We didn’t use any electronic tools (besides search engines) to check for plagiarism before . On my initiative, we did a thorough market research in which Urkund was one of the final candidates. We decided for Urkund in the end because it had better matches in German, you can easily hand in documents via email and Urkund offers a reliably calculated licence model.
We want to educate our students in what constitutes as proper scientific work. Part of that is to understand potential pit falls and prevent them as much as we can. Not giving credit for used sources and references is such a case which we want to discover and avoid at the university. Since students have access to the Internet in their daily work, it only is natural for us to adapt to new behaviours and learning environments. In my opinion, purely the fact of knowing that assignments will be run through a software has a preventative effect on the way students work. Since using Urkund in our faculty, there has been more awareness around the subject of plagiarism. I personally use Urkund as an additional tool and it has already shown me sources I would have otherwise missed.
Some of the key functions I like about Urkund is that we can decide ourselves which student material should be seen or not. That allows is to fully comply to the GDPR-rules. I also like that I am shown several potential sources for each match. Additionally, Urkund is a very fast system, with results in my email inbox within mere minutes.