TurnitinInstructors access turnitin services from within Canvas, not at turnitin.com directly.
- Inside Canvas, go into a course (or create a blank one) and create an Assignment and give it a name (such as "Essay1"). Click "more options" and then "advanced options".
- In the Submission Type, choose External Tool
- Click the Find button
- In the Configure External Tool box, find the Turnitin LTI item Configure the rest of the Assignment, and submit.
- Provide a link to the Assignment you created from Modules or Pages, or simply leave the Assignments tool visible to students.
- Students click the Assignment link and upload the file when prompted. It will automatically go through plagiarism checking, though it may take some time.
- In the speedgrader of Canvas, look to the top-right corner to find a turnitin score.
- Click the score and Agree to the Terms on the next page.
- The student paper will load, with color-coded passages that match online results displayed on the side.
- Remember, Turnitin does not identify plagiarism for the instructor; it only identifies matches to text strings in its database of student essays, web search, and publications. The instructor must interpret the results to determine proper or improper citations.
Also see this screencast for a step-by-step demo.
Note: Instructors wishing to run essays, theses, or dissertations through the service themselves may wish to create a blank Canvas course, create the assignment per the directions above, add a colleague as a student to the course, and then have the colleague upload the documents. Unfortunately, student view does not work currently with the Turnitin LTI tool, so instructors cannot directly upload the documents.
Three hints to make sure submissions are accepted:
- Use Word .doc rather than .docx for submissions
- Only text (no images) should be submitted
- Longer files such as dissertations should be kept under 400 pages, reducing font size if needed.
Avoiding multiple submission errors in Turnitin
When a student makes a submission for a particular assignment that has Turnitin checked on, an originality report is generated. When the report is ready, you will see a symbol next to the student's grade for that particular assignment in the Canvas Gradebook (and in the Speedgrading screen). If a student happens to resubmit the same document after the originality reported has been generated, Turnitin may compare the new submission to the older one in the data base and consider it plagiarism.
To avoid this error, Click on the report icon to go to the Document Viewer results.
There is a right panel that says "Match Overview", along with 2 icons – one has 2 big rectangles, and the other is 4 smaller rectangles. Click on the 4 smaller rectangles icons and it will list all sources.
At the bottom of that panel, "Exclude Sources" should show up. Press that button and then check off the ones that are clearly the result of the previously submitted document. Click Exclude and it will recalculate the percentage.
Issues with Turnitin LTI (Starting Dec. 16, 2016)
The issues appear to center around Turnitin having competing programs with Canvas. Specifically, Turnitin has its own versions of Rubrics, SpeedGrader, and Peer Reviewer. This is a problem because once you activate the Turnitin LTI, the Canvas options are either hidden or not as easy to get to.
1st Issue: The Canvas Rubric is hidden and inaccessible after the Turnitin LTI is activated.
The only way to add the Canvas Rubric is to disable the Turnitin LTI.
The Fix: Teachers must add the Canvas Rubric before enabling the Turnitin LTI. Once the Canvas Rubric and Turnitin are enabled, the Canvas Rubric is hidden again, it can only be viewed in the Outcomes or SpeedGrader sections of Canvas.
The Alternative, is to use the Turnitin Rubric but many teachers have complained about its functionality. Also once you start using the Turnitin Rubric, you need to use the Turnitin GradeMark feature for it to be effective. Rubrics would then exist in Turnitin only and are not transferable to Canvas.
2nd Issue: The Canvas SpeedGrader is not as prominent on the page and many have used GradeMark
thinking it was the only way to grade now.
The Fix: The good news is that if a teacher does not like GradeMark they can go back to SpeedGrader.
3rd Issue: The Until Date feature within Canvas does not work well with Turnitin's GradeMark
feedback feature. Students cannot receive their feedback from the GradeMark feature
after the assignment is closed.
The Fix: If a professor wants to use the Until Date feature, they need to use the Canvas SpeedGrader instead.
4th Issue: Due and Start Dates that are set inside Turnitin first, do not populate back to
The Fix: Teachers have to set up the dates in Canvas only.
5th Issue: By default, students cannot see their Originality Report.
The Fix: The teacher can enable the Originality Report in the settings. This can be done on the fly, if they forget they can enable it later. They can also change the default settings to always have the Originality Report on.
6th Issue: Turnitin has a grades field that students see. If a teacher uses SpeedGrader it will
not re-populate the grades field in Turnitin. The grade in Turnitin will remain empty,
students may question why they don't see their grade there.
The Fix: Educate the teachers that this will be the case, so they can educate the students.
7th Issue: Students cannot submit their files. Students do not realize they have to hit a "Submit"
button after they upload their files. The "Submit" button is at the bottom of the
page and may not be seen without scrolling down the page.
The Fix: Instructors need to strongly remind students to be certain to scroll down and click on "Submit" after a file upload.