Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Top 5 e-Assessment functions in Turnitin

Wordle of features in Turnitin
This week I thought I would share some of the functionality in Turnitin that makes it a really useful e-assessment tool....cue Top of the Pops music (actually I would like to point out that this is in no particular order)...

You can find more information on the products mentioned below on the Turnitin website.

1.) Audio feedback

The new kid on the block. This cheeky little addition to GradeMark has given us the ability to add up to 3 minutes of our own dulcet tones to assignment submissions in GradeMark, which students can then access via the GradeMark report. The audio capabilities are basic but functional; there is play, pause, stop, delete and save. Indeed you could argue that you don't really need much more than that anyway. The pause button is useful if you prefer to break up your commentary rather than recording in “one take”. The delete button is there in case you want to re-record; perhaps because volume levels were too low or you had made a mistake.

Inserting Audio feedback comments in Turnitin
2.) QuickMarks and general comments

QuickMarks have been around a while and are a feature that can both help speed up the marking process and make feedback clear for students. Turnitin has a standard set of QuickMarks in GradeMark that include: Awk(awkward), C/S(Comma splice), Citation (improper and needed) and P/V (Passive voice). There is also a “comment” QuickMark which allows you to type in your own free text comment. All of these QuickMarks can be drag and dropped onto the student submission.

You can access other QuickMark sets or create your own by accessing the QuickMark Manager. Other sets available in GradeMark are: composition, composition marks, format, punctuation and useage. You can also click anywhere on the submission itself and add in your own free text.

General comments can be left on the (surprise suprise) general comments box, which is also where you will find the audio feedback panel.  You can add free text of up to 5,000 characters.

Managing QuickMarks in Turnitin

3.) PeerMark

PeerMark is Turnitin’s peer assessment tool. It allows students to electronically evaluate other student submissions. When you set up the Peermark assignment you decide what criteria students will use to perform their evaluation. The criteria can be created in the form of free response questions, Likert scales (1-5), or questions from libraries already in PeerMark (you can also create your own).

You can also choose how the distribution of assignments to students is handled. You can pair students together yourself, let students choose, or let PeerMark handle who gets what submission. You can also control how many submissions students will review and require that students review their own submission.

4.) Rubrics

Rubrics, or grading schemes/marking criteria, can be handled in Turnitin thanks to its Rubrics functionality. I have found that accessing Rubrics is easiest from the Libraries tab as this is where you can control Rubrics, Quickmark sets and PeerMark questions. The rubric scales themselves can be made as complex or basic as you need and are split into three main areas, Scales, Criteria and Comment. Criteria is the area being assessed (e.g spelling) and the proportion of the mark being awarded. The scale is the level of mark awarded.

The Rubrics can be scored in three main ways, Percentage, Custom or Qualitative. Selecting Qualitative means that essentially the rubric will be more for reference and will not calculate scores.

Both Percentage and Custom Rubrics are interactive. This means that when you come to mark a piece of work in GradeMark your Rubric can be used to calculate and input the resulting grade.
Rubrics in Turnitin

5.) Blackboard 9.1 Integration

Okay...  you got me.. this isn’t a feature of Turnitin per se, but the integration with Blackboard does make undertaking e-assessment easier in our University and I think it deserves its place in the top 5.

Why is this useful? Well I think for these reasons...
  • Keeping things simple: Students can access any Turnitin assignments (including PeerMark) set up directly through Blackboard. There is no need to send students to an external site
  • Student enrolment: There is no need to upload class or student lists, all your students will be already enrolled via Blackboard.
  • Grades: Grades posted in GradeMark will feed through to the Grade Centre automatically  in Blackboard.
  • Turnitin Blackboard tool: There is a tool within Blackboard that allows you to either access all your Turnitin assignments in one page (handy if you have a large course in Blackboard) or to divide them into groups via the groups tool.
There you have it... my top 5 e-Assessment functions in Turnitin... what would you add?



  1. I agree that the new audio comments feature is great, but, when you say you can 'save', presumably you don't mean download? Am I right in thinking that it's not possible to download the audio comment? Which is rather a shame ...

    1. Hi there Joyce, sorry for the late reply! Yes your right you cannot download (or indeed upload) an audio file to Turnitin. It is a shame in a way as students may find it useful to do this, perhaps for transfer to mobile devices. Maybe Turnitin will look at developing this feature further in the future.

  2. Nice and useful blog.I am very impressed from your blog.I will share your blog with my friends .Thanks for sharing and keep it up.
    Technology Assessment



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...