Success Story: Lincoln-Way High School District 210, Illinois
Lincoln-Way High School District 210, located in Illinois, serves families and citizens in a 105-square mile area with four high schools serving approximately 7,400 students. Students choose from a diverse curriculum including 1,075 traditional classes, 88 advanced placement courses, as well as courses not available at other high schools. Students have the opportunity to participate in 213 clubs and activities, as well as 108 athletic teams. Lincoln-Way primarily serves college-bound students who have both high attendance and high graduation rates.
The English department chairs at Lincoln-Way realized that student self-assessment was not where it should be in order to prepare high school students for their college career. They found it was difficult to have students take a step back from their written work and truly evaluate it. In addition, teachers were having a hard time separating real student writing from copied material in their robust assignments. Because of these issues, the district developed an initiative to enhance student self-assessment while providing its teachers with an easy way to delve deeply into student work.
Turnitin's GradeMark and PeerMark features have helped teachers at Lincoln-Way show students the benefits of self-assessment. English Department Chair at Lincoln-Way Central, Sandra Rogina, said, "Having students sit down with their papers to review and reflect on my feedback and the feedback from their peers has greatly supported our efforts. Our students are better at assessing their own writing skills after reading the peer review comments on their papers." Teachers at Lincoln-Way also incorporated a reflection exercise where the students reflect not only on their writing, but on their peer editing skills to see how they improved over the year.
Lincoln-Way started the self-assessment and peer editing process with students taking advanced placement (AP) courses. "The nice thing about PeerMark and GradeMark is that students can see how others feel about their work. Students are able to read through the feedback and get in a teacher's or peer's mind set to think about what is being asked of them," said English Department Chair of Lincoln-Way West, Renae Goldie. Lincoln-Way has also found that the discussion boards feature of Turnitin has greatly helped students. "We have found those students who sit in the classroom and aren't as vocal, take on a completely different voice through Turnitin's discussion boards. Because students today live in this world of online communication, they are able to come alive online. Whatever skill I teach that day takes on a life of its own on the discussion board."