Plagiarism detection software for JavaScript source code
Articles
October 25, 2020

How to check for plagiarism in JavaScript programming assignments

In 30 seconds...

  • JavaScript becoming more popular in education, especially due to more web development courses;
  • External and manual plagiarism detection was often found too burdensome by teachers;
  • Enter CodeGrade: our built-in plagiarism checker is intelligent - it checks for differences in code structure;
  • Common tricks such as adding dummy code, changing variable/function names and altering line orders;
  • The CodeGrade plagiarism detector works with all JavaScript frameworks, like Angular, React and Node.js, in addition to many other common programming languages including C, C++, Java, Python, Jupyter Notebooks, PHP, R, Scala and C#.

JavaScript is a very popular scripting language that is being used in academic studies more and more due to the big increase in popularity of web applications. JavaScript is often taught during web development courses, together with one of the many hugely trendy frameworks like Angular, React or Vue.js (which we actually use ourselves for CodeGrade!). JavaScript together with Node.js is often used to teach networking or server programming. As JavaScript is one of the most in-demand and popular programming languages at this moment, it plays a big role in computer science studies too.

With more and more students using JavaScript for their programming assignments and projects, it has become more important to maintain academic integrity in JavaScript source code submissions too. Detecting plagiarism is important not just to avoid having plagiarised source code but also to encourage students to learn, practice and test their own programming skills by submitting original content. 

We see that teachers unfortunately often still have to skip checking for plagiarism, as it is simply impossible to manually check for plagiarism in student submissions in all the student submissions and using separate plagiarism checker tools is found to be too cumbersome. Having to manually copy and paste source code to another tool and manually parsing results often only increases an already huge workload of teachers. Because of this, teachers often do acknowledge the importance of detecting plagiarism, but simply lack the time to do so effectively.

Start using CodeGrade for your JavaScript courses!

With CodeGrade, teachers can finally check for plagiarism on JavaScript source code with only a single click. CodeGrade is integrated directly into your learning management system (such as Canvas, Brightspace, Moodle, Blackboard and Open edX) so that all source code is directly taken into account in the plagiarism check and results are easily accessible via your LMS with our intuitive side-by-side comparison view. The CodeGrade plagiarism detector works with all JavaScript frameworks, like Angular, React and Node.js, in addition to many other common programming languages including C, C++, Java, Python, Jupyter Notebooks, PHP, R, Scala and C#.

Unlike other plagiarism detection tools, CodeGrade’s plagiarism checker is designed especially for source code: it does not simply check literal similarities in text, but looks for similarities in code structure after parsing and compiling the code. Additionally, it allows you to upload template code to ignore or include source code from third parties in your plagiarism check. This helps it easily detect students’ plagiarism, even when students try common tricks like:

  • Changing variable or function names
  • Adding or removing documentation
  • Altering the order of lines
  • Adding dummy code

Plagiarism detection is just one of CodeGrade’s many tools designed for computer science education. Next to our plagiarism checker, CodeGrade features autograding (even with tools like Mocha or Jest for unit testing), instant feedback to students, tools for efficient manual grading, intuitive rubrics, powerful analysis tools and peer feedback for code.

Devin Hillenius

Devin Hillenius

Co-founder, Product Expert
Devin is co-founder and Product Expert at CodeGrade. During his studies Computer Science and work as a TA at the University of Amsterdam, he developed CodeGrade together with his co-founders to make their life easier. Devin supports instructors with their programming courses, focusing on both their pedagogical needs and innovative technical possibilities. He also hosts CodeGrade's monthly webinar.

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