A Real-time Plagiarism Detection Tool for Computer-based Assessments

Heimo J. Jeske, Manoj Lall, Okuthe P. Kogeda
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 17  •  2018  •  pp. 023-035

The aim of this article is to develop a tool to detect plagiarism in real time amongst students being evaluated for learning in a computer-based assessment setting.

Cheating or copying all or part of source code of a program is a serious concern to academic institutions. Many academic institutions apply a combination of policy driven and plagiarism detection approaches. These mechanisms are either proactive or reactive and focus on identifying, catching, and punishing those found to have cheated or plagiarized. To be more effective against plagiarism, mechanisms that detect cheating or colluding in real-time are desirable.

In the development of a tool for real-time plagiarism prevention, literature review and prototyping was used. The prototype was implemented in Delphi programming language using Indy components.

A real-time plagiarism detection tool suitable for use in a computer-based assessment setting is developed. This tool can be used to complement other existing mechanisms.

The developed tool was tested in an environment with 55 personal computers and found to be effective in detecting unauthorized access to internet, intranet, and USB ports on the personal computers.

The developed tool is suitable for use in any environment where computer-based evaluation may be conducted.

This work provides a set of criteria for developing a real-time plagiarism prevention tool for use in a computer-based assessment.

The developed tool prevents academic dishonesty during an assessment process, consequently, inculcating confidence in the assessment processes and respectability of the education system in the society.

As future work, we propose a comparison between our tool and other such tools for its performance and its features. In addition, we want to extend our work to include testing for scalability of the tool to larger settings.

plagiarism detection, plagiarism detection tools, computer-based assessment, quality education, dishonesty
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