Engaging Assignments and Digital Literacy Scaffolding with Turnitin

Improve Critical Thinking with Information Literacy

Engaging Assignments and Digital Literacy Scaffolding with Turnitin

Jessica Thur

English Teacher Dutch Fork High School, South Carolina

"It’s a very real world skill—whether it's for their profession or just their personal life—to be able to discern what's real, what's not, or how two ideas can help build on one another.”

Jessica Thur uses the source matching information she receives in Feedback Studio to initiate a conversation with her students about academic honesty, critical thinking, and information literacy. Thur says her institution “had a lot of cheating, especially as our school has become more tech savvy.” Feedback Studio has helped her students value thoughtful researching and proper citation practices. Thur coordinates with media specialists to create scaffolding strategies that help students more critically evaluate their reference sources.

Assignments that draw focus to research techniques and reference evaluation include: Defend Your Bibliography: Explain the value and content of each resource.

  • Most Valuable Resources: Identify which references are the most valuable and rank them.
  • Arguing with Authority: Researching both sides of an argument and reiterating the ideas in original words.
  • Teacher Talk: Students provide comments on instructor comments to encourage reflection on feedback beyond just a grade.

Thur has seen a marked improvement in her students’ information literacy skills: “They have to use different sources together, figure out the best source, and then explain why that's a good source, so evaluating material as well.” Her collaborations with other teachers and media specialists help students use analytical skills throughout their academic experience. “It’s a very real world skill—whether it's for their profession or just their personal life—to be able to discern what's real, what's not, or how two ideas can help build on one another.”