Pilot studies show students write and revise more often using instant feedback generated by Revision Assistant
Turnitin has launched Revision Assistant, a formative writing tool giving students immediate, actionable feedback on all aspects of student writing. Turnitin Revision Assistant, for grades 6-12 and 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. Of the hundreds of reading and math applications to support instruction, very few provide meaningful feedback on writing beyond grammar and spell-checking,” said Chris Caren, CEO of Turnitin. “Revision Assistant gives students holistic, specific feedback on their writing in a way that encourages them to revise multiple times.”
Revision Assistant’s feedback is multifaceted and unique. As students write with Revision Assistant, they can request a ‘Signal Check’ which provides a student-friendly 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 of students’ compositions and are tied to sentences highlighted in the text. This feedback emphasizes areas of strength, as well as suggestions for sentence-level improvements. The combination of positive and constructive comments encourages students to continue revising, and in the process, their writing improves. Students can revise and get feedback as many times as they would like before sharing their work with their teacher.
“With Revision Assistant students get the immediate feedback they need to improve their writing,” said Susan Van Doren, an English teacher from George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nev. “They write more and they revise more. Having that instant feedback of the signal bars challenges them to improve. With Revision Assistant, students submitted the best essays I got out of that class all year.”
In a 2015 study of Revision Assistant 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 Turnitin Revision Assistant; 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 Union High School District and Covina-Valley USD.
Turnitin Revision Assistant is available on a per-student, annual subscription basis.