Monday, March 31, 2014

Turn in ANYTHING to TurnItIn?!

Since I'm not in the classroom accepting and grading assignments anymore, I don't venture onto TurnItIn much these days. When I was teaching English, I relied heavily on it for collecting assignments and checking originality, sometimes venturing into the GradeMark aspect and trying out the peer review system. I know that TurnItIn has made vast improvements to its system over the last few years including a new, more user-friendly GradeMark interface and a new iPad app that allows grading on TurnItIn without an internet connection (I would have loved THAT five years ago).

This morning I went to TurnItIn to check some stats from the administrative perspective. The homepage got me VERY excited:

Grade ANYTHING? I had to learn more. Apparently this was a new concept introduced earlier this month. According to the press release,
"The groundbreaking functionality appeals to instructors across the curriculum who increasingly are assigning student projects beyond the traditional written paper, such as presentations, spreadsheets, visual designs and calculations. In addition, instructors who need to evaluate student work that does not require a file submission, such as a live dance performance or musical recital, can use Turnitin’s new grading template to provide timely and meaningful feedback to students."
I broke out my headphones and watched every demo available when I clicked the "Learn More" button...

Grading PowerPoint presentations DURING the presentation on an iPad? AWESOME. Having math students submit their homework by taking PICTURES of their work? GENIUS. Use a special grading template to provide feedback for performances with no file submitted to TurnItIn? EXCELLENT.

I'm excited to explore this more with our teachers. Cor Jesu has had a subscription to TurnItIn for a long time and some teachers use it religiously.  However, it has always been seen as a tool for those teaching in the humanities, grading essays and other written work. This development gives me hope that teachers in other disciplines might be willing to explore it - especially after we integrate it with our Moodle system over the summer (finally). Updates to come...

Interested in exploring more? A few helpful links...