Two Districts, Two Tools, and One Innovative Way to use Turnitin

Turnitin’s Feedback Studio and Revision Assistant are two different tools designed to support writers throughout the writing process. This year at CUE Fall in American Canyon, we will hear from three teachers hailing from two very different districts— Newport-Mesa Unified School District and Nicolet High School District—on how they have used these tools to inform the work of Professional Learning Communities.

Newport-Mesa utilized PLCs to ensure that students across their diverse district were receiving the same high-quality education. District-wide PLCs offered English teachers from multiple sites the opportunity to come together and assess students on aligned writing assignments. However, grading these mass assignments proved to be a challenge. Hand-scoring thousands of papers over summer months led to teacher fatigue, which in turn resulted in inconsistent scoring and a lack of calibration from teacher to teacher and site to site. Consequently, it was difficult to produce quality data to drive pedagogy and the PLCs were not realizing their full potential.

Once Newport-Mesa began using Revision Assistant to assess student writing across the district, the PLCs were invigorated. The normed essay scores and automatic data provided by Revision Assistant brought new energy and dynamism to the PLCs. Time previously spent on scoring and calibrating writing assessments by hand, was now dedicated to meaningful conversations about pedagogy and effective teaching practices. Thanks to Revision Assistant, the teachers at Newport-Mesa were able to focus on real-life conversations about student work and student writing.

Like Newport-Mesa Unified, Nicolet High School District used the PLC model to ensure equitable learning for all their students. This commitment to equity across not only Nicolet High School but also its feeder districts required a shared definition of excellence and strategies for putting this definition into practice. Feedback Studio, which allows teachers to use the same rubrics when assessing student work,  made this possible..

Nicolet High School uploaded their rubrics to Feedback Studio and created QuickMark sets, reusable drag-and-drop comments, aligned to the rubric criteria and standards. This empowered all teachers to communicate with students using a common language. Once students were assessed, the Grademark report allowed teachers to generate both qualitative and quantitative data about student performance. This data became the focal point of the PLCs and teachers used it to inform intervention and enrichment needs. The common language established in the PLCs even began to rub off on students; rubric criteria framed student reflections and goal-setting.

Newport-Mesa Unified and Nicolet High School approached Turnitin’s tools with an innovative teacher lens, and, as a result of their forward-thinking methods, supercharged their PLCs. Learn more about how to power your PLCs with Turnitin at CUE Fall 2017.