iParadigms UK User Group meeting 12 Feb 2014

Aston University, Birmingham, 12 February 2014

The CEO Chris Caren apologised unreservedly for the outage which occurred during December 2013. He explained that it was an unacceptable incident, and was due to human error – an undersized database machine had been mistakenly deployed which was unable cope when a number of large batch jobs were submitted in a short amount of time. The company has now appointed a new, experienced data base administrator, as well as system monitoring tools and queueing technology to process submitted papers immediately after an outage. Users are encouraged to subscribe to an upcoming real-time system status page and alerts; the email and twitter lists are going to become ‘opt-out’ instead of ‘opt-in’. Users present at the meeting called for less change and not in the middle of an academic term, together with more warning and better communication.

Will Murray (Senior Vice President, and CEO if iParadigms Europe) said that there will be more information on their website, all known issues will be in a ‘known issues’ log on the status page and linked to the email and twitter feeds. The feedback tab in Turnitin (User Voice) provides details of their planned upgrades (1.5 years ahead), release notes and bug reports. Release notes are now emailed to the email list as well as being available on the website. Users are encouraged to sign up for the live ‘Tech Talks’ (webinars) which are offered quarterly. There is a publicly available product blog and they are working to bring all the online help materials in one place. They are working on planning and developing the new ‘NextGen’ product and will run a parallel beta version over the summer.

Releases that took place in 4th quarter, 2013:

• colour printing of Originality Report
• grading forms (simpler than rubrics) – categories and comments
• accept and mark Powerpoint files (Excel coming in April 2014)
• iPad (grade anywhere) – they will also support Windows and Android. Note that students can’t submit via iPad
• LTI 1.1 launched: they are implementing the standard and it is the chosen route forward.
      – the Sakai community has since confirmed that LTI (2.0) has been launched, including via Sakai.
      – IT Services (Oxford) is investigating a pilot project using Turnitin LTI. This will appear as a ‘new tool’ in WebLearn, taking users into the direct Turnitin interface, with more options available, such as anonymous marking and PeerMark.
      – a full set of LTI implementation manuals is available from the submit.ac.uk website
• iPad pin code to protect grades
• improvements to the login page and workflow

Releases planned for February 2014:

• allow any file type (turn it on in the admin settings – ‘allow any file type’) – accept images,  e.g. photo of student’s paper (submitted from student’s phone). This is mainly all for marking – can’t do originality check on all these files.
• increase file size (currently 20 Mb) (Sept2014) – for whole PhD and video files
• grading without submissions, e.g. performance, presentation etc – you get a grading template
• pre-written rubrics to reuse
• import rubrics (from Excel)

Releases planned for March 2014

• class segmentation (meta information about a class)
• road map will be available in the document viewer


1. new ‘Grade Anywhere’ video demos will be launched within two weeks
2. You can use voice recognition software to dictate and save your Quick Marks

Will Murray: What’s next?
1. Update on agile software development process – going very well:
Unfiltered   →  Funnel   →   Program (‘trains’) – all in User Voice   →   Road Map   →   Live
2. iParadigms will make staff available to tour UK institutions to hear about their needs, especially in terms of policy.
3. Implement IMS LTI 2.0 by summer 2015

Existing User Group requests (under investigation)
• double blind marking (is scheduled)
• exclude footnotes from being matched in the OR
• separate release of feedback from release of grades
• download audio feedback
• notification of late submissions
• email non-submitters

Next Gen aspirations
• 6 months beta over second half of 2014 – can opt in during mid-2014
• go live in northern hemisphere in mid-2015
• touchable – touch screens
• responsive – size of interface – resize for different devices
• theme-able – look like the VLE integration
• new Document Viewer and all the rest of the TII UK interface (which they call the CMS)
• folders, offline, drafts
• multiple instructors per class
• increased admin controls
• integrations – share code with TII UK

Grading spaces
• each tutor gets their own marking area
• associate different rubrics with different spaces
• leave comments for moderators
• create a quick mark and place it on more than one grading space
• can offer combined view to students (or not) (e.g. Tutor1 quick marks, and Tutor2 quick marks)

Other improvements
• more integrated OR and GradeMark – put comments on OR, filtered by tutor, and associated voice comments (layers)
• can hide the Similarity Index while marking

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