Exam boards are using a sophisticated computer software programme that scans students’ work and compares it with material published on the internet, to catch coursework cheats who have copied all or part of their writing projects.

There is now a booming “industry” in which essays and coursework can be bought and sold over the internet. Some students become unwitting cheats because they do not understand that it is wrong to copy other people’s work and present it as their own. Turnitin is a web-based package, licensed by a company called Northumbria Learning, that compares a document with its database and then produces an “originality” report.

By Alexandra Frean, Education Editor, Times Online Education News

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