Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Plagiarism Detection System Earns Performance Excellence Award

The Arizona Quality Alliance presented Rio Salado College with a 2011 Showcase in Excellence award during the Performance Excellence Awards Banquet held February 7 at the Chaparral Suites resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The award was given to Rio Salado for its Peer-to-Peer plagiarism detection system, an innovative process implemented by the college to preserve academic integrity and reinforce ethical behavior and self-reliance in students.

AQA Performance Excellence Awards recognize institutional processes that demonstrate an organization's exceptional leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, analysis, workforce focus or operational focus.

“Participating in the AQA Showcase Award process was invaluable in promoting quality assurance and relentless improvement, which are an integral part of the Rio Salado culture," said Dr. Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College president.  "As a result of our participation, the college was able to make our Peer-to-Peer Plagiarism Detection Process even more efficient to fortify academic integrity and better serve our students and the community.”

The Peer-to-Peer process is designed to identify and report work that may have been copied from an external source or submitted by multiple students and then notify faculty for follow up.

In-house development of the plagiarism detection system means no licensing or service costs and Rio can update the process at any time without relying on a third-party vendor.

"Being able to make adjustments on the fly without worrying about licensing hang ups or service costs is a huge benefit of in-house development,” said Rio Salado Strategic Systems Coordinator Dan Huston. “It's programs like this that give Rio the agility to stay ahead of the game."

Rio Salado College is one of the largest public online community colleges in the nation serving nearly 70,000 students annually. Founded in 1978, Rio Salado offers degree and certificate programs and general education courses. The college also provides support for dual enrollment, military and incarcerated students, and is the largest provider of Adult Basic Education in Arizona.

The Arizona Quality Alliance is an Alliance of Organizations that Promotes and Recognizes Performance Excellence through the Arizona Performance Excellence Award Program, Feedback for Improvement, Professional Development Workshops, Benchmarking Tours, Networking Opportunities, Training to Assess and Evaluate Organizations, and Mentoring