by Sherice Jacob
When it comes to academic plagiarism, teachers and students alike need to have versatile tools on their side not just to find instances of plagiarism but also to prevent it before ever turning the paper in. That’s where the SafeAssign plagiarism checker comes in. But does it really do the job? We take a closer look with our in-depth SafeAssign plagiarism checker review.
SafeAssign is a plagiarism detection tool owned by Blackboard, a popular LMS (learning management system) in many colleges and universities. Although it is an integral part of Blackboard, SafeAssign also works with the Canvas LMS and is used extensively by instructors as a part of the evaluation process.
How Does SafeAssign Plagiarism Checker Work?
When a student submits a document to SafeAssign, the plagiarism checker goes to work, analyzing other academic and online sources to determine if there is a match. Not only can it alert professors of any possible instances of plagiarism, but it can also help students properly cite and reference their sources when writing their papers.
Why Use SafeAssign’s Plagiarism Checker?
Many instructors use SafeAssign because it is tightly and conveniently integrated into their school’s LMS. This, in turn, promotes a culture of academic integrity in the classroom. In addition, students can rely on SafeAssign to help them properly cite their sources as well as improve the quality of their writing by formulating their own ideas rather than taking them from elsewhere.
Its objective feedback helps students avoid inadvertent (or purposeful) plagiarism while giving them the tools they need to write with greater confidence.
What are Some SafeAssign Features?
As with many online plagiarism checkers, SafeAssign leverages a wide range of academic journals and websites to check for a variety of forms of plagiarism. In addition, schools can create an institutional database of student-submitted papers to help instructors dissuade students from writing essays or reports for each other.
By identifying patterns in writing styles and tones, instructors can help uncover plagiarism at the source, helping to preserve academic integrity within the institution.
SafeAssign also features DirectSubmit, a method wherein instructors can check papers outside of the school’s chosen LMS. Rather than submitting papers through the LMS, which are then checked with SafeAssign, students can upload their papers directly to SafeAssign.
Instructors can also use SafeAssign beyond its plagiarism-checking features and use it for rubrics, grading, and commenting on each student’s work individually.
How Does SafeAssign’s Algorithm Work?
SafeAssign’s algorithm works by comparing the work you’ve submitted to its database of academic journals and online sources. It first extracts text and removes all formatting including headers, footers, and citations to get only the main part of the paper.
It then creates a digital fingerprint of your text using a “hash” or a type of mathematical algorithm. This is unique to your paper and is used to compare it to different sources. It then compares this digital fingerprint to content submitted by other users as well as its own database of journals and websites, looking for matching or similar text.
Finally, when the process is complete, SafeAssign creates an originality report that highlights any areas of potential plagiarism along with a percentage of similarity. It also includes a list of sources. From there, the instructor can look at the report to determine if a reference was improperly cited or if plagiarism has occurred.
How to Use SafeAssign Step-by-Step
- Log in to your school’s learning management system (Blackboard or Canvas)
- Create an assignment for the course that you want to use SafeAssign on.
- Give the assignment a title, instructions, and relevant details like how many points it’s worth and when it’s due
- Click on the “Enable SafeAssign” option which will enable plagiarism checking for that assignment
- Choose whether or not you want students to be able to view their originality reports. If you do, they’ll see the report after they submit the document which can help them improve.
- Select any other assignment settings, then save and post the assignment
Students will then submit assignments through the LMS as normal and SafeAssign will check them for plagiarism.
How to Get the Most Out of SafeAssign Plagiarism Checker
In order to get the most out of SafeAssign, it’s important to read its reports carefully. False positives are possible with any plagiarism tool, so it’s important to not only look at the percentage of matching text but also look at the highlighted text to determine if something has been plagiarized.
SafeAssist is an excellent teaching tool that can show students how to properly cite their work and improve their writing as a whole.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with SafeAssign Plagiarism Checker
As with any plagiarism checker, there is always the potential for false positives, however being that SafeAssign is a tool used primarily in academic settings there are also other common complaints with the system, namely that it gives a student a grade of 0 if an assignment is late. To help with this issue, ensure students are aware of the deadline and update SafeAssign settings to be sure that they are configured correctly.
In some cases, there may be technical issues such as incorrect grades or other technical hiccups. If these happen, it’s important to contact your school’s vendor promptly to resolve any issues that might be affecting the program’s performance.
How Does SafeAssign Compare To Originality.AI?
Both SafeAssign and Originality.AI are plagiarism detection tools, however, SafeAssign is primarily used for academia and Originality.AI is geared toward content publishers, writers, and website owners. In addition, SafeAssign only works to detect plagiarism and cannot detect AI-written content, whereas Originality.AI can detect content that has been written by ChatGPT and other AI writing programs.
How Does Originality.AI’s Algorithm Work?
Originality.AI is trained on both human-written and AI-written content. As it has continued to learn and be developed, it has been able to discern AI-written content through its numerous algorithms with 95%+ accuracy. It does this by being able to spot the tell-tale signs of AI-written content and small nuances that can present a work as inauthentic and “non-human”.
Should You Use SafeAssign’s Plagiarism Checker?
Comparing SafeAssign and Originality.AI is like apples and oranges. Although both incorporate plagiarism checkers, the audience is markedly different. Although academia now has a stronger need than ever to fight back against AI-written and plagiarized content, SafeAssign can only help in one area of the multi-pronged problem.
Originality.AI, on the other hand, works to check documents for both plagiarism and AI-written content (both separately and together if desired) giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to an independent, always-learning model that continues to be more and more accurate as AI technology becomes more and more human-like in its responses.
The best part is that you can try Originality.AI for as little as 1 cent per 100 words scanned, giving you the flexibility to spot the most common signs of AI-written content alongside plagiarism, and promoting greater academic integrity for all. Try it today!
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