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How do I use Turnitin for an Assignment?

Turnitin is an external tool that has been integrated in Brightspace to assess assignments/papers/etc. and to check for plagiarism. Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to provide specific personalized feedback and check similarity to other papers, bibliographic and online sources and grade assignments.

  • GradeMark is the tool with which you can provide assignments with assessment and feedback. You can enter feedback in GradeMark for specific lines of text in the file for clarity.
  • Originality Check checks for plagiarism in Turnitin. Enabling Originality Check for your due assignments will generate a similarity report, which compares the submitted file with articles and assignments from universities around the world. It will generate a report citing the similarities and sources.

It is possible to synchronise Grades in Turnitin with the Gradebook in Brightspace. Read more about this in the article How do I synchronize grades between Turnitin and the Gradebook?

Videos: How to use Turnitin for an Assignment

Create and edit an Assignment

  • Navigate to Course Tools in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Assignments. You will land on the Assignments homepage. Here you will see an overview of all the assignments you have made.

To create a new Assignments, follow the steps in the article How do I create an Assignment.

  • Click on the arrow behind an assignment to open the quick-menu.
  • Click Edit Assignment to make adjustments to the assignment.

Beware: it is not possible to set a due date via Turnitin, this can only be done in the assignment. You can read about this in the article: How do I set restrictions for an Assignment? Under restrictions you can fill in a due date and an end date: when students hand in an assignment after the due date has passed, you can see that the assignment was handed in late in Brightspace. After the end date (if there is one) has passed, students can no longer view the assignment.  

Enable GradeMark® and Originality Check®

  1. Navigate to Turnitin®.
  2. Tick Enable GradeMark® for this folder. Also enable Grademark if you are planning not to use Grademark, but do want to use Originality.
  3. Indicate at Transfer whether:
    • Turnitin should automatically synchronize the grades with Brightspace (default setting); 
    • you will enter the grades into Brightspace manually.
  4. The work is also checked on plagiarism by default. Do you want to turn this setting off? Then be sure to tick Enable Originality Check® for this folder.
  5. Indicate under Display whether students will get insight into the plagiarism score of their assignment or not. Important: this setting is automatically connected to an additional setting. If you indicate at the additional settings under  Similarity Report that students are allowed to view the similarity report, they will automatically be able to see their plagiarism score as well. It does not matter then whether or not you tick the box under Display.
  6. Under Frequency you can choose whether:
    • Turnitin automatically checks all submitted work (Automatic originality checking on all submissions);
    • Turnitin only checks submissions that have been chosen manually (Identify individual submissions for originality checking).
  7. Click More Options in Turnitin to change more settings in Turnitin, including the option to enable or disable Originality, but not let assignments be taken up in the Turnitin database.
  8. Click Save and Close to return to the Assignments homepage.

Do you also want to make use of Grades in Brightspace?

Take note: Only enable Originality Check for the final version that students submit. If you want to use GradeMark to provide intermediate feedback, all versions of a student's assignment will be saved in Turnitin, which will lead to a high amount of plagiarism in the final version (coming from the assessed intermediate versions).  

Additional settings in Turnitin

  1. Turnitin will automatically transfer the title and the Max Grade from Brightspace and therefore they cannot be changed here.
  2. Click Optional Settings for more options.
  1. Indicate under Submission settings:
  • whether all assignments are saved in the Turnitin repository (Standard paper repository), a repository private to your institution (Institution paper repository) or not (Do not store the submitted);

In case the work is saved in the repository, the submitted assignment will also be used to check for plagiarism. Would you like to see plagiarism scores for non-final versions of assignments as well? Then choose the option Do not store the submitted papers.  

  • if students are allowed to upload all file types; 
  • if you would like to add a rubric;
    A rubric is a standardized assessment model and can help the teacher to assess with uniformity and transparency. Selecting this option will give you the option to launch the Rubric Manager and create, edit or upload your rubric.

2. Select under Compare against:

  • if Turnitin should compare the assignments with assignments that are in the Turnitin repository.
  • if Turnitin should check assignments for internet sources. 
  • if Turnitin should check for periodicals, journals and and other publications. 

3. Select under Similarity Report:

  • when the plagiarism check should take place.
    Turnitin provides three options. Note: if you select the first or second option, the assignment will always be checked for plagiarism immediately, even if you have indicated in the assignment that students are allowed to submit it multiple times. There is no restriction on the amount of assignments here (the first and second option are essentially the same). After an assignment has been resubmitted three times, reports will start to generate after 24 hours.
  • whether you allow students to view the Similarity Report. By ticking this option they can automatically see their plagiarism score as well, including all citations of the sources their assignments have similarities to. 
  • whether the plagiarism checker should also take bibliographies (for example an overlap in literature references), quotes and small similarities into account.

4. Indicate under Additional settings if you want to use the settings above in the future as well. 

5. Click Submit when all settings are to your liking. 

  • Hover your mouse over the question mark to see what the option entails.
  • We recommend to set a due date for the plagiarism check under Similarity Report, (Generate reports on due date) to make sure that each assignment is checked. This is of course only the case if you have indicated that assignments should be saved in the repository, and that assignments should also checked in comparison to assignments from the repository (under Compare Against)
  • We recommend to tick the boxes under Similarity Report to exclude bibliographic materials, quoted materials and other small sources (percentage of 5 per cent) from being taken into account in the plagiarism check.  

If a student submits an identical document more than once within one assignment (in case that is allowed at All submissions are kept), there will not be a plagiarism score of 100%. In case another student hands in the exact same document, then there will be a plagiarism score of 100%.

Excluding sources within TurnItIn Similarity Check

It is possible to exclude sources within the Similarity Check of TurnItIn. See here for the explanation from TurnItIn.

Excluding sources via Match Overview

  1. Click on the number in the Similarity toolbar to exclude sources from the Similarity Check
  2. Every source that is marked as a match, can be found in het Match Overview sidepanel.
  3. Click on the arrow to the right of the percentage of the corresponding source to see more details about this match.
  4. Click on Exclude Sources at the end of the Match Breakdown sidepanel.
  5. Check the sources to exclude them from the Similarity Check.
  6. Click on the Exclude (x) button. The Similarity Score will be updated after this.

Excluding sources via All Sources

  1. Click on the graph icon in the Similarity toolbar to exclude sources from the Similarity Check via the All Sources sidepanel.
  2. Click on the Exclude Sources button at the end.
  3. Check the sources to exclude them from the Similarity Check.
  4. Click on the Exclude (x) button to exclude the selected sources. The Similarity Score will be updated after this.