How I Use It
There are many aspects to Turnitin. The program checks for original content in writing - all writing - essays, power points, blogs, lab reports, etc. The Turnitin database has billions of texts to match. Once these originality reports are generated, I use them as a teaching tool. Students and I look at them. Why is something cited as plagiarized? It is a great opportunity to talk and coach students. Should students fail to make the necessary revisions, Turnitin helps me to support my site's Academic Integrity Policy.
Another fantastic feature is Grademark. Maximizing time, I am able to paperlessly provide feedback through notations (or audio!). Since this can be done so much more quickly than when looking at a stack of papers, it is much more meaningful. There is also the "ETS Grammar Engine" - a real-time diagnostic grammar feedback tool that I think is especially helpful for other content areas.
Additionally, my students also benefit from the programs Peer Revision. This can be done anonymously or students can select papers to offer feedback. I can program specific guiding questions for students to be looking for and even require a minimum number of words in their feedback, trying to drive up the quality.
I really like the product overall. I think that Turnitin gives students and families an opportunity to see what it academic expectations are. The tools are time-saving and applicable to all teachers - as we all need to be writing! There are a few spots that are clunky. You have to add an assignment to each class separately, rather than just 'add to all'. And, the dates due, opening up reports is sometimes hard when you are working on a tight timeline - which I often find myself!