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Blended Learning Examples

Online Feedback

Online Feedback

Feedback is central not only to learning but also to students' learning experience. Turnitin Grademark is a tool that allows tutors to mark student work online with both more ease and depth. Feedback can be provided through annotations to the text at the exact relevant location, making points clearer and easier to understand. Students can see the marks and feedback online, and can print out the document with marks and feedback applied.

The course director in this history course chose to use Grademark, within Turnitin, for online student submission and marking as well as for providing feedback. The course director chose not to use Turnitin's plagiarism detection facility in this case. His aims were to:

  • speed up the process of marking a large number of student essays while providing timely quality feedback
  • encourage students to submit work for formative non-assessed essays

Grademark facilitates tutors' marking and the provision of feedback by:

  • making easy the insertion of both general and specific comments to a students' written work.
  • allowing for effective insertion of typical feedback comments quickly and easily - freeing up time to concentrate on 'bespoke' feedback. Markers can easily apply personalised feedback at relevant points in the text with the highlighter and type tools.
  • Grademark has a library of comments (a palette) for frequent or common errors (e.g. grammar or referencing) which can be built, reused and shared with colleagues
  • General comments can also be applied to the whole submission.

Finally, when used within Blackboard

  • Electronic submission of work to Turnitin (via Blackboard) is simple, and submissions are tracked.
  • Blackboard notifies students instantly when their mark and feedback is available.


Using Turnitin Grademark for formative essay marking appears to encourage student submissions. As Max commented:

Usually around 50-60% of students submit a non-assessed essay for (the) course. 65% submitted a non-assessed essay this year, and I think the system may have been responsible for this.

Another academic commented:

Grademark tool is easy to use, and comments are easily retrieved by students. I don't think the system speeds up marking, however. The palette will be useful in future, as we develop bespoke history & SAHC comments.

There was a positive response from many students on this course: results from an anonymous survey indicated that around 92% of students agreed with the statement "I found it straightforward to use turnitin/grademark to submit my non-assessed essay.

Turnitin Grademark contains settings to protect the anonymity of students submissions.


  • Grademark facilitates consistency and high quality feedback.
  • It is easy to use.
  • Allows more detailed and timely feedback to be given to students
  • Effectively uses formative assessment to promote interest and engagement with topic
  • Encourages original writing and responsible use of source material
  • Reusability of standard comments can potentially make better use of time
  • Relatively easy for both tutors and students to use
  • electronic submission: no need to handle large amounts of paper submissions.