GradeMark is a paperless grading system that gives instructors the ability to add comments and corrections to assignments submitted electronically. It is a tool offered within Turnitin, the plagiarism detection software product used at JHU. With its drag and drop functionality, among other features, GradeMark has the potential to save instructors a great deal of time when grading online assignments. It is also easily integrated with Blackboard.
(Note: In order to use GradeMark, online assignments must be created using Turnitin. If using Turnitin within Blackboard, accounts are automatically created for instructors and students through the Blackboard system. If using Turnitin outside of Blackboard, the instructor is responsible for creating separate accounts for each student. Please click here for more information on Turnitin’s integration with Blackboard.)
GradeMark contains several different grading features:
- Dragging and Dropping Quickmarks – Quickmarks are frequently used comments that are readily available to drag and drop into a student’s assignment. While viewing an assignment, the instructor can select from a panel of standard Quickmarks that come with GradeMark, or from a custom set that s/he has created. For example, the abbreviation ‘Awk.’ is a Quickmark indicating an awkward phrase. The ability to drag and drop Quickmarks to an assignment, instead of typing them over and over again, can save instructors a lot of time.
- General Comments – Each assignment has a generous space where general comments can be added. General comments can be used to further clarify any Quickmarks that were added as well as discuss the assignment as a whole.
- Voice Comments – A recent addition to GradeMark is the ability to add voice comments. A voice comment can be added to the assignment lasting up to three minutes in length. An instructor can use the built-in microphone in his/her computer to easily record the message.
- Rubrics – Rubrics created within GradeMark can help streamline the grading process by using a ‘scorecard’ approach. Specific criteria and scores are defined in a rubric that is then associated with an assignment. Instructors grade the assignment by filling in the scores based on the evaluative criteria in the rubric. There is also the option of associating Quickmarks with rubrics when they are added to the assignment.
Students are able to view their graded assignments when the ‘post date’ is reached. The post date is set by the instructor when setting up the assignment. Students have the option to print or save a copy of the graded assignment and can view only their own submissions.
- Flexibility in marking up assignments – Quickmarks, rubrics, text, voice comments all available.
- Time saved dragging and dropping reusable comments.
- Increased consistency in grading.
- Clear feedback to students, instead of ‘scribbled margins.’
- Opportunity to provide more detailed feedback to students including links and resources.
- No need to download assignments – everything is web-based, stored online.
- If the instructor is using Blackboard, when the assignment is graded the grade is automatically transferred and recorded into the Blackboard Grade Center.
Amy Brusini, Course Management Training Specialist
Center for Educational Resources
Image sources: Amy Brusini screen shot of GradeMark example; GradeMark logo