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Turnitin Launches Teaching Tool to Evaluate Online Sources

Turnitin has released Source Educational Evaluation Rubric (SEER), an evaluation tool designed to help writing students determine the academic quality of the Internet sources cited in their research papers.

Available for instructors to download from the Turnitin Web site, the rubric identifies and provides ratings for more than 300 sources based on authority, educational value, intent, originality, and quality.

In response to studies showing that students rely heavily on Internet-based sources for their research, the company worked with secondary and higher education instructors to develop a rubric that would help students recognize the difference between a quality academic source and unreliable or crowd-sourced material and improve their writing skills.

"SEER is a tool I can use to open the discussion with students about evaluating sources and to stress the importance of using quality sources in academic writing," said Danielle Harris , teacher at Champlin Park High School and a SEER field tester, in a prepared statement. "I think SEER is a brilliant idea that will help students become better writers."

Tunitin is sponsoring two free webcasts, "What's Wrong with Wikipedia? Evaluating the Sources Used by Students" on January 31, and "Grading the Top 100 Student Sources" on and February 7, to familiarize instructors with SEER.

Turnitin offers educational, cloud-based services designed for online grading, tracking and evaluating original content, including iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service for commercial markets, and WriteCheck, a suite of formative tools for writers. Further information is available at turnitin.com.

About the Author

Sharleen Nelson is a freelance journalist based in Springfield, Oregon. She can be reached at snelson858@comcast.net.

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