Turnitin Assignment

NOTICE: Beginning Summer 2019, all courses will be offered exclusively on Canvas. Only Moodle archives will be available after Spring 2019. 


Note: All Turnitin services and related websites (Turnitin, OriginalityCheck, GradeMark, PeerMark, Turnitin for Admissions, WriteCheck, and iThenticate) may be unavailable for use during scheduled maintenance times. Times for these scheduled maintenance windows are the first and third Saturdays of each month, 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Turnitin is an online plagiarism-detection resource for educators and students concerned with developing quality writing and research skills. The system detects plagiarism by comparing submitted papers against three databases:

  1. A copy of the publicly accessible Internet (more than 2 billion pages updated at a rate of 30-40 million pages per day).
  2. Millions of published works (such as ABI/Inform, Periodical Abstracts, Business Dateline, and tens of thousands of electronic books).
  3. Student papers previously submitted from schools using Turnitin.com.

For each paper submitted, the results of these comparisons are compiled for faculty in custom "Originality Reports."

Even though a student paper may receive a high similarity rating in an Originality Report, it does not necessarily mean the paper is plagiarized. There are a number of perfectly legitimate reasons for a paper receiving a high similarity rating. For example, a research paper on the Bill of Rights which quotes extensively from the U. S. Constitution and is properly cited would nonetheless be flagged as being similar to content in the Turnitin databases. It is up to the faculty to review the Turnitin Originality Report to determine if the similar text is legitimate or reflects plagiarism.

There are two options for using Turnitin at Cal State L.A.:

  1. Create Turnitin assignments within Moodle. This approach leverages your Moodle login credentials and you do not need to request a separate Turnitin account id and password. Click here to download the Moodle Instruction Guide for Turnitin or contact mymoodle support for assistance.
  2. Use the Turnitin website to manage student-submitted assignments. You and your students will need to create profiles on the Turnitin website. To do this:

We encourage all faculty to read "Recommendations for Faculty Using Turnitin.com at Cal State L.A." before using Turnitin in your course.

Turnitin Links

Turnitin Additional Resources

Turnitin's training page offers a number of Flash Video Tutorials and downloadable PDF User Manuals and Quickstart Guides

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Creating a Turnitin Assignment in Moodle

A Turnitin Assignment is similar to a regular assignment in that an assignment is configured by the professor and students either upload their assignment as a file or type their assignment into a text box in order to receive a grade. However, a Turnitin Assignment will process student submissions to check for plagiarism, and each submission will receive an originality report as it would if submitted through the Turnitin website (for more information on Turnitin, please visit their website: http://turnitin.com/). Additionally, Turnitin Assignments have a different look than traditional Moodle assignments and require an extra step.

NOTE: There are two main steps to create a Turnitin Assignment. One must first create the Turnitin Assignment itself; then set the start date, due date, Feedback release date, and maximum marks separately.

Follow the instructions below to create a Turnitin Assignment:

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Click on Gear Menu on the top right of your course.  
  3. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on the Add an activity or resource link of the section where the assignment will be displayed.
  5. Click the button next to the External Tool.
  6. Click the Add button.
  7. Provide an Activity name.
  8. In the Preconfigured tool option select Turnitin Assignment.
  9. In the Grade section enter a maximum grade for the assignment.
  10. Click the Save and display button at the bottom of the screen.

Note: We still need to edit the submission parameters for the assignment.

Follow these instructions to edit the assignment parameters:

  1. Once in the assignment locate the tabs section and select Settings.
  2. Provide parameters for the Turnitin Assignment.
    • NOTE: Start Date refers to the date and time at which students will be able to begin submissions. Due date refers to the date after which all submissions will be noted as late. Feedback release date is the date that students’ grades, originality reports, and GradeMark feedback will be available for viewing.  Max marks refers to the maximum amount of points a student can receive for the assignment.  Max marks and the Grade Maximum points should be the same.
  3. If you would like to view Plagiarism or Rubric settings click on Optional Settings.
  4. Click Submit.

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Creating a Turnitin Assignment for Drafts

In order for drafts to be submitted without affecting the originality score of the final student submissionyou must disallow the storage of draft material in Turnitin. This means that student submissions will be checked against papers stored in Turnitin and other material on the Internet; but won't be stored in Turnitin. 

Follow the instructions below to modify an existing Turnitin Assignment to allow for Drafts:

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Click on the Assignment Name.
  3. Click on Settings tab.
  4. Find and expand the Optional settings button.
  5. Change the Submissions settings: option to Do not store the submitted papers.
  6. Click Submit button.

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Setting the Feedback release date of a Turnitin Assignment

The Feedback release Date is the date students receive their feedback and marks. If you find yourself having trouble adding comments or grading assignments, it might be due to the fact that the Feedback release Date has been reached. To remedy this issue you need to change the Feedback Release Date to reflect a date in the future.

Follow the instructions below to change the Post Date to a date in the future:

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Click on the Assignment Name.
  3. Click on the Settings tab.
  4. Click on the Calender icon to change the Feedback Release Date to a date that has not yet been reached.
  5. Click on the calendar options available.
  6. Click on Submit to save changes.

You should now be able to mark and comment on assignments.

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Downloading Turnitin Assignments in Bulk

Once your students have submitted their assignments and you wish to have a copy of the students’ work, Moodle allows you to download in bulk Turnitin assignments. You can bulk download the original files, PDF versions of the original files, and grades (along with the matching scores).

Follow the instructions below to bulk download Turnitin assignments

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Click on the Turnitin Assignment title.
  3. In the Assignment inbox tab you will see a Download button:
      • Grade Report XLS - downloads an Excel file with grade data for each student submission.
      • Original Files - downloads the original file (usually either Word or PDF formats).
      • Standard PDFs ­­- downloads a PDF version of the original file.
      • GradeMark PDFs - downloads a PDF version of the original file with GradeMark comments overlayed on the paper.
    • Click on the icon of the file format you wish to download.
    • A pop up window will appear indicting your download is ready.  Mac computers download the file directly to the Downloads folder
      • Note: This process can take more than a couple of minutes to complete depending on your connection.
    • When the Download File window has loaded, click on the link to download the assignments in a zipped file format.
    • The file will then download to your computer.
    • The file will appear in your computer’s Downloads folder. From here you can move the file to a different folder.

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    Checking If Your Feedback is Available to Students

    When you have already graded and provided feedback to students regarding their assignment, you may find that students have difficulty seeing assignment feedback. There are three things to check for if you have students unable to see your feedback.

    1. Check to see what browser the student is using:          
      • The Turnitin document viewer is not compatible with older versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
    2. Review the assignment Feedback Release Date:
      • Follow the instructions below to check whether the Feedback Release Date has been met:
        • Log in to your course.
        • Click on the Turnitin Assignment title.
        • Review the Feedback Release Date.
    3. Check to see if the assignment is restricted:
      • Follow the instructions below to check whether the assignment is restricted:
        • Log in to your course.
        • Click on the Turnitin Assignment title.
        • Click on Gear icon on the top right of your course.
        • Click Edit settings, located in the dropdown menu.
        • Find the section labeled Restrict access.
        • Review any Restrict access restrictions.  We recommend not adding any restrictions.

    Your students should now be able to access the assignment and view their feedback. The restrict access should only be used if you want the assignment title to display for a certain time length. This is not the same as the due date setting.

    NOTE: If you have tried these options and your students still cannot see the feedback, you may contact us at [email protected] or your students can contact [email protected].

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    Resubmitting Assignments

    Moodle has the option for  your students to resubmit assignments. This is great if your student has not submitted an assignment by the due date or if they need to resubmit.

    Follow the instructions below to allow resubmissions of Turnitin assignments:

    1. Log in to your course.
    2. Click on the Turnitin Assignment title.
    3. Click on Settings tab.
    4. Click on Optional Settings.
    5. Find the section labeled Similarity Report.
    6. Change setting to Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date): After 3 resubmissions, reports generate after 24 hours.

    NOTE: If you change the setting and your student is still unable to resubmit, you will need to delete the old submission so that the student can resubmit.

    Follow the instructions below to delete a student’s submission:

    1. Log in to your course.
    2. Click on the Turnitin Assignment title.
    3. Find the student whose assignment you wish to delete.
    4. On the right-hand side, across from the student’s name, click on the trash can icon.
    5. Click on the OK button in the pop-up window to confirm file deletion.

    The student should now be able to resubmit the assignment.

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    Safari Cookies- Enable Turnitin

    For users who cannot view the Turnitin submission screen and are using Safari, follow the instructions belowYou will need to access Preferences from the Safari menu.

    1. Click on Privacy.
    2. Click Always allow.

    Instructions for enabling Turnitin

    The students should now be able to view the Turnitin submission screen.

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