The idea is whenever the student submits a file, they are presented with and have to tick as read a page of text. The text says that they didn't plagiarise, of course, but it could be whatever you like. The text will go in the language pack so it can't easily be changed (a requirement).
It's a sign of the times that institutions are covering themselves and looking for traceability, so it might not just be us.
An assignment boilerplate text sounds like a useful feature. Please could you add a feature request in the tracker so people can vote for / comment on it.
It's a sad state of affairs but when I was a student (in the Stone Age) if you failed you did re-sits or quietly gave up. Now you phone your lawyer!
The text is part of the setup for the module. Therefore, it has to be set up by the site administrator and cannot be changed easily.
The text is then displayed when you want to upload a file, an extra screen in the upload process. I *think* this only applies to file upload style assignments.
Assignment module based activities on a site or in a course are not always used for submission of "assignments" so if in core it would need to be possible to enable the display of the plagiarism text by instance.
Online text: Probably not used for this in the main I would imagine, but if configurable by instance it won't hurt to include it.
Is it an interface message? It's very much related to the function that makes you confirm site usage rules when you create a new account (but that was a url). That's no use, because the point here is to constantly annoy students with the rules whatever they may be.
Your next comment comes down to one's understanding of the role/need of this function.
I've come to it from a requirement to have a 'reminder' of certain requirements every time a student submits something - an institutional edict. Allowing the staff to switch it off would not fit with that view. I guess we could have the text and then a setting (or a role?) to allow the staff to override. I now have a sinking feeling that this is getting way complicated for something that started out a simple addition to plug a worry I do hear about students submitting work in Moodle.
As a matter of interest, give me an example of where an Assignment is not used for the submission of "assignment" and where this would be inappropriate.
I think there are two strands to this discussion:
1. The requirements of your university and the resulting brief.
The proposed development looks great for that.
2. Inclusion of the above in core Moodle without any configuration options.
I'm uneasy about core functionality the assumes a specific use of a functionality in Moodle and renders it useless/less than useful or cumbersome for other intended potential use.
To answer your question...
Any time there is a requirement to upload a file where a declaration is not plagiarism is not required.
A document for discussion that will not be marked
An expenses sheet
A feedback sheet
If we *did* have the switch to turn it off in individual assignments what would your advantage be of actually *having* the text in the ones in which it was on (i.e, above simply adding such text into the assignment description)?
I'm actually a bit concerned that having an option in the assigment "enable/disable site boilerplate text" might sit a bit oddly - that is, nobody will have a clue what it is.
Maybe the whole thing is just a bad idea as a core function. It's too specific.
How could configuration options work in practice.
1. On/off at site level - Crude but it would work.
2. On at site level / optional in setting by assignment instance - Yup, would work OK so that the message is displayed on submission where required, but potential for human error if not enabled, impossible to audit in the event of a dispute etc. etc.
If in core I imagine 1. would suit your specific needs, and those of others who want to use Assignment based activities in this way only, as it could be enforced by the admin.
2. Wouldn't satisfy your current objectives at all. Others would need to decide if they were prepared to accept the risks associated with an optional setting not being enabled.
Just a quick question that occured to me. On the site(s) where you intend implementing this are your colleagues *only* using Assignment module based activities for the purpose of formal submission of assignments?
Side note... I think *very* few of my colleagues are using it at all. However, we have a very close eye on Turnitin and Dan's patch. We did trial the "official" patch but it's so bug ridden we couldn't run with it and they didn't show any interest in fixing it. Once that is all in place I would expect that Assignment will be heavily used but probably (and unimaginatively?) for formal submission only.
"There wasn't a choice activity to do when I upload my assignment"
"The text of the choice activity didn't say anything about that when I acknowledged it"
It would only work if I can *force* a choice activity (with the appropriate contents) to appear after every Activity (which the teacher has no control over). Which is a more complex variation on the same thing. Think what could be be proven in court here - seriously, that's what it's come to!
Brainstorming rather than discussing here I'm afraid but how about this:
Set up as in your patch but as a new assignment type (based on Advanced upoloading of files perhaps). Introduce admin option for which assignment types are allowed for the site.
...or a config option for each of the current assignment types that require a submission of:
1. Forced for this assignment type
2. Optional for this assignment type
3. Not enabled for this assignment type
1. Achieves your specific aim.
2. Allows use by Assignment instance.
3. As current behaviour.
this would have some good crossover use for people using the turnitin integration planned for Moodle 2.0 (1.9 release should be coming today or tomorrow)
The way it's implemented in the 1.9 Turnitin integration about to be released is via a configurable text box that appears on the asssignment upload page before the upload box. interested to hear whether the use of a popup is better than displaying the the text on the screen for usability.....how long is the text you want to display?
The text is quite lengthy. Nobody will *really* read it. It's the "you've ticked the box, so it's your problem now" mentality at play
I think popups are bad. They almost always annoy me, and an over-zealous popup blocker will kill them. Bad if it matters.
Like the "Site Policy URL" option you could add an enable a "Plagiarism Policy URL" at a site level. If enabled teachers would have an option then when creating assignments to "display plagiarism policy" yes/no.
This would allow for administrators to control, teachers to implement and for a simple interface for setting up.
The sticking point for me is that I need (note I need - I'm not claiming it's best for Moodle) that this be completely immutable. If it is enabled for the site then it is enforced for the site. I don't see teachers remembering (or caring really) to switch it on.
If enabled it is on by default and the permission is allowing users to override that default setting
This way an admin can set if teachers can choose to turn it of or not, and also give other specialty roles more control as well. (myabe a head of faculty could choose to disable for example).
Just wanted to add that we think this is a great idea.
We've suffered from some plagiarism issues, yet we don't use Turnitin at the moment (it's something we're looking into).
Could this tick box be integrated into text assignments too? We tend to use this more than uploading word documents, or is this something that Turnitin integrates?
the turnitin Integration I've been working on could be integrated with the online assignment type relatively easily, however we don't have funding to integrate with the online assignment at this stage. NOTE: Turnitin has a minimum submission size of 100 characters I think, so submissions that use less than that wouldn't work.
Most of our students work is evaluation, yet there are some research projects they need to carry out too. I don't think as yet the cost of Turnitin can be justified as yet for our various colleges.
If this boilerplate was available for Online Text then this would be a great alternative.
Our college is really looking to push this forward now, and I was wondering if anyone had further thoughts on the implementation with Online Text?
Feedback would be greatly appreciated
My worry for Online Text is that it is often used (certainly by my users) as a kind of "reflective journal" rather than to submit work. I wouldn't want it showing in that. I have a worry that what I envisioned as a simple addon ends up with a massive list of confusing options.
Would be interesting to see the patch! - all I've added in the turnitin stuff is some text that displays when the turnitin integration is enabled for an assignment - not really what people are looking for here in a "boilerplate" text.
My worry for Online Text is that it is often used (certainly by my users) as a kind of "reflective journal" rather than to submit work. I wouldn't want it showing in that.
I agree with you. Most of our use of the online text assignment type is for reflective journals. So, at most, having some boilerplate text should be an optional setting.