The Effect of Pandemic on Plagiarism Checking Services
Is there any sphere that has not been affected by a devastating effect of COVID-19? Probably there is not any. It goes without saying that education has not been an exception. For millions of students of all ages around the globe, the pandemic has ruined a usual routine, taking away their classes and offering various replacements. Reliance of schools on the use of digital tools has never been so much extensive as it is now. It is possible to debate its advantages and disadvantages in the long-term perspective, but it is impossible to deny that it enabled the students at schools of all levels continue learning in the framework of distance education. What is taking place now is rethinking of the ideas of assessment, attendance, instruction, the role of technological progress in teaching, and of course plagiarism detection in the students’ works. There is a growing sense that the changes the pandemic has brought will be long-lasting.
The Effect of Pandemic on Education
The pandemic is actually reshaping the entire system of getting knowledge. What we observe now is much more than mere transformation of usual classrooms and making the students spend hours in front of the computer screens. What COVID-19 actually brings to the sphere of education is a serious endurance test of the principles all schools are based on. Running like wildfire, Coronavirus is causing a stir in the field of plagiarism detection. The timeframe for moving online was amazingly tight and remote classes have become common practice.
The pandemic highlighted a lot of problems which had been not so evident under the conditions of in-person classes:
- failure in communication with friends
- lack of the required technical means
- unpreparedness for live courses
- a lot of plagiarized papers!
The number of cases of plagiarism has increased dramatically all around the globe. Plagiarizing has turned into a trend at the global level, and it is rather scary.
COVID-19 vs. the Development of Plagiarism Checking Services
After a rather prolonged period of time of hybrid and distant learning, it is possible to make some conclusions on what is required from plagiarism detection systems. The largest plagiarism checking services keep developing to support the researchers, teachers, and students all around the globe. The system of online learning introduced with the ongoing problems of COVID-19 has an increasing demand for checking whether the papers of the students are original. The number of new customers that plagiarism detection companies have is increasing all the time as a result of transition to a new form of studies. They take effort to ensure the principle of integrity in the new classrooms, claiming that they are ready for a great increase in usage. Reliable companies can still meet the demand in their services and tools after modernization and technical upgrades for higher workloads.
The teachers and students are experiencing an increasing strain, and the problem of academic integrity with the shift to online learning has become even hotter topic for debate than it used to be. The cheating techniques of the students have changed because of a rapid digital transition. Instead of mere copying and pasting paragraphs from other students’ papers or online sources, the students started changing the sentence structures, replacing the vocabulary, mixing up tenses, and paraphrasing. They demonstrate a very creative approach to cheating instead of exerting more effort to learn the material. Overall, the studies in different countries reveal a great jump in plagiarized content.
What Should Plagiarism Detection Tools Do in the Times of COVID-19?
More and more students and instructors require instant access to reliable plagiarism checkers, which have to:
- ensure that the students develop their critical thinking and writing skills even during distant learning
- allow effective verification of citing
- save professors’ time in the analysis of similarities in students’ papers
The universities are looking for new tools, which can generate similarity reports, and also trace plagiarized content only against the online sources, only against the databases of students’ works, and using a combination of these options. It is also important for the educators now to see the identical passages, merely copy-pasted from the internet, and also identify those with poor paraphrasing, and related meaning. It is not difficult to trace direct matches with online resources, but it is much more complicated to scan the papers for paraphrasing and direct translation from other languages. The educators need more time for communicating and teaching than to assessing the percentages of similarities and trying to evaluate how plagiarized the papers are. What they need is a simple tool that can produce a comprehensive report after an accurate check.
The teachers all over the world welcome any innovations in the plagiarism detection systems as the students get smarter in plagiarizing and that requires more sophisticated tools for checking papers. They need the tools which can identify the attempts to cheat the traditional plagiarism detection systems, for instance:
- non-standard fonts which conceal copy-pasting
- hidden signs and characters instead of common spacing
- using non-Latin letters and a lot of other students’ tricks.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to avoid the exposure of this pandemic and its effects on education can hardly be predicted. In the era of COVID-19, general evaluation of the students’ knowledge is not objective and the measurement of their performance has become complicated. Online tests, research projects, quizzes, and even simple essays get plagiarized. What is essential right now is to increase the capacities of the software and meet the unprecedented problems of this challenging pandemic. One of the greatest challenges that plagiarism detection solutions should meet is to battle the attempts of the students to deceit the latest software and launch the platforms able to make educators aware of all cases of plagiarism, even if it is hidden. Everybody related to education needs a reliable, accurate, fast, and not very expensive plagiarism detection solution that can easily be integrated.