Learning platform updates

The vendors of three of our core tools have recently announced product updates. We will be monitoring and testing (some of) these during the forthcoming months; and will report back on progress.

Turnitin2

Two new major updates are currently being planned for later this spring:

1)   Updated Basic integration;

  • Upgraded Instructors interface, enabling better tracking and monitoring of all scripts in assignments
  • Instructors being able to view any requested matched papers from within their own institution – without needing to contact Tii support
  • The ability to attach audio feedback to scripts.

2)   Direct Integration (currently in beta test). Main features;

  • Multi-part and continuous assignment types
  • e-rater grammar checker
  • removal of the roster synch button
  • Export grades to Excel format, user un-mapping ability, ability to recycle /rollover old assignments (with new cohorts)
  • Releasing grades only on “Post” date
  • Improved support for moving assignments.

Read more here: http://submit.ac.uk/en_us/support/integrations/blackboard-direct

Note: some of the features listed above (e.g. audio feedback, or upgraded instructors interface) will be implemented as standard for the web document viewer, so they will ultimately appear in both the direct and basic integrations.

In addition to the above new features on the horizon are;

  • A whole new set of analytics tools will be made available to assignment instructors.
  • A phased roll out of fully iPad enabled Turnitin access will begin in spring 2012 through to winter 2013.
  • Translated paraphrasing will also be available this year. This relatively new method of converting text into different languages – then back into English, can be now be “checked” to detect this practice.

Book your place on the free Turnitin webinars running spring 2012.

Pebblepad3

PebblePad3 is a complete rewrite of the platform. It is currently in beta testing (New Zealand/Australia) and will be ready for UK testing during spring 2012.  Full release is planned for June 2012. The new platform boasts a complete revamp of the interface – thereby addressing one of the major criticisms levelled against it.  The gateway functionality has been rewritten to include new features and enhancements of the existing gateway tool (now called ATLAS). There will be a new community aspect of the platform to allow sharing of templates and assets on a global basis – from 2013.

More details of the new platform can be located at URL: http://www.pebblepad.co.uk/cs_download/flyers/What_is_PebblePad_Plus.pdf

PebblePad3 is currently being piloted in New Zealand and Australia. This blog is charting progress and includes screenshots of the new interface:

Note: The Pebblepad road show : will be visiting Aston on Thursday 22nd March (AM). They will be demonstrating PebbePad3  . Book your  place at: http://www.pebblepad.co.uk/roadshow/

Blackboard Service pack 8

New features and enhancements are promised for Service Pack 8.

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