Learning Technology

Turnitin assignments or Moodle assignments?

November 22nd, 2016 at 08:11

There are two types of assignment dropbox available in Moodle: Turnitin assignments or Moodle assignments.  When choosing which to use in your module, first check what your School recommends. We now have recommendations across the whole of Social Sciences and many other Schools also have preferred suggestions.  In both types of dropboxes, the excellent Turnitin text-matching system can be used to get similarity scores and originality reports, but each has other advantages and disadvantages.

So what are the main advantages of each type of dropbox?

Turnitin assignments are best for:

  • Using Grademark to do your marking online (a lot of people like this)
  • Grademark has the Quickmark sets (ditto)
  • Marking offline if you have an iPad
  • Straightforward release marks for everyone on the post date, no extensions
  • PeerMark peer assessment
  • Can download marked versions of papers in bulk for archiving (essential, as otherwise papers are not held on University servers)

Moodle assignment is best for:

  • Offline marking (using grading worksheet, file annotation in Word etc. and bulk file upload)
  • Good on a Surface Pro, not so much on an iPad
  • Group assignments
  • Flexible control of release of marks, can hold some back while releasing the rest
  • Can submit drafts and get feedback
  • Upload of feedback files (e.g., annotated scripts and feedback forms)
  • Can give individual students extensions
  • Can still mark even if Turnitin side of things goes down
  • Moodle reliability and performance is under University control (Turnitin is a third-party service)

Online annotation similar to Turnitin is coming in the next version of Moodle. Meanwhile Turnitin is moving on to Feedback Studio which is a new improved interface for marking that I predict will also win fans.

Neither type copes well with second marking (there are workarounds which we’ll cover in a later blog post).

The main thing is to think about how you prefer to do your marking, especially if you’re only starting to do online marking.

Your Learning Technology Consultant for your Faculty can offer advice on the best choice for your needs. Contact us any time on learning-technologies@nottingham.ac.uk

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