How I Use It
In Physics and Honors Physics my students complete a research, design and build project. As part of a unit on flight my students build and fly hot air balloons. An additional part of the project is to research and report on some aspect of flight. This is a two page paper using a minimum of 3 MLA cited sources.
Turnitin.com allows the students to submit their paper electronically - a skill they will need for most college courses, and it will do a plagiarism check as well as a spelling and grammar check. This allows me to focus on paper content, it also allows for multiple attempts at submission which supports the mastery grading model which I use in my classroom, and finally it speeds up the process of grading. I have been using it for this purpose for three years now and I love it.
I love this product. What I love most is the ease and speed with which I can now easily grade a classroom's papers. I also like the fact that students can submit the paper for edits multiple times, as well and the quick spelling and grammar feedback it give. Finally, I like the plagiarism tool and the ability to verify if the paper has been turned in before.
The one area where it could serve better is if the similarity tool updated automatically. Right now it only updates if you re-run it for each submission. I had a situation where another teacher in department had a due date after mine for the same assignment and the paper came up as 99% similar. He had to contact me and I had to rerun the similarity report for my student so that we could confront them about turning in the same paper.
Additionally there should be a tool that notifies students when a teacher has graded their work so that they know to log in again to check the feedback.