Thursday, June 16, 2016

Using Turnitin to Help Developmental Students

Taken from: Jennifer Haber, Professor of Communications, Turnitin.

When I first found out about Turnitin years ago, I used it strictly as a way to check students’ writings for plagiarism. It would give me an originality percentage, and I was able to identify if students had used sources and cited correctly. But, two years, I realized that Turnitin was much more powerful than I had originally thought, and I began using it in different ways. In fact, Turnitin became a means of providing feedback and having students work through writing as a process. I found this feedback particularly important in my developmental classes. The students needed quality feedback that was clear and focused. They also needed to understand that writing is a process—not just a product. So, I used Turnitin with my developmental students for our three-step process.


I gave the students a topic early in the semester and then had them submit their rough drafts to Turnitin. Once I retrieved their papers from Turnitin, I would provide feedback in three main areas: focus, development, and organization. I would provide students with detailed comments on their papers. For instance, I might write, “I see that you made the point that dogs make good pets, but I didn’t see an example to show me why.” Using the audio component, I would then tell the students what I wanted them to focus for their next submission. Read More...