/ Does Moodle Check for Plagiarism?

Does Moodle Check for Plagiarism?

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Manish Jindal

April 9, 2024


0min read

Does Moodle Check for Plagiarism?

Key Takeaways:

  • Moodle itself doesn’t check for plagiarism. It relies on integrations with third-party plugins to detect plagiarism.
  • Plagiarism plugins work by comparing submitted content against a vast database of sources. This includes journals, websites, academic papers, and sometimes submissions from other students.
  • Instructors need to review flagged sections by hand to make sure they are real plagiarism. Plagiarism checkers can give false positives.
  • To avoid plagiarism, students should create original content, cite their sources properly, paraphrase and summarise information, and use quotation marks when necessary.

In the digital age, issues with plagiarism have become increasingly complex, especially with the rise of AI-generated content. This article explores the question: does Moodle check for plagiarism?

We look into Moodle’s numerous plagiarism detection services, their AI-detection capabilities, and how they perform similarity checks.

We’ll discuss how these informed scans can streamline the writing process, providing solutions for students.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is an LMS that empowers educators, administrators, and learners by providing a unified platform for creating customised learning spaces.

Accredited at WCAG 2.1 Level AA, it was created by Moodle Pty Ltd, also known as Moodle HQ, and is supported by over 104 Moodle Partnerships and numerous Certified Integrations.

Does Moodle Check for Plagiarism?

Of course, Moodle can check for copied work. When users submit their work, it checks it for plagiarism using a number of different plugins. These are a few of the add-ons that Moodle uses:

  • PlagScan Plagiarism Checker: This is a web-based service software to investigate the authenticity of content. It identifies instances of plagiarism in assignments by comparing content to web pages and other student submissions.
  • Copyleaks Plagiarism and AI Content Detector plugin: This plugin can identify instances of paraphrasing, AI-created content, and other forms of plagiarism.
  • PlagiarismSearch: PlagiarismSearch, established in 2008, offers customised plagiarism detection services for universities and content organisations worldwide. With a 30-day free trial, it provides a thorough check in multiple languages, privacy, and frequent updates, with most clients paying for a full package.
  • Turnitin: Designed to connect smoothly with pre-existing Moodle Assignments, forums, and workshops, Turnitin is a service that protects academic integrity. You need a Turnitin licence to use it.
  • Source-code Plagiarism Plugin: This plugin for programming assignments integrates the two source code detection engines, JPlag and MOSS.
  • Plagium: This paid software helps individuals and companies find plagiarised writing. This tool uses complex algorithms and cutting-edge technologies to check submitted content against a huge database of sources, which includes websites, academic papers, and other online sources.

How Does Moodle Identify Instances of Plagiarism?

Moodle does not have an built-in plagiarism checker.

Instead, it uses external plagiarism detection services through integration with third-party add-ons and plugins. 

The workflow for detecting plagiarism begins when students submit their assignments via Moodle. These submissions are then automatically forwarded to the selected plagiarism detection service for examination.

The service conducts its analysis by comparing the submitted content against a vast database that includes journals, websites, academic papers, and sometimes, submissions from other students.

After the analysis, a similarity report is generated that highlights any detected similarities or potential instances of plagiarism, citing the sources where similar text was found.

It is important for educators to look over these reports by hand to make sure they only include real cases of plagiarism. It is important to note that any software that checks for plagiarism, including those that work with Moodle, can give false positives.

Educators have the flexibility to modify the sensitivity settings of the plagiarism detection tool to better suit their needs for identifying similarities.

They can provide feedback to students through Moodle, where students may also have the opportunity to view their originality reports and check their similarity scores, depending on the permissions set by the educator or administrator.

It is important to recognise that the effectiveness of any similarity checking tool is dependent on the scope and quality of its database.

Consequently, some tools integrated with Moodle may not effectively detect sophisticated plagiarism techniques such as patchwork, mosaic plagiarism, or extensive paraphrasing.

Integration of Moodle with Third-Party Plagiarism Detection Tools

To connect Moodle with an external plagiarism detection service, start by selecting the service that best meets your needs, considering both cost and features.

After making your choice, the integration process generally involves the following steps:

  • Sign in to your Moodle site using an account with administrative privileges.
  • Navigate to the Site Administration menu.
  • Select Plugins, then opt for Install Plugins.
  • You can upload the plugin file if you have it, or install the plugin directly from the Moodle plugins directory, ensuring compatibility with your Moodle version.

Once the plagiarism checker plugins is installed, you will need to configure it, which typically includes:

  • Going to the Plagiarism Prevention area found under the Site Administration menu.
  • Locate and select your installed plugin’s Settings page.
  • Input the necessary details to link the tool with your online learning platforms, often requiring an API key or client ID provided upon registering for the service.
  • Adjust settings to your preference, including the level of plagiarism checking, how reports are generated and viewed, and any tool-specific options. Decide how the tool will interact with student submissions.

If your chosen service requires it, you might also need to activate plagiarism detection for each course individually, adjusting settings as needed.

It’s wise to conduct a trial by setting up an assignment and submitting a document to confirm the plugin’s functionality.

Once you confirm that reports are being correctly generated and are accessible, your digital platform is set to detect plagiarism.

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Avoiding Plagiarism in Moodle Assignments

Avoiding plagiarism in Moodle assignments is crucial to maintain academic integrity. Here are some tips to help you prevent plagiarism:

  • Create original content: It is essential to create original content that showcases error-free writing and a strong sentence structure. Plagiarism can lead to serious issues, so it is important to ensure that all content is unique and not copied from any other source.
  • Always cite your sources: Whenever you use information from a source, whether it’s a website, book, journal article, or any other form of media, make sure to properly cite it using the appropriate citation style (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago).
  • Paraphrase and summarise: Instead of copying and pasting information directly from a source, try to paraphrase or summarise the information in your own words. This shows that you understand the material and can explain it in your own way.
  • Use quotation marks: If you want to use the exact wording from a source, make sure to put it in quotation marks and provide a citation to give credit to the original author.
  • Check your work: Always double-check your assignments for any unintentional plagiarism, such as forgetting to cite a source or accidentally using someone else’s words without proper attribution.
  • Use plagiarism detection tools: Consider using plagiarism detectors such as Bytescare to check your work for any instances of plagiarism before submitting your assignment.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Moodle assignments are original and properly give credit to the sources you use in your work.

What’s Next?

Moodle’s advanced features offer robust plagiarism detection scans. It checks original documents for potential plagiarism matches, ensuring interactive content remains unique. Online originality checkers further enhance Moodle’s capabilities.

Apart from Moodle’s add-ons, consider Bytescare plagiarism checker. This online detection tool offers comprehensive content detection and solutions for originality issues.

Experience its features firsthand – book a demo with Bytescare today, and ensure your Moodle content remains plagiarism-free.


Can Moodle detect AI writing?

Moodle is unable to detect AI-generated text and requires third-party plugins for assistance.

Can plagiarism be detected?

Most plagiarism can be detected by plagiarism checker plugins used with Moodle. These tools compare submitted work against vast databases of online content, academic sources, and even previous student work (depending on configuration). While not perfect, they effectively identify potential plagiarism matches.

How do you check if a student has plagiarised?

Instructors can leverage Moodle’s plagiarism checker plugins. These plugins scan submitted assignments and generate reports highlighting potential plagiarism matches. However, the instructor reviews the flagged sections critically to determine if plagiarism has occurred, considering factors like proper citation and paraphrasing techniques.

Can Moodle detect cheating?

Moodle’s core functionality doesn’t detect all forms of cheating. However, plagiarism checker plugins can be a valuable tool. Additionally, instructors can design assessments that are difficult to cheat on, like essays requiring critical analysis or problem-solving skills.

Can Moodle detect copying?

Moodle plagiarism checkers can identify copying of text from online sources or other students’ work (depending on plugin configuration). These tools compare submitted content against databases to find matches exceeding a set similarity threshold.

How much plagiarism is allowed?

There’s no universal standard for “acceptable” plagiarism. Each institution has its own plagiarism policy, outlining expectations for proper citation and originality. The best approach is to avoid plagiarism altogether and properly cite all sources used in your work.

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