Success Story: Oshkosh West High School, Wisconsin
Trent Scott is in his 17th year teaching in the Oshkosh Area School District, currently holding the position of English department chair at Oshkosh West High School. In addition to handling a variety of tasks for the English department and oversight and support for the district's middle schools, he teaches English 3H (junior honors English) and the Advanced Placement English Literature course.
Oshkosh West High School has 16 teachers using Turnitin at some level and 1,850 students who will be exposed to the service during their time at Oshkosh West. The district decided to implement Turnitin after they revised their plagiarism policy to make it more rigorous and responsive to 21st Century issues.
Oshkosh West High School demands a lot from its students, and the English department is no different. Scott assigns two to three major papers and three to four shorter pieces (paragraph responses) for practice and development for every student in each 9-week quarter. Prior to using Turnitin, Scott would receive all papers via email, provide comments electronically on the digital papers and then send them back with an attached rubric. The process was very time consuming for Scott, feedback was often short and there was no guarantee that students were opening and reviewing the attached rubric.
When students at Oshkosh West High School do written work, the writing process becomes an assumed part of the activity. Students need substantial feedback if they are to advance in the quality of their work. In order to streamline the writing and review process, Scott turned to Turnitin. Now Scott collects, views and comments on papers all in one location. "One of the things I enjoy about Turnitin is that it is so easy to create and assign revisions linked to the original assignment. My students understand that they are expected to build upon feedback to continue growing as writers," said Scott. He finds that the product has streamlined his efforts to make feedback, instruction and assessment one fluid process.
For Scott's students, the feedback is more accessible and revisions more palatable with Turnitin. He says, "My students love the program for several reasons: they don't have to worry about printing the paper, they can see my evaluation of their paper to make corrections, and most significantly, they love the depth and specificity of the comments they receive."