First impressions on Turnitin Feedback Studio from Sussex staff

This week, we provide a summary of first impressions from members of staff at the University of Sussex on Turnitin Feedback Studio.

Between July and September, Technology Enhanced Learning have been busy running a series of workshops at the University of Sussex to introduce staff to the latest changes to Turnitin. The changes have been introduced due to the recent update and rebrand of the Turnitin software to ‘Feedback Studio’. See A first look at Turnitin Feedback Studio for further details.

During this period, we have run a total of 6 workshops and trained over 100 members of staff in using the new look Feedback Studio. The workshops were open to all members of staff and were attended by everyone from course coordinators, curriculum and assessment officers through to associate tutors, teaching fellows, senior lecturers and professors. Our current programme of Feedback Studio workshops has now come to an end, however, due to popular demand, we will be announcing more soon.

As part of the workshop, we included an activity to give participants the opportunity evaluate and share their thoughts on the updates to the new software. After spending 20 minutes using and testing the new software, we asked staff to consider the following questions:

  • How will Feedback Studio be of benefit to you?
  • How will Feedback Studio be of benefit to your students?
  • Can you foresee any issues or challenges?

Over the duration of the workshop programme, staff entered a combined total of 115 comments in response to these questions onto a Padlet wall (an online space for sharing comments). I have summarised the comments below:

How will Feedback Studio be of benefit to you?

  • Improved user experience: the update includes lots of small changes which on the whole add up to make it a more efficient, intuitive and user-friendly for markers using the software.
  • Single interface to combine grading and similarity: the ability to view both the similarity report and feedback comments at the same time provides the marker with a more useful overview of the students work.
  • Commenting tools: for formatting text and adding active web links will allow markers to provide richer feedback and help students to learn independently.

How will Feedback Studio be of benefit to your students?

  • Simplified layout: will help students to access, digest and reflect on their feedback more effectively as it is now more clearly visible and presented.
  • Mobile responsive design: means that students are more likely to engage with their feedback now that Turnitin is available across all smartphones and tablets.
  • Viewing rubric forms: students are much more likely to be able to view and find their rubrics due to the new design.

Can you foresee any issues or challenges?

  • Quality assurance processes: there is still nothing in place to support workflows for blind and double marking, or view useful data e.g. the spread of marks across an assessment.
  • Using rubric forms: a number of members of staff commented that rubrics are still too clunky for markers to use, they are difficult to create and edit once they have been set up.
  • Editorial software: the software has a feel of editorial software rather than something which actively encourages good practice in providing feedback which promotes deeper learning.

In summary, the changes to Turnitin have so far been very positively received by staff during our training sessions. The general feeling seems to be that Turnitin has made a lot of small changes to modernise and improve their software which should provide small efficiencies to improve the workflow for marking and make it easier for students to access and navigate their feedback. Please stay tuned to our website for details of further workshops.

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We are the Educational Enhancement team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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