Chaitali Moitra is the Regional Director – South Asia at Turnitin. With over two decades of experience across varied industry segments, she has served at the helm of various organizations and steered institutions to excellence in key success metrics – in both a financial and strategic growth capacity. Chaitali is well recognized as a leader in Business Development, Marketing and Learning. She has served in leadership positions at Genpact, The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Global University Systems, and Macmillan Education. As the Managing Director of Collins Learning, a division of Harper Collins India, she has worked extensively with the education sector in South Asia. She has mentored students of leading management institutes and is often invited by leading institutes to share her knowledge and experience.
Q Can you please tell us more about Turnitin? How does Turnitin work?
Turnitin is a global company dedicated to ensuring the integrity of education and meaningfully improving learning outcomes. For more than 20 years, Turnitin has partnered with educational institutions to promote integrity, consistency, and fairness across all subject areas and assessment types. Educators use Turnitin products and solutions to guide their students toward higher standards of integrity and ensure that they do their best to create original work.
Q How Turnitin Works?
Turnitin’s suite of products is focused on building original thinking skills among students and empowering teachers with the right tools to grade, assess, and ensure the originality of student work. Turnitin products are used across all South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, to mention a few.
Q At the time of the pandemic, we have seen a major shift from offline to online education and it is becoming crucial to maintain integrity in a virtual setup. Please tell us what constitutes academic integrity and why it is important in today’s time?
The pandemic has drastically disrupted every aspect of human life, including education. Education has donned a new avatar in virtual classes with many limitations. Teachers aren’t able to closely monitor a child’s progress in a virtual class, and the integrity of online exams is at stake with rising complaints of cheating.
Academic integrity is synonymous with ethical classroom practices and contributes immensely to developing competent, capable global citizens who possess the knowledge and critical thinking skills to uplift the community and the economy in the future.
Academic integrity is fundamental in upgrading the quality of education and influencing the future of the country. Also, the concept of academic integrity goes beyond managing dishonesty. With that, Turnitin’s focus is on instilling the ethos of thoughtful and original work and partnering with world-class educators to embrace unswerving integrity practices in academic development and assessment of students in India.
Academic integrity protects institutions’ academic reputations. It validates the virtue of a degree by certifying a student’s work as fair and authentic belonging to him alone. Academic integrity strengthens grading practices because it applies the exact expectations across levels and subject areas in creating original work.
Academic dishonesty performed by some students can discourage many who are honestly pursuing their degrees. Furthermore, without academic integrity, a pattern of dishonesty can develop early in an academic career. As a consequence, misconduct during school can be a significant indicator of workplace deviance later in life. And, because dishonesty can be contagious, academic integrity policies must be in place to stymie the growing use of essay mills and plagiarism.
Q In line with NEP’s focus on high-quality education, how do you feel academic integrity can contribute to raising the standards of work presented by students and faculties? How Turnitin tools are helping in improving the quality of higher education in India?
The National Education Policy introduced last year is set to deliver reforms to education and change how colleges, institutes, teachers and parents view its efficacy. The NEP 2020 focuses on core essentials, highlighting key concepts that promote critical thinking and analysis-based learning in children. With more flexibility in the choices of subjects, children will acquire hands-on experience of vocational crafts. India’s education system is ready to modernize and meet the needs of the new generation of students and society. The year 2020 brought a lot of learning in itself and emphasized the need to rethink India’s education framework from a holistic approach.
Academic integrity and assessment tools can improve the quality of original research work, promote thoughtfulness and creativity, develop research and investigation skills and improve students’ output with feedback and formative assessments. While there is a lot that students gain from academic integrity, there are many benefits for institutes, like improved rankings and accreditation, global recognition, and enhanced international research collaboration.
Q India has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world. However, there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system. What are the challenges you see and how these can be resolved?
India is a massive country, and so is the education system. The diversity in India across the 29 states and 8 union territories is enormous. An amalgamation of different cultures, teaching methods, and ideology – a mix of old school practices and modern ways make this country’s education system unique with its own set of limitations.
But there is a strong momentum toward building state-of-the-art infrastructure, creating synergies between credible research organizations and higher education schools, adopting a multidisciplinary learning approach, and helping India’s students to compete globally across disciplines.
To this end, academic integrity plays a vital role. Indian institutes are increasingly embracing modern tools and technologies to promote original research work among students. They are adopting the global best practices to instill integrity in learning, which is an excellent sign for India’s future economic progress; it paves the way for next-generation leaders. At Turnitin, we are committed to this cause and will continue to partner with schools and institutes across the country to help promote academic integrity in India.
Our global tools are used by thousands of institutes internationally that have immensely benefited from improving student output, and we hope to replicate our international success in India.