Feedback is an essential component of the learning process. Annotate PRO and Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ are two prominent tools designed to facilitate this process. Turnitin® is well-known (and controversial) for its plagiarism detection and  artificial intelligence solutions but it also features a comprehensive feedback tool, “Feedback Studio™” that duplicates much of the functionality available in LMS platforms like Canvas: document markup, audio comments, and rubrics. While offering integrations with major platforms, Feedback Studio™ requires students and teachers leave their LMS’ user interface to use its features. Its integration with the LMS, particularly Canvas, can lead to convoluted workflows and a less than ideal user experience.

Annotate PRO (AP) takes a different approach. Rather than create a whole new world, AP works with the solutions educators already know and love to provide a crucial component to feedback: reusable comment banks.

In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of AP (including how you can switch from Turnitin to AP in under two minutes) and how it can improve the feedback experience for educators and students alike.

1. Integration With Multiple Platforms

One of the most significant differences between Annotate PRO and Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ is the seamless integration with various platforms that Annotate PRO offers. It plays nice with your favorite platforms, including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Canvas SpeedGrader, and Blackboard. This makes it easy for educators to utilize AP across different learning management systems and applications without having to switch between multiple tools or send students through an awkward workflow (see https://turnitin.psu.edu/help/canvas/ for one complicated explanation). Since Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ is primarily integrated with Turnitin’s own suite of tools, its usefulness is limited in diverse learning environments. With AP, students get their feedback in the solution with which they’re already comfortable and teachers use their institution’s primary learning platform. 

2. MULTIPLE, Customizable Comment Libraries

Annotate PRO makes it easy to create and use multiple customizable comment Libraries that instructors can swap in and out with a single click. Plus, these Libraries are easy to navigate with a convenient organization structure and search. In contrast, Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ only offers a single “Quickset” of predefined comments, which may not be as effective in addressing the unique needs of individual students across multiple courses or assignments.

3. Sharing and Collaboration

Unlike Turnitin® Feedback Studio™, where Quicksets can only be downloaded, shared as files, and uploaded, Annotate PRO supports centralized management of comment libraries. This feature enables institutions to create and update comment banks, assuring 10, 100, or 1000 instructors have the latest and greatest content. With Turnitin®, there is no way to update comment banks shared with faculty. 

4. Expert Feedback Libraries

Annotate PRO offers a wide range of expert feedback libraries, addressing diverse student needs and subject areas. The available libraries include College Edition (for academic writing), Legal Writing Edition, Presentation Skills Edition, and Discussion Moderator Edition. These specialized libraries provide targeted feedback to help students excel in specific areas, improving their writing skills and understanding of course content. Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ doesn’t provide these specialized libraries, giving Annotate PRO an edge in addressing diverse student needs and streamlining the feedback process for educators. 

5. Time Efficiency

Annotate PRO’s Comment Libraries and its intuitive user interface enable educators to provide feedback more quickly and efficiently. By having a bank of prewritten comments, teachers can spend less time typing repetitive feedback and more time focusing on individual student needs. Annotate PRO comments are easily editable and expandable to adapt to the specific circumstance at hand. AP can even save an instructor’s manually created comments, then make it easy to save them to a Comment Library for future use (Google Docs and Canvas SpeedGrader only).

Turnitin® Feedback Studio™, on the other hand, requires manual input of comments, which can be time-consuming for educators managing multiple assignments and students.

6. Enhanced Student Engagement

By providing personalized feedback using Annotate PRO’s customizable Comment Libraries, educators can foster greater student engagement and motivation. Students are more likely to respond positively to feedback that is tailored to their specific needs and progress, rather than generic comments. While Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ does offer audio comments and other features, written feedback is often faster for students to consume and comprehend. Most LMS platforms offer audio comments and rubrics as part of their core assignment grading feature, requiring faculty to learn two different ways of accomplishing the same goal.

7. Privacy and Security

11trees, the developers of AP, does not monetize student–or instructor–created content. AP does not store student work. This ensures that student intellectual property remains secure and private, fostering trust between 11trees, educators, and students.

In contrast, Turnitin® Feedback Studio™ requires that student documents be stored on their servers so they can use that content to improve their plagiarism analysis solution. Turnitin®, claims “fair use” as a justification for storing and monetizing student work and sells its service to various essay mills and other unethical services to help assure “originality” for purchased academic work. 

Conclusion

While Turnitin® may be an effective tool for plagiarism detection (experts differ on this, but we understand schools have multiple years of student work stored in its servers, helping deter cheating), AP offers a simpler approach to comment libraries that works across all the EDU platforms educatorss know and love. AP makes it easy to share Comment Libraries and does not require students learn any new platforms to receive their feedback.

Individual instructors can start using Annotate PRO for free and choose to license advanced features for an affordable annual subscription. Institutions can license Annotate PRO, to facilitate sharing of Comment Libraries and access administrative features, for a fraction of Turnitin’s® cost. With Annotate PRO, teachers unlock the potential of feedback and ultimately improve the learning experience for their students.

AP is free for individual educators

Create as many Libraries as you’d like, save zillions of clicks with our fantastic toolbar for Canvas, Bb, Moodle, Schoology, Teams, Brightspace, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word…