I’m eager to share Turnitin’s priorities for 2021, but before we look forward, I want to acknowledge the past year and its challenges. We’re in awe of the institutions and educators who worked tirelessly to adapt lesson plans, teaching practices, and assessments in the face of an unprecedented and rapid shift to online and hybrid learning environments. What we thought would be a momentary obstacle will have a lasting and powerful impact on education worldwide.
We honor your commitment and resiliency and hope that the changes we made to our services supported your efforts in some small way. As we look at our plans for 2021, we acknowledge that some aspects of education may be forever changed. As such, the ways that we support institutions and educators have similarly shifted.
Turnitin started over 20 years ago as a company that checked written work for text similarity. Since then, we’ve built and acquired complementary tools to meet the evolving needs of educators and students. While expanding our offerings has always been part of our company vision, no one could foresee the assessment needs that were accelerated by the pandemic. We are proud to now offer a broad portfolio of feedback, grading, and assessment solutions for all assignment types, subject areas, and educational levels. We have also evolved our brand identity to reflect our expanded services and company vision.
This year, we will focus our efforts on three key areas:
1. Assessments with Integrity
Educators need tools that uphold the integrity of the assessments they create and the work their students submit. The challenge of creating and delivering assessments with integrity―those that accurately measure student learning and deter misconduct―is an integral part of an instructor’s responsibility. We’re committed to easing that load with technology and tools that help ensure assessments are efficient, fair, and performed with student outcomes in mind. Just as there are many types of assessments, there are also many ways to uphold the integrity of the assessment process.
Turnitin understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to assessments with integrity. With the acquisitions of Gradescope and ExamSoft, we meaningfully grew our assessment capabilities, and we will continue along this path in 2021. We offer flexible solutions that support integrity for every assignment type, from multiple choice to dissertations and everything in between. Institutions can choose the tools and integrations that work best for them, try out new features, and add on new solutions while continuing to work with the Turnitin team they know and trust.
2. Formative Support for Students
Feedback is a critical part of student success―and it’s more important than ever in online learning environments where asynchronous feedback loops serve as a central line of communication between educators and students. Meaningful and timely feedback is in the DNA of Turnitin’s products, and we’re developing new and innovative ways for students to receive immediate, actionable formative feedback.
Turnitin Draft Coach™, now available for Feedback Studio and Originality customers, is a Google Docs add-on that acts as a supportive integrity assistant for students. Through feedback delivered during the drafting process, it helps students ensure proper research, cite their sources correctly, and improve their academic writing. By viewing and correcting errors prior to submission, students can become more independent and confident learners. Draft Coach’s formative data also provides instructors additional insights into student learning and opportunities for intervention.
3. Remote Learning
The COVID-catalyzed move to remote and hybrid learning environments has intensified the need for flexible tools that ensure integrity across education modalities for every type of institution and workflow. Regardless of the how and where of learning, both instructors and students must be able to trust that assessments are accurate measurements of student performance.
Turnitin’s product portfolio has always upheld integrity and enabled digital assessment and feedback. In 2020, we adjusted our roadmap to accelerate support for remote exams and assignments delivered and collected digitally, on paper, or any combination of the two. This year, we are working to expand features that support learning anywhere, anytime, for any subject area. When building products that ensure assessment integrity and provide formative support to students, the added lens of remote and hybrid learning needs will remain top of mind. We will continue to adapt our services and roadmap to anticipate the needs of the ever-evolving education landscape in a way that enables you to have a clear picture of how students are doing, regardless of the learning modality.
Our vision is to provide educators with end-to-end assessment support products with inherent integrity checks, to ensure that student outcomes are measured accurately, efficiently, and fairly. 2020 was certainly a challenging year, but as we partner with you to stay abreast of your evolving needs, we are excited about the opportunities ahead and the positive innovations we have planned. In the year ahead, we look forward to working with you to improve the assessment process and ultimately contribute to student success.