Writing is a craft that takes years of practice and refinement to develop competence and master. Some instructors at MSU teach writing and composition itself, while others use writing to develop and assess other skills and concepts. To better respond to the needs of instructors, and to provide a rich web-based medium for student-to-student and instructor-to-student feedback, Michigan State University has adopted three powerful tools: Eli, Turnitin and most recently Google Classroom.
Selected and employed properly, these tools may help promote better student writing practices and feedback on performance in many forms of writing. When faculty strategically utilize these platforms, students are taught to problem solve, collaborate, review peer writing and think more deeply about the formative process of writing. These programs are not a quick fix or fully automated solution to feedback. Instead, these programs are designed to offer flexible platforms to assist instructors in making clear writing goals, aid students in creating writing strategies for improvement and give students the tools to learn to recognize quality writing as a process based practice of continual refinement.