Anonymous Marking

Official Turnitin LogoTurnitin allows instructors to mark work online using a tool called GradeMark.  Turnitin also allows users to decide whether or not they wish to mark work anonymously. The decision of whether to mark anonymously will have implications on how staff are able to mark submissions.

You should read the following information carefully to help decide whether anonymous marking in Turnitin is suitable for your assignment, or whether an alternative solution should be sought. If you are unsure, please contact Serviceline for further advice.

What are the main implications of anonymous marking in Turnitin

Due to the way in which anonymous marking is currently implemented in Turnitin, if you wish to use anonymous marking you are required to complete the end-to-end submission and marking process online in the Turnitin / GradeMark environment. So if you wish to use anonymous marking within Turnitin, students will need to submit to Turnitin, markers will be required to mark using GradeMark, and students will then be required to access their grades through either the Blackboard grade centre, or through the normal Turnitin interface.

When an assignment is setup for anonymous marking in Turnitin, you will still be able to download submissions to the assignment (where previously this was not possible).  The downloaded files will be given a filename made up of the submission ID for the submission in question, followed by the original filename of the file submitted by the student.  It is therefore important that the student does not put anything in the filename which could be used to directly identify them (for instance their name).  It is recommended that students put their Student ID number in their filename of the file they are submitting.  The student ID number is routinely used in other scenarios for anonymous marking (for instance exam scripts).

Even though is is possible to download submissions for anonymous assignments, it is still recommended that the marking process is completed online through the GradeMark interface.

Once all marking has been completed and the post date has passed (thus revealing grades to students), student identification will be turned back on (e.g the student names will re-appear in the assignment inbox). The key date in this process is the post date – this is when marks and feedback entered during the marking process are ‘posted up’ for each student to see. Students will only see their grade, they will not be able to see grades for other students.

There will also be administrative implications for using anonymous marking in Turnitin. The primary implication is that academics and administrative staff will be unable to see who has and has not submitted their work. This is because the normal class list (where student names are shown) is made fully anonymous in order to implement anonymous marking. Turnitin is not currently able to use student ID numbers as an alternative way to identify students ‘anonymously’. As a result, using anonymous marking in Turnitin will mean that staff are unable to chase those individuals who have not yet submitted. Remember – anonymity in the class list will remain until all work has been marked and the post date has passed.

It is possible to ‘turn off’ anonymity for individual submissions if you wish. However, once you have removed anonymity for a submission it cannot be turned back on – what has been seen cannot be unseen! So remember that turning off anonymity for a given submission will reveal the name of the student who made that submission. The name will be available to anyone who looks in the Turnitin inbox for the assignment.

**Note** that if you choose not to turn on anonymous marking when the assignment is first setup, you will not be able to go back and change the setting later.

Will anonymous marking in Turnitin be suitable for my assignment?

– I have an assessment which should be marked anonymously, and all markers will mark online

Answer: If you wish to use anonymous marking and all markers wish to mark work online, then a Turnitin assignment with anonymous marking enabled is a suitable solution. You will need to complete the entire end-to-end process online using Turnitin and GradeMark. Remember, however, that you will be unable to see who has and has not submitted their work until the post-date has passed.

– I have an assessment which should be anonymous, and everyone will mark on paper

Answer: If you wish to use anonymous marking but you require all markers to mark offline (i.e. submissions will be printed out and distributed) then Turnitin with anonymous marking is discouraged, simply because of the overhead of distributing papers to be marked and then matching the marked papers with their students (which can only be done manually).

– I have an assessment which should be anonymous, some people will mark online and some will mark on paper

Answer: If you wish to use anonymous marking where some markers will mark online and some will mark on paper then Turnitin with anonymous marking is discouraged, since manually returning marks to students for papers which have been marked offline (e.g. on paper) is a manual process.