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Creating and Grading Turnitin Assignments

Informing Students about Turnitin

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Resources


Using Turnitin within Blackboard - Instructors

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Turnitin is an intellectual property verification tool that includes features for grading and reviewing student assignments. As a plagiarism checker, Turnitin: flags text that has been identified as closely matching other online resources, including student-submitted work and published articles; displays possible sources where that text is located; and indicates the percentage of a paper that is attributable to other sources. The tool will ideally reduce overt and accidental plagiarism by helping students understand quotation attribution and citations.

Instructors can set up Turnitin assignments in their Blackboard courses to let students submit work. The instructions below are intended to help instructors use this resource within Blackboard. Information is also available for using Turnitin outside of the Blackboard environment. Consult this Blackboard Tips and Tricks handout for an overview of Turnitin.


Creating and Grading Turnitin Assignments

To create a Turnitin assignment in Blackboard:

  1. Select a content area (Coursework > Module 1) in the Blackboard course.
  2. With Edit Mode "On", click on Assessments and select Turnitin Assignment from the drop-down menu.
  3. Once the Turnitin page opens, select the "Assignment Type": Paper Assignment or Revision Assignment. Both a Revision Assignment and a Peer Mark Assignment require an existing initial Paper Assignment.
  4. Click the Next Step button.
  5. For a Paper Assignment, specify general information including assignment title, points possible, start date, due date, and post date (if you are using GradeMark), and then scroll down and click Optional settings.
    Return twice in the "special instructions" dialog box before typing to separate the text from the system-generated disclaimer. Other options in this section include:

    • Allow submissions after the due date? setting determines whether or not students will be able to submit their paper after the due date. Only one late submission is allowed and is clearly labeled as late.
    • Generate Originality Reports for submissions? setting determines whether or not Originality Reports will be generated for faculty-submitted papers.
    • Generate Originality Reports for student submissions? setting determines when Originality Reports will be generated for student-submitted papers.
    • Exclude bibliographic materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment? setting determines whether or not bibliographic materials will be included in the originality reports. This setting can only be changed up until the time the first assignment is submitted.
    • Exclude quoted materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment? setting determines whether or not material within quotations will be included in the originality reports. This setting can only be changed up until the time the first assignment is submitted.
    • Exclude small matches? when set to "yes," affords the option to exclude small matches as set by an instructor-specified word count or percentage.
    • Allow students to see Originality Reports? setting determines whether or not students will be able to view Originality Reports.
    • Reveal grades to students only on post date? setting is relevant only if GradeMark will be used to grade student papers.
    • Submit papers to: setting determines whether papers will or will not be posted to the standard student paper repository of all papers submitted to Turnitin throughout the world. Draft submissions must be set to "no repository."
    • Search options: setting affords instructors the option to search all or just selected sources.
    • GradeMark: The following settings need to be reviewed if GradeMark will be used to grade student work.
      • Attach rubric to this assignment: setting allows for rubrics to be attached.
      • e-rater Grammar Check: settings enables the use of this tool to analyze spelling, grammar, usage, mechanics, and/or style.
        • Select ETS handbook: setting determines the instructional level (recommended "Advanced") of the handbook e-rater will use.
        • Select English Dictionary: setting determines the dictionary (recommended US English Dictionary) e-rater will use.
        • Categories enabled by default: setting determines which e-rater component(s) will be enabled by default.

  6. Click the Submit button to finalize the Turnitin assignment.
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Consult this tutorial for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Creating an Assignment

Click on the image to the right to view a printable PDF of the recommended options settings for various situations. An online version of the table is also available.

Best Practices for Creating a Turnitin Assignment

Instructors are strongly encouraged to use Turnitin as an educational tool for students to review the Turnitin Originality Report to check their own paper for possible plagiarism and to encourage proper citation. Papers submitted as drafts ("no repository" is selected in the "Submit papers to" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment) are not uploaded into the standard, global repository of student papers. Final papers ("standard paper repository" is selected in the "Submit papers to" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment) will be uploaded into the standard paper repository, a global database of student papers.

Note that when students are allowed to make multiple submissions of a paper into a Turnitin assignment ("immediately can overwrite reports until due date" is selected in the "Generate Originality Reports for student submissions" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment), each submission overwrites the previous submission. In order to preserve each submission (e.g. both a draft submission and a final submission), instructors must create one or more Turnitin Revision assignments. Also note that a student's paper is never checked against itself in the same course in the same assignment.

While the Turnitin assignment tool itself does not include an option for the instructor to attach a document (i.e. assignment instructions, grading rubric) for the student's review, instructors can create a folder for the assignment and then use "Add Item" for their file attachment(s) and then "+Select: Turnitin Assignment" for the "draft" and/or "final" Turnitin assignments.

Viewing a Turnitin Assignment and Originality Report

Instructors can view the student's Turnitin submission through the Control Panel and the Turnitin Assignments tool.

  1. Under the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Turnitin Assignments .
  2. Click on the linked name for the Turnitin assignment.
  3. Click on the linked percentage figure located under the "Report" column to view the report.

For more information about how to interpret the report, open the "Getting Started" video that opens within Turnitin. Consult these tutorials for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Accessing the Inbox and Turnitin Help Center Article: Viewing Originality Reports within Blackboard.

Grading a Turnitin Assignment

Instructors can view a student's Turnitin submission as well as the associated Turnitin Originality Report and also enter a grade for a Turnitin assignment through the Grade Center. While instructors can grade a Turnitin Assignment through the Inbox, accessing it through the Grade Center is the only way to attach a marked-up copy and include additional comments.

  1. Under the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section and select Full Ggrade Center
  2. In the Grade Center, click on the far right side of the cell that contains the green box with a white exclamation point indicating that a student has completed a Turnitin assignment.
  3. Expand the drop down box and select View Grade Details.
  4. On the Grade Details screen, click on the Grade Attempt button.
  5. On the Modify Grade screen:
    • Clear Attempt by clicking on the Clear Attempt button in section 1 to remove a student's submission so that they can resubmit it. Note that this option will not clear the student's submission to the Turnitin student paper repository.
    • View a text only version of the paper generated by Turnitin by clicking the View button beside "User's Paper" in section 2.
    • View the Turnitin Originality Report by clicking View button beside "Originality Report" in section 2.
    • Enter the Grade for the assignment.
    • Provide feedback for the student in the Comments section.
    • Browse to locate and Attach local file to return to the student (if applicable).
    • Enter Instructor Notes (if applicable). These are note visible only to the instructor, not to the student.

Please be aware that it might take some time for a report to be generated; it is not instantly available for review as soon as a paper is submitted. If a student's paper has matching text in the Turnitin Originality Report, it does not necessarily indicate plagiarism. Turnitin will flag quotes that the student has correctly referenced, unless the Turnitin assignment was set up to "Exclude quoted materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment." Instructors will need to view the report to determine whether the copied material is correctly referenced.

Using Submit Paper: By File Upload

Turnitin Originality Reports can be generated for papers collected outside of a Turnitin assignment. In these instances, instructors upload electronic versions of papers without student involvement. Submit Paper: By File Upload first requires the creation of a Turnitin assignment and is then accessed through the >>View/Complete link for that Turnitin assignment, logged into Blackboard as the instructor. Both the tool for uploading files as well as the subsequent reports can be found there. Consult this tutorial for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Submitting a Paper


Informing Students about Turnitin

As with statements regarding academic integrity and disability services, instructors are strongly encouraged to include a paragraph on plagiarism in their syllabus. The following paragraph on Turnitin has been prepared for inclusion in a paragraph discussing plagiarism:

By taking this course, you agree that all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin for the detection of plagiarism. Some papers submitted for review will be included as source documents in the global Turnitin repository to be used in future reviews. You should remove your name and any other personally identifying information from your papers prior to submission to Turnitin. For additional information on and instructions pertaining to Turnitin, consult the SIUE Turnitin resource page at: http://www.siue.edu/its/turnitin/


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Additional Resources

For information on student usage of this tool, consult the ITS Turnitin resource page for students..

For more information about or additional help with Turnitin, contact Information Technology Services at (618) 650-5500 or via email at ftc_help@siue.edu.

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