By Valerie Schreiner, chief product and marketing officer, Turnitin.
Educators faced profound disruptions over the past year, pushing them to rethink and reshape assessments—how to design them, deliver them, ensure their integrity, measure their effectiveness, and ultimately leverage them to increase learning outcomes. Turnitin has spent several years considering how to support the evolution of assessment and we’re hearing loud and clear from the schools and universities we serve that now is the time for lasting change.
Dylan Wiliam describes assessment as “the bridge between teaching and learning,” a data-rich intersection where educators understand what students have learned and gain insights into teaching efficacy. We envision assessment not as an isolated measurement of student outcomes but rather as a key component of a continuous improvement cycle, providing valuable information to educators as they refine their teaching and to students as they improve their learning.
At its core, learning is an interpersonal process involving active feedback loops between students and teachers. When a connection between an educator and learner is strong and based on mutual trust, information moves more freely and with more integrity. Assessments are an essential way to establish these connections and feedback loops, especially when learning is online rather than face-to-face.
We want to partner with institutions to reimagine assessments across all subject areas and assignment types, low-stakes and high-stakes. We’ll be there every step along the way to support assessments that are fair, consistent, accurate, and impact learning outcomes in a meaningful way.
Integrity is at the heart of Turnitin
Turnitin was founded over 20 years ago as a text similarity checking tool that helped ensure the originality of a piece of writing. We have since become a leader in academic integrity solutions and found that the majority of academic integrity issues are related to emerging skills rather than intentional acts.
Today, we work with schools and industry experts to build innovative solutions that help students learn the value of original work even as new challenges to academic integrity—such as contract cheating or text spinners—emerge. Because integrity solutions will always be at the heart of Turnitin, we acquired Unicheck and in March, announced our intent to acquire Ouriginal to expand our geographic reach and allow us to help more students find their original voices.
Along these same lines, Draft Coach, the most recent evolution of our integrity product suite puts the power of our similarity checking technology directly into the hands of students. Now, students can use our applications to assess, revise, and improve their own writing prior to submission.
Providing students with the ability to review and refine their own work becomes a moment for self-learning—opportunities for self-directed reflection are an essential part of developing original thinking skills. By building tools that empower students to do their best original work, we uphold academic integrity while guiding students down their own personal learning path.