When starting to teach students remotely, one can be overwhelmed with the amount of Learning Managements Systems and other software supporting distance learning. Too many features at hand when all you want is to collect documents digitally, share with colleagues or other students and provide feedback. While you can integrate PlagScan easily into existing LMSs for plagiarism checking, our very own Assignments feature can provide you with the functionalities of a “lightweight LMS” – all free of charge.
For this you first need a PlagScan organization account which you can register here for free or use an existing one, if you already registered an account in the past. First, make sure you activated our improved Assignment style within your account. To do so go into Settings (upper right menu), visit the User Interface and Reporting menu (left hand side menu) and check if for Assignment Submission Style you selected New improved.
Before setting up an Assignment you should decide if you want to hand out a link to your students which they will use to upload their documents without setting up an account. This way you can collect documents quickly, but will not be able to provide proper feedback to your students via our system. To be able to let your students add comments and provide a better overview of multiple assignments you can provide them with PlagScan guest accounts. Guest accounts are free of charge and are limited PlagScan accounts which are only used to submit documents and receive feedback. We at PlagScan recommend the use of guest accounts for better collaboration. For detailed instructions on how to set up guest accounts and provide the possibility for self-signup, have a look at our manual or our blog post “PlagScan Guest Accounts and The Student View“.
To create an assignment, navigate to Documents (upper right menu) and select Assignments (left hand side menu). Click on the New Assignment button and edit it according to your needs. You can find more information about the settings details in our Assignments Manual. For collaboration via comments within the uploaded document, make sure you check Send plagiarism report to participants within the Advanced Options and select Can comment (alternatively you can make commenting available later when sharing the document). Once you are done click on Create Assignment and you can continue to invite participants or copy the link to the Assignment Portal to hand out to your students. Now you can start collecting all your students’ documents digitally.
As soon as you receive your first document you can access it via the Document Manager or the Assignment overview and view it online, download it, or download all documents of one Assignment at once. When accessing it online via PlagScan’s document view you can add comments to sections of the text and provide the uploader with feedback. You can also share the document with other collaborators. All without checking the document for plagiarism first.
If you have questions on how to use PlagScan as a “LMS Light”, let us know via the comments section below this blog post, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will support you.