What the Tech? See a New Way to Tell if Someone is Plagiarizing Information

It used to take a lot of work to plagiarize something. You had to go to the library, find the right book and copy.

Today, students can do all that with just two right clicks of a mouse. But Google has a new tool to help teachers sniff out the copies.

It’s called “Google Assignments”. Google Product Manager Zach Yeskel shows how it works.

A student writes his or her paper using Google Docs. Yeskel copies part of the Wikipedia page on The Great Gatsby and puts it in his paper. Even before the student turns it in , Google Assignments begins looking for plagiarism, or as Google nicely calls it, “originality”.

Yeskel says Google Assignments scans hundreds of billions of websites and tens of millions of books to see if there are any text matches in my paper.

When the paper is turned in, the professor sees this before they even read it.

It’s a valuable tool, says college professor Eric Melcher, because it’s too easy for students to cheat nowadays. Especially students taking courses online.

Google Assignments should be released fully later this year, but teachers can sign up now to try out the beta version of the program.

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