• Helping Students Spot Fake News and Low-Quality Sources


    A recent study by Stanford University Graduate School of Education
    paints a very bleak picture about students’ ability to spot fake news and low-quality sources.

    The study received responses from 7,800 students, ranging from middle school to college, and asked them to evaluate the quality of the information presented. The findings, according to them, were “shocking”.

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  • Illuminating Writing Instruction: What Revision Assistant’s Spot Check Taught Us about Independent Learning

    By Samantha Spencer

     

    In the Fall of 2016, my fellow English teachers and I were determined to meet two major goals: 1) change how we teach writing and 2) develop new approaches to effective standards-aligned instruction and assessment. Towards this objective, we piloted Turnitin Revision Assistant, an online program that impacted us and our students in ways we did not expect. The tool helped us to change our day-to-day writing instruction practices, empowered students to direct their own learning, and made writing exercises more “real” and applicable to disciplines beyond English. 

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  • 20 Best Practices for Using Turnitin Feedback Studio

    The modern teacher is being pulled in an infinite number of directions. Preparing curriculum and assignments, grading papers, and administering exams are all fundamental and time-consuming parts of an educator’s role. In addition, teachers need to know how to effectively use the digital tools and technology in their classrooms in order to support student learning and achievement. However, the ever-growing list of demands of these educators may diminish the time they have to learn about and efficiently implement these essential tools.

    Turnitin Feedback Studio is here to help. It provides educators a way to deliver timely, formative feedback that engages students, promotes original writing, and drives college and career readiness. When used appropriately, Turnitin Feedback Studio helps educators to save time and deliver more effective feedback.

    We asked some of our Feedback Studio “power users” to share their best practices. Together educators, Turnitin Consultants, and Curriculum Specialists developed an indispensable list of the top 20 field-tested tips for successfully using Feedback Studio in the classroom.

    Class and Assignment Set Up

    1. “When naming your classes, include the year, class period, and semester information in the class name. This will help you more quickly locate your classes later, especially when looking for papers that are source matches. For example: 2016/2017 - Creative Writing - Period 1.” (V. Rodriguez, Turnitin Customer Success Consultant)
    2. “If distributing the class ID and Enrollment Password to students so they can self-enroll, go back and change the class enrollment password after you've confirmed that all the required students are enrolled in the class. This practice eliminates duplicate and unauthorized student enrollment in the class.” (C. McClure, Turnitin Customer Success Consultant)
    3. “Have clearly defined policies and procedures for students who happen to have high Similarity Score matches and be sure to include this information in your Syllabus.” (J. Haber, St. Petersburg College)
    4. “Have monthly calls with your Turnitin account manager. This check-in is important, especially for administrators, to ensure the successful use of the product. It’s a chance to discuss if the product is being adopted, that it’s being used properly and fully (based on the institution’s needs), any new changes, and any challenges they are facing. (V. Rodriguez, Turnitin Customer Success Consultant)
    5. “Email submission receipts, so students can use it as reference for speaking with their instructors.” (S. Farris, Turnitin Certified Trainer)
    6. "Consistency, Convenience, and Collaboration. That's what it comes down to. With the rubrics and QuickMarks in Feedback Studio, teachers have the advantages of collaboration - anywhere, any time. They don't have to be sitting in the same room at the same time in order to make sure they have consistent expectations for all students. Once you have the power of a tool like that, you can collaborate across the miles - we can share our expertise without worrying about planning time and schedules. The convenience of being able to share our resources and make them consistent is immensely empowering." (K. Smith, Maryland Public Schools, Independent Turnitin Curriculum Producer, Instructional Coach and 30-year ELA veteran)

    The Writing Process

    1. “Use Feedback Studio with rough drafts, not final drafts, so students can learn from the feedback and incorporate it into their writing. We know students often ignore feedback when it is accompanied by a grade, and that feedback is most valuable when students have an immediate opportunity to use it to improve their writing. So use Turnitin to improve student writing between rough and final drafts, rather than use it to comment on work when it's too late to fix it.” (Ben Bohmfalk, Roaring Fork)
    2. “Show developing writers that writing is a process, and Feedback Studio can help to that end. I have students in my face-to-face class practice prewriting strategies, draft thesis statements, upload rough drafts to Turnitin, engage in editing through PeerMark, and I comment on their papers using QuickMarks. In this way, I hope to close the learning loop for them and show them that good writing takes time—and takes multiple stages of development.” (A. Wick, Blinn College)
    3. "Sometimes, we make assumptions about what students know about plagiarism and hold them responsible when they break the rules, but if we haven't done our part, we are equally to blame. We do students a disservice if we don't help them understand what it is, what it isn't, how to avoid it, and why it matters. We can't assume that a student knows and understands plagiarism, and we owe it to them to teach them all the shades of plagiarism that exist. The stakes are too high. We must use tools like The Plagiarism Spectrum that help to educate them about the slippery slope of behaviors that can lead to plagiarism - and we need to begin that education early enough to interrupt habits that can lead them down that path." (P. West-Smith, Turnitin, Head of Curriculum)
    4. “Be real with students about the writing process. I can do this through the stages of Feedback Studio use, but I can also augment by sharing my personal stories with them. I share with students that I am a writer who also happens to be a writing teacher. I am honest with them that I need to go through the writing process, too. I brainstorm, I outline, I research, I interview, I draft . . . and I revise, revise, revise! When they see their writing teacher joining them in the process of writing, they seem to appreciate and understand the time involved to write well.” (A. Wick, Blinn College)
    5. “It's important for students to write in their own voice with originality because it's part of who they are.  If you look at resumes and such, what is going to make this student stand out from the crowd?  You don't want to just have the same cover letter for every applicant because those are the ones that you're not going to look at.  Each student, each person, is an individual and if they can get to the point where their individual personality shines through in their writing, it's going to help them because when they're writing those cover letters, when they're writing those resumes, whatever they choose to do with their writing, who they are shows through.” (H. M. Burmesch, Former Merrill High School English Teacher)

    Commenting and Feedback

    1. “Have students review their drag-n-drop QuickMarks comments and find one higher order concern (HOC) and one lower order concern (LOC) that they will review and correct.” (J. Haber, St. Petersburg College)
    2. “When leaving feedback, highlight the text of interest first and then choose the feedback item from the in-context marking menu that appears. This allows teachers to choose up to five different colors for the highlighted text and will link the feedback item directly to the highlighted portion of text.” (J. Riley, Turnitin Customer Success Consultant)
    3. “Encourage students to engage in their feedback. Require an assignment that makes them review their work and make improvements.” (J. Haber, St. Petersburg College)
    4.  “Create a customized set of QuickMarks to optimize grading and scoring. Customized QuickMarks can be useful in tailoring feedback to a certain assignment or discipline while saving instructors time in responding to multiple sets of papers.” (A. Wick, Blinn College)
    5. “Send all students a Voice Comment on their first papers so that they can hear what you have to say." (J. Haber, St. Petersburg College)
    6. “Feedback Studio is a meaningful tool that when used correctly in the classroom can cut down on the time that teachers take sifting through papers and giving short bursts of feedback that the student may or may not read.  Feedback Studio allows for students to be engaged in the feedback that they are getting and it holds them accountable for improving or making the necessary changes to the document.” (E. Bonack, Merrill High School English Teacher)

    Plagiarism and Citation

    1. “Try having students print out their Similarity Reports as an exercise to gain insight into their own writing. Using a sample Similarity Report, model how a student can evaluate their own report. For example, demonstrate how sections of matched content could have been better paraphrased, or highlight areas with a missing citation. By using the report as a teaching tool, students will become more aware of what they need to do to strengthen their writing." (K. Van Gompel, Turnitin Senior Curriculum Specialist)
    2. “Understand that the match on the Similarity Score may not correlate with exactly where the student took it from (but it is still preexisting material and not original).” (S. Farris, Turnitin Certified Trainer)
    3. Peer reviews allow students to improve reading and writing skills while taking part in a collaborative task. However, in order to ensure the exercise is valuable, it is important for teachers to take time to help students understand how to respond to someone else's work: What criteria should they evaluate? How can they phrase feedback constructively? Teachers can assign partners in their classroom or anonymously with the PeerMark™ tools. Educators around the world have seen that by learning to respond to a classmate's work, students also apply a new awareness to their own writing.” (K. Van Gompel, Senior Turnitin Curriculum Specialist)

    Related:

    No Feedback Left Behind - Feedback Studio for iPad

    Grade Assignments Fast: Turnitin QuickMark Drag-n-Drop Comments

    What’s New with Feedback Studio?  


  • The White House Invites Turnitin to Visit and Demo Revision Assistant



    Revision Assistant Recognized for Work on Testing and Writing Assessment

     This year Turnitin had a rare and special honor of visiting the White House to be recognized for work on its formative writing technology, Revision Assistant. On December 7, 2016, Elijah Mayfield, VP of new technologies, Jill Hedrick, SVP of Sales, and Stephanie Butler, director of product management, traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with other education technology leaders. Read the press release.

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  • Grade Assignments Fast: Turnitin QuickMark Drag-n-Drop Comments


    How can you give effective feedback to students on their writing assignments -- FAST?

    Create custom and pre-defined drag-and-drop sets of customizable comments, of course! Educators are always looking for ways to save time, while providing the best feedback they can on student writing.

    Turnitin QuickMarks™ are drag-n-drop comments that can be used by an instructor when editing or grading papers within Turnitin Feedback Studio. While evaluating a paper within Feedback Studio, instructors can access a pre-set library of QuickMark “comments” that they can quickly drag-and-drop directly onto students papers.

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  • Test, Get Feedback, Improve Writing Scores

    Immediate Feedback on SAT® Essay Writing Practice for Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy Now Available

    In our last blog article, we introduced you to the role that Turnitin Scoring Engine plays in providing automatic scoring of the SAT® practice essay as part of the Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy. In that post, we also mentioned that students would soon be able to benefit from feedback to help them improve their SAT essay writing.

    We are pleased to announce that immediate and actionable feedback on writing is now available to students as part of the Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy through an integration with Turnitin Revision Assistant®!

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  • SAT® Essay Practice: More than Just a Score

    SAT® Essay Writing Scoring for the Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy Now Powered by Turnitin

    Nearly seven million students took either the SAT® or PSAT/NMSQT in the 2015-2016 school year.1 Of those test takers, 2.5 million prepared for the SAT exam using an innovative program that was launched by the College Board and Khan Academy in June of 2015.

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  • Teachers Talk Writing: Instructional and Developmental Tools

    Understanding students’ writing strengths and weaknesses are important for teachers in targeting instruction. All students improve their skills and grow throughout the span of their education, so it’s important to keep tabs on where each student stands and, also tools that are out there to help.

    In a recent webcast, former teachers Jill Crivelli and Kristin Van Gompel discussed the challenge of getting students to revise their writing and take ownership of their work.

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  • Global Innovation Awards 2016

    Congratulations to the 2016 Turnitin Global Innovation Award Winners



    We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Turnitin Global Innovation Awards! This year’s award program recognizes 58 educators, technologists and students in 21 countries for their dedication, innovation and excellence in academic integrity and student engagement.

    Each winner and honorable mention is highlighted with their own inspiring story. See their stories.

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  • Is it Plagiarism or Not?

    Tagging 10 Types of Plagiarism with The Plagiarism Spectrum QuickMarks Set  

    Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 10.04.06 AM.png

    We developed the Plagiarism Spectrum as a way to help students to understand how plagiarism can take form. The Spectrum identifies the 10 most common types of plagiarism and “tags” them with digital-like monikers. Naming the types “clone,” “remix,” or “hybrid,” for example, have really shown to appeal to students, particularly in getting them to identify and remember the different types. 

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  • Comment Crafting through QuickMarks

    Audrey Wick is an English Professor at Blinn College and the 2014 Turnitin All Star MVP for Higher Education. She has been using Turnitin for over a decade and shares her best tips for quality feedback here.

    We all know that quality feedback to students on their writing is essential. But with so many students and so many assignments, instructors can easily get overwhelmed. That’s where digital scoring and comments can be useful tools.

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