Plymouth Marjon University adds AI-powered Studiosity+ to its student support service

Plymouth Marjon University has adopted Studiosity’s new AI learning technology to give its students formative feedback on their written work within minutes, in a further enhancement to its well-established 24/7 study skills service.

Studiosity+, which launched in February, provides fast, ethical and equitable delivery of academic writing feedback to all students, supporting satisfaction, completion and helping institutions to maintain their credible degree delivery. It is focused on AI for learning, not just error correction; and its ‘Humans in the Loop’ process supports quality assurance, academic governance, oversight and due diligence around service delivery and development.

Importantly, universities can see students’ progress, critical thinking development, pinpoint challenges, and take next steps through Studiosity+. This helps support all their learners and use the actionable insight for whole-of-institution change.

The University first introduced Studiosity, whose ethical writing feedback and study support service is trusted by more and more universities and 1.8 million students globally, in 2018. This provided Plymouth Marjon students with on-demand access to Writing Feedback, Studiosity’s formative English-writing feedback service on grammar, spelling, structure and readability (with comprehensive feedback provided, on average, within just five hours), and Connect Live, which gives students one-to-one personal academic support in real time.

Now, with Studiosity+, the 24/7 student support service has been boosted to another level with virtually instant writing feedback guaranteed.

“We started working with Studiosity because we have a lot of first-in-family students, a lot of mature students who may have been out of education for a long time, and a lot of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who might not necessarily come to university with the required writing skills,” said Kerry Kellaway, Head of Library at Plymouth Marjon University.

“Over the last five years we have built an incredible relationship with Studiosity, and the study support service is well respected and well used by our students, so when they told us about their AI development we were really excited. They have modelled good use of AI practice and Studiosity+ is an exemplar of what AI can do. We see Studiosity+ as a research assistant – you have a draft assignment, and it makes suggestions on what to do to improve it – it does not do it for you. It acts as a critical friend, shows you where you can develop, and takes out the waiting time and uncertainty caused by delays. To hear AI and ethical in one sentence is also hugely reassuring to our students, and this will be an important part of their study toolkit.

“Studiosity’s turnaround time has always been amazing – just five hours for rich feedback – but as many of our students also have jobs, family and caring responsibilities Studiosity+ can keep help them on task during the time they have for study, particularly out of regular hours. With this additional support they can stay focused on each piece of work, feel more confident and on track, and make better use of their study time.”

Kerry revealed that the University was targeting a 40% usage of Studiosity+ amongst its student community, and is aiming to use it as a pedagogical tool in initial assessments.

“We love that Studiosity+ is blended with the personal,” she explained. “Humans are still there, just more in a quality assurance role; if students do not understand the feedback this is where the ‘in-person’ Connect Live comes in through our wider Studiosity package. You cannot get this blended 24/7 approach elsewhere on the market.

“Studiosity+ shows students they are in complete control of what they have invested in. It is a visible indicator of what their tuition fees go towards and, with up to 100 submissions per student, proves just how valued it is, including usage for iterative learning. It is also excellent value for money for us as a university and has been very well received by students and academics alike. Implementation was really easy, seamless in fact, and we are looking
forward to having data analytics that hook up with central data repository tools too, making it more usable across the institution over time.

“Through the Studiosity+ dashboard we hope to see improvements, such as more gaps between use and less reliance on the service over time, as well as through other metrics it can provide which we feel are really compelling.”

Kerry also outlined how Studiosity+ would complement the University’s on-site study skills service and underpinning approach. “Study skills is a service for everyone, Studiosity is part of that offer, and the 24/7 USP goes a long way to reassuring and upskilling students,” she commented. “Generally we have three layers of support: help yourself; get support, try again; and let us help you. As a university we champion independence and independent learning, and Studiosity takes care of the first two layers – in an assisted way – then we go to one-to-ones with staff for those who most need support.

“Studiosity+ is an incredible product, it will only get better as it becomes more AI trained, and as a pedagogical tool you can see it being a huge benefit.”

Isabelle Bristow, Studiosity’s Managing Director for UK and Europe, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Plymouth Marjon University. Our latest research, commissioned through YouGov as part of our Global Student Wellbeing Survey, found that the majority of students in most countries now expect their university to offer AI support tools. Speed of feedback and improving confidence, specifically to check they are on the right track through their assignment, are the main reasons. Studiosity+ meets this demand, and supports our mission to provide personal, at-scale, ethical, formative feedback which complements and amplifies in-house university student support services.”

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