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Turnitin

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Mar 1, 2013
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Company: Turnitin (iParadigms, LLC), 1111 Broadway, Third floor, Oakland, CA 94607; 510-764-7600; Website: www.turnitin.com/en_us/home.

Price: Contact Turnitin for estimates of cost of this annual subscription, web-based service. Cost is based on the number of schools, teachers, and students, etc., using the product.

Audience: This is intended for students who are doing at least two- or three-paragraph, if not longer, writing and their teachers, probably middle and high school and older.

Format: Turnitin is an anytime access, web-based program in three parts: OriginalityCheck, GradeMark, and PeerMark. In addition to the usual, these rely on writing rubrics and predesigned evaluation tools, both of which can be modified, and feedback using drag-and-drop marks, voice comments, and the rubrics.

System Requirements: Turnitin requires Microsoft Windows Vista Service pack 1, Windows 7, or Mac OS X v10.4.11+ with 3GB of RAM or more and a 1024 x 768 display or higher. A broadband internet connection is also required, the faster the better, using either Firefox 15+, Chrome 23+, Safari 5+, or Internet Explorer 8 or 9, set to allow all cookies from Turnitin.com and JavaScript enabled.

Description: Turnitin is a tool especially for use with student writing whether in a writing instruction class or as part of other subjects, such social studies classes. The teacher sets up a class and assignment(s) in the Turnitin service. Students or instructors then submit papers to Turnitin via file upload or cut and paste. Turnitin then evaluates the writing using three core tools so students and teachers can see the results as layered feedback.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Using Turnitin is a matter of subscribing to the service and then setting up students and assignments online. In­stallation Rating: A

Content/Features: Turnitin has recently gained notice for releasing six rubrics developed in partnership with the English Professional Learning Council, using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). They were originally available to users of Turnitin only but have been released, with online help, for free use by teachers.

Teachers can begin the process by attaching one of the standard CCSS rubrics to any writing assignment, conveying their expectations to students. The rubrics are for grades 9–10 and 11–12 with argumentative, narrative, and informative essay assignments.

If desired, student writing can then be submitted to Turnitin, initially using OriginalityCheck, which compares it to a database of 24-plus billion pages of digital content, including archived internet content no longer available. This database is from a variety of sources and is constantly updated.

Once the paper’s originality is assured, instructors can use GradeMark to provide feedback using drag-and-drop marks, voice comments, and rubrics. Educational Testing Service e-rater technology is integrated with GradeMark to identify spelling, grammar, mechanics, usage, and style along with some other tools. When completed, PeerMark facilitates the management of peer review exercises so students can evaluate and learn from one another’s work. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Turnitin is easy to use, with clear, intuitive instructions. Difficulties with its use come from inadequate computer access and getting student writing into digital form. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Extensive support is available online in the form of the Help Center for teachers, students, administrators, and more. Among extensive offerings, it includes FAQs and integration help for using Turnitin with systems such as Blackboard and Moodle. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Using CCSS and avoiding plagiarism are both important considerations in today’s digital age. Turnitin is an excellent tool for both. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (chasgd62@gmail.com) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Michigan. For the past 15 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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