"It emphasises the importance of original writing"
In our first year of using Feedback Studio, plagiarism at Leyton Sixth Form dropped significantly. Since then, we have been able to quickly identify student collusion and plagiarism without the need to manually sift through every paper. With its simple user interface, I can show students their Similarity Report to help them understand which matches are acceptable and which aren't. Students now give their writing and research a lot more attention. They realise that copying a paragraph is a huge deal, whether it’s from an online source, from a friend, or reworded. Turnitin has helped us to encourage our students to be authentic with their work.
"It prepares students for higher education and the workplace"
When students come to us from school, they are used to an exam-based environment. Citation and digital literacy are alien to them because all they've known is regurgitating information, then getting marked for it. As a result, their writing skills are basic. We use Feedback Studio to dismantle this ideology and unbox all of these flawed approaches in order to refine students’ writing and research skills so that, when they go into university or the workplace, they’re completely prepared. Plagiarism at university is serious—it could cost a student their degree—and they need to understand the consequences before they get there.
"It meets our objectives"
Initially, my department was reluctant to switch from paper-based to digital marking. Then they discovered QuickMarks, introduced by my colleague, Leanne Charlery-Francis, who also teaches Health and Social Care at Leyton Sixth Form. Leanne showed us how we can link an assignment rubric to specific points on a student’s paper, which helps us indicate where students are meeting the marking criteria, which is especially important for BTEC qualifications. Thanks to Feedback Studio, our whole department is spending less time grading and more time focusing on the curriculum. Students are now engaging more with their feedback on the basis that it’s so much more comprehensive, not to mention more accessible.
This article was originally published in Teach Secondary Magazine.