Academic misconduct at NextEd falls by 85% following Turnitin onboarding

Turnitin, one of the leading provider of assessment, grading, and innovative learning solutions across the globe, is helping NextEd Group combat actual and potential academic misconduct, including detection of instances where AI writing tools like ChatGPT may have been used without permission – across a cohort of 15,000 domestic and international students.

Why did NextEd onboard Turnitin?

NextEd, formally iCollege, is an Australian company which operates 10 education businesses, as well as an international student recruitment agency, covering English language studies, information technology, coding, design, health, hospitality, and construction. Like other education providers, NextEd witnessed a hike in cheating among domestic students and its rising number of international enrolments amid the prevalence of remote learning.

Recognising students resort to cheating for various reasons – including misunderstanding of Western conceptualisation of what constitutes academic dishonesty – NextEd teamed up with Turnitin to provide a uniform solution to driving a culture of academic integrity. 

Given the diverse range of courses NextEd offers its students, coursework comes in many variations in modes of learning and assessment. Turnitin is adaptable to and manages this complexity, while also remaining easy to use by both educators and learners.

“NextEd aims to empower our 200 educators to give students optimal learning experiences underscored by original thinking across various content formats and assessment methods, no matter what course they are taking,” said Eve Ollerenshaw, Pro Vice Chancellor at NextEd.

Eve Ollerenshaw, Pro Vice Chancellor at NextEd
Eve Ollerenshaw, Pro Vice Chancellor at NextEd

“We wanted a solution that could educate; not just detect potential cases of cheating, but guide best practices to set students up for life and careers after they complete their studies. Turnitin gives us far more than a plagiarism checker to identify academic misconduct. It allows us to engage students by embedding integrity in every part of the learning process.”

How effective has Turnitin solution been for NextEd?

Since onboarding Turnitin, NextEd has seen an increase in levels of understanding of academic integrity, improvements in researching and referencing, a rise in literacy skills, and a dramatic reduction in plagiarism – from 140 to less than 20 cases per year, a drop of more than 85%.

“After implementing Turnitin, we saw the benefits to the entire NextEd community. Teaching staff credit the platform with easing burdens related to administration and assessment, freeing up their time to engage closely with students. Students are consistently equipped with knowledge and skills to move through their education, and the rest of their lives, with academic integrity as a well-formed and well-understood foundation,” said Ollerenshaw.

Among the initiatives borne from this increased understanding of academic integrity and quality teaching and learning experiences at NextEd is an ‘All Things Compliance’ workshop, which among several other topics, serves as a community of practice for academic integrity and explores the most impactful ways to leverage innovative tools such as Turnitin.

James Thorley, Regional VP, APAC at Turnitin
James Thorley, Regional Vice President, APAC at Turnitin

“There are increased reports of students cheating, both intentional and resulting from misunderstanding the definition of academic dishonesty. No matter the motive, it’s ultimately detrimental to students’ futures,” commented James Thorley, Regional VP, APAC at Turnitin.

“Despite the challenges remote learning brings, NextEd is bucking the cheating trend through the integration of tech within curricula, making a positive impact on educators and students.”

What next for NextEd?

Looking ahead, NextEd is committed to further developing a supportive environment for its domestic and international community, and sees Turnitin as vital to achieving this. It plans to extend its use of the Turnitin product suite to ensure delivery by all providers within the institution, in order to maintain its standards and reputation for upholding academic integrity.

As part of this roadmap, NextEd will introduce Turnitin’s artificial intelligence (AI) writing detection tool, launched in April. The solution provides an evaluative measure of how many sentences in a submission may have been generated by artificial intelligence, which educators can use to determine if further review, inquiry or discussion with the student is needed.

Ollerenshaw said, “We will be implementing Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities across the NextEd Group, and look forward to testing it and providing feedback. ChatGPT, like everything new, has elements of merit and potential for misuse – we aim to teach our academic teams and students about the merits of using this technology wisely for positive gain. Turnitin helps us in this approach to maintain ethics as a cornerstone to what we do.”