Urkund / Ouriginal
Urkund/Ouriginal is a software platform that functions within your Moodle course as an originality and authenticity checking tool for student work in Moodle Assignments, Moodle Discussion Forums, and Moodle Workshop.
On this page
How does Urkund work?
Urkund/Ouriginal is a plugin in your Moodle course page that will appear as an option for you to enable in the settings section of Assignment, Forum, and Workshop. As professor, you simply enable Urkund for your Moodle activity as one of the settings for your activity.
It is important to note that if you are using an activity that is duplicated from a previous Moodle course or assignment in your course, you will need to select the ‘edit’ option and then re-save the activity. Otherwise reports will not be generated.
Once a student submits their work, the software immediately begins a search for direct matches in the content with the internet, Scholarly Journals & Academic Publications, Concordia’s internal student database, and Urkund’s global student database.
Typically, it takes under 5 minutes with a ten-page paper for the software to conduct a similarity search and generate a Similarity Report. A two hundred-page dissertation or thesis would generally take 20 – 30 minutes to generate a report.
What does the Urkund Similarity Report provide?
The Similarity Report is divided into four main sections:
- The first section of the report provides an overall similarity score.
- The second section provides a summary of the sources that were found to match text segments.
- The third section itemizes the matching blocks with the related sources and the similarity score for that section.
- The fourth section provides a side-by-side comparison of the submitted text with the matched text for each matching block.
Using Urkund in your course
If you intend to make the similarity score available to students when they submit their work, you must include the following text in your Course Syllabus to ensure that students are aware their work will be subject to an authenticity check.
Course syllabus recommended text
Setting up Urkund in your Moodle course
The following guide demos how to enable the Urkund/Ouriginal plugin with your Assignment, Forum, or Workshop.
It is important to note that if you are using an activity that is copied from a previous Moodle course, you will need to select the ‘edit assignment’ option and then re-save the assignment. Otherwise reports will not be generated.
Urkund for Thesis Advisors and Graduate Students
If you are interested in using Urkund/Ouriginal as a thesis advisor or if you are a graduate student writing your thesis, for account activation support for an Urkund/Ouriginal account, please email RequestOuriginal@concordia.ca.
Platform Accessibility and Data Privacy
- The Urkund/Ouriginal platform is designed for WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, so adheres to accessibility guidelines.
- All Concordia student data is owned by the university and will not be included in Urkund’s global repository.
Best Practices for Using Urkund/Ouriginal
You must advise students in the course syllabus that you are using Urkund in your course. Copy and paste the following text in your syllabus.
Using Urkund/Ouriginal is an opportunity to have a frank discussion about academic integrity with your students. The notion of intellectual property is a key pillar of the university community and academic integrity should be an explicit teaching point in your course. We may assume that the students in our classrooms already know about the academic code of conduct, but in reality, some students do not have a complete understanding of what constitutes academic integrity; others lack skills in citing sources and paraphrasing; others are not aware of the emphasis on academic integrity in North American universities; while others come from cultural / educational backgrounds that value directly quoting from a source and discourage paraphrasing all together. For this reason, be sure to set aside some class time to emphasize the importance of academic integrity rather than assuming your students are already versed in Concordia’s standards (see section on Leverage the resources available to you at Concordia below)
It is advisable to first use Urkund/Ouriginal with a low-stakes assessment. A short assignment that emphasizes citation and paraphrasing in an authentic context (e.g. 2 – 3 paragraphs that compare & contrast 2 authors’ views on a topic) is a good introduction to the importance of honing citation and paraphrasing skills. Consider pulling anonymous extracts of student work to model accurate citations and good examples of paraphrasing and using a ‘think-aloud’ protocol to talk explicitly to students about what makes them good examples. You can create a few poor examples also and have students work in pairs/groups to revise them. This type of activity will give them active and targeted practice with citing and paraphrasing skills which can be very effective. You could also consider offering students who had difficulties with citing / paraphrasing the option to revise their own work to help them further improve.
By default, Urkund is configured so that students do not see their Similarity Report when they submit their work; however, it is possible to set Urkund/Ouriginal so that students can submit their work, access the report and adapt their work accordingly. Enabling this feature for a low-stakes assignment would give students the opportunity to see firsthand where they need to build skills, and can facilitate a focussed class discussion (or one-on-one conversation) that could be augmented with support resources (see below) to help them address specific areas of academic writing skills.
No matter your approach, taking some time to explicitly teach these skills and allowing for students to have low-stakes practice with them is a good way to promote success for students.
Your Moodle course page has a short Academic Integrity Module (in the Administration Block) that includes a short video that defines academic integrity and provides clear examples, and a brief quiz to check student comprehension as a follow up.
You can also download this Ouriginal Plagiarism Handbook to your course Moodle page to share with students.
The Library has an assortment of resources for you and your students:
https://library.concordia.ca/help/citing/ This page contains resources on how to cite and provides access to specific styles in different disciplines.
https://library.concordia.ca/learn/citing/) This page contains the learning module on Citing from Concordia’s Library Research Skills Tutorial. It includes resources, interactive activities and videos to help students develop knowledge on why they should cite and practice with how to cite.
https://library.concordia.ca/help/citing/zotero/index.php This page is a resource to help students manage and organize their bibliographic references as well as prepare a bibliography.
https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/academic-integrity.html This page provides a range of links to information about Academic Conduct that students should be aware of while studying at Concordia University
The Student Success Centre (SSC) also offers resources and services to support academic integrity. Refer students to their webpage for a comprehensive list of student services and resources available.
Reviewing a similarity report will require Instructors to make many nuanced decisions to determine if the matches represent plagiarism or a false-positive score. A high score may not actually identify an instance of plagiarism, just as a low score may not actually signal complete authenticity.
For example, a high score may be caused by too many direct quotes that are accurately cited. In this case, the student would likely be better served by helping them understand how to select and use quotes appropriately to support their ideas or helping them develop their paraphrasing and summarizing skills. On the other hand, a low score may be attributed to a small section that is copied and pasted directly from a source that is not cited. Would this merit a code report, or would the student be better served by losing a few marks and receiving a warning?
While the Urkund/Ouriginal software will provide you with a report that identifies where there are text matches, it will not indicate if those matches actually represent examples of plagiarism. As Instructor, the interpretation of the data and resulting decisions will be yours to make. Review this Analysis Report Guide to learn more about using the Similarity Report.
Consult the Academic Code of Conduct webpage for detailed information of Concordia’s policy.
When you enable Urkund for your Assignment/Forum/Workshop, take time with your students to explain how it works, what the report will indicate, and how you intend to use / interpret the report score. Some faculty created a short video tour for students, which can be re-used in future courses. Here is a sample report you can use to walk your students through the report and explain how you will use it.
If you intend to make the similarity score available to students when they submit their work, it is important to clarify that a high score does not indicate plagiarism. For example, a high score could be attributed to students using a template you provide for the assignment, accurately cited quotes, discipline-specific language and terms that is required by virtue of the assignment, etc. In these circumstances, students would see a high similarity score and be concerned. Alternately, it is possible to plagiarize a small segment of an assignment and receive a low score. In this circumstance, a student would have a false sense of assurance that their work did not breach the academic code of conduct. If you do not intend to allow students to view the report and make necessary adjustments to their work, it is advisable to hide the score from students.
Concordia's Academic Code of Conduct
Academic integrity is key to academic success at Concordia University. More specifically, “The integrity of University academic life and of the degrees, diplomas and certificates the University confers is dependent upon the honesty and soundness of the instructor student learning relationship and, in particular, that of the evaluation process. Therefore, for their part, all students are expected to be honest in all of their academic endeavours and relationships with the University.”
(Academic Code of Conduct, Article 1)