Turnitin for iPad has arrived!

What do a sofa and a bus have in common? They are both places you can use the new Turnitin for iPad app to give your students really good feedback! 

OK, so maybe you don’t imagine yourself on a bus… but a lot of you have been asking for an app to help you mark your students’ work at a time and place that suits you – so hopefully this will be exciting news.

This is fresh off the press so we’re just getting up to speed with the new features ourselves, but what we can say is that it looks good!

Tii appClick the image above to launch a video.

The app has lots of features to help you give your students really great feedback on their writing. You can view your students originality reports, grade with rubrics, and annotate with QuickMark, highlights, bubble, inline, voice comments, and more. You can even sync assignments to your device to carry on grading in those annoying no internet zones!

Learn More

Try it!

We have created a Quick Guide to Getting Started with the Turnitin for iPad App as you will need to change a few settings and generate an ‘access code’ to see assignment submissions in your courses. It’s a bit fiddly but you only need to do it once.

Let us know how you get on – we’d love to hear how and where you use the app to evaluate your students work and help them improve their academic writing skills.

Contact the Learning Technology Development team to share any queries or comments you have regarding the new app – leave a comment below, email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or call 01695 650754.

Meg Juss, Learning Technology Development Manager





Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Manager

eAssignments: Which is the right tool for me?

eAssessment is gaining more and more popularity in the HE sector.  Students are demanding the convenience that electronic submission gives them and so with a number of tools on offer within Learning Edge you have the opportunity to give your students what they are looking for.

Learning Edge currently has 3 tools to allow your students to submit electronically; Blackboard Assignment, Assignment Handler and Turnitin.  Don’t forget the potential of blogs and journals that can enable your students to submit work whilst also working in groups collaboratively which can also be assessed.


You may have heard of Turnitin, but what are the reasons for using it?

Turnitin is a very powerful plagiarism detection tool – but in the wrong hands can create real confusion!

Turnitin allows you to help your students formatively construct a well referenced piece of academic writing by helping them to see where they may not have referenced or acknowledged someone else’s work in the correct way.

There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ percentage in Turnitin, because it depends on what you, the tutor, are looking for and what the nature of the assignment is that you have set.

Give your students the chance to check their work – try not to jump to any conclusions about their report if it looks bad from the percentage figure.  Have a closer look at the submission and then decide what is going on.  It may be that your student just needs a little extra advice or guidance on writing a referenced piece of work.

Before deciding to use Turnitin, think about what the contents of the assignment will be.  There is no need to set a Turnitin assignment for a poster presentation as there is no bibliography for instance and besides, Turnitin does not accept PowerPoint format!  Neither does it accept Excel spreadsheets, databases, multimedia, images or other more unusual file formats.  Basically, it accepts text, and the best kind of text it accepts is in essay form!

It is also worth noting that Turnitin only accepts one file for each submission drop box.  So if you want 2 pieces submitted for the same assignment, you will either have to set up 2 drop boxes or ask the students to combine them into one document.

When it comes to marking, Turnitin does make it very easy to add floating comments onto the script, so students can see exactly where you made the comments and can then read a larger summary – but be aware, Turnitin ‘general comments’ area is limited to 5000 characters… now this may sound a lot but by the time you have taken into account spaces and full stops, 5000 characters quickly disappears!

TIP!  If you are receiving an error message when trying to save the comments it may be you have entered too many characters!

Turnitin marking requires you to have an active internet connection as you are actually only marking ‘online’, so please take this into account when you are planning to start marking.


Blackboard Assignment Tool and Assignment Handler

On the other hand you have Blackboard Assignments (during the course of this year we will be introducing Assignment Handler – it’s the Blackboard Assignment tool, but with some enhanced features that you may find useful!)

The Blackboard Assignment tool accepts multiple files at a time and also can take any format of file – so if you need your students to submit a spreadsheet they can!

Marking using the Blackboard Assignment tool involves an extra step (to download the assignments), but this may be your preferred method of marking (e.g. Word and comments).

The Assignment Handler tool also allows you to bulk download the submissions so that you can mark them offline at a time that suits you – not only when you have an active internet connection!

All tools integrate into the Blackboard ‘Grade Centre’.  Please note that ‘Grade Centre’ is the overarching tool in Blackboard that ‘picks up’ grades that you have entered from the various tools (including Assignments, Turnitin, Blogs & Journals, etc.) and pulls them into one uniform area where they can be managed (or downloaded) whereas ‘GradeMark’ refers to the marking tool within Turnitin.

You should ensure that you have a method for giving feedback to students when using eAssessment.  You do not necessarily have to mark on screen, or even read the scripts on screen but there are different ways to manage your marking work load.  Some still prefer to print and read the submission in paper form.  Some prefer to download them all so they can then read at their leisure.  Your department may choose to fill in paper feedback forms to hand back to your students, or you may have an electronic feedback form that your faculty or department has supplied.  Or, as mentioned before you may simply wish to put comments onto a submission using Word or by using Turnitin’s GradeMark feature.

Discuss with your department about how to give feedback to your students.

On a final note, it is worth mentioning that using the Blackboard Assignment tool can add to the robustness of your course.  Blackboard have a service level agreement (SLA) with the University to deliver 99.9% ‘up time’, and also 24-7 support.  If the system goes down for any reason, Blackboard is alerted and the problem is dealt with quickly.

Turnitin is a third party piece of software and as such has a different agreement for guaranteed ‘up-time’ and policy of reliability.

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer




Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer



Top tips for Learning Edge

In LTD we get asked a lot of questions by staff and students about various ‘hot topics’.
We have tried to gather as many of these current issues in the hope of answering them here.

1. Can I forward emails from my student email address to an external address?
Of course! Just like your personal email address, you can forward your student emails out of your student account so you can read them in your preferred email client (such as Hotmail, Yahoo, BT etc.  Follow this document – Forwarding Email – for the steps to do this (the document is for Gmail student accounts).

2. I know I now need to make my course available for my students. How do I do this?

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Customisation
  • Click on ‘Properties
  • Set Availability to ‘Make Course Available – Yes
  • Click Submit.

3. Where is the best place for me to mark my students’ Turnitin assignments?
The best place to mark Turnitin assignments is through Turnitin itself (rather than ‘Grade Centre’)

  • In your ‘Control Panel‘ for your course
  • Click on ‘Course Tools
  • Click on ‘TurnitinUK Assignments’
  • Click on the assignment you wish to mark
  • Your list of students will now appear
  • Click on the pencil next to the student you wish to mark the work of.

4. I’d like to get some kind of interactive classroom in my course on Learning Edge What is available to me to do this?
We have a few options for you so that you can really interact with your students in a virtual classroom.  There is a basic tool within Learning Edge itself and we also have some ‘seats’ available for Wimba Classroom.  We like to keep track of who is using Wimba in their course so if you are interested in this option, please come and speak to one of your Learning Technology Development Officers and we can discuss how to make it work for you in your course for your students.

5. Is there a way I can embed audio in my Powerpoint?
Yes! Follow this document – embed audio – to discover how to do this.  If you are having trouble, come and speak to one of the Learning Technology team.

6. I have some videos of my lectures that I’d like to share with my students.  Can I put them into Learning Edge somehow?
We have university systems that can offer you secure ‘hosting’ of your video content (a little bit  like YouTube, but just for our staff and students!) If you speak to the Media Development team or to any Learning Technology Officer they will be able to help you out in getting your videos onto this system and then getting it into your course content in Learning Edge.
(Make sure you give us some time to prepare your videos as sometimes it can take a little while).

7. The work that I need my students to submit doesn’t really fit in Turnitin. are there any alternative tools that I can use?

Yes! You can use the Blackboard 9.1 Assignment tool as an alternative to Turnitin.  This allows a greater number of file formats to be submitted including Powerpoint, Images and more unusual file types.

  • From your course, within a content folder
  • Click on ‘Create Assessment’
  • Click on ‘Assignment’
  • Give the Assignment a name
  • Complete the details on the page (any that are starred as compulsory!)
  • Click submit when you are ready.

8. I would like to set a group activity for my students.  I’d like to split them up into groups in Learning Edge – is this possible?
Yes!  You can use groups for a number of tools such as creating group blogs, wikis, discussion boards or even set tasks and activities for individual groups. The following instructions are just to get you started. Please ask a member of Learning Technology if you wish to find out what else you can use groups for.

  • Under the ‘Control Panel‘ of your course
  • Click on ‘Users and Groups
  • Click on ‘Groups
  • Click on ‘Create Single Group
  • Click on ‘Manual Enroll
  • Give the group a name
  • Decide which tools you want the group to contribute to (only that group will be able to see and contribute to the group’s tools).
  • Add the students into the group by selecting the student and then clicking on the arrow to add or remove them.
  • Click Submit
  • Repeat the process to create more grouped activities.

Any further questions, please email them to one of the team and we will endevour to answer them for you.  If you would like to arrange a meeting with one of the team, please ring 01695 650 754  (or internal 7754).


 Carol Chatten, Learning Technology Development Officer

Blackboard 9.1, behind the login page…

We’ve talked about data systems integration, staff development activity and the imminent “people systems integration”, but what can students expect to find on the other side of the login page?

Bb9.1 My Institution screen capture

Once logged in, Blackboard 9.1 provides an instant overview of each course a student is enrolled on and any related announcements or upcoming events. Students can customise the look and content of this page to make it their own. There is also a range of tools they can draw on to help manage their learning, for example planning study in Calendars and Tasks, checking results in My Grades or building a directory of useful contacts in the Address Book.

Tutors can change which page students see on entering a course.  The default is the course Home Page, a “dashboard” which summarises the status of the course from the individual student’s perspective …

Bb9.1 Course Home Page screen capture

… however, tutors can set the Module Content, Discussions or any other course page as the starting point to fit with course delivery at any time.

There are many technologies that can be used to support learning, and back in December we talked about the wide range that LearningEdge embraces. Some of these are part of Blackboard 9.1, while others are separate “plugged in” applications. In either case they can be accessed seamlessly via the Tools page.

Bb9.1 Course Tools screen capture

These tools give tutors a wide range of learning support methods including:

  • On-line assignment submission (including TurnItIn)
  • Blogs, wikis and personal journals
  • Access to the eShare repository (coming soon)
  • Course content creation tools

Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at some of these, their benefits to students, and how good practice developed in Blackboard CE8 can be transferred and built on in 9.1.