[Video] Providing efficient feedback in Turnitin

To get the most out of students it is important to provide detailed feedback that shows students how they can improve in the future. This screencast will help you provide efficient and useful feedback within Turnitin and it was based off a workshop I ran at UNSW within the Faculty of Medicine in 2018. This video will show you how to classify a comment to a criterion to demonstrate how students feedback relates to their marks, evaluate a student’s work with a text or voice comment to give students an indication of their progress, and finally I will show you how you can create your own personal QuickMark comments set that you can use to streamline giving useful and detailed feedback.

Let me know you own experience and tips of giving feedback within Turnitin in the comments section.

A full transcript of the video is included below:

[Slide 1]

Welcome to this screencast that will help you develop three skills to provide efficient and useful feedback within Turnitin.

[Slide 2]

For today’s screencast we will be classifying a comment to a criterion to demonstrate how students feedback relates to their marks,  evaluating a student’s work with a text or voice comment to give students an indication of their progress and finally I will show you how you can create your own personal QuickMark comments set that you can use to streamline giving useful and detailed feedback.

[Slide 3]

Before we get started using these different feedback features within Turnitin let’s quickly review some typical components that characterise good quality feedback.

Good feedback should be clear and highlight the specific expectations of what is required for students to do well in an assessment.

It should stimulate reflection so feedback given will inform the future work undertaken by the student.

Feedback should be given in a timely manner otherwise students may not learn as much from the exercise as the assessment is no longer fresh in their mind. It is important to provide this feedback quickly and in a constructive manner that shows students how they can improve their work as that will allow them to incorporate feedback into improving their future assessments.

Part of being constructive is to encourage students to excel. There needs to be a good balance between positive comments on where they have done well and how they can improve. This will demonstrate to students that the high expectations you set are achievable and they will be motivated to take their work to the next level.

Make sure you keep the feedback relevant by aligning it with the task at hand. You can do this by ensuring you provide feedback that relates to each criterion of an assessment. Avoid giving too much feedback on one area of an assessment, for example spelling, as there may be little point to spending large amounts of time on correcting spelling and grammar mistakes if this makes only a small portion of the marks for the assessment.

Something else to keep in mind is the student’s perspective of the feedback they are given. If it is difficult to understand the feedback given there is less opportunity for you to understand how to improve your work. There was a particularly fascinating result of a study that was presented recently at the UNSW Built Environment Learning and Teaching Showcase. Three quarters of international students needed help understanding the feedback given on an assessment. Creating feedback using simple terms with enough detail to explain the expectations can be time consuming, so preparing these sorts of comments for the most commonly given feedback can be a real time saver and something that the students will appreciate.

[Slide 4]

We will be giving feedback using Feedback studio which is the part of the Turnitin platform that is designed to give feedback on assessment. Our first objective is to classify a comment to a criterion. What you need to do for this is to highlight the text that you want to comment on, then a popup will appear, you can either select a bubble comment or a QuickMark comment. For this activity, we will be selecting a bubble comment. Next you need to edit your comment text as desired. Put in as much detail as you think is required so it is clear to students how they should improve in that particular area. Finally, at the top of the box select assign criterion. That will link a criterion in your rubric or grading form to the bubble comment.

When you are doing this, consider how aligning feedback with criteria could help student learning. By assigning a criterion to a particular feedback item how is that going to help students understand where the feedback relates to the relevant achievement of a criterion and what areas need most improvement?

As a general guideline make half your written comments positive reinforcement to encourage students to read the feedback and show them what they have excelled at. This can also motivate students to aim for a higher standard in the next assessment as it helps frame achievable expectations.

Try to avoid jargon and only use it where really necessary. You want to make feedback simple and descriptive so students easily understand what they need to do so they can improve in the future.

[Slide 5]

Our next goal is to evaluate a student’s work with a text or voice comment. In order to be able to do this you need to have first completed the rest of your feedback on assessment. You will be providing an overall view on how the student did on the assessment here.

Start by selecting the feedback summary tab. Once you have selected that you can either record a voice comment or write your text comment summary in the applicable area.

Think about what did they do really well in the assessment and what areas could be improved. Those are the two mains things that are good to focus on here.

Giving a voice comment can be a great idea as it helps to give a personal touch so students get to know the overall opinion of the marker that can be harder to gain from a series of individual written comments.

[Slide 6]

The last activity that we are going to do today is to create a QuickMark comment. This will give you the skills to build your own QuickMark comment set that will be tied to your user account and can be used in your future assessments as well.

Firstly, we highlight the text you want to comment on, select a bubble comment, and then edit the comment text as desired, making sure it is presented in simple and descriptive language. Finally, at the bottom of the box you will see there is an option to convert to QuickMark. This will allow you to choose the title of the QuickMark. For example, content justify, could be the title you want students to see. Then you can specify the set this QuickMark comment will be added to. You can have multiple QuickMark comment sets for different assessments or styles of assessment. Once you have finished that click save and you will be good to go. You can now find this QuickMark in the QuickMarks tab on the right. To use it in an assessment either drag and drop it from the right panel or even better, highlight the text you want to comment on, select QuickMark comment, and then choose the relevant QuickMark comment.

How will using detailed QuickMark comments help with understanding feedback? Well, detailed feedback on a portion of highlighted text can help clarify the expectations for a task and show the location in the text where the feedback relates.

It is a great idea to turn more generic feedback into a QuickMark for common comments on an assessment like how to reference, text formatting conventions and citing a reference. All of these types of comments can be great to put into a QuickMark because you won’t be spending time typing repetitive information and students will get enough detail in feedback provided that they can act on it to improve.

One option you can do is to start your title with a shorthand title that links to a criterion, for example spell or ref. You’ll see why this is a good idea as when you are creating Turnitin QuickMark comments, each comment within a set that you make will be listed in alphabetical order and cannot be manually arranged. A short title allows you to group comments based on the criterion it applies to, so you can find them more easily in a long list of QuickMarks. Another advantage to this is that students can more directly link feedback to the relevant area in your rubric.

[Slide 7]

Today we have covered three core skills that will readily enhance your ability to give high quality feedback to students.

First up we learnt how to classify a comment to a criterion which is a great way to demonstrate the expectations of an assessment to a student by linking grade achievement with feedback.

We evaluated a student’s work with a text or voice comment so students could get an impression of their overall progress.

Lastly, we have learnt how to create QuickMark comments to provide simply worded feedback that is detailed enough that students can more readily understand what they are being asked to improve. Making a set of QuickMark comments is a sustainable practice as you can reuse your generic comments and spend more of your time on personal feedback to a student.

This is just the start though – I encourage you to create more QuickMark comments and share them with your fellow markers to really step your feedback up a notch while spending less time writing each comment.

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