Saturday, 7 November 2015

Turnitin User Group meeting, London, October 2015

I recenty attended the 2015 Turnitin User Group meeting, with the same idea as many in the audience, it seems, of finding out how things are moving along in relation to some long-promised developments, and some further information regarding the mysterious forthcoming iteration of the platform, codenamed Turnitin Next.  

The ‘backchannel’ of the conference on Twitter tended to reveal the frustration of the user community with the slow progress Turnitin are making on many of the more UK specific requests, such as non-numeric grading scales and multiple marking layers that would support combinations such as double blind marking. 

The UK HE community is putting a lot of effort and faith into the Jisc EMA project, and we are really hoping Turnitin as our key supplier in this space is watching closely and engaging. Worryingly this wasn't mentioned during the many presentations from Turnitin staff. We were advised that they have been extensively reorganised in both staffing and in their move from ‘waterfall’ to ‘agile scrum’ development, which should help them to clear their ‘technical debt’ (it was a bit like being at a party conference). As they remain the only company with a product that covers submission, originality and marking, they continue to be the default option for the sector. But I must say that the sense that markets such as the UK are not seen as high priority was not dispelled at this event.


There is a good capture of main points discussed at the meeting in this blog post from Dewi Parry Cardiff Uni TEL team.

Tweets from the event Storified below.