Erich Kästner-Gymnasium - Regular Checks During Prevent Plagiarism Right Away

"Better text quality right after the first day"

- Angela Kühn

Why does the Erich Kästner Gymnasium recommend PlagScan?

  • Reduction of plagiarism
  • Saves a lot of time
  • Students put more effort in phrasing texts
  • Students feel more equitably treated and graded
  • More control over numerous yearly submissions through an archive
  • Students restrain ghostwriting websites and homework services

The Problem: Checking Assignments for Plagiarism is too Time-Consuming

In order to receive an university-entrance diploma, students in North Rhine-Westphalia are required to submit a 8-12 page long take-home assignment, which is graded like a final exam. This take-home assignment reflects the academic work students will be doing in university. Since the take-home assignment is evaluated like a scientific paper, proper citation and crediting are significant evaluation aspects. Often, student plagiarize at these take-home assignments, either on purpose or even unknowingly. 

The Solution: Regular Checks During the Work Period Prevent Plagiarism Right Away

Students usually work 14 weeks on the take-home exam. During this time period, faculty meet with the students regularly to support them with their work, keep them on track and educate them on proper citation and plagiarism prevention. It is up to individual faculty how much content the students need to provide during the check-ins and how strict it is being evaluated. Before the deadline passes, students have to submit their work as hard copy as well as digitally. Faculty submit the digital version to PlagScan to check the assignment for plagiarism. In the near future, students will be able to submit their work to PlagScan by themselves so save one more step in the evaluation process. 

The Result: Better Text Quality Right After the First Day

During the consulting process, faculty reminds the students about proper citation and the usage of PlagScan. The combination of educating students about plagiarism and warning them about the consequences has increasingly improved the quality of their work. The wording of paragraphs has become distinctly shorter, which indicates that students have started to restrain from copying and pasting from sources. We have noticed that students put more effort into paraphrasing, citing and creating content with own words. Particularly ambitious students have been gaining from the practice and feel more equally treated. 

Relaxed Students – Relaxed Teachers

To find plagiarism manually is time-consuming and often inefficient. As faculty member, we often notice if a student’s content seems not his or her own or when students copy from one another, but most of the time we wouldn’t be able to tell. Due to the prior communication with students about using PlagScan as a plagiarism detection software, we have experiences incredibly positive results and also included PlagScan to scan students’ homework, presentations and other assignments.