Google for Education launches originality reports to curb student plagiarism, outlines Assignments for higher ed

The feature, called originality reports, allows instructors and students to check work to ensure it is cited properly and avoid plagiarism.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google for Education launched a new feature designed to check students' work for originality and plagiarism across its Assignments and Classroom learning platforms.

The feature, called originality reports, allows instructors and students to check work to ensure it is cited properly and avoid plagiarism.

Originality reports checks a student's text against billions of web pages and millions of books. The system will highlight text that needs a citation or includes phrases similar to what's on the web.

Also: How Apple, Google, and Microsoft stack up in education technology: Hardware, software, and deployment    

Here's a look:


Students will have a chance to run an originality report up to three times before submitting work. The originality reports link to the external sources and bring results in context for instructors to check. In addition, schools can create a private repository of past student submissions to use originality reports to find matches between students. Google said in Classroom, instructors can access originality reports for no charge up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools get unlimited access if instructors have G Suite Enterprise for Education. 

These originality reports are also embedded into Assignments, a system for higher education instructors in beta, as well as Classroom, aimed at K-12 students. Assignments, formerly known as Coursework, is designed to operate with learning management systems or integrated as an add-on to link Google Drive, Docs and Search. Classroom is typically used at K-12 schools in conjunction with Chromebook deployments.

Google has been updating G Suite for Education ahead of the new school year and has also rolled out an App Hub for Chromebooks. The search giant's software and cloud strategies for education aim to take advantage of Google's Chromebook momentum in education. 


Higher ed deployments require a different approach from Google given there's typically infrastructure in place and Chromebooks aren't as prevalent. 

The strategy with Assignments is to acknowledge that learning management systems such as Blackboard and Canvas are competitors but entice universities to use its tools too. In a blog post, Google argued that Assignments can make student workflows easier and run the software in conjunction with learning management systems, stand alone or integrated. Google said Assignments will be part of G Suite for Education and already has integrations with Canvas.


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