Exploring lecturers’ understanding of Turnitin utilisation in assessing mathematics at a South African university.
Zuma, Tinyiko Hopedivine.
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This study explores lecturers’ understanding of Turnitin utilisation in assessing mathematics at a South African university. The qualitative study is also aimed at exploring what, how and why lecturers understand Turnitin utilisation in assessing mathematics in a particular manner. An interpretive paradigm and case study were used on four participants to gain the meaning in a real situation. To generate data needed to respond to the research questions in the study, the following instruments were used: reflective activity, document analysis, and individual semi-structured interviews. Purposive and convenience sampling were employed in order to reach the closest participants who were easily accessible, acquiring from them in-depth data. The generated data were analysed guided by TPACK theoretical framework concepts for this study. The concepts were content and activities, methods, assessment, resources, and lecturers’ role. The findings reveal that, there are two ways of utilising Turnitin in mathematics, which need to be integrated, namely, technology detection (TD), and manual detection (MD). TD and MD require lecturers’ understanding of content knowledge (CK) in mathematics. These findings indicate that assessment of content in mathematics requires the integration of TDCKM and MDCKM, for understanding to be effective and sustainable. Consequently, the study recommends that the case study be adopted in other studies to explore its effectiveness for mathematics, with the purpose of reviewing the plagiarism policy vision in terms of Turnitin utilisation. The study concluded that, although lecturers were aware of the utilisation of Turnitin, their knowledge was dominated by personal understanding, because of the commonalities of numbers, symbols, terminologies, and vocabulary, equations, tables, theorems, and graphs assessed in mathematics. It is noticed that this study was the first to use the case study in gaining information on lecturers’ understanding of Turnitin utilisation in assessing mathematics at a SA university. It is recommended that the case study be adopted to understand the in-depth situation. It is also recommended that the case study be adopted in other studies to explore its effectiveness for mathematics, with a purpose of reviewing the plagiarism policy vision in terms of Turnitin utilisation. The findings of this research should therefore be enlightening to various training institutional stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal in promoting the use of the case study in different contexts and learning areas similar to mathematics.