Any of us involved with the new eSubmission process will know that recently we have had some issues with students struggling to submit their work due to system downtime. As the notice on Blackboard said, ” it was a global issue at Turnitin and was beyond the control of the University.” As far as we are aware all issues relating to this downtime have now been resolved.
Turnitin has recently apologised for this downtime by form of an email sent by their “CEO”
The email also continued by informing us of a new and improved service status notification system. Why is this of interest to us? Well anyone can now check the status of the eSubmission system by checking Turnitin’s twitter feed @TurnitinStatus or by bookmarking the Turnitin status page. This is a very useful service (as long as Turnitin update it regularly) and it could be useful to share these links with your students. If they encounter any issues they can quickly check on the status of Turnitin to put their minds at ease. Although if we take the CEO’s word we would hope these instances of downtime will now be decreased. Now we just need the University to create a similar feed for when their systems are down or struggling!
Another item of interest that Turnitin released in the email was the addition of voice comments into their Grademark tool. One annoyance with this is that we had no prior warning of this, and therefore we have had to recommend that staff do not use this yet until we have tested the feature to make sure it works reliably. It does however look like a very exciting new feature, and as we get more familiar with it, it could add even more value to student feedback.