By Domi C Sinclair, on 22 February 2013
Turnitin is a text-matching service used to detect possible instances of plagiarism in written work. Many academics and students use the system at UCL via Moodle for submitting and grading assignments. Last week TurnitinUK, the company responsible for the Turnitin system outside of North America held a user group where they gave an update of their road map, and some exciting new features.
Although they did include dates, these are subject to change and so I won’t mention them in this blog post, instead I’ll simply include the quarter and year they should be released (although it is still important to note that this information comes from TurnitinUK and UCL has no control over whether they adhere to schedule).
New features fro 2013
The first announcement for spring 2013 is the release of a Turnitin iPad app which will be available for free from the App Store. This will facilitate offline marking of assignments, on the iPad device. Unfortunately there are no plans for offline marking on any other devices including Android, PCs and laptops. The Turnitin users, including UCL, have told TurnitinUK that offline marking would be highly value on other platforms.
Summer 2013 will see the release of a number of new features, this will hopefully mean that we can have them ready for the next academic year, however this depends on Turnitin releasing the updates on time so that we can test everything before installing it for tutors and students to use. Some of the features scheduled for summer 2013 release are PeerMark, which can be accessed through the document viewer like the originality report and GradeMark. It allows students to mark each other’s work as part of either formative or summative peer assessment. Turnitin has also said it should be possible to bulk download anonymous assignments from summer 2013 as part of an upgrade. Another advertised new feature is the ability to see who hasn’t submitted and email them, although it was unclear how this will work with anonymous assignments.
Towards the end of 2013, or possibly the start of 2014 Turnitin have announced they will release a Multiple Grader feature, which would allow markers to create ‘review layers’ on assignments. This should mean that graders can choose whether to mark on top of an existing review layer, or to start a new layer, which would permit double blind marking. However as this upgrade is not scheduled until the end of 2013 it may not be possible to add it to the system until after Christmas, but possibly not until Easter.
Coming in 2014
There are also new features planned for 2014 already, again we will monitor their progress and review them on our own systems once they are released. One of the upgrades scheduled for next year is being referred to as ‘Formative’ , a feature that supports the formative use of Turnitin including remembering drafts and allowing drafts to be easily compared against one another or a final submission.
If you have any questions about any of the planned updates, or anything else relating to Turnitin or GradeMark please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.