TurnItIn UK User group

TurnItIn UK User Group, 3/2/11, Aston University

Bryan Dawson

 This is a six-monthly event for TurnItIn (TII) Administrators and power users.  The system continues to grow, with over ½ million submissions per month to the system in the last quarter of 2010.  The UK branch of iParadigms (the U.S. company that built TurnItIn) now has responsibility for all of the world except the Americas, and will probably change its name from ‘iParadigms Europe’.

 New developments for TurnItIn Originality Checking include:

Large documents don’t now cause the system to seize up.  This has never been a problem for us, even with dissertations.

We were promised better Quality Assurance for new releases – the revised user interface introduced in the autumn is only now fully functional.

A Moodle 2.0-compatible plugin is promised for the middle of 2011.

Work is under way on allowing multiple markers of an assignment.    This would allow for double-marking of coursework, which explains why double blind anonymous marking is not currently under development.  There were many requests for this feature.

It was confirmed that TII submissions will still be visible to submitting institutions even after 5 years (we started using TII in 2005).

 The GradeMark online marking system received much emphasis at the meeting.  It is only just starting to be used by Lboro tutors. 

  • It is now possible to import and export rubrics (marking criteria), so rubrics can be deployed over several assignments, and the same rubric can be used by several tutors.
  • An ‘e-rater’ will be added to provide spelling and grammar checking for online submissions.  However, TurnItIn is an American product, so it is not clear whether UK English spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage will be checked.
  • A translation facility can be introduced to check for the possibility that a foreign-language source has been translated into English and used in a submission.
  • Feedback files can be uploaded to GradeMark for retrieval by the student.  These could be audio or video files e.g. a lecture-captured demo of a worked answer.

 A Plagiarism Reference Tariff was introduced by Jo Badge from Leicester Uni.  This aims to provide consistency across Academic Misconduct cases by applying a formula to establish the ‘severity’ of the case.  Details are available from http://www.plagiarismadvice.org/

 An online marking Case Study was presented by Cath Ellis of Huddersfield University.  She noted that the OU uses GradeMark and in the NSS it gets 100% satisfaction scores for feedback and marking.

At Huddersfield there was a strong steer from HoDs to use online marking.  The option for paper marking has always been kept open, but its use is now in the minority.  Online marking is the default, and tutors have to opt IN to paper marking. 

After a quite short learning curve (hours, not days) TurnItIn and Grademark had been integrated into the work flow of processing submitted student coursework.  Because marking is a fairly frequent activity, the new skills were kept refreshed and didn’t need to be re-learnt every semester. Using the GradeMark online marking tool was found to be:

  • Quicker, with marking throughput anything up to twice as fast as paper methods;
  • Better, because by using stock comments for common errors, the tutor was concentrating on what was being said, not how it was being said;
  • Easier, because you didn’t have to keep track of lots of pieces of paper; and
  • Safer because the marked-up coursework was automatically archived on a server.

Students liked the fact that they could submit from home, and didn’t have to make the trip to the campus just to hand in a piece of paper.  They appreciated the private and unhurried view of the feedback that had been provided, and felt they got more detailed feedback than before.

Admin staff set up duplicate copies of coursework to allow double-marking, but Anonymous marking is not used.