Improved Pedagogy Enabled by Assessment Using Gradescope

Gradescope is a Turnitin solution that enables quick and easy grading.

This useful tool saves instructors time and lets them focus on teaching, which is the most important part of the learning process.

It is undisputed that feedback is very crucial where learning is concerned. This is to help students know how they are doing, which areas to focus on, and so on. It also helps instructors know how they can help their students improve, which concepts to revisit and also to help them better understand those concepts. While Turnitin’s main focus is to empower students to do their best, authentic work, their team identified the importance of providing a tool to help deliver effective feedback, while saving instructors grading time.

Gradescope has solved grading problems for many institutions, big or small. One such example is of a large institution that had to find a system to suit thousands of students.  The institution needed a solution that would create consistency all round – for every module, teaching has to be the same for every student, and the experience has to be as similar as possible. However, with more than 30 000 students, grading each student’s paper was not that easy. The initial method that the university used was grading exams based on the rubric developed by a team and then they had to trust and hope that instructors would all interpret and apply the rubric in the way it was intended (and in the same way). With each instructor drawing their own conclusion from what they were noticing while marking the papers, it was difficult to know how all the students were performing as a whole.

Gradescope changed all this. The university’s grading problems were solved! It enabled data-informed instruction and consistent grading. Instructors could now gain insight into how all the students answered certain questions. Gradescope provided the university with unique and clear information for every question regardless of type, from multiple-choice to open-response questions. In response, instructors had the opportunity to adjust instruction, review test questions, and easily compare the similarity between versions of exams.

Instructors could identify the variance of different answers students gave, as well as group answers together. This allows instructors to provide a standard comment with just one click, for every common response. This saves instructors time, and gives them a chance to focus on instruction based on the data and insights they would get from the test or assessment results. Insight into graded results data, standard feedback to students, students receiving feedback faster due to streamlined grading process, and instructors saving a tremendous amount of time – all these factors help instructors and align coursework with pedagogical goals at the institution.

How Does Gradescope Work?

Here is how the rubric based digital grading tool works in assessing exams:

  1. It grades student submissions online, in any location
  2. Gradescope changes the point value associated with a particular mistake once and applies to the entire population
  3. Gradescope references similar mistakes so that the grader does not have to rewrite the same comment
  4. It facilitates a database that keeps a digital record of the student work
  5. It allows feedback digitally outside of classroom time

These activities help Gradescope to focus on four principles of effective feedback:


Institutions that use Gradescope have found that teaching and learning outcomes improve with the insights gained from using Gradescope, supporting them in meeting their pedagogical commitment.