Seeing the Light! Turnitin Acquires LightSide Labs to Enable Students, Empower Educators and Improve Instruction

Turnitin Acquires LightSide Labs to Enable Students, Empower Educators and Improve Instruction

We are extremely excited to announce our recent acquisition of LightSide Labs!

Founded in 2012 by Elijah Mayfield, LightSide has developed a state-of-the-art formative feedback technology that complements and supports Turnitin’s existing suite of tools. LightSide Labs’ Revision Assistant uses a machine scoring algorithm to automatically generate specific and actionable feedback for students on their writing during the writing process. There just is not enough time in the day to provide students with formative and timely feedback. Revision Assistant answers that problem by providing personalized, poignant feedback to students while instructors teachers receive actionable data on students’ progress.

Access Product Roadmap and Release Notes

The "Roadmap" button was formerly known as the feedback button and was previously only available from the instructor or administrator pages within the class management interface of Turnitin. We have renamed the link to "Roadmap" and added the button to the top of the document viewer for instructors. The roadmap button in the document viewer will take instructors to Turnitin's UserVoice forum where they can give feedback, vote on suggestions, view the Turnitin roadmap, and view the release notes for past, current, and upcoming trains.

What will the Roadmap button look like?

The "Roadmap" button is a black button that appears at the top of the document viewer.

View Roadmap

Clicking on the roadmap button will take the instructor into UserVoice.

Import Rubrics from Excel

Import rubrics from Excel is the ability to upload a .xls or .xslx file to the Turnitin rubric/form manager in order to create a new rubric.  

What rules must the imported rubric follow?

The Excel file must follow these rules:

  • The file must be a .xls or .xlsx file
  • Only one rubric can be uploaded per Excel file  
  • The rubric in the spreadsheet must have the scales of the rubric as its first row
  • The rubric in the spreadsheet must have the criteria of the rubric as its first column
  • If included, criteria descriptions should be in the same cells as the criteria titles separated by a line break
  • Descriptors for the body of the rubric can be included
  • Criteria titles must be 13 characters or less
  • Grading formulas will not be imported with the Excel file
  • Numerical values cannot be imported.  If you would like to use numerical values, add them to the rubric after import using the rubric/form manager.

An example template for constructing your rubric in Excel is available from the import rubric screen.

Class Tagging

Class tagging is the addition of fields to indicate the level and subject area for the class when creating or editing classes in Turnitin. Class tagging will allow the service to begin to compile useful data about classes in anticipation of a future addition of Turnitin analytics.

New Mark-Criterion Association in Turnitin

Mark-criterion association is the ability to associate marks (bubble comments or QuickMark® comments) on the document with criteria in the rubric or grading form in Turnitin. The association will appear both on the mark and on the criterion in the rubric or grading form.

Both instructors an students will see the association between marks and criteria.

The criteria selection list on the mark

If a rubric or grading form is attached to the assignment, every bubble comment and QuickMark comment added to a submission will include an option to associate the mark with a criterion from the assignment's rubric or grading form.

Criteria Selection List

The collapsed view of a mark with an associated criterion

An indication that the mark is associated with a criterion will also appear on the collapsed view of the mark on the document.

Collapsed View of a Mark with an Associated Criterion

New Grading Forms in Turnitin

Grading FormRubrics are a great way to consistently and objectively evaluate student work—but lets face it, rubrics can be time-consuming when what you really want to do is quickly evaluate student work based on a set of predefined criteria or learning goals.

Turnitin’s new Grading Forms are simple rubrics that allow an instructor to give free-form feedback and scores for students broken out across a list of criteria.

Instructors can create grading forms from the Rubric/Form Manager in GradeMark or in their Turnitin class libraries. To create a grading form simply select "create new grading form" from the menu in their Rubric/Form Manager. The instructor will then be able to create a list of criteria and enter an optional description for each criterion. The instructor can set whether to use scoring in the grading form. If scoring is used, a score field will appear for each criterion in the scorecard view of the grading form. After a grading form is created it can be attached to an assignment in the same manner as a rubric.

Support for Internet Explorer 8 Ends in July

Internet Explorer 8 iconMany companies and services, including Microsoft and Google, have or will be dropping support of older browsers and operating systems in 2014 so they can focus on modern user experiences including HTML 5, touch and offline capabilities.

At Turnitin, we are continually improving the experience of providing rich feedback on student work. As the internet, web browsers, devices, and Turnitin all evolve, Turnitin will follow the industry by ending support for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) browser starting in July 2014.

Turnitin for iPad: New Update Available

Turnitin for iPad PasscodeThere’s a new update to the Turnitin for iPad app (version 1.2.2) that will be available in the App Store today—Thursday, December 12, 2013. What’s new in this release:

  • Added mandatory four-digit passcode feature to securely manage access to grading.
  • Added welcome workflow to facilitate access for new users, depending on whether they typically access Turnitin via an integrated LMS and/or via Turnitin UK.
  • Made general bug fixes and performance improvements.

We want to specifically point out the new mandatory four-digit passcode feature. While we recommend everyone to use iPad’s native passcode function, this additional app-specific passcode was implemented to better protect the sensitive student information that is accessible via Turnitin for iPad.

Upcoming Submission Workflow Changes

In mid-January, we will be changing the assignment submission workflow for instructors and students. This change is specific to users submitting a single file to Turnitin from Turnitin.com, Submit.ac.uk, or select LMS integrations that offer a single-sign-on or a framed-in experience.

As we expand Turnitin’s accepted file types to include files that may have little or no text, we want to show an immediate image preview of the file being submitted. Below is the upcoming new submission workflow from a student perspective; instructors will have a similar experience:

First, the student fills out the Submission title field, and selects a file to upload (from local computer, Google Drive™, or Dropbox), then click the Upload button.

Step 1: Select File

After clicking upload, the student is shown a 'Processing' screen, with some additional information about the submission and assignment.

Coming Soon: New Login Page

Login PageIn early January 2014, we will be making a change to the Turnitin.com website, replacing the Sign In fields at the top of each webpage, with a Log In button. Clicking the Log In button will take users to a new login page where they can log in with their email address and password.

By removing the sign in fields from all of our web pages, it allows us to streamline our website and reduce load time. The new login page will also highlight new features, training resources, and helpful tips. Users can bookmark this new login page which will load faster and provide quick links to helpful resources.

Submit & Evaluate PowerPoint

Accept and Evaluate PowerPointStudents are often asked to demonstrate their knowledge and communication skills in various disciplines by giving presentations. Instructors and students can now submit PowerPoint presentation files to Turnitin to be checked for similarity and to give and get feedback with QuickMark® comments, voice comments, rubrics, and more.

PowerPoint files (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps) can be submitted via file upload, Google Drive™, or Dropbox and will be converted to a static PDF. The text and images on the slides will be visible and available for feedback in the Document Viewer and Turnitin for iPad® app; however any dynamic elements such as slide animations, transitions, presenter notes, and audio/video are not available.

Get Started

Ready to talk about getting Turnitin at your institution? Request a customized quote.