Have you ever wondered if students bother to read the feedback that you so carefully provide them with? Have you ever been overloaded with providing formative feedback that students can use without necessarily engaging more deeply with your advice?
In this case study, Maggie Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management in NBS, reflects on how addressing this issue through the CAIeRO process changed her pedagogical approach to the provision of formative feedback/feedforward and how the Journal tool can be used to encourage earlier student engagement and increase individual learner responsibility.
The day was split into two main parts – an update on the roadmap and two case studies from Turnitin users:
December 2011 – Blackboard Direct to be released. This will be an enhanced version of Turnitin for Blackboard users
Spring 2012 – Ability to grant extensions, expanded rubric, audio comments (record and playback on pc and tablets)
Summer 2012 – Better Analytics and reporting
Winter 2012 – Translated matching – checks matching over languages – online grading for iPad and android devices.
iParadigms offer a range a training sessions to support users of their tools the full list is available at: http://www.plagiarismadvice.org/advice
Question and Answer Session with iParadigms
For interest, Barry Calvert noted that Wikipedia had the highest number of matches from all systems – 12% of all matches.
Multiple access for groups in Grademark is planned but no release date yet
There was a question over the single quote marks being included – this seems to be a UK issue and we need to vote for this on the feedback forum
Non numeric grade scales also appear to be a UK issue only and can also be voted for in the feedback forum.
Case Study 1 – Efficacy of turnitin in support for an institutional policy – Simon Starr – Canterbury Christ Church
Simon suggested the following guidelines for Turnitin use:
- Educate first – punish second
- All information should be up front
- Use in a formative manner first to allow for time on rich feedback after this the policy at CCC indicates that it may be used summatively.
From his research he noted that students mainly feel that Turnitin is about detection and policy rather than about education. Some students felt that the use of Turnitin separates students who try to write and reference correctly and those who do not.
Simon noted that students still had problems interpreting originality reports. He noted that Oxford Brookes have created some good videos which may be of use – noted that these are currently being updated at https://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/ce6/Turnitin+help.
He noted that most student information comes from the tutors rather than any central guidance. This shows the importance of tutors having correct and up to date knowledge of the tools.
Case Study 2 – Implementing Grademark – Lessons from Cardiff University – Nathan Roberts and Judy Cousins
Cardiff have about 50,000 papers submitted per year
Grademark is being used to address NSS scores at Cardiff (Assessment Matters project)
The project has shown how a technologist and an academic working together can achieve more than either alone.
They had to provide many training sessions for the assessors on Grademark – these worked best when the actual assessment was due. If the training was done too early then information was not retained. It was noted that the technologist role was crucial at this point.
Each school developed their own rubrics within Grademark – these were checked through the quality committees.
It was found that students liked Grademark – finding it equitable and clear
Cardiff had technical problems with Internet Explorer / Grademark – they advised staff to use firefox !!
Students liked the annotation facility – however they did not like comments such as good/bad without further feedback.
Assessors were all very positive about grademark – it was noted that this could save up to 30% in time with better feedback. Some technical problems slowed this down E.g. NHS assessor had problems access the Grademark tool.
The team noted that modertation and second marking is a problem – they do not have a solution yet. It was also noted that assessors wanted a spell check facility.
Despite the reservations listed above it was stressed that Grademark generally works well and was valued by staff and students.
Since NILE was formally established in 2002, the system has developed organically based on staff and student feedback. To date NILE has not been linked with other institutional systems, and this has sometimes caused confusion both at module and user level – modules listed on this system often did not have the same name or code as that held elsewhere within the University, and passwords and email addresses used for NILE have not been consistent with those used for other systems. The Learning Technology team have been monitoring these issues, and QNIG (QLS / NILE Integration Group) was set up to address them, and starting this summer, a programme of improvements will begin.
A number of comments have been received based around the following points:
- Some users have reported issues with logging into NILE because their password is different to that used on other systems.
- Some users have reported that they have not received communications being sent out by NILE via email, because of a mismatch in email address. Some users also report that they have received information from courses and modules which they are no longer taking, because they are not automatically removed from NILE sites.
- Students often have problems finding their correct modules on NILE, as the site may not have the name they were expecting or is listed inside another course site. Students appreciate being added in advance to the sites they need on NILE, so that they don’t need to search for them, but for staff, adding students to sites can be a long task.
- Staff sometimes need sites at the field or course level rather than just at the module level, and sometimes sites which do not fit with any of the course, field or module descriptions (for example: a site for particular project activity).
- Students are currently removed from NILE sites each year which means that they will lose access to previously used materials unless they are separately saved. Again, the process of removing students from sites is time consuming for staff.
- Staff would like to make better use of the information held in the Grade Centre in NILE, as some of this contains information which also needs to be located on the student record system.
As a result of the feedback above, a number of actions are now being taken forward in a phased process:
Phase 1 (2 / 3 August 2011)
The usernames, passwords and email addresses held in NILE will be linked to the central identity management system. When a user changes their centrally held password or email address then this will be automatically updated on NILE.
Phase 2 (piloting Jun – Dec 2011)
New sites on NILE will be named with a specific ID which matches exactly with that held on the student record system. The ID will define the module, field or course; the cohort (e.g. Autumn, Spring or Summer); and the year of activity.
Any requested site which is not specifically related to a module, field or course will be set up on an ad hoc basis by the Learning Technology team, and normally listed under the Organisation section of NILE rather than within the Module tab.
Once the pilot is complete and any issues have been addressed, this will be rolled out for all NILE sites. Existing course and module sites will be recreated with new codes, and sites not related to taught courses or modules will be moved to organisations. Once this is done we should be able to proceed to automatically enrol students onto the course and module sites they need.
The specific setup of the sites will also mean that a new site will be created for each different cohort and each new year. The implications for this on storage are currently being assessed but this should mean that students could have access to previously taken modules and courses. The setup of new sites will mean that there is no need for staff to manage site enrolments, and communication to specific cohorts will be easier.
Phase 3 (2012 onwards)
Pilots will be undertaken to look at how Grade Centre data from NILE may be passed directly into the student record system. This will potentially speed up student access to grades and reduce administration.
If you have any comments or questions on the above then please email Rob.Howe@northampton.ac.uk
This guide is based on discussion and contributions by the E-learning and the First Year Student Experience (ELFYSE) special interest group (SIG).
Bringing together the areas of e-learning and student transition, retention and progression, this guide draws on both theory and practice to provide recommendations for and guidance to both academic and support staff on using learning technologies to support the first-year student experience. It is designed to help you think about ways of approaching and incorporating the use of learning technologies to support and enhance your students’ first-year experience.
Our own Learning Technologist, Julie Usher has contributed to two of the articles which have been included:
“Addressing issues of plagiarism in the first year” and “Easing cultural transition through peer-to-peer interactions”
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