Monday, February 2, 2015

Turn it in to TurnItIn in Moodle

Nothing makes me happier at work than a teacher getting more excited than me about something in technology. Last Thursday was a really happy day for me.

After a few weeks of silly errors and issues, I finally had our new TurnItIn Moodle Direct integration ready to deploy and was playing around with a TurnItIn rubric when a teacher looked over my shoulder and asked if she could watch what I was doing. This prompted me to explain my latest project - encouraging more people to use our TurnItIn subscription by letting them use TurnItIn from within Moodle. And her response was my favorite kind. Excited about this new prospect, she went directly back to her desk and not only created her own first TurnItIn assignment in Moodle, complete with grading form, but also told the rest of her PLC right away. And got THEM excited for it.

I thought I was going to have to beg people to try this. Apparently not.

So why do this? 

The reasons to use TurnItIn are numerous. Paperless assignments, originality checking, online grading, digital portfolios, and data collection are a few. Since I started using TurnItIn ten years ago, I have seen vast improvements to the GradeMark program, especially the new Grade Anything platform that allows teachers to grade any kind of file, presentation, performance, etc within GradeMark. The iPad app is something I would have loved eight years ago when I was lamenting my decision to collect essays only via TurnItIn, but was headed for a twelve hour car ride with no internet connection - with the iPad app, you don't need an internet connection once you sync a set of assignments. Easy. Lovely.

Now it's even easier to use here at CJ. No need for teachers or students to log into another account to use the main features of TurnItIn. For everyday use, they can simply create and upload assignments via Moodle... which is an essential part of almost every class here. Logging into TurnItIn will still be useful to gather data from GradeMark Reports, but it isn't necessary every day, nor is it needed by the students. 

From the reaction I've gotten from just a few teachers, I'm thinking this will be a good thing.



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