August 2008 Archives


Not sure what you all will think about this new tool. Last time such a tool was discussed for use at UMM (the tool at the time was Turnitin), there was some degree of controversy. SafeAssign is a plagiarism detection service available to University of Minnesota instructors who have a WebVista version 4 course or development site.

There are two ways to submit student work to the SafeAssign service. The SafeAssign Assignment tool allows students to submit work themselves. The SafeAssign Direct Submit tool allows instructors to submit papers for evaluation on a case-by-case basis, without student involvement.

Student work submitted to SafeAssign tools are checked against databases that include:
* A comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the Internet
* A store of more than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from the 1990s to the present, updated weekly
* Archives containing all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions (e.g. the University of Minnesota)
* The Global Reference Database which contains papers volunteered by students from client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.

After student work is checked, both tools produce a report that shows matching sequences of words in the submitted assignment, any matching sources, and the percentage of matching words in the report.

See the U of M's website for SafeAssign:
or view the
SafeAssign Online Orientation

Have you thought about how wikis can be used to enhance learning? Stewart Mader has staked his career on the power of wikis. Mader first worked on wiki adoption in the IT department at Brown University and now is with his own company as a consultant. He says that in higher ed, there are really three ways he thinks a wiki can be useful: teaching, research, and administration.

Read more of the Campus Technology article at:

Check out the University of Minnesota's supported wiki tool, UMWiki, at