Showing and Improving Student Progress in Turnitin

charles-trafford-squareTurnitin classroom best practices blog post by Charles Trafford, AP English Literature teacher at Inglemoor High School

In my last post I discussed a how to broadly track students over all assignments. Here I am going to discuss how I can show student growth using Turnitin through tracking the comments that I use on papers throughout the year. I teach AP English Literature, and one of they primary goals of my class is that students are able to successfully analyze passages of literature.

Good to Great: How Turnitin Makes a Difference in Critical Thinking

Featured classroom practices blog post by Missy Mohler, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Mt. Carmel College of Nursing

Distance education in nursing is becoming more and more common and many faculty grade multiple APA papers each semester. Missy-Mohler
Every nurse educator has heard the classic words, “critical thinking” multiple times in their career. We practice, teach, and preach critical thinking. It’s what we hope every student improves upon in nearly every class.

Turnitin Inspires in an Unexpected Way

david-sawyer-squareGuest classroom practices blog post written by David Sawyer, AP English Literature/British Literature at Brentwood Academy

One of the best tips I ever learned at an AP conference was that feedback on a paper did little good if the writer had no chance to revise that paper and put that feedback to work. As a result, I encourage my high school students to revise their essays for a higher grade, provided that they meet with me for a brief writer’s conference to ensure that the student understands my feedback and has a strategy for improving her paper.

Implementing an Academic Integrity Policy

Plagiarism strategies blog series by Audrey Wick, English Professor at Blinn College

audrey-wick-squareA departmental or institutional plagiarism policy is a valuable tool that will aid both instructors and students. A proper plagiarism policy should:

• Define plagiarism
• Clarify the severe types (ghost-writing, collusion, recycling or copying/pasting)
• Outline penalties for violation

Why Voice Comments Are the Best Type of Feedback

Featured classroom practices blog post by Kent Walker, Writing Communication Instructor at Brock University

Kent Walker 2 Over the past year, I have been acclimating myself (and my vocal chords) to one of the most useful tools in the Turnitin feedback arsenal: Voice Comments. Its relevance to my students’ developmental learning process –in this case, to the improvement of their writing skills – is consistently confirmed in two ways:

Setting Up Multiple Course Sections for Plagiarism Prevention

Fourth installment of blog series, "Turnitin Strategies in the Writing Process" by Mary Lawson, Professor of English at Houston Community College

Mary-LawsonIn the previous two blogs, I discussed using the ETS e-rater for editing and using PeerMark to guide revision. After all of this work, students need to actually revise their essays. I have found a way using the plagiarism detection software to check for amount of revision.

By this point, students will have submitted a rough draft. I usually require rough drafts to be 75% of the final essay count, so for an essay with 1000 words, the rough draft has to be 750 words. That shows them from the beginning that for the potential for full credit, they will have to do some work between the rough and the final drafts. In my classes, students originally enroll in a rough draft course and a final draft course, with drafts being submitted to the corresponding courses.

Taking Ownership of Your Education


Fourth installment of the plagiarism blog series, "Rethinking How We Discuss Plagiarism" by Jennifer Schroeder, Associate Professor of Biology, Millikin University

Jennifer-Schroeder-square Students are much more likely to plagiarize if they don’t understand a topic, or if they feel no connection to the subject matter they are working on. I see this all too often in my non-majors courses, so I’ve had to develop strategies to make the topics more relatable to the student. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to allow the students to have more freedom in selecting their topics.

A Fresh Perspective on Recommendation Letters

Guest classroom practices blog post written by David Sawyer, AP English Literature/British Literature at Brentwood Academy

20140820-DavidSawyerThe college counseling office at my school is so organized that all juniors are required to request teachers to write recommendations for them by the spring of the year. Once teachers have agreed to write these letters, we have until early September to turn them in to the college counselors. I have been writing such letters for over thirty years, and I am always trying to make each letter sound authentic and personal. But it is only recently that I discovered what a friend I have in Turnitin when it comes to adding color to these recommendations.

Peer Review Strategies that Work

Third installment of blog series, "Turnitin Strategies in the Writing Process" by Mary Lawson, Professor of English at Houston Community College

20140820-MaryLawsonI change my mind frequently about peer review. I know it has some inherent problems: Students don’t know enough to effectively critique each others’ essays; students don’t want to “be mean” and so often leave ineffective comments; grading the process is problematic, etc. I do believe, however, that peer review also has some inherent benefits: Students are able to see the thoughts of their classmates; students are often more effective at peer review than they think; students are able to practice critical analysis skills; students are able to read “real” student writing and mimic language and style. Yes, there will always be those students who do a poor job, but the benefits are important. If we never ask students to try, we will never know what they are capable of.

Strong Start: Ensuring Alignment at the Beginning of the Semester

Classroom practices quick tip by Elizabeth Jones, Professor of Business at Notre Dame of Maryland University

20140820-ElizabethJones-1Some tasks seem never ending, but up-front preparation can help. At the beginning of every term, I review all syllabi in my department to ensure alignment between objectives and assignments. This gives me an opportunity to see what my colleagues have planned and provides the perfect opportunity to make sure our departmental goals are reflected in the assignments. If we get it right, this year our university and program goals will be measurable in our course rubrics. Over the past months, my colleagues and I have worked together on a variety of rubrics in the business curriculum in order to align them with our university’s mission as well as our program. Like many, we have found the AAC&U VALUE rubrics to be of great help. Turnitin has the AAC&U rubrics already built, which made it easy for several colleagues to craft our own by customizing the pre-built rubrics.

See AACU Value Rubrics


Taming the Plagiarism Beast

Plagiarism strategies blog series by Audrey Wick, English Professor at Blinn College

audrey-wick-squareWhen students plagiarize, many instructors get angry. And rightly so: students are not learning (or, perhaps, simply not demonstrating or not caring about) what they are supposed to be learning. A flash of Incredible Hulk-like rage may make you want to smash your computer screen--but don't. Breathe.

And breathe again.

Now, while there are morality issues in regard to why students plagiarize, focusing exclusively on those may be misguided. There seems to be promise in approaching plagiarism from communication and development avenues.

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