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Friday, August 09, 2019

Beyond Interview with Serhii Tkachenko from UNICHECK

Many educators are familiar with the phenomenon of plagiarism as a form of dishonesty in the classroom. Plagiarism is wrong for many reasons, but eventually it is the cheating person who is ultimately negatively affected. Using this unfair method in your study will lead to a lack of knowledge and blindspots in qualification.

We caught up with Serhii Tkachenko, CEO at UniCheck, to talk about the role of technology in education and how his team is transforming the quality of education in the world.

Serhii Tkachenko, UniCheck
Susan: What is your background?

Serhii: My career path has been evolving in a multi-faceted way: I have worked as Head of Sales Department, Partnership Manager and Business Development Manager. This diverse experience gave me the exceptional knack for managing a multidisciplinary and challenging project. I am passionate about innovation and quality of education and my aim is to help people become well-educated and successful.

Susan: What is Unicheck?

Serhii: Unicheck creates innovations in the area of plagiarism detection services, authorship verification, and checking of source code for plagiarism. We offer cloud-based plagiarism detection software with advanced functionality to education institutions.

Our work is based on a deep understanding of our users’ needs - manual tasks such as checking the sources in an academic work are meticulous and time-consuming. By providing an automated solution for these routine tasks our tool allows students and teachers to focus on the priorities of the educational process.

Unicheck is integrated in all major LMSs which makes the usage experience smooth and convenient both for students and educators.

Susan: What makes Unicheck different and better than other plagiarism detectors?

Serhii: We develop a community-driven product and our team is always open to our partners’ comments and queries. We listen to our clients’ needs and implement new features that would cater to them.

Our competitors provide results for a submitted paper in 24 hours which is excessively long in the days when information spreads immediately. Unicheck offers a comprehensive similarity report in just four seconds per page.

Unicheck is cloud-based so it provides users with system updates on the go. Any new feature becomes available to our customers once we release it. At Unicheck we strive to comply with all personal data regulations, that's why we have moved to the Amazon cloud to process the user data in the regions that are close to client’s physical location.

Unicheck architecture, Amazon Web infrastructure, and support services make our tool the most reliable (99.9% uptime) and scalable cloud-based plagiarism detection software in the industry.

Susan: Who uses Unicheck? Please describe a few successful use cases.

Serhii: Unicheck is used by middle schools starting from 6th grade, high schools, colleges, and universities. More than 1,500,000 students and 100,000 educators from 69 countries worldwide trust Unicheck.

When we think of our client, we always think of people. Our client is not an academic institution but an individual end user: teacher, student, IT specialist integrating our software in a particular school, or a representative of the school administration. We address the needs of the people: we deliver the software that helps students become successful; that helps teachers focus on personalized approach to each student. Talking about an IT specialist, we want to make the process of integration smooth and seamless. Caring about the concerns of an administrator, we make sure that our pricing policy is reasonable.

It is a huge honor and responsibility to create a product that brings change and value to society. I believe Uniсheck is one of those products as it is already elevating the quality of education standards in 1,100 academic institutions globally.

I think the most successful use cases are when our product can actually change the educational process for the better. By helping to detect plagiarism, we encourage the administration to review the internal processes and curriculum. Utilizing our tool, administrators can take data-driven decisions to implement positive changes.

Susan: Are there any "off label" uses or potential uses for Unicheck?

Serhii: Basically, Unicheck can be used by any content writer to ensure correct citing, it helps bloggers and SEO specialists to avoid text plagiarism as well. Some other interesting use cases include looking up for matches in legal documents or product barcodes in retail databases.

Susan: What are your goals with Unicheck?

Serhii: We strive to reduce the overall rate of plagiarism by raising awareness about the problem and providing an efficient solution to fight it. Our mission is to create community-driven software that makes students well educated.

For the last 3 years Unicheck has been growing nearly x3 times - at large, it is thanks to a word-of-mouth communication. Instead of winning customers through strong marketing strategies, we focused mostly on product quality and service excellence.

Susan: Can Unicheck be used to help detect mental illness in student writing?

Serhii: We believe that our technology has the potential to not only raise the level of academic integrity but to address other social issues. For example, our Reseach and Development department is working on an innovation that will help detect traces of racism, sexism, or any other kind of discrimination in the text. Identifying these symptoms will help point out an existing problem.

Susan: Can you recommend a few good books to read?

Serhii: My favorite business books are “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” :-) They will teach you how to reach your goals and how to treat people in a generous way.

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