in service that only a few on campus were using to a full, campus-wide application. This is another way ITS is looking to improve and bolster the best experience possible for our Queen’s community,” says Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services).