Comparisons and advocacy

Turnitin vs PlagScan

 
Picture of Tim Gildersleeve
Turnitin vs PlagScan
 

Hi all

We have used Turnitin for many years and are mostly satisfied with what it offers.   Recent price rises and some support issues have raised the question of changing to another anti-plagiarism tool and one that has come to the fore is PlagScan.


Does anyone have experience of using this through Moodle with the plugin and also any comparisons with Turnitin?  If someone has experience of the two I would be very interested to hear your views.    Has anyone actually moved from Turnitin to PlagScan and if so, what issues did you encounter?

Thanks in anticipation.


Tim Gildersleeve

VLE Manager, Bradford College, England.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Core developersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersPlugins guardiansTestersTranslators

Hi Tim, 

I've had a look at the code in the past but haven't actually used the service myself.

The code doesn't follow Moodle coding guidelines very well - lots of stuff that I would usually consider bad practice -  Davo Smith from Synergy Learning spent a chunk of time cleaning some of it up and making sure it was safe, but since then various other developers have worked on the code and I don't know if any Moodle Partners have reviewed the latest code to check how safe it is to use. Hopefully Davo might chime in here?

One major thing to be aware of: It only supports the "assign" and old 2.2 assignment module in Moodle (Turnitin supported workshop/forum activities as well)

There are a few other plagiarism plugins that might be worth considering as a replacement for Turnitin in the Moodle.org Plugins directory here:
https://moodle.org/plugins/browse.php?list=category&id=35

A good thing to look at is how many registered sites are using those plugins - look for this image:sites indicator

 
Average of ratings: -
John Provasnik at Moodle Moot US
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Well... I used to hate Turn it In with a fiery passion -- not because of their product (it's a great product), but because schools can't create an own the student accounts. So it was always a nightmare the first week of school when getting students and teachers to sign up for an account (and to do it correctly). HOWEVER, with the Moodle plugin, I absolutely love Turn it In now!

We are on Moodle 3.0 and this is our first year using the TurnitIn plagiarism plugin (which requires you to also download the Turn it in Direct V2 Assignment module for configuration purposes, but you don't need to actually use this depending on how you use Turn it In)-- We use the plagiarism plugin tool simply to get the originality scores to appear in Moodle instead of having kids go out to Turn It in to upload their work, which then require teachers to log into turn it in to check these scores.

So, now it's all done though Moodle and it's been an amazing experience! No more issues with kids forgetting their turn it in account info. They just submit their work in Moodle like they normally do, and a turn it in score optionally appears beneath their submission if a teacher enables it (there is a screenshot in the first link above).

This plugin integration costs a dollar per student on top of the normal turn it in cost, but this has been completely worth it for my tech department -- teachers and students no longer have to worry about correctly creating and managing their own Turn It In accounts. They also like that they don't have to log into the Turn it In website at all and more which has been a time saver, and a Tech Support dream : )


 
Average of ratings: Useful (2)
Picture of Dave Perry
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

+1 for the Direct integration. Our HE area pays for the core service + the licence for the integration, and it means we've been able to disable anyone creating accounts or classes/activities on the website.

We're still using the Direct v1 option, as it would take a long time to migrate all our assignments to the Direct v2 one, and it's still working.

We have set it to create anonymous accounts though - so our user data is scrambled somewhat. And we turned off the option to tell staff/students what their TII logins were to stop them using the website front end.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

I am interested in plagiarism checkers, but not commercial ones.  Any recommendations?

Global checking is fine, but more important is internal checking of past assignments within our own student body. 

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

What do you mean by "not commercial"? I am not aware of anything like the well known products such as Turnitin or Urkund that do not require paying a financial subscription.

In my view internal checking, and perhaps a check against a download of Wikipedia will cover a considerable amount of most peoples needs. There is a product called Crot

https://moodle.org/plugins/plagiarism_crot

That might have met some of your needs but it has not been updated to keep up with current versions of Moodle.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Cati Mayer
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
 

Hello everyone,

You have a great discussion going on – it was very interesting to gather some insights about your opinions on Turnitin and PlagScan. As PlagScan's communications manager, please allow me to comment on the aspects mentioned above about PlagScan's compatibility with Moodle, switching from Turnitin and pricing:

We are aware of some imperfections of our code that have impaired PlagScan’s compatibility with Moodle. We have spent much time focusing on improving other aspects of our software in the past. However, we have noticed a vast increase in traction with our Moodle integration recently and are now rebuilding the code to enable a flawless integration to Moodle as one of our top priorities. If anyone is interested in receiving closer details or receiving access to a beta-test, please feel free to get in touch with us at info@plagscan.com. We also value feedback and are always open to new ideas and suggestions. 

PlagScan is very flexible and open to helping customers. We have assisted multiple users to switch form their previous plagiarism software to our service by offering a script to move existing archived documents into the comparison pool. We have received a lot of positive feedback from customers who switched to PlagScan. A majority of customers who switched, have remained with our service. 

We actually offer a special discount for users who intend to switch to PlagScan from are a different plagiarism software, such as Turnitin.

Our pricing is fair and customized to our user’s needs. Particularly the pricing packages for organizations are well-calculated. Users can always reach out to us if they have any concerns, especially if they feel inadequately charged. 

I hope this helped. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
Core developersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersPlugins guardiansTestersTranslators

Hi Cati,

great to hear you are planning to improve the plugin - I would encourage you to make use of github and the integration with travis-ci for your development - it would be nice to see all the standard travis tests pass on your codebase.

see here for more info:

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=323384

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Cati Mayer
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
 

Thank you Dan! 

I have forwarded your suggestions to our IT team.

We have used grithub in the past and it's still in our repository. We have already considered using it again and your suggestion will weight into our decision-making process. Also, our developers agree to use travis-ci, since apparently the new version has come with many improvements as well. 

We definitely want the improved PlagScan API to run faster, that's one of our main focus points. 

Thank you again for your input!

Best,

Cati

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Valerie Schreiner
Re: Turnitin vs PlagScan
 

Note:  I work for VeriCite

MIght I suggest an alternative.   VeriCite has a fully approved Moodle PlugIn for plagiarism detection and you can sign up for a free trial, get access, integrate your trial to Moodle, get a quote for your institution and sign up for the product all without talking to anyone if you like!   

https://vericite.com/   

If you DO want to talk to someone, feel free to reach out to me.

 
Average of ratings: Useful (1)