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WED: E-feedback - supporting teachers in their use of Turnitin and GradeMark (Lisa Hale)
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11 January 2016
At my current higher education institution, most student coursework is submitted and marked as a hard copy and findings of a recent in-house survey show that many students do not collect feedback on their summative assessed work. Why is this and what can we do as educators to change this?
Despite the importance of feedback to learning (Gibbs and Simpson, 2004), learners and tutors complain about feedback. Learners say that they cannot access their feedback easily enough or the feedback process takes too long, and then they are often unable to read their tutor’s handwriting, or feel the feedback should be more personalised and specific. The result? They do not collect it. Tutors say that their learners do not engage in the feedback process and complain that their learners do not collect their feedback from them. Tutors also say that it takes a significant amount of time to produce good written feedback.
Implementing an e-feedback policy could answer some of these issues. Learners can access their feedback at their convenience, read typed comments more easily, benefit from improved feedback through in-text annotations, comments and popup clarifications and advice which can give more specific and directed feedback, and also benefit from the use of audio feedback. Consequently, learners are more likely to access, read, and use their feedback to feed forward to future assignments. For tutors, an e-feedback policy is more efficient without the need to manage a considerable amount of paper. In addition, tutors can benefit from being able to provide quicker and improved feedback through the use of in-text comments and audio tools, which could engage learners more in their feedback and encourage further dialogue about their learning.
There are positive findings in the literature regarding the use of an innovative tool in Turnitin – GradeMark (Buckley and Cowap, 2013; Chew and Price, 2010). Turnitin is a software programme which helps learners and tutors to prevent plagiarism and supports best practices for the use and citation of other people’s material (Turnitin, 2010). GradeMark enables a tutor to mark work online (through Turnitin) and easily return feedback and marks to their learners. Institutions who are using this software and tool say that learners are more likely to read and reexamine their feedback due to its convenience.
In order to support tutors working with international students on a pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes course in their implementation of e-feedback, I am developing a series of specific support resources (for example How to guides). These will help me to provide consistent support to these tutors due to the high turnover of staff to meet the demands of, in particular, summer semester courses. Moreover, as these resources will be stored in an open access repository, tutors can return to them when needed.
In my multimedia conference presentation, I will briefly outline some of the issues surrounding feedback and how the implementation of e-feedback could address these concerns. Then I will show the repository that I have developed and some of the resources that I am creating.