Posts Tagged ‘reviewing’

How to compare two MS-Word documents for plagiarism detection

2013/11/14 2 comments
  1. You could start with the document properties
    1. some  students leave even the author and editing time in. However, author does not prove any wrong doing, a student may have borrowed a laptop, including its MS-word installation, to author a document and submit it
    2. It may  actually be more of an indicator of something illicit if document properties are empty.
    3. Students have likely used the “Document inspector”:
      1. (1): File / (2) Info, (3) view the properties (this document looks like it had its privacy information removed), you can use (4) to view even more. image
      2. to remove all privacy relevant information, like so: (5) unfold “check for issues”, (6) “inspect document””,
      3. in the window: “document inspector”, click image, you will be given the option to “remove all”personal information: image
    4. However, removing personal information can be perfectly legitimate, unless something else was assigned. And it does not help plagiarizers cover their tracks anyway, for…
  2. …there is the more substantial “compare” documents feature which (even though it was developed for the legal profession, as blackline) tracks what really counts: content changes.
    1. Access it form the ribbon’s “review” tab: image
    2. point the tool to your 2 documents: image
    3. make your life easier by selecting on the “review” tab to view only content changes  (formatting comparisons is noise for plagiarism detection): image
    4. You get a handy (here blurred, but still demonstrating the amount of similarity (=black), compared with changes (= blue),  between the 2 documents ) overview of (from the left)
      1. list of changes
      2. view of changes in a merged document (which you can save)
      3. original document
      4. secondary (likely plagiarized) document: compare documents-blurred
      5. The feature is nice, but only moderately intelligent (see the first match, I would obviously not count that as substantially different) and best used with discretion, to make it easier for a teacher to decide how likely it is that these similarities are accidental.
      6. In this instance, even if the teacher questions are not counted, it seems obvious that only minor alterations were made to the original document and many responses, including quite lengthy sentences, are entirely the same.
      7. While this *is* an instructional use, you can find happier instructional uses of MS-Word’s reviewing/tracking changes feature here.

How to do writing assignments in Moodle with deadlines, file and response file upload and MS-Word tracked changes

  1. Benefits
    1. Keep the cohort in shape and focus it on studying by enforcing deadlines.
    2. You can have students automatically receive reminders of the upcoming deadlines from their calendar (in NINERMAIL, no need to even look at the Moodle Calendar)
    3. You can save time managing the assignment.
      1. Moodle does it for you; you will save even more time once you begin recycling your assignment across terms) and rather provide more timely feedback, and improve changes that your feedback arrives during a teachable moment.
      2. Automatic email notifications,  which are available in Moodle for teachers (if you do not prefer to grade student submissions in a batch) and students to (automatic correction and grading is not ready for prime-time when it comes to essay writing; you may however consider teaching some more basic writing skills using it with close-exercises in Moodle).
    4. Costs
      1. You need to TBA:create a Moodle file upload assignment for writing (once)
      2. You need to grade a Moodle file upload assignment for writing (any time you assign; depending on your preference as submissions arrive or conveniently as a batch from the gradebook past the deadline)
        1. I prefer the MS-Word reviewing features for grading writing assignments,
        2. but other tools have other affordances, e.g. like recently described here for Adobe Acrobat Professional.
      3. Moodle does not automatically add unique usernames to student submitted files like Blackboard. It also does not afford the TBA:convenience of a shared network storage that the WebDAV-based Blackboard Content system provides. However, as long as you do not need to maintain a local archive of student submissions, you can rely on the Moodle gradebook managing the archive of assignment files (student submissions and teacher response files).
      4. How? These 4 posts guide you through the entire workflow from teacher to student back to  teacher to student:
        1. How a teacher creates a Moodle file upload assignment for writing
        2. How a student takes a Moodle file upload assignment for writing
        3. How a teacher grades a Moodle file upload assignment for writing
        4. How a student reviews a Moodle file upload assignment for writing