- to support students in developing their academic writing, including how to use and reference sources;
- to help detect poor academic writing practice, including plagiarism, when it does occur;
- as one alternative via Moodle to manage all stages of the assessment process, including submission, marking and returning work;
- to provide legible and contextualised feedback which students can refer to in future work. These can be 'bubble comments', and/or from a set of frequently-made comments, and/or an optional recorded spoken message.
- for record keeping (both for students and staff).
What are the benefits?
How can I set up a Turnitin Assignment, step-by-step?
See our step-by-step guidance to setting up Turnitin Assignments in your Moodle area.
For the following reasons, ELE Digital Education cannot offer support to departments whose problems arise due to using a single Moodle space for assignments from across the department. We simply do not have sufficient resource to support this practice.
- Potentially very slow page load times as Turnitin pulls in data for every student in the Moodle area. This is true for the Moodle area front page, and for each Turnitin instance, which has to load data for a massive cohort every time.
- If the Assignment isn't in the course area, how will students know/remember it exists and be reminded of their deadlines? Moodle won't be able to help you remind them because there won't be link to it in the course's Activities block, or Calendar, or Upcoming Events. It will look as though there are no assignments set up for that module - because there aren't, they're in a central area. This subverts the aspects of Moodle course areas designed to be student-friendly, and instead turns Moodle into something arcane and difficult at the student face.
- During the submission period students' personal Moodle Calendar page (if enabled) will become bloated with irrelevant information about other students' Assignment deadlines. The page will load more slowly. Students are consequently prone to become disaffected with Moodle's Calendar and stop looking at it, missing the relevant information.
- Students’ Gradebook - the record of their feedback and marks which ideally is available for them to feed into future work - will be similarly bloated with irrelevant information and its page will load more slowly. These things combined will militate against students actually using the feedback their markers have taken the time and effort to give them.
- Students may be disorientated, since the information they need to succeed in their assignment (e.g. criteria, readings, notes) is likely to be on that course’s own learn.gold page, not on the central page. And if it is on the central page, that means it must either be duplicated for the course area (extra maintenance each time it changes) or there needs to be an explicit signpost to it from the course area. Students are prone to disorientation - this comes out very strongly from our evaluations.
- Another cause of disorientation, students won't be able to use the Navigation bar to return to the front page of their course area - they will have to navigate via their My Home page.
- Teachers’ view of the Gradebook will be inundated with irrelevant entries for other colleagues' students and assignments. It will be very slow to load, and they will spend a lot of time scrolling through the superfluous information. In addition they will not conveniently be able to see which of their students have submitted, and which haven’t. Yes, somebody could set up Groups to mitigate this - but that's an extra thing to do.
- Many Students submitting to a single course area increases the likelihood of submitting to the wrong Assignment by mistake. If using Turnitin, it is a very time-consuming process to contact Turnitin and request that they delete the paper from their server so that it can be resubmitted to the correct place. Last year ELE Core Services team spent around 25 hours on thisany assignments submitted to the wrong inbox need to then be checked and then manually unmatched by department staff, to avoid a high percentage being returned incorrectly in the originality report.
- What about linking directly from a module Moodle area to the precise location of the particular Turnitin assignment? That might help students find their assignment but it doesn't change the fact that Turnitin has to load huge amounts of irrelevant student data, meaning the page still loads very slowly.
- Many in a Tutor role marking in a single course area increases the likelihood of mistakes e.g. if editing the grades directly in the Gradebook.
- The shared Moodle area will have a huge cohort of students. This makes it difficult to check who has submitted against who should have submitted and take measures accordingly. Enabling blind marking / anonymity exacerbates this.
- Inefficiences and confusion with External Examiners - who may need to take their own samples of marked work - being presented with irrelevant records in the Gradebook.
- In some cases it increases the possibility of enrolment errors - a student may be successfully enrolled on the 'main' course, but only find out at the last minute that they don't have access to the 'submission' course.
- The Portico Enrolment block is not designed to accommodate large numbers of individual modules; after a certain number (varies according to the number of parameters in each record) it simply refuses to take any more.
- In cases where a wide net is cast, with staff enrolling students from across a department including students who are not actually due to take the assessments, the irrelevant Moodle space displays in students' My Courses page and can be extremely confusing.
ELE Digital Education understands the pressures on staff which make it tempting to put all Assignments in one place. But the fact remains - this doesn't work well for markers, students or Moodle. Talk with ELE Digital Education about alternatives which recognise that staff and students need to protect their time and balance competing needs.