Top Tips for Using Turnitin and GradeMark for online marking

Stack of Papers

Stack of Papers by jenni from the block CC BY 2.0

Most of the text based submissions that are made at the University will use the Turnitin submission point. This tool links to the eMarking tool called GradeMark. Some of you may be familiar with this tool from marking level 4 assignments last year. However, a number of people are new to using GradeMark and may be interested in accessing the support material that we have put together on our website.

Whether you are new to GradeMark or are familiar with it from last year you may find the below tips useful for your marking.

Save comments to reuse them later
GradeMark has a feature which makes it easy for you to save comments for you to reuse later by dragging and dropping them onto student work. These are called QuickMarks. We recommend that you create these as you are going along clicking on the Save as QuickMark option rather than Save. Gradually it will make marking quicker as you build up the number of comments and reuse them rather than typing them again. To find out more about QuickMark take a look at our guide on Creating and using a library of reusable comments and Managing your library of useful comments.

Copy and paste general comments from Word into Grademark
The general comments area of the system allows you to replicate the sheet that used to be attached to the front of a student’s assignment. However rather than typing your comments directly into this area we recommend typing them up in a Word document first and then copy and pasting them in. There are a number of advantages to this including:

  • Avoiding losing work if the system times out
  • Reusing general feedback and then adapting it to be specific to that student
  • Keep a record of feedback given to the whole group rather than having to go into each students grademark area

Record some audio feedback in GradeMark
Within GradeMark you have the option to leave up to 3 minutes of audio feedback. This can help to add a personalised feel to the feedback and can convey additional information which can be lost in text based forms. You will need a headset with a microphone and a quiet room in which to record the feedback. You could book one of our recording booths in which to do this. These can be booked by emailing

Create a rubric with your team to help consistency of marking
Rubrics are sometimes referred to as marking grids and allow learners to be assessed on a scale of achievement for a set of criteria. Within each box you can provide generic feedback helping students to understand why they have achieved a certain level and for those who do not achieve the level what they might need to improve. Rubrics are not as straightforward as other parts of the system and for this reason we recommend:

  • Developing rubrics to be used with teams
  • Arranging an appointment with the learning technology team to help you create it
  • Developing it in Word or Excel first so it is easy to copy and paste into the system
  • Save frequently when creating the rubric to avoid losing work due to system time out

More information about rubrics can be found on our website.

View a list of the comments you have added to a students work
It can be useful to get an overall picture of the comments that have been added to a student’s paper. For this reason we recommend using the comment list tool next to the general comments speech bubble icon in the bottom right of the screen.

Screen shot of GradeMark showing the comment list button

This can help to:

  • Get an overview of all comments on the paper and on each page
  • Locate a comment within the paper (via the show on paper link)
  • Spot any spelling or typing errors so you can correct them
  • Clarify meaning for any comments that you feel might be ambiguous

Re-order columns and use groups to help manage multiple markers
Some submissions may be marked by more than one person. Managing this can be difficult but  there are several ways that the system can help you.

  • Create marking groups and then filter the submission by group
  • Order the list alphabetically to find your allocated students more easily
  • Order the list by paper ID to randomly allocate a set of students to a marker

More information about these methods can be found on the multiple marker page of our website.

Hopefully you have found this article useful and if you have your own tips on eMarking using Grademark please add a comment below.

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