Many academics across the HE sector are familiar with Turnitin and GradeMark. It is a suite of tools used for assessment, mainly electronic marking and delivering feedback to students for their submitted assignments. It also includes very useful features such as the Originality Report, PeerMarking and Revision Assignments.
As you may know Cardiff University is getting ready to switch on the new Feedback Studio during the summer. Feedback Studio is new product replacing the old GradeMark tool, so this is something to bear in mind for the new academic year.
There’s no need to panic!
Feedback Studio retains all of the tools that were previously available to you to provide feedback or check originality. These can now be used via a set of ‘Instructor Feedback’ and ‘Similarity’ buttons that you can choose to enable using the new Layers feature.
Feedback Studio combines Grademark and originality report into a single set of features accessed from a simple menu when viewing a student’s submissions. It has been designed to provide a clear and simple interface for you to check originality and mark online. We feel that the tool is much more responsive in terms of layout, which will be an improvement for our staff.
Feedback Studio is still accessed and created in the same way and there is no change to the design of the assignment inbox. The main change is to the document viewer interface (see the demo). There is also a very helpful interface overview (created by University of Reading) which is available to view.
The instructor and student views of submitted papers are now more simple and clear. The marker can easily switch between the similarity layer and the grading layer, making it easier to provide feedback. The grading tools are also very simple to use. Simply click anywhere on the paper and provide an in-line comment, bubble comment or place a Quickmark from your set.
The summary of changes are:
1. The document viewer is now mobile friendly. As I mentioned earlier in the post, the tool is much more responsive in terms of layout, which we are confident that staff will see as an improvement. Feedback Studio will be able to respond to your device, be it a desktop, tablet or mobile. (To mark offline, you will still have to use the Turnitin app)
2. The originality/similarity report and Grademark tools are now available as layers. Using layers mean that you can keep the originality report turned on while you mark, so no more switching between views. These layers can be switched on and off depending on your marking preference.
3. Comment tools are available at one click. For those of you who have used the iPad app, this will feel very familiar. All of the annotation tools, including text comments, bubble comments and your QuickMark sets are available by left-clicking on the paper once. Your QuickMark sets are also available via the tool area on the right as well. You can even select portions of text and apply a Quickmark, bubble comment or strikethrough automatically, which was not possible in the previous version. Bubble comments and text comments now allow basic text editing options such as adding hyperlinks, so that you can now refer your students to online resources (or even a self recorded Panopto video if you wish!).
4. Rubrics are easier for students to find. The rubric has been re-positioned so that it’s now one of the first things that students see when they review their feedback. It displays directly above the general comments If the student clicks on the rubric, they can see the criteria you have awarded to them.
5. The rubric tool for instructors has had a minor makeover. The rubric now has sliders (B) instead of the old numbered checkboxes. If you haven’t seen the full screen feature, we would recommend taking a look at the full screen mode for selecting criteria (A), as it gives an extended viewing experience when using several columns.
6. Better navigation accessibility for tools. Access to the tools (on the right-hand side) can now be keyboard navigated, and can also be read by screen readers. Unfortunately, the text within the student paper, QuickMarks, free comments and inline text are not accessible using a screen reader. Currently, where screen reader support is needed, alternative arrangements should be made for feedback delivery (i.e a written document overview or audio feedback). The similarity report does have a version which can be accessed via a screen reader.
7. Changes to in-paper navigation and guidance for eMarking. The comments list feature has been removed from the Feedback Studio. This means that the students need to locate the comments themselves (by either scrolling through the paper or by using the page navigation tool on the left to move through the pages).
8. Questions about multiple markers within Feedback Studio. There is a multiple markers feature within Feedback Studio. This is currently in beta version and we are now testing it’s functionality at Cardiff University. We will let you know as soon as possible if this tool will be made available.
The assignment inbox has not changed, nor has the way that you access the assignments via the inbox. We believe you’ll find the new interface valuable. Please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information or support on Feedback Studio. You can also find comprehensive instructor guidelines and manuals on the Turnitin web pages (links below).