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Blinn recognized for utilizing technology to strengthen students’ writing skills

College nominated for two awards from software company Turnitin

March 5, 2014

Blinn College and its faculty were recently recognized by a leading software company for their use of technology to help students improve their academic writing skills.

With the assistance of Turnitin, Blinn students learn the proper ways to conduct research, cite sources and attribute information to avoid plagiarism. Like many instructors, English professor Audrey Wick has engrained the software into her curriculum.

“It makes writing a much smoother process for the students,” Wick said. “I can go in and leave feedback, but it also allows peer-to-peer revision, voice comments, and rubric use. In this way, students are part of a writing dialogue.”

Blinn’s implementation of Turnitin software led the company to nominate the College for two Turnitin All-Star Awards.

“We conducted in-depth interviews with many nominees to capture their experiences and stories,” said Ray Huang, senior customer programs manager for Turnitin. “We learned how innovative educators are using Turnitin to engage students in their work.” 

Blinn is one of four finalists for the Original Writers Award, granted to the institution that has most effectively used the software to maintain academic integrity. In Fall 2013 alone, students submitted more than 29,000 works to Turnitin.

Wick is a finalist for Turnitin MVP, awarded to an individual who has actively used Turnitin and promoted the software.

Wick has utilized the software for 10 years because it provides a simple way for students to submit their writing and receive quick feedback. She helped run Blinn’s pilot program back in 2004 and has seen participation grow to 114 faculty members in Fall 2013. Last semester, 12,303 students—almost 70 percent of Blinn students—used Turnitin.

Turnitin will announce the winners later this month. The software is used by more than 13,000 institutions in 135 countries.

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.