PRODUCTS

 

FEATURE BASIC ADVANCED OPTIONAL*
1. Projects
2. Project state
3. Milestones
4. Files
5. Forum
6. Notifications
7. Final Seminar and plagiarism controls**
8. Grading**
9. Idea bank and match**
10. Checklist
11. Activity plan
12. Self assessment
13. e-books
Research methods
14. SMS
15. Thesis info
16. Peer review
17. Learning analytics

*Optional features can be included in Basic or Advanced packages.
** Bachelors and Masters levels only 


 

1. Project

In SciPro a supervisor has an overview of all his/her projects (bachelor, master and PhD) and their status.
At department level it is easy to find who supervises which student in which project.
The student find all relevant info about his/her project in one place.
He/she get a clear overview of tasks to be completed and can monitor the progress.
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2. Project state

Project state is monitored by the author (student) as a mean to inform the supervisor about the status of the work process. The student can indicate:

1) Green = work proceeds as planned
2) Yellow = need supervision, but it is not urgent
3) Red = help needed to proceed

If red is set by the student, a text message explaining the issue is mandatory. The mandatory message when switching to red state is creating a new forum thread where supervisor and students can solve the problem. This function transfer responsibility to the student to drive the process and continuously inform about the status in a non-disruptive way. Project state is a student power button, the supervisor cannot change the status which is based on the student’s subjective perception. Project state enables the supervisor to interpret the silence between interactions; is the student working? Stuck? And to provide feedback on demand. It is easy for a supervisor to get a status overview of all thesis projects in supervision.
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3. Milestones

The major steps and tasks in the thesis project are set at department level as Milestones. The student and supervisor get a clear overview of which Milestones a thesis project consists of, how many are completed and how many are left. A graphic overview of Milestones is provided. Milestones are set either as auto-checked by the system or as manually checked (checked by the supervisor).

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4. Files

In Files you can upload and archive files.  Files attached via Forum will also be stored here. All documents related to one thesis project are found in one place.
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5. Forum

In Forum you can create, send and store text messages within a thesis project.

• Attach files with messages. Files are also automatically stored in Files archive.
• Messages can be communicated optionally as SMS
• Create Groups of thesis projects: send messages and attach files to all involved.
• Notifications generated by forum messages are sent to author(s) and supervisor(s) e-mail and optionally to SMS.
• The received e-mail notifications provide three options:

1) Reply direct via e-mail; messages are stored in SciPro Forum without log in
2) Log in to SciPro via link provided in the e-mail and reply in SciPro Forum
3) Just read the notification in the e-mail to keep yourself informed.

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6. Notifications

Events in SciPro are notified to personal e-mails. Via e-mail the receiver of a SciPro notification can reply either direct from the e-mail without log in to SciPro; the reply message is sent to Forum and stored there and a notification is sent to all participants in the particular thesis project. Automatic notifications are sent for important events as FYI or as reminders. In Personal settings the user can set which notifications he/she wants. SMS notifications are available as optional feature.
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7. Final seminar and plagiarism controls

In SciPro, plagiarism can be detected in three ways: 1) during the process of writing (Forum and Files), 2) at the Final seminar (viva voce, oral defence), and 3) with the text-matching software (Originality report). Final seminar is integrated with systems for generating the originality report. Final seminar is the occasion where the student can demonstrate and express what she/he has done and get feedback to improve and learn. Descriptions about the Final seminar scheduling and other features as well as how the integrated text-matching software works are given below.

Final Seminar – Oral thesis defence (Public defence or Viva voce)

Scheduling:
a) Place of participation (room and/or distance participation)
b) Time
c) Date
d) Author(s), supervisor(s), opponent(s), active participant(s)

Thesis:
Author(s) upload the manuscript to be defended accessible to all participants online

Auto-generated text matching report for plagiarism analysis:
a) An originality report is generated when the author(s) upload their final manuscript
b) Assessment is done by the supervisor

Revision of thesis after defense:
a) Upload function
b) Approval function
Depending on local process the following options are available:

Announcement online of all final seminars to all eligible students:
a) Visibility of the final seminar once the supervisor has created it
b) Notification to authors
c) Self-registration as opponent is open for students
d) Self-registration as active participant is open for students

Template and upload function for written opposition report aligned with  grading criteria
Approval report function
a) If the author(s) defended or not
b) If the  opponent(s) did the opposition or not
c) If opponent’s written report is uploaded or not
d) If active participants were active or not
e) Results are communicated to non-present supervisors automatically in SciPro
f) Results are automatically checked in Milestones for each individual student

Notifications sent to supervisor, author(s), opponent(s), active participants to individual e-mail and/or SMS for all relevant events regarding Final seminar: for instance cancellation on or change of location or time

Checking originality through text-matching software

We integrate with Turnitin’s system, which compares submissions against 3 databases:

1. Searching 56 billion webpages, using web crawlers which are faster and more reliable than any competitors. Even old versions of websites are searched, something which no other system does. This means that if a student copied from a site which is constantly changing such as Wikipedia, it will be detected.

2. Searching among 140 million scholarly articles – Due to the cooperation with big publishers like Elsevier, Springer Oxford University Press and societies like ProQuest we can compare with sources actually used for research. Turnitin checks against 85% of the top 500 Thompson Reuters impact factor journals. Most of competitors don’t have scientific content at all or only a few publishers.

3. Searching among 500 million student papers – 15 000 customers worldwide and 25 million students use the system. This means that this database not only allows you to check against the biggest database possible, but has the additional role of protecting your students’ papers from being plagiarised by other institutions.

The easy to read Originality report provides links from the student’s thesis to specific digital sources if the same text section is found elsewhere.

The Turnitin  Orginality report, is generated automatically when students upload their thesis in Final seminar, saving huge amount of time for supervisors.

The supervisor assessment of the Originality report is done in SciPro and transferred to the grading section.
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8. Grading

The SciPro Grading module includes the following functionalities.

a) Online grading template
b) Grading criteria and points can be modified at department level
c) Auto-calculation for preliminary grade according to the Bologna process scale A-Fx or other scales such as 0-100.
d) Comparison function for assessing consensus or differences between multiplegraders/reviewers/examiners
e) Final grade report function
f) Storing of thesis, grade reports and  final grade.
g) Notifications sent to supervisor, reviewer, author(s) via e-mail and/or SMS for all relevant events regarding Grading.
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9. Idea Bank and Match

In the Idea Bank supervisors and students can send their thesis topic ideas. Usually this is done several months before the thesis course start. Supervisors can connect the thesis projects to their ongoing research. Students can connect their ideas to the department’s research areas.

With Match administrators can set number of theses allocated to each supervisor for the next supervision period.

Using the Idea Bank, students or supervisors can select ideas from each other and by so doing be matched without middleman.

Supervisors are matched with students up to the target goal set by administrators.

Manual matching can be done by administrators.

In the Admin interface overviews and search functions are available showing who supervises who, in which project at what level (bachelor, master) and at which time period.
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10. Checklists

Checklists are used both for formative and summative assessment in the thesis process.
The checklists contain questions and instructions aligned with the different phases and they are used for the final grading.
In addition to the pre-defined generic methods questions, each department can costumize their own guiding questions.
The checklists are used with multiple perspectives: 1) student’s self reflection (selfassessment), 2) peer review, 3) supervisor’s review, and 4) examiner’s review
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11. Activity plan

The Activity plan is the schedule for a specific thesis project. Activities, dates and related checklists for self assessment and instructions can be added by student and supervisor. Templates are provided with standard schedules for a typical bachelor or master project. File upload can be set with a specific deadline etc. The student is responsible for changes in the time- and activity plan.

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12. Self assessment

In order to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection, special checklists provide students with cues and guidance.

Students green mark when they consider an aspect in their thesis work fulfilled. If the self-understanding is correct, it is just to move on. But the supervisor can intervene and easily start supervising online when miss understandings or lack of critical thinking is identified. By creating a contextualised Forum thread, a particular checkpoint can be discussed deeper until agreement and understanding between student and supervisor is achieved.

The online interactive self assessment feature makes students more autonomous, reduces supervisor work load and transparently displays progress.

A graphic automatic summary of the status of self assessment questions is provided on each project’s overview page and for each individual student.
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13. e-books & Research methods

Students, departments or universities can as option in SciPro buy selected high quality e-books about research methods.

The available e-books fullfills the methods requirements at the level of bachelor, master or PhD thesis work.

Furthermore the e-content can be contextualised in SciPro according to the different research phases.

This option provides students with relevant just-in-time content for self-driven studies. Furthermore, e-book content significantly simplifies and enhances supervisors feedback options since elaborate and extensive texts about research methods can be reused and referred to.
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14. SMS

As an option SMS integration in SciPro is available. This requires a contract with a mobile phone network provider and funding of the extra cost for SMS. In SciPro Forum SMS messages can be sent and notifications can be sent as SMS.
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15. Thesis info

In Thesis info e-resources and instructions general for all students and supervisors are found: FAQs, journals, search engines, thesis templates (structure and layout), scientific wordlist, information about the thesis process, grading criteria, useful software, stipends and travel grants, study guide and course objectives. This may already be present on a department homepage or LMS. Optionally such structure and info can by provided.
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16. Peer review

The student driven peer review system in SciPro administrates thousands of students in a structured way without any supervisor involvement.

Students upload their thesis manuscript in any phase and select an appropriate checklist for peer review. Students give feedback to each other and the peer reviews are stored and accessible for supervisors in each particular project.

Milestone “Peer review done” is auto-checked in SciPro for each student.

This is a very powerful mechanism enabling large number of students to get a second opinion, advices and to communicate around their manuscripts before approaching the supervisor.

Conducting a peer review also enhanches critical thinking skills and the excersise may inspire new ideas.
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17. Learning analytics

Real-time statistics summarising and forecasting events in the thesis process. This information can be used by the student, the supervisor, the department or the university in order to improve the process, especially the completion rate.
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