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September 13, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Education VP


Class Rep Training

We are having 3 additional training this week for students who have not yet attended training. They are on;

Tuesday 14th Sept, 3pm, Meeting Room 1
Thursday 16th September, 4pm AND 5pm, Meeting Room 3

These sessions will run for one hour each, please RSVP to the Education Organiser Fiona Beals at


As most of you are aware the University used at online anti-plagarism company called ‘Turnitin’. Many of you have probably had experience with the website having to submit your essays onto the website. Currently VUWSA is reviewing the University’s use of Turnitin after a several students have come to us with concerns about the company. A few facts about Turnitin;

  • Turnitin derives economic gain from your work (by storing it and running it against other papers)
  • Through the ‘click through agreement’ students are agreeing to have their work archived
  • There are several ‘repositories’ in which student’s work can be archived, including an ‘institution’ repository, but Vic has no policy on which repository the work is archived into, but allows the lecturers to choose
  • Turnitin claims that students attending institutions agree to policies set out by that institution, therefore, if Turnitin is within policy, students can be given a fail grade for non-submission via Turnitin
  • Current VUW Policy: Turnitin is mentioned in the Assessment Handbook, though many students aren’t even aware that this exists or where to view the policy. There is a statement about Turnitin in ‘Assessment Communication’ (e.g. Course Outlines, websites etc.) but the vast majority of courses state that Turnitin ‘may’ be used, with no clear indication that it will or won’t. This causes a problem because if a student has an objection to using Turnitin and with no clear indication of it being used, this could lead to a student failing a course – a situation that is facing at least one student at the moment.

As a student I don’t feel we have been given enough information about Turnitin and VUWSA is looking at running a campaign to inform students about Turnitin, your rights and what happens to your work in the future.

Did you know this about Turnitin? Or is this all new to you? Do you have any bad experiences with using the programme? Get in contact with us; we’d love to hear what you think!

Bridie Hood


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