eMarking tips & advice: Turnitin | Blackboard Assignments

This information is relevant to staff involved in marking work online

Over the next few weeks, many staff will be marking work which has been submitted via Blackboard or Turnitin.

To avoid any issues, please consult our E-marking essentials page, which provides essential information for anyone marking coursework and returning feedback to students online.

The page covers all aspects of assessment using Turnitin, Blackboard Assignments, and the Grade Centre:

  1. Preparing to mark online
  2. Marking assignments
  3. Moderation
  4. Releasing feedback and marks to students

 

There’s a few points we’d particularly like to highlight:

EMA Early Adopter Schools (APD & SAGES)

If you are in one of the Early Adopter Schools you will have been provided with specific guidance on e-marking and feedback. That information overrides the generic guidance on our support page.

 

Turnitin

Although you should be able to use Turnitin with all major browsers, advice received from Turnitin engineers and other institutions suggests that Firefox is the most reliable browser to use when providing feedback using the Feedback Studio.

If you do experience any technical issues with Turnitin over the Christmas closure period, you can contact Turnitin Support directly for help.

 

Blackboard Assignments

In January, we will be transitioning to a slightly different interface for providing online feedback on work submitted to a Blackboard assignment. Details can be found in this post on the TEL blog.

Instructors on a course with a Blackboard assignment due in December or early January, should already have been contacted with details of this change and what to do.

 

If you have any queries, please log them via the IT Self-Service portal.

 

Avoid using commas in the title of Turnitin assignments

We have recently become aware of a minor issue when exporting marks from a Turnitin Assignment.

This issue only arises

  • when using Google Chrome (but this is generally our preferred browser)
  • for Turnitin Assignments which have a comma in their title

 

So there’s a simple solution: don’t use commas in the title of your Turnitin Assignments.

Strangely, other punctuation marks seem to be OK – it’s just commas which cause a problem.

TEL Consultations

Would you like specific advice on your teaching practice using technology? Are you interested in finding out how you could:

  • Engage and support your students?Discussion
  • Enhance your teaching practice
  • Overview your module/course?

The TEL team are available to meet with you individually for an in-depth discussion and advice on your specific needs. The consultations are 30 min 1-to-1 sessions with a member of the team and are designed to provide you with advice and support on the effective use of technology in your teaching.

What topics can we advise on?

Continue reading

Turnitin enhancement: Timeout setting revised

Turnitin updated Feedback Studio on 14th December.

The most important improvement appears to be this one:

“Fixed an issue where instructors were getting timed out of the Feedback Studio if marking student work for over an hour”.
https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Administrator_Guides/Feedback_Studio_Success_Kit/Feedback_Studio_Release_Notes

We believe that this timeout issue may have accounted for issues experienced recently by a few staff at Reading.

As we understand the situation, leaving feedback within the Feedback Studio window was – incorrectly – not being counted as activity, with the result that staff could be logged out of Turnitin when they had been marking for 60 minutes. This has now been fixed.

User activity within the Feedback Studio window (e.g. key stokes and mouse clicks) will now reset the timeout clock. Therefore, the 60 minute timeout should now affect only those users who have the Feedback Studio window open for over 60 minutes without clicking or writing comments.

Continue reading

Suggested solutions if you encounter any issues when marking in Turnitin Feedback Studio

Here are some suggestions for staff marking student work using Turnitin Feedback Studio, in case you encounter any technical issues.

Very occasionally, you might find that

  • you are not able to save comments
  • you are not able to open previously saved comments
  • the Feedback Studio screen freezes.

If you do experience any of these problems, we believe that the simplest way to resolve them is to switch back to the old Turnitin interface, ‘Turnitin Classic’.

There is a link to do this at the bottom of the Feedback Studio window.

return to Turnitin Classic

(for more detail see our Feedback Studio User Guide)

 

You may also be able to avoid problems with the Feedback Studio by clearing your browser cache:

IE11
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17438/windows-internet-explorer-view-delete-browsing-history
Chrome
https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en
Firefox
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache
Safari
https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=45060

 

Finally, these issues may be related to Turnitin’s 60-minute timeout.

A Turnitin user session will not remain active indefinitely… Continue reading

Supporting your new students to use Blackboard – help is available!

Welcome Week 2016 is now less than a week away! It’s an ideal opportunity to introduce your new students to Blackboard and show them how to submit assignments online and where to find self-help materials. You’ll be pleased to hear that the TEL team have produced some customisable PowerPoint resources to help you to do this. Visit Blackboard’s Support for Staff tab where you’ll find a section called ‘Resources to use with your students’, as shown.

Support for Staff tab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you’ll find PowerPoint resources ready for you to amend to suit and help you support your students in their use of Blackboard:

Resources to use with students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please also remember to signpost your students to Blackboard’s Support for Students tab for links to guides and help materials on all aspects of using Blackboard and Turnitin in their studies.

If students are unable to self-help using these resources and you find yourself unable to advise, they can contact staff in the relevant Student Support Centre or can get in touch directly with the IT Helpdesk by emailing it@reading.ac.uk.

We hope you find these resources and reminders helpful and wish you every success in the new term!

TEL CQSD