Sunday, 13 November 2011

Turnitin & Grademark

Ahead of the Turnitin Workshop this week, this post hopes to give a quick overview of some of the key features that are offered using Turnitin and it's lesser known companion, Grademark.

As most people will know, Turnitin has been the leading UK plagiarism detection service for a number of years. It can provide a great development opportunity and really help students develop their academic writing skills by enabling originality reports for draft assignments.

For me, the biggest strength of the service lies in the paperless marking capabilities offered through Grademark. In short, managing online submissions through Turnitin allows academic staff to take advantage of the built-in marking features, including QuickMark comments; a feature allowing markers to build a database of comments they commonly leave on student papers. They can then drag and drop these quickmarks onto the paper, potentially saving bags of time from retyping the same things! Also, as you build up your personal QuickMark comments, you can export and re-import them into other units.

Furthermore, this completely online process of submission, marking and feedback impacts upon two huge areas of current interest;
  • Student Feedback, which suggests students want the freedom to submit work online to avoid the time and financial costs of printing and travelling to campus to submit work, as well as receiving more timely feedback that is in a legible format (compared with handwritten feedback).
  • The University's Green Impact Campaign, an innovative program that inspires staff and students to collectively 'green' MMU.
    SUSTEIT suggests the major environmental impacts are related to paper, and that reducing paper consumption is “perhaps the most important feature of a sustainable printing strategy” (James & Hopkinson, 2009). Previous work that I have been involved in with Turnitin & Grademark has saved significant amounts of paper - online submission across just six first-year units saved around 7500 sheets, totalling 15 reams of paper. Imagine if this was scaled larger!
So, come along on Thursday (12-1pm. C1:01) to learn more and get some practical experience in using some of the tools offered by Turnitin & Grademark. If you can't make it, there are some materials available within the Staff Resource Area's 'Moodle Training Guides' page.

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This work by Peter Reed is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. N.B all images in this post are taken from and may be restricted by further copyright licenses.

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