What are the ‘top 5′ features or functions of Turnitin? Do you agree with this list produced by the Learning Technologies blog? I have added my own little extra after a choice quote from the post, to highlight why I agree (or disagree) with it:
- Audio feedback – “This cheeky little addition to GradeMark has given us the ability to add up to 3 minutes … to assignment submissions in GradeMark, which students can then access via the GradeMark report.” What this gives us is the ability to record (and provided in written format as well – let’s keep thinking about accessibility here!) a three minute overview to the submitted assignment as a whole, whilst giving instructions to the student that they ought to re-read their assignment in connection with the overview and more detailed comments contained in the GradeMark report.
- Quickmark & general comments – “Turnitin has a standard set of QuickMarks in GradeMark that include: Awk(awkward), C/S(Comma splice), Citation (improper and needed) and P/V (Passive voice). There is also a ‘comment’ QuickMark which allows you to type in your own free text comment. All of these QuickMarks can be drag and dropped onto the student submission.” Not easy to try this out unless you have live submissions to play with but worth the effort it takes to create your own set of ‘common’ comments – create them and leave them open to change once placed in the students’ work so you can personalise with their name.
- PeerMark – “When you set up the Peermark assignment you decide what criteria students will use to perform their evaluation. The criteria can be created in the form of free response questions, Likert scales (1-5), or questions from libraries already in PeerMark (you can also create your own).” I have not heard of anyone using this and I think it is an overlooked part of the Turnitin package – enabling students to take a
- Rubrics – “Both Percentage and Custom Rubrics are interactive. This means that when you come to mark a piece of work in GradeMark your Rubric can be used to calculate and input the resulting grade.” Not something I have much experience of at the moment but everyone I speak to is really keen on using it so I know this will change.
- Blackboard (VLE) integration – “Grades posted in GradeMark will feed through to the Grade Centre automatically in Blackboard.” There are many benefits to having Turnitin talk to your VLE and/or student management system but one of the more noticeable is the ability to have marks transferred quickly and automatically as well as links to the Originality Report and GradeMark comments. Comments I have heard so far name this as one of the biggest reasons students like Turnitin and GradeMark.
What would I have added to the list? I would have added the Originality Report (OR) – it’s still of huge use and beneficial when reading the students’ work (best looked at after you’ve read the work on it’s own first). If you decide to let the students see their own OR then be sure to provide adequate (and detailed) instructions on how they should read them – it’s not only about the percentage match but what each match is, why it’s been matched, and what the student can do to improve their work to (legitimately) reduce the matched ‘score’. Remember, help the students to help themselves.