Safe Assign and Freshman Writing

Safe Assign and Freshman Writing April 28, 2011

The Safe Assign feature on Blackboard is great for detecting and deterring plagiarism. But I’m finding an additional use fot it in teaching freshman core writing courses. If you teach a course in which students have to submit a draft, get feedback (and perhaps a grade) on the draft, and then revise the essay and submit it again, Safe Assign will give a “false positive” of a high likelihood or certainty of plagiarism, because it will match that assignment against the student’s earlier one, assuming both were submitted through Safe Assign. This will in fact allow you to highlight everything that is the same in both papers, providing a helpful visual indication of what has stayed the same, and what, if anything, has been changed between the first draft and the final version. I find this a very useful function of Safe Assign, even though it presumably isn’t what it was designed for. And I thought that other educators might find this a useful tip. If you do, let me know!

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