I’m energized to introduce you to our priorities in the coming months.
My prior experience in the edtech industry informs my new role as Chief Product Officer here at Turnitin. I’ve worked at Blackboard, Schoolzilla, and most recently, VeriCite, where I was CEO. I’ve been privileged to work with educators for twenty-five years to help produce technology tools that support teaching and learning and I’m excited to continue that important work at Turnitin.
It’s with this mindset--namely, prioritizing educator needs by partnering with you--that I lead the teams who work on Turnitin’s suite of products.
What are the results of our work? What changes are ahead? What impact will improvements have on educators? Here is what’s on our team’s roadmap in the coming months:
Innovations in Academic Integrity
Integrity in education is more than simply checking work for originality. Turnitin’s tools and resources spark conversations and teachable moments around the critical importance of integrity in education and research. One way that we’re working to improve these conversations is by optimizing the readability, configurability, and the accuracy of the Similarity Report.
We’re also making sure that our solutions evolve with the ever-changing academic integrity landscape. This includes expanding our Authorship capabilities to help both instructors and investigators proactively address contract cheating and continuing to grow our databases with additional relevant content in even more languages.
Commitment to STEM
In October 2018, Turnitin acquired Gradescope, a feedback and assessment platform that dramatically reduces the time and pain associated with traditional grading, particularly for STEM courses. This was Turnitin’s first direct investment in growing our ability to support STEM disciplines and we aren’t stopping there! With Gradescope, the breadth of compatible assignment types is wide-ranging - from paper-based exams, quizzes, and homework, to online assignments, programming assignments, and multiple-choice. Now we’re bringing additional STEM resources into Feedback Studio for use with long-form essays. Check them out.
On the academic integrity front, we are developing a feature to help instructors determine how similar students’ code is. This capability, Code Similarity, is currently in beta and will be available soon. We look forward to expanding Gradescope’s features, which transform grading into learning, and continuing to enhance our STEM solutions.
Turnitin is dedicated to improving the usability, design, and accessibility of our products. I have championed accessibility throughout my career and believe that our goal must go well beyond compliance to provide true delightful usability for all users, including those using assistive technology. I’m proud of the recent improvements we have made to Feedback Studio along these lines. We have updated the labeling of our text-only report, optimized the navigation experience for students who access Feedback Studio with a screen reader, and added the ability for screen readers to announce drop-down menu items. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we are committed to additional accessibility improvements in 2020.
Commitment to Industry Standards
In my role as CPO, I strive to improve the openness of Turnitin. Turnitin is proud to be an early adopter of Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) version 1.3 and LTI Advantage, the latest standards for secure connections between learning platforms and tools in the digital ecosystem. Feedback Studio is now certified for LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage, the latest generation of the IMS Global Consortium’s standards. Adding support for LTI Advantage improves usability through deeper integrations. Doing so also enables a more secure transfer of student data between your LMS and Feedback Studio. We look forward to upholding Turnitin’s interoperability and good citizenship within the educational technology software space.
Working With Existing Workflows
Speaking of interoperability, educators rely on a variety of technology tools to do their jobs. For this reason, Turnitin works hard to seamlessly integrate with the larger educational ecosystem. Whether accessing Turnitin services directly or through a partner, we are dedicated to delivering an intuitive experience that fits seamlessly into our users’ existing workflows. In addition to the existing integrations to major learning platforms like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, and Schoology, we now also have Integrations with Google SSO, Roster Sync, and Microsoft Teams.
I’m catalyzed to shepherd Turnitin’s suite of products to better support customers. Originality is our business and academic integrity, our mandate. We hope that this window into our progress and goals helps you in planning for yours. If you have feedback or suggestions about our products and roadmap, I invite you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.