These are my original words, I did not copy and paste them off of the internet. This sentence was copied and pasted off of a website.
There are several ways to catch a cheater, nothing is really fool proof but it is good to have few tricks up your sleeve.
What helps me is that I require students to use Google Docs. When I go to file->revision history and I see only ONE revision, pretty good chance the student made a copy of another students paper. In the 4 minutes I have been typing these 2 paragraphs revision history already shows 4 revisions. On a lengthy document you should see many many revisions.
Another trick is to go to File->Page SetUp and change the page color to say lime green.
Here is text that I am typing that I did not copy and paste off of the internet. Looking in the document for formatting that does not match the rest of the document is a dead give away of copying and pasting.
Notice in the paragraph below that I copied and pasted off of www.alicekeeler.com that there is white formatting that shows up when I changed the background of this document from white to lime green.
There are many web 2.0 tools that let you insert HTML. For example using www.quia.com I am able to make games and quizzes, but I can also insert HTML code. There is no WYSIWYG toolbar to let me insert an image so I need to learn a few simple HTML tags to accomplish this. This takes my quizzes from being boring to being exciting. For this Quia quiz (http://www.quia.com/quiz/309168.html) I added pictures of footballs to the questions and when the student got the question correct a referee is giving the touchdown sign. This is a worksheet, or as I call it a “playsheet,” so it should not be fun, yet I have students popping up all over class like wack-a-mole announcing “touchdown” when they get the question correct.
Another trick that I do, is as soon as I suspect a student document of plagarism I file->make a copy. It is on the copy that I make the colored background and insert comments so that the student can not correct the issues after they are busted. Make a screenshot (command shift 4 on a Mac) of the revision histories where you show the suspicious behavior and you can then drag those screenshots to the bottom of your copy of the document. This way when having to have a parent meeting or meeting with administrators you can show them the formatting differences with the highlighted page and not have to re-look up the revision history.