After criticism, Turnitin launches new tool

Image:  Turnitin

Image: Turnitin

After hearing teachers’ complaints, plagiarism-prevention platform Turnitin releases a new writing tool: Revision Assistant.

Turnitin was launched in 1997 and is used on most universities and schools in the United States. Institutions buy licenses to assess essays in Turnitin’s online platform, which checks the text for unoriginal content.

The company has received criticism due to privacy concerns. Most recently, academics Sean Michael Morris, of Middlebury College, and Jesse Stommel, of the University of Mary Washington, published an essay in which they said that Turnitin, and other anti-plagiarism platforms, might “seize control of student intellectual property”.

Also, several teachers asked to see more of the writing process, and Turnitin acknowledged that students often made a few changes to their essays to avoid being caught.  Aiming to solve the problem, the company launched Revision Assistant.

The new tool works as an assistant for students and allows teachers to see more of the writing process. Teachers that have tried the new tool said that it helps students provide more evidence and reduces the time to give feedback.