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5 things I wish I knew before working with Turnitin Assignments

Turnitin is one of the most used tools in Brightspace. It is a wonderful tool for originality checks and assessing assignments with Quick Marks. However, this powerful tool might also need some attention when the submission date approaches, you need to evaluate submissions or you want to transfer grades from Turnitin to Brightspace.

This article sums up the 5 most important things you should know before working with Turnitin Assignments.

1. Choose the right Turnitin Assignment settings

We highly recommend the 5 assignment settings listed below to automatically generate originality reports upon submission and to ease your evaluation experience:

  • Submission Type: File Submission
  • Files Allowed Per Submission: One file
  • Submissions: Only one submission allowed
  • Score out of:100 (instead of 10)
    • Make sure the Associated Grade Item is also set at max points 100
  • Always set a Due Date (or an End Date)!
  • Transfer and Frequency settings on the Turnitin tab: set both to automatic
  • Check your personal Turnitin Settings at least once.

See here for more in depth information on creating Turnitin Assignments.

2. The benefits of using a Due Date instead of an hard End Date

Submitting on behalf of students is not possible in Brightspace. Of course there is a workaround, but this is not ideal. Consider setting a Due Date instead of a hard End Date, so that students can still upload their own files after the deadline has passed. 

In the submission overview you will see which students did not meet the deadline you've set under Due Date. You can use this information (e.g., # of hours late) to determine if/how you want to apply a late submission policy.

See here for more in depth information on the differences between Due Date and End Date.

3. Control when you make grades and inline feedback visible for students

After you have assessed the students' submissions in Feedback Studio your Inline Feedback and Score are saved as Draft. You have to actively select the submissions and hit Publish Feedback to release the feedback to your students. Brightspace will never automatically release feedback for (Turnitin) Assignments.

In some cases it might be useful to first hide the assignment and the associated grade item. This way you can safely transfer grades from Turnitin to the Gradebook and the students will not yet be able to see their grade and feedback. After you are ready to show the students their Feedback and Grade you can set the Assignment and the associated grade item Visible for Users.

See here for more in depth information on how you can control when and where students are able to view their grade and feedback.

4. Changing grades in Feedback Studio after Publish Feedback is a hassle!

Whenever you want to change the scores in Feedback Studio and have already published the feedback, the new grade will not automatically transfer to the Gradebook. You have to re-sync the grade first and update the feedback. Only then will the new grade be visible in the Gradebook.

There is no Update All Feedback option in Brightspace (yet). If you want to re-sync all grades for an assignment, you have to update feedback 1-by-1 first. Our recommendation: Only hit Publish all Feedback if you do not expect you will regrade a lot of papers/exams in Feedback Studio.

See here for more in depth information on how you can change Turnitin grades after publishing.

5. You cannot filter by Groups or Sections in Turnitin Feedback Studio

When you evaluate assignments using Turnitin Feedback Studio, you will see all submissions for that specific assignment. Although you can filter in the Brightspace Submission overview to only see your group of students, these filters do not (yet) work in Feedback Studio. So if you use the arrows in the top of the screen of Feedback Studio you will see other students' work from another group.

There are two possible solutions: Either work from the Brightspace Submission overview and reopen Feedback Studio per student OR create separate assignments per group of students in case you really do not want to reopen Feedback Studio each time. The latter option can have a major impact on your Gradebook structure and Assignment overview.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via the Helpsdeskportal, in case you have a question on this matter or if you are looking for advice.