Committee on Intellectual Integrity
Minutes of April 16, 2008

Present: Bozak, Evaneski, Knowles, Murphy, Nichols, Pretzat, Shaffer

Guest: Barbara Garii

For a demonstration, a paper found to have been plagiarized five years ago was submitted by Greg Ketcham to and by Helen Knowles to MyDropBox. The originality reports were distributed. They can be found here:

It should be noted that the instructor determined that plagiarism had taken place based on a Google search that yielded three websites (the tmc website, the apa website, and the ethicsandbusiness website)

Helen Knowles provided a demonstration of myDropBox. Helen switched from personal accounts for to MyDropBox for reasons of cost (less expensive, unlimited paper submissions) and found an additional benefit of a much simpler to use product. Some comments:

  • originality reports can go to students or not, per instructor decision. Instructor can set up two "projects", one for drafts where originality reports go to students only and a final version where the originality report goes only to the instructor.
  • myDropBox is now owned by Blackboard, so there will not be an Angel-integrated version.
  • students need to know that a PDS is being used - it should be part of the syllabus
  • time-on-task for faculty was considered. How much time savings by using a PDS over Google is chewed up on figuring out what the originality report actually means?
  • will faculty not attend to reading papers as closely since they might (will?) presume the originality report will catch plagiarism?
  • myDropBox disclaimer is that turnaround on paper analysis is 24 hours. In practice, Helen finds 2-3 hours about right but expects that the end of semester crunch might stretch that out.
  • myDropBox archive is under the control of the instructor, not the company. It can be maintained or deleted as the instructor sees fit.

Should we recommend the use of a PDS, we'd likely want to specify a pilot project as was the case for hybrid courses and other projects. We could make it fairly open but require training, syllabus statements, require feedback and conduct focus groups/surveys of students to get their perspective.

Bozak will try to draft a short (one-page) statement that can be sent to the Provost. It will be distibuted at or before our next meeting. Our meeting will review the statement as our final official act of the year.

Respectfully submitted,

-David Bozak


 Last Updated: 4/17/08