The introduction of learning tools is a crucial component of any successful school year. Whether it’s how to handle math manipulatives in the early grades or how to locate higher ed course material online, students at every stage need clear explanations of class-related tools in order to thrive. (Refresher lessons are also a good idea to ensure comprehension and competence because, even if students have utilized a particular tool before, it doesn’t guarantee that they know how to use it effectively!)
And while some instruction lectures can feel tedious or tiresome, introducing Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS) doesn’t have to be. Below are five helpful tips on how to bring TFS to your classroom this year in an interesting and purposeful way:
- Set the stage for academic integrity. Students appreciate context: why is this particular topic or tool meaningful to them? Before jumping into how to use Feedback Studio, explain to students why they will be using it. A big-picture perspective on the importance of authentic learning connects students to the holistic value of this learning tool. Not sure what to say? Encourage students to take a short quiz on what plagiarism is or isn’t, then talk honestly about the topic. You can also check out this practical guide on how to promote academic integrity in the classroom, or share Issue One and Issue Two of our Integrity Matters Newsletter to start the conversation.
- Wow ‘em with words, pictures, and videos. As we all know, no two people learn alike. And while it’s helpful to write a thorough, how-to guide for students on TFS as a reference, sprinkling in actual screenshots amidst the text can help students to see and understand certain nuanced processes. Better yet, utilizing videos like this Student Quickstart Video or selecting from this playlist on YouTube, can spice up an introductory lesson with animated advice and make it even more memorable.
- Conduct a live upload and in-person analysis. What better way to teach students about Feedback Studio than going through it from start to finish? Assign students a paper topic with a low chance for matches, like a creative writing essay that utilizes few to no sources. Enable anonymous marking in TFS, then once the papers are received, conduct a live upload and analysis for the class by highlighting what kinds of matches are significant, which tools to use on the dashboard, and how to interpret the Similarity Report. With an in-depth, in-person demonstration of the tool, students gain confidence in using TFS and will know what to expect when their next paper is due.
- Have fun with it! Offering a playful lecture on TFS that highlights key features while also making students laugh, can sometimes help the lesson to stick. Instead of anonymizing actual student essays, submit an example paper under a fake or famous name and point out areas where that “student” can improve. Does Billy Shakespeare need to improve his citation skills? Would Em Dickinson benefit from editing the grammar and punctuation in her piece? (Bonus if you can sneak a literature lesson into your Feedback Studio intro!)
- Offer ongoing support. The best way to ensure student understanding of a tool is to consistently and continuously provide support. In addition to the helpful guide that you give each student (see #1 above), you can introduce them to help.turnitin.com, where they can find answers to a variety of TFS questions or reach out to a customer support representative. On your class website, put links to FAQs about TFS (like how to enroll in a class!), as well as contact info for you or the individual at your school that can troubleshoot with students if challenges arise.
Whether it is a student’s first or 21st time using Turnitin Feedback Studio, these useful tips will ensure that they are ready to tackle schoolwork and receive feedback with confidence.
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