Here’s a brand-new formative writing tool giving students immediate, actionable feedback on all aspects of student writing. Turnitin Revision Assistant (for use in grades 6-12 and in developmental writing in higher education) extends teachers’ reach by giving students immediate formative feedback during the writing process. “Writing is the one subject critical to academic and career success yet is almost entirely unsupported by existing educational technology,” says Turnitin CEO Chris Caren. “Of the hundreds of reading and math applications to support instruction, very few provide meaningful feedback on writing beyond grammar and spell-checking,” he says. The tool gives students holistic, specific feedback on their writing in a way that encourages them to value iteration. As they write with it, they can request a ‘Signal Check’. This provides them a visualization of how they are performing on writing traits such as focus, use of evidence, or organization, among many others. Actionable comments appear in the margins and are tied to sentences highlighted in the text. Positive and constructive comments help students to continue revising. Students can revise and get feedback as many times as they would like before sharing their work with their teacher. In a pilot, one teacher reported receiving the best essays she got all year. In this same 2015 study with 18 middle and high schools, 164 educators and 3,439 students:
- Ninety-four percent of pilot students revised their work at least once when writing with the tool; middle school students revised, on average, ten times, while high school students revised six times.
- Middle schoolers doubled the length of their essays across revisions when using the system, while high school papers increased by 70 percent.
Turnitin Revision Assistant is currently being used in school districts across the country, including Irvine USD, Corona- Norco USD, Washoe County, San Dieguito USD and Covina-Valley USD. It’s available on a per-student, annual subscription basis. Check it out for yourself.