Success Story: Anderson High School, Texas
Anderson High School (AHS), a large urban public high school in Austin, Texas, strives to provide its 2000+ students with a comprehensive educational experience. As part of the Austin Independent School District, AHS offers a rigorous curriculum to prepare students for college and the workforce.
Managing the immense paper load associated with students' written assignments was often a time-consuming and tedious task for teachers at AHS. In addition to keeping all of the papers organized, grading all of the assignments by hand did not prove to be the most efficient use of teachers' time. "With six classes and 170 students, grading and marking takes a lot of my time," said Heather Schulman, English instructor at AHS. While grading her students' assignments, Schulman also had isolated concerns about the originality of her students' work. "We have dealt with the issue of plagiarism in the past," said Schulman, "especially in cases where students were reusing work submitted by a sibling who had previously taken the same class."
The implementation of Turnitin helped alleviate these problems. In addition to the originality checking features, taking the grading process online through the use of GradeMark has helped teachers save time and dramatically cut back on the amount of paper used in the classroom. Schulman also beta-tested the ETS® e-rater® functionality in Spring 2011 and was impressed by the benefits of this new feature. The ETS e-rater engine, available within GradeMark, provides instructors with instant diagnostic feedback on grammar, usage, mechanics, style and spelling to augment their assessment of student work.
"GradeMark and the e-rater tool have already become the standard I use to mark papers," said Schulman. By automatically marking grammatical errors within students' work, Schulman can now concentrate on providing more substantive feedback to help students improve upon their writing. "The e-rater service allows me to respond to students' writing and ideas rather than just correcting their grammar," continues Schulman. "The new features from Turnitin will save me hours on each writing assignment."
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