Industry News

Turnitin Acquires ExamSoft from Spectrum Equity

By Rebecca Hinkle
October 23, 2020

Turnitin announced on Oct 21st, that they had acquired ExamSoft from Spectrum Equity. ExamSoft, a software platform that provides exam functionality and security for educational institutions, will be working with Turnitin to secure and monitor educational institutions for flexibility for assessments at educational and professional levels.

“Turnitin and ExamSoft share a passion for student success and delivering innovative assessments,” said Chris Caren, the CEO of Turnitin, in a statement.

With ExamSoft and Turnitin working together, educational institutions will be able to ensure and promote academic integrity while also allowing the use of a combination of services to help students along the way.

How Turnitin Will Leverage ExamSoft’s Platform

Turnitin was started by four university students in 1998, and was launched two years later as a plagiarism prevention service. In 2002, Turnitin debuted an online grading platform for educators. Since then, the company has had over 26 million students and educators use their site.

ExamSoft is an education software development program from Dallas, Texas that creates software solutions that focus on providing high levels of security for educational and certification institutions. With their assessment platform, ExamSoft can enable the educators to create, administer, grade, and analyze assignments. Data reporting shows course and student performing results that can show educators what needs to change in how their students are learning, tracking student engagement, and find curriculum areas that need improvement.

“We look forward to working with the Turnitin team to continue to advance integrity solutions across all levels and modalities of education to improve learning outcomes,” said ExamSoft CEO Sebastian Vos, in a statement. ExamSoft has a 98% client retention rate, over 1,900 worldwide programs, and has delivered more than 63 million exams.

Spectrum Equity is a company that is a leading growth equity firm that has been providing capital and strategic support to innovative Internet, software, and information services companies for over 25 years.

Academic Dishonesty with Distance Learning

In this time of distance learning, it is crucial to identify and stop students committing plagiarism on written papers and other assignments. It can be easily avoided if the students have an understanding about plagiarism and paraphrasing.

One study “Plagiarism Instruction Online: Assessing Undergraduate Students’ Ability to Avoid Plagiarism” by Pamela A. Jackson discusses students’ understanding of plagiarism in a traditional educational setting. The study shared the results of how students paraphrased certain sections from the test.

“Most students did provide a citation for their paraphrase; however, in general, the paraphrases followed the original passage too closely. Students often used exact language from the original passage without using quotation marks, rearranged the sentence structure of the original passage, or simply replaced certain words to make it their own,” reported Jackson in the study.

Students having issues with plagiarism was concern in the classroom before COVID-19 changed schools to remote learning. Now with remote learning, students could have more difficulties understanding when they are committing plagiarism in their work. With Turnitin and ExamSoft, more educational institutions will be able to promote and encourage academic integrity, original work, and independent research from students as they continue to study remotely.

Correction October 23: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of the previous owners of ExamSoft. They are Spectrum Equity, not Spectrum Effect.

Featured Image: Scott Robison, Flickr.