PlagScan’s Submissions feature is a convenient method for educators to collect their students’ documents digitally. This can easily be done by uploading documents via an online portal by the students themselves. Intermediate steps such as submitting through emailed links and USB sticks become irrelevant. However, we want to address the needs of teachers, lecturers and professors even more. Therefore we went one step further with our improved feature called Assignments.
In this blog post we would like to give you an overview of the new, revised version of the Assignments feature and present to you the most important improvements of this update.
Huge Time Saver
One of the biggest advantages of the new Assignments feature is how much time it saves. Administrators now no longer have to create accounts for uploaders manually. This process is outsourced to the uploaders themselves, for whom limited guest accounts are now available as a standard account type. Educators can invite existing PlagScan users to an Assignment. Either individually, via the automatic user search, or in bulk by pasting email addresses (or uploading a spreadsheet file containing email addresses). Of course it is entirely possible to hand-out links for uploading to the Assignment. By duplicating an Assignment, not only will the settings be carried over but the participating users can also be duplicated.
You want to involve other teachers, assistants or professors in your Assignment to help with the interpretation of Plagiarism Reports? No problem! Simply delegate this task by sharing an Assignment with your colleagues. They will be able to see, comment and edit the reports. This saves you even more valuable time.
Better Overview of Assignments
The new Assignments overview was designed to be clear and concise so you can always see the important information at a glance in one place. No pop-up, no additional window needed. An overview of all your Assignments, accessible directly in the Document Manager, is now an easy-to-read list. You can see open Assignments, their deadlines, the amount of submitted documents and available reports.
Old assignments no longer need to be deleted to keep your overview clean. Instead, you can now easily archive them. Instead of having to scroll down a long list, you can now browse through a paginated list of Assignments. In combination with the search and sort functionality, you can find older submissions in no time at all.
You can also add a label to an Assignment that will be added to the submitted documents as well. This facilitates filtering your documents after submission considerably.
Archiving for closed Assignments can be easily done in bulk. Just select the appropriate Assignments and click the bulk archive button above the list to archive them and move their documents to your organization’s repository. Right now we’re discussing other ideas like downloading all plagiarism reports bundled, deleting multiple assignments and other possible bulk actions. Would you like to provide feedback or tell us some of your own ideas?
Of course there are a number of other improvements as well that we will touch upon in this article very briefly. But do not worry. We will address everything in detail in future articles as well as in our upcoming manuals for the Assignment feature. Here are some of the useful things that await you with Assignments:
- You can allow participants to submit multiple versions or drafts of their documents and have the Assignment set up to exclude documents from the same user during plagiarism checks.
- Enable submitters not only to view the plagiarism reports (if desired), but also to comment or edit them. This can be very useful when you want to educate on the topic of plagiarism.
- You can limit the number of documents that participants can submit for enhanced control within your Assignment.
- You’re now able to add a file to your Assignment. This document can include instructions for the submission or text that should be included in the uploaded document – this text will be excluded from the plagiarism check by default.
Upcoming Features for Assignments
Naturally our work is not done yet. We are still busy adding new features and improving existing ones. Here is a little overview of features to come:
- Uploaders will receive a useful overview in their guest account. Here they will be able to see all Assignments they are participating in with a lot of helpful information about the Assignment as well as their submissions.
- We will introduce categories for Assignments that are due soon, completed or archived to provide even more ways for sorting and filtering.
- We will provide additional document information in the ‘Participants and Submissions’ overview.
- We plan to reflect real life workflows within the Assignments feature, so you can review reports, provide feedback with improved commenting, and then release the results for everyone.
- Author Metrics – our solution for Ghostwriting detection – will be integrated into Assignments.
Do you have questions about our new and improved Assignments? Feel free to leave a comment under this post or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also make sure to check out our feature page on Assignments as well as our manuals for administrators and users.