Marking online – hints and tips

Are you marking coursework and returning feedback to your students online? Use the following tips and advice to make sure you make the most effective and efficient use of the tools.

This post includes some advice based on recent queries that we have received.

 

Read ‘e-Marking Essentials’

The e-Marking Essentials page in the staff help site provides key advice on what to do and how to avoid common pitfalls.

It includes advice on both the Blackboard Assignment and Turnitin tools and will be particularly useful for colleagues who are new to marking online.

Find out about:

 

Using Turnitin Assignments by Groups

Navigating between student papers

The Turnitin Assignments by Groups feature can be used where there are multiple markers, to allocate markers to student papers (even when Anonymity is turned on).

Do not use the navigation arrows to scroll through papers when you have a student’s paper open in the Feedback Studio.

Close the Feedback Studio window for that student’s work and open a new paper from the View Assignments by Group screen in Blackboard.

Screenshot of the top of the Feedback Studio window, indicating that you should not use the right and left arrows to scroll between papers.

NOTE: Using the left or right arrows at the top of the screen, will take you to the next student in the class as a whole and not the next student in the group you have been assigned to mark.

 

Anonymous marking and Turnitin Assignments by Groups

When anonymity is enabled,  the tool can still be used to filter the class list by Group, but you will not see any student names or the grades entered on the View Assignments by Groups screen.

 

Submitting scanned handwritten work to Turnitin

For Mathematical and Scientific notation that is marked online.

If your students need to submit scanned copies of handwritten work for you to mark online in Turnitin they MUST submit a file that includes at least 20 words of typed text in either their Word docx or PDF. This allows the file to be uploaded into Turnitin. You may wish to provide a standard coversheet template with the 20 words included to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students on submitting this type of work: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work. It includes instructions on how to add selectable typed text into a PDF.

Advice for staff: Setting up assignment submission points for scanned work.

 

The Grade Centre and anonymous marking

When Anonymous Marking is enabled, whether in Turnitin or on a Blackboard assignment, no information about grades or submissions is visible in the Grade Centre.

  • You cannot see which students have / have not submitted,
  • And you cannot see the grades that have been entered.

You cannot mark submissions for an anonymous Turnitin assignment from the Grade Centre. You should go via the main Turnitin assignment inbox. In your course, go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments (or Turnitin Assignments by Groups).

We recommend using this route to mark all Turnitin assignments, regardless of whether they are being marked anonymously.

 

Internal Moderation options

The way work is to be moderated may affect what first markers need to record, and where.

Module Convenors: please make sure you are familiar with the workflow and ensure that first markers have clear instructions on what you expect from them. The following pages offer guidance on a the different marking and moderation scenarios:

 

 

Students scanning handwritten work for submission to Turnitin

Who does this affect?

This is an important message for any staff who require their students to scan handwritten work – for example Mathematical or Scientific equations – and submit this to Turnitin.

This is likely to be relevant in subject areas such as Mathematics, Economics, Meteorology and the Sciences, and possibly on some Language courses.

 

When setting up a Turnitin assignment, it is possible to choose the ‘Accept any file type’ option, and students should then be able to submit files which won’t generate a Similarity Report, for instance a PDF containing only scanned images.

Recently, however, issues have arisen for

  • students attempting to submit files containing scanned work
  • staff wishing to mark such work using Turnitin Feedback Studio.

These issues have been raised with Turnitin Support, by us and by TEL staff at other Universities, and we are awaiting their response.

 

What can we do to avoid problems?

If you require students to submit scanned work to Turnitin, the key thing is to tell them to include at least 20 words of typed text in their Word document or PDF.

You may wish to provide a standard coversheet as a prompt, to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work 

If you, or your students, need additional guidance, please contact the TEL team via it@reading.ac.uk

TEL team meet our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair

Staff from the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team and Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) programme enjoyed meeting our new students at Welcome Week’s Academic Success Fair.  

Pic of Pete & Chris

Pete Moll (L) & Chris Johnson (R) from the TEL team

We had some great discussions with students about Blackboard (our Virtual Learning Environment, VLE), submitting work and accessing marks and feedback online. It was interesting to hear about students’ previous experiences of VLEs, both anecdotally and via a survey we ran on the day.

The headline survey results showed that 54% of students have used VLEs prior to joining UoR and 60% have submitted assignments or coursework online before. It’s worth noting that although many students have prior experience of using a VLE, only 19% have previously used Blackboard.

We have some really useful resources to help students who are new to Blackboard and/or online submissions. These can be found via Blackboard’s Help tab; there’s a searchable site containing helpful resources on all aspects of using Blackboard and Turnitin. 

Congratulations to the 8 winners of our survey prize draw – we’ve emailed you with details of how to collect your Amazon voucher prizes (kindly donated by Blackboard)!

The TEL team would like to wish all our new and returning students every success for the forthcoming year! 

Chris Johnson / Lauren McCann (CQSD TEL) 

More Turnitin enhancements

Turnitin logo

 

 

 

The Turnitin developers have been busy recently, with a number of enhancements now available to users – here’s a summary.

(Incidentally, you will see notifications of all new features if you follow @TurnitinProduct on Twitter).

Improved document resolution

Documents submitted to Turnitin are now displayed in the Feedback Studio as PDFs, rather than PNG image files. This has not changed Feedback Studio functionality at all, but has introduced a marked improvement in the clarity and readability of student papers – so a significant boon for markers.

Easier access to Turnitin classes for iPad App users

The way staff can gain access to Turnitin assignments via the iPad app changed recently and now sends an email to users – see our post Marking using Turnitin on your iPad? Time to update your app.

There are some scenarios in which markers might not be able to access their institutional email on the iPad they are using. To accommodate these users, Turnitin have made it possible to view the required ‘class access URL’ on any device – for details see the Turnitin Release Notes.

Text-Only Similarity Reports

The Feedback Studio is not fully accessible for those who need to use assistive technology, such as a screen reader. The Text-Only version is fully accessible, and access to this version has been improved – there is now a link to the ‘Text-only Report’ at the bottom of the Feedback Studio window.

See this Turnitin Feedback Studio guide for details.

Link to the Text-only Similarity Report

 

Turnitin Community

When you are viewing a Turnitin Assignment Inbox within your Blackboard course, you will now see a link to Community.

Link to the Turnitin Community site
This takes you to a recently launched online space at https://turnitin.forumbee.com where academics and other staff involved with Turnitin can ask questions and share experiences:

The Turnitin Educator Network (TEN) forum connects educators with a shared commitment to academic integrity. Members support one another by sharing learnings to grow as a global network of leaders in education.

It will be interesting to see how this forum develops. It could become a valuable space in which to share good practice, gain inspiration, and make your voice heard about all of the additional features you would dearly love to see added to Turnitin.

 

 

Marking using Turnitin on your iPad? Time to update your app

Turnitin iPad app logoTurnitin have just released a new version of their iPad app: Turnitin Feedback Studio for iOS.

Actually, it’s no longer strictly an iPad app, as you can also install it on your iPhone or iPod Touch – although we don’t recommend marking student essays on a really small screen.

 

 

Existing iPad app users

Important:
Please ensure that you have finished marking and sync’d all downloaded papers before updating your app.

If you are already a user of the app, and have added one or more Blackboard courses to your ‘Class List’ in the app, you can for the time being continue to mark submissions on those courses without updating the app.

However you will need to update to the new version before you can mark work submitted to any other Blackboard courses.

 

What’s New

There is a revised method for connecting up Turnitin assignments in Blackboard to the App.

Instead of generating an Access Code in order to access a Blackboard course via the app, you now request a link to be sent to your email address.

To make use of this link, you must be able to access that email on your iPad.

This process is a more practical solution. It replaces the need to have your iPad to hand when generating the code on your desktop, and then having to type in the long letter code.

For full details of the revised method, please see our updated guidance, (or the instructions on the Turnitin support site.)

The Release Notes also list a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements.

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.