May 4th dawned sunny and cold - an auspicious start to a day when Vickel and I facilitated our first Turnitin workshop with faculty from the Department of Landscape Architecture. Little did we realise - we had checked the room out the Thursday beforehand but Gremlins appear to have been mucking around with the projector... The fun began. We set everything up, only to find that the projector would not work with either my laptop or the desktop. Fifteen minutes later and everyone was getting restless (six of the participants having arrived). We decided to go for plan B and wing it. We logged everyone into computers (some of which were not working - and we didn't have the passwords for the Macs), got them into the Turnitin Moodle course and into their Moodle blogs.
The definition of plagiarism was not tough, and most people came up with something, and checked each other's blogs out - which seemed to go down reasonably well. However, as there was no screen,
and it was difficult to summarise and segue into the next topic area - avoidance of plagiarism. Same thing - participants looked at the task, popped their ideas into Moodle. Shared, and I showed them where to look at the resources. I need to think of a way to celebrate their knowledge of plagiarism, and tie the session closer to Turnitin...any ideas? :-)
Next everyone watch the Sky News video around the student who sued for having his work put into Turnitin. This led to the most animated discussion so far, and we talked about the ethos of creativity, ownership and sharing. Some of the issues identified led into Vickel's practical bit that followed.
Everyone set up a TII account for themselves, created a course and set up an assignment. Unexpected 'learning' bonuses came with some of the experiences from hands on tasks. It was great to have two facilitators as one of us was able to help participants who were facing problems, while the other continued with the session.
All in all, not too bad a session all things considered. We got some great feedback about the session itself, and what we can do differently next time we offer it.
Moral of the story - always take a portable projector with you :-)