I almost walked into a door when I saw this padlocked drop-box marked ‘Turnitin Box’. What did it mean? My worst fear was that somehow, somewhere, someone had managed to turn the digital, portable and accessible in to something quite analogue, fixed and ‘gatekept’. Were students submitting discs to be uploaded by an Administrator? Was this part of some sort of sampling lottery?
However, I then came across a friendly member of staff who informed me that this is where students deposit hard copies of assignments, after uploading electronic copies to Turnitin, complete with the Paper ID written on the cover sheet.
‘Turnitin’, it seems, is being used in the Department of Health & Social Care as a byword for the submission process regardless of the media involved. We may have adopted an Americanism, and turned what is now a proper noun back into a verb, but we’ve also embedded the concept and use of Turnitin firmly in the minds of staff and students.