An investigation of the perceptions and attitudes of postgraduate students interacting with Turnitin: The case of the University of Stellenbosch Business School
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Globally there is growing concern around increased levels of plagiarism. Gullifer and Tyson (2010, p. 463) claim that plagiarism is growing at a rapid rate, and universities are now required to devote enough time and resources to combating it. South African universities have also found themselves to be victims of plagiarism. To prevent increased levels of plagiarism in South Africa, Stellenbosch University (SU) promotes the use of Turnitin. The study described in this thesis investigated postgraduate students’ and lecturer’s perceptions and attitudes regarding plagiarism and interacting with Turnitin at the University of Stellenbosch Business School to fill a research gap, as up to this point, this topic has not been studied. The study adopted a mixed methods approach, which combined both quantitative and qualitative methods. Moreover, the theory of planned behaviour informed the study. The results show that a majority of the students and lecturers in the study were aware of plagiarism and anti-plagiarism software, particularly Turnitin. However, the majority of students still plagiarised intentionally, owing to factors that influenced their intention to plagiarise, such as laziness and poor time management, and unintentionally, owing to poor language, writing and referencing skills. The majority of students (98%) agreed that they made use of anti-plagiarism software. Moreover, 80% of the students indicated that the use of antiplagiarism software contributed to the promotion of academic integrity. Similarly, all lecturers interviewed indicated that anti-plagiarism software helped to promote and improve academic integrity.