Turnitin assignments

Turnitin assignments

Turnitin is an online assignment submission tool offering the following features:

  • Sophisticated feedback options such as annotations, text and audio responses and rubrics
  • Similarity checking whereby student submissions can be checked for potential matches against a wide range of web based materials and student submissions
  • Peer review, where students can review each other’s work and provide feedback.

Turnitin accepts any file type, however only certain file types can be checked for Similarity, these being:

Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Corel WordPerfect, Adobe PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice, Hangul, Google Docs and plain text.

Find how more about how Turnitin Similarity Reports are used to check student work for matches against the repository.

Submissions to Turnitin must not be password protected and are limited to 20MB or 400 pages.

Turnitin can also be used where a student has not made any submission. This scenario can arise in the case of oral presentations, or situations where students cannot submit their work electronically. In these cases, markers can still create a Turnitin assignment, which will then allow them to use Turnitin’s Grading Template to give a mark and feedback to each student, even though the student has not made a submission. For more information see the relevant section below.

Creating a Turnitin assignment

Three types of assignment may be created using Turnitin:

  • Paper Assignments are the default assignment type and are used for most assignment submissions
  • Revision Assignments are used in the case where students need to submit a draft version of their assignment before their final copy. In this case, you can create a paper assignment for submission of the draft; then create a revision assignment for submission of the final version
  • PeerMark Assignments permit students to provide peer reviews on each other’s work, either anonymously or identified, using feedback questions provided by staff. More information on  is available in the PeerMark assignments guide.

Paper Assignments

  1. Create a new Content Page, or navigate to any existing Content Page where you want to add a Turnitin assignment.
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON .
  3. From Assessments select Turnitin Assignment.
  4. If this is the first time you have used Turnitin in the LMS, a terms and conditions page appears. Click I Agree - Continue, then go to step 6 as you will be given a Paper assignment by default.
  5. If you have used Turnitin before in this subject, the three assignment types of Paper, Revision and PeerMark will be displayed. Select Paper Assignment and click Next Step.
  6. Enter the assignment details (Title, Point value, Start/Due/Post dates).
  7. Note: The Point value should be set to a reasonably large number to enable the different skill levels to be discernible. For example, it is recommended to mark assignments out of 100, even if the assignment is only worth 12.5% of the final mark. The Grade Centre can be used to adjust each assignment mark according to its weighting.
  8. Choose between Allow only file types that Turnitin can check for originality and
    Allow any file type. The latter will allow students to submit file types that are not suitable for Similarity checking such as images, audio, movies and zip files.
  9. Click ‘+ Optional Settings’ to enter instructions to students (on naming conventions etc) and to change default options for Similarity Reports, matching and submission.
  10. Click Submit and OK.

Notes

  • If you do not want to reveal the grade to students immediately, see the section Hide grades from students until the post date.
  • Most options have a blue question mark help icon for pop-up assistance as needed and you are always welcome to seek further advice submitting a support request if unsure about the options for your specific needs.
Help icon
Help icon

Create a revision assignment

  1. Navigate to the page where you want to add a Turnitin assignment.
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON .
  3. From Assessments select Turnitin Assignment.
  4. Select Revision Assignment and click Next Step.
  5. Select the Paper assignment upon which the Revision assignment will be based.
  6. Enter the assignment details (Point value, Start/Due dates, Special Instructions and Similarity Report options for students).
  7. Click Submit and OK.

Create a PeerMark Assignment

Information on using Turnitin PeerMark.

Accessing student submissions

This section describes the basics of accessing and adding a number grade to a Turnitin assignment. Please note that Turnitin is capable of much more than simply adding a number grade, however. For information on making use of Turnitin to add rich, inline feedback, audio and text comments, and rubrics, see the Turnitin Feedback Studio - Grading guide.

  1. From the Control Panel select Subject Tools, Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Click the title of the Turnitin assignment you wish to access. The Assignment Inbox is displayed, listing student submissions in order of their Similarity scores - lowest to highest. This information may be reordered as needed by clicking any column title. By default, Turnitin will show only 25 students per page. If you have a large class size, click the Preferences tab to change the default to 1000 and see all your students on the one page.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions.
  1. From the Assignment Inbox click on the title of the student’s assignment that you wish to mark. You will now see the student’s assignment and can begin marking and adding feedback as required.
  2. At the top of the page, you will see the area for entering a grade.
  3. Enter a grade for Turnitin assignment
    Enter a grade for Turnitin assignment
  4. Click the - - icon, enter a grade, then press Enter on your keyboard.
  5. Navigate through other student submissions using the arrows at the top of the page.
Navigation arrows
Navigation arrows
  1. Close the Document Viewer and return to the Assignment Inbox.
  2. Click the Assignment Inbox tab to refresh the page to show any papers that now have grades.

Note: Only numerical grades are currently available in Turnitin. If required, letter grades can be provided to students via the Text Comments area then manually entered into the Grade Centre.

Remember, Turnitin provides many other options for adding rich, inline feedback, audio and text comments, and rubrics, see the Turnitin Feedback Studio - Grading guide.

Student paper basic information

For basic information about a student paper, click the ‘i’ icon in the Similarity layer toolbar.

Location of information icon on the Similarity layer toolbar
Location of information icon on the Similarity layer toolbar

Basic info includes the student’s submission ID (receipt) number, basic statistics about the marks that have been added to the document, and the word count (this includes all references). This icon also allows you to generate an iPad code to use Turnitin on an iPad. More information on using Turnitin with an iPad.

Information window
Information window

An assignment with no file submission – Grading Templates

From the Assignment Inbox it is easy to see the students who have not submitted a file: they are the ones with -- no submission -- after their name. In the example below, there was an assignment where students were given the option of either recording a song and submitting online or giving a live performance. Wei Hoo has submitted a file, but Simon and Terry each presented live and as such had nothing to submit online.

Assignment Inbox
Assignment Inbox

In this case, staff are able to create a Grading Template for students who have not submitted online, by clicking the grey pencil in the Assignment Inbox. The first time you do this per assignment, a message will appear asking you to confirm that you will be grading without a submission. Click OK.

If you have allowed late submissions to this assignment, a second message will appear warning you that if a student submits, they could overwrite your grading template. Click OK.

Note: If you want to prevent accidental overwriting of the Grading Template by students, simply edit the assignment and remove the ability to submit late.

Assignment Inbox
Assignment Inbox

Staff can now click [Grading Template] or the pencil icon again to open and grade the student using the same tools as for a submitted document.

Alt text/caption required
Alt text/caption required

Hide grades from students until the Post Date

Turnitin makes a distinction between the number grade and written comments and feedback added to student work. Markers have the option to make the written comments and feedback visible to students before the number grade is revealed, if required. To control what marking and feedback is visible to students, use the Post Date in the settings of the assignment.

Once the Post Date has passed, all written comments and feedback are visible to students. To control when the number grade is revealed to students, use the setting in Optional Settings of the assignment: Reveal grades to student only on Post Date. Selecting ‘Yes’ to this option will ensure that the number grade is not visible to students before the Post Date, so that both the number and written feedback is revealed at the same time.

The Reveal grades only on Post Date option hides the Grade Centre column from students AND prevents the Grade Centre column from being included in any calculations e.g. Total or Weighted Total columns. Once the Post Date has passed, the Grade Centre column will become visible to students and will be included once more in calculations.

What does the Similarity score mean?

When a student submits an eligible paper to a Turnitin assignment this is then matched against Turnitin’s repository of web pages, journal articles and previously submitted papers to produce a Similarity Report with a Similarity percentage.

It is important to note that having a high percentage does not necessarily mean that a student has plagiarised and conversely, having a low percentage does not necessarily mean that they have not plagiarised. In all cases a content expert will need to make a judgement call to determine if plagiarism has taken place as there is no magic number that indicates this. See an animated guide on the common myths around Turnitin Similarity reports.

Downloading student assignments from Turnitin

If needed, markers have the ability to download a student’s assignment from Turnitin. These downloaded assignments may be printed and graded on paper if desired. Note: There is no facility that allows a downloaded Turnitin submission to be automatically uploaded back into Turnitin for students to see the feedback. If you have chosen to mark offline, feedback will need to be returned to students outside of Turnitin.

Downloading Turnitin assignments

  1. From the Control Panel select Subject Tools, Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Click the title of the Turnitin assignment you wish to access.
  3. To view or download a student’s assignment, click the file icon and select the format for download (original or PDF).
File icon
File icon
  1. To download a number of assignments as a single .zip file, check the boxes next to each student’s details, and select from the options appear under Download on the top right of the list. Depending on the file type uploaded, there may be only one choice here.

Upload an assignment on behalf of a student

If a student has had difficulties uploading the assignment, or has sent the document directly to a staff member, this can be submitted to Turnitin on their behalf by staff in the subject.

  1. From the Control Panel select Subject Tools, Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Click the title of the Turnitin assignment you wish to access.
  3. Click Submit located above the list of submitted assignments.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions
  1. Choose a submission method from the first dropdown menu. (The option selected here will change the information required. The example used here is the most common one of Single file upload. There is also a Multiple file upload option, for uploading single files for several students, not multiple files for the one student.)
  2. Select the Author from the second dropdown menu; this name will automatically populate the first name and last name fields. (If the student’s name does not appear follow the instructions for Roster Sync below.)
  3. Enter the Submission title.
  4. Read the text ‘What can I submit’, and the staff and student declarations.
  5. Choose the file to upload from the computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.
  6. Once the file is selected click the Upload button. A preview of the paper, along with some details will be displayed (including author, file name, page and word count).
  7. Check that the details shown are correct.
  8. Click Confirm.
  9. A receipt page will be displayed, including submission ID.
  10. Click Go to assignment inbox to return to the list of students and their submissions. Click Submit another file to continue submitting documents on behalf of students.

Staff will see on screen that the submission has been successful. If needed, the digital receipt may be downloaded and printed from the Assignment Inbox by staff or the student.

Roster Sync

Sometimes the visible list of students does not match the list of enrolled students. The Roster Sync tool can be used to force Turnitin to refresh its list of students. If a student’s name does not appear in the list, this does not prevent the student from submitting: if the student tries to submit, this will force their name to be added to the list.

  1. From the Control Panel select Subject Tools, Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Click the title of the Turnitin assignment you wish to access.
  3. Click Roster Sync located above the list of submitted assignments.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions.
Turnitin assignment inbox screen showing three student submissions
  1. The list updates and is displayed in the same window.

Sync Grades

On rare occasions, the grades entered via Turnitin do not flow through to the Grade Centre. This can be manually prompted by using the Sync Grades tool.

  1. From the Control Panel select Subject Tools, Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Next to the title of the Turnitin assignment is the option to Sync Grades.
Sync Grades link
Sync Grades link
  1. Click Sync Grades.
  2. A success message will appear when the grade has been synchronised, and you will now see grades appearing against student names in the Grade Centre.

Turnitin for students

Several guides are available to assist students using Turnitin for the first time.

This guide was last updated 08 Sep 2017.
Report any errors or omissions in this guide to lms-guides@lists.unimelb.edu.au

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