Looking at the systems, we see two very different styles and techniques when it comes to providing feedback. Both come packing punches in the arena with comment libraries, accumulative scoring and marking, feedback mechanisms, and inbuilt rubrics. While one system throws a hefty haymaker in handling assessment documents, the other offers speed and agility for assessing groups and collaborative work.
Turnitin as an online assessment and feedback system has a ton of highly desirable features for those with heavy workloads or those who do not like paper. The key advantage of this tool is it handles actual assessment submissions. This is something I’ve written about previously in tools for assessments where I explored the assessment set up and submission process. Here, I look more closely at feedback and marking. Nonetheless, it’s a big feature of Turnitin that REVIEW lacks, and boy does it build on it! Turnitin allows assessors to open and grade on top of papers. This feature means grammatical or citing errors can be actually highlighted in the paper, allowing students to see exactly where they erred. In addition to this, there is the ability to highlight sentences and provide linked comments in order provide really detailed feedback. This is a small, albeit very useful function. But there is more to this function than meets the eye!
Quickmarks is a feature in Turnitin that allows you to accumulate and create libraries of comments you tend to use on a regular basis. This feature allows you to drag and drop any of the comments from the library onto submitted work. This makes marking fast, easy and very informative to students. Quickmarks can be saved and used over and over and over again. Furthermore, all of these little comments can be explicitly tied into the rubric system. What’s that? A rubric system; hello!
Turnitin has an amazing Rubric system. It can be a little clunky and cumbersome in the initial setup, but it’s awesome! The ability to tie feedback to the rubric allows students to see why they didn’t pass rather than just telling them they failed, or what students did well to obtain that extra mark or two to get the high distinction. It helps the learning process. Highly recommended. There are other features to go through, however, they require a bit more of a show and tell, which I will cover in my Turnitin Workshop. There is one feature missing from Turnitin – Group Marking. Given collaboration is a big drive at UTS, group marking is a big let down. This is where REVIEW comes into its own.
- Quickmark libraries allow for easy streamlined marking
- There is an iPad app for commuters wants to mark papers on the way home
- Rubric system integrate with commenting
- Handles assessment submissions
- Does not do group assessment
- Does not allow for collaborative comment libraries, ie, you can’t share your Quickmark libraries
- Rubric is tricky to set up (but is very worth doing)
REVIEW also has a lot of features. However, the key feature for assessment and feedback is IT HANDLES GROUP ASSESSMENT! So good. Group output is assessed from one interface and the feedback goes to all members of that group. It requires some initial setup insofar as putting the actual groups together, but it makes marking large cohorts a dream, as assessors can still draw on a shared comment library.
The shared comment library in REVIEW allows for all assessors and markers to draw on a single comment library to rapid and consistent feedback. This too is a strength of REVIEW that Turnitin does not offer. Shared comment libraries mean assessors can utilise comments that have been built over time. The common errors and mistakes made by students are already developed. Turnitin’s Quickmarks just can’t compete. In this light, REVIEW has its own haymaker.
One special feature of REVIEW that gives it an edge over Turnitin is how tasks are tied to graduate attributes. This affords students the ability to see how they are performing in their subject against their graduate attributes. It also allows students to see what kind of graduate attributes the subject leans towards as part of assessment. This means a lot of flexibility for creative assessment design. There is a workshop coming up run by our very own REVIEW guru Phil Mills, be sure to register and come along as there are limited spaces!
- Comment libraries allow for shared and team marking
- Integrate graduate attributes for assessment marking
- Rubric system integrate with commenting
- Does not handle assessment submissions
- Can be tricky setting up graduate attributes if your subject is ‘borrowed’ by another faculty
- Rubric is also tricky to set up (but is also very worth doing)
It’s hard to say which system is better or worse. They both have strengths and weaknesses that are ultimately up to you to discover. I’m sure I’ve missed some key features of both systems, so please leave a comment if you think I’ve missed the mark, or left anything critical out.