Turnitin LTI for Faculty/Staff/TAs

The Canvas Plagiarism Framework (CPF) has been the preferred integration for Turnitin in Canvas since 2018. This integration provides a better user experience for both students and instructors, and it offers additional functionality.

We strongly encourage instructors to use the CPF integration rather than the Turnitin LTI. This guide will be retired at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.

For questions about Turnitin or assistance with transitioning to the CPF, please contact canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

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Turnitin may be used to check the originality of student work and to detect for possible plagiarism. Courseware Support is available to consult on how to set up Turnitin to meet specific assignment needs. If you need help, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

This Instructor Guide explains how to:

  • Create a Turnitin-Enabled External Tool Assignment in Canvas
  • Access and View Student Submissions and Turnitin Originality Reports
  • Bulk Download Student Submissions
  • Evaluate Student Work with Turnitin Feedback Studio
  • Troubleshoot Turnitin Assignment Problems

Important Notes:

  • Only teaching team members (teachers and TAs) can interact with the Turnitin assignment dashboard of a Turnitin LTI-enabled assignment. Staff who are assisting with a Turnitin LTI assignment may need to be added as a TA to a Canvas site.
  • Assignments that require originality checked must be configured to use Turnitin before students begin submitting assignments. It is not possible to change the assignment configuration after students begin submitting.
  • Please read Turnitin’s End User License Agreement (EULA), Turnitin Guidelines, and Responding to Plagiarism in this guide before using Turnitin.
  • Turnitin cannot be used with group assignments, quizzes, or discussions.
  • Only one file can be uploaded to a Turnitin assignment. If an assignment requires multiple submissions, students should either combine files into a single document or create a separate assignment in Canvas for each file.
  • The default settings for Turnitin LTI assignments do not allow students to submit late work or to resubmit work. You can change this through advanced settings.
  • If you are using Turnitin LTI, you should review the Turnitin LTI Tips for the New Term.

Turnitin’s End User License Agreement (EULA)

Faculty and Instructors who use Turnitin should be aware that the product is subject to an End User License Agreement (EULA)

Please share information about Turnitin’s EULA with your students through your course syllabus or as part of the information you provide with an individual assignment.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact the Courseware Support Team at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Turnitin Guidelines

Only content produced by students at the University of Pennsylvania may be processed through Turnitin. Materials produced by users outside of this group, including applicants for admission to any University of Pennsylvania program or school, may not be submitted through Turnitin. Materials produced by faculty or researchers at Penn should be processed via iThenticate.

Responding to Plagiarism

The University of Pennsylvania has a Center for Community Standards and Accountability (CSA) that “deals with alleged instances of academic dishonesty and other student misconduct, in order to determine how best to resolve these allegations consistent with the goals and mission of the University as an educational and intellectual community.” You may want to schedule a confidential consultation with the CSA before making any decisions.

Their FAQ for Faculty provides in-depth information on addressing and reporting academic integrity issues at the University of Pennsylvania.

Create a Turnitin-Enabled Assignment in Canvas

Enable Turnitin before Students Submit Assignments.

Turnitin must be enabled for a Canvas assignment before students begin uploading their submissions. If students have already submitted an assignment, you will not be able to enable Turnitin retroactively and will instead need to create a separate Turnitin assignment and then have students re-submit to that assignment.

If you decide to do this but do not want to grade this re-submission, you can enter “0” for the “Points” for the Turnitin assignment. Please note, however, that if you make the assignment worth “0” points but give students grades for it, the grades will count as extra credit towards the total course grade. Please make sure that when you are grading the assignment you are entering the grade for the original standard Canvas assignment and not for the Turnitin assignment.

How to Create a Turnitin-Enabled Assignment in Canvas

For a brief video demonstration, see create a Turnitin LTI assignment.

  1. To create a Turnitin-enabled assignment, go to the Assignments Index page and select +Assignment.
  2. Specify the assignment name, description, due date, and points.
  3. If you use Rubrics, be sure to add the Rubric before adding Turnitin to the assignment. A Canvas Rubric must be added before the assignment is configured to use Turnitin LTI.
  4. Under Submission Type, select External Tool. Select Find to bring up a list of the available external tools.
Double-scroll bar in the "Configure External Tool" window. To find "Turnitin LTI, use the inner scrollbar.
Double-scroll bar in the “Configure External Tool” window. To find “Turnitin LTI, use the inner scrollbar.
  1. Locate Turnitin LTI in the alphabetical list and then Select. You may need to adjust multiple scroll bars to locate Turnitin LTI.
  2. The Turnitin LTI assignment dashboard can be loaded within a new browser tab by selecting Load This Tool In A New Tab, which will provide more room for navigating the Turnitin LTI assignment dashboard.
  3. Click Save & Publish to make the assignment visible to students.
  4. Launch the Turnitin LTI assignment by clicking on the Load XXX Assignment in a New Window button to establish the connection between your Canvas site and the Turnitin LTI assignment. Students will not be able to submit to the assignment until this connection is established.

This will create a Turnitin-enabled assignment with the default assignment settings. To change the default settings, launch the Turnitin LTI Assignment Dashboard, select Settings and Optional settings.

Optional and Recommended Settings

Typical Turnitin settings for Canvas assignments include:

  • Set the Feedback release date to a future date, if you plan to evaluate student work in Turnitin Feedback Studio.
  • Set Allow late submissions to Yes for consistency with other Canvas assignments. Unless an Available Until date is set, Canvas assignments allow students to submit work late. Late submissions are marked as late in SpeedGrader, in the Grade Book, and on downloaded files.
  • Set Originality Report generation and resubmissions to Generate reports immediately (resubmissions are allowed until due date) for consistency with other Canvas assignments. All submissions will appear in SpeedGrader, though only the most recent will be available in the Turnitin Assignment Dashboard.
  • Set Allow students to view Originality Reports to your preference.
  • Leave the default setting for Submissions to this assignment will be stored in as Institution paper repository. No student work from the University of Pennsylvania is ever submitted to the global Turnitin database.
  • Add PeerMark assignments to use Turnitin’s integrated peer review feature. Courseware Support (canvas@pobox.upenn.edu) is available to consult on which peer review tool will best fit your course needs.

You can make the selected settings the default options for future Turnitin assignments.

Access and View Student Submissions and Turnitin Originality Reports

You can watch a brief video demonstrating how to access Turnitin LTI submissions and originality reports here: http://screencast.com/t/Qj47WLnf

Viewing student submissions and originality reports in the Turnitin Assignment Inbox:

The Turnitin Assignment Inbox lists all student submissions with similarity scores. Clicking on an individual score launches the complete report.

  • Turnitin generates originality reports either upon submission, 24 hours after resubmission, or the due date, depending on the assignment settings.
  • The Assignment Inbox presents a list of student submissions in the order received, with the most recent submission first. A Search box allows you to find a specific student’s paper.

Viewing student submissions and original scores in Canvas:

From within Canvas you can view originality scores or access the full originality reports by launching Turnitin Feedback Studio.

  • Gradebook shows a color-coded icon indicating the compatibility score similarity range. Clicking on the icon will display the similarity score and allow you to access the originality report.
  • SpeedGrader displays the similarity score next to the submission details. Clicking on the icon launches Turnitin Feedback Studio with the complete report.
  • You may occasionally see an error message in Canvas indicating that a Turnitin compatibility report cannot be displayed. If this happens, go to the Turnitin Assignment Inbox to view the compatibility report.

Bulk Download Student Submissions

Bulk downloading and uploading of student submissions in Canvas is not available with Turnitin LTI assignments. You can bulk download student submissions from within the Turnitin LTI Assignment Inbox.

  1. Go to Assignments and select the assignment name.
  2. You may need to press the button to Load [Assignment Name] in a new window. This will open a new browser tab with the Assignment Dashboard of Turnitin LTI.
  3. Click on the Download drop-down menu, which will provide a list of options for downloading either all or selected papers. Selecting Original Files will download the original files submitted by students as a .zip archive. Please note: It can take a long time to generate PDFs for a large class.
Turnitin download drop-down menu

Evaluate Student Work with Turnitin Feedback Studio

Turnitin Feedback Studio is an alternative to Canvas SpeedGrader for online grading. It offers several features not available in Canvas.

  • QuickMarks allow you to save and reuse common grading marks and comments.
  • Grades entered in Turnitin Feedback Studio are automatically sent to Canvas. Please note: Turnitin Feedback Studio supports grades entered only as whole numbers.
  • Students access to feedback and grades in Turnitin Feedback Studio is controlled by the Feedback release date set in the Turnitin Assignment Dashboard. Muting an assignment in Canvas will hide only grades and feedback within Canvas.
  • The Turnitin iPad app allows for offline grading.

Troubleshoot Turnitin Assignment Problems

This troubleshooting guide addresses the most common problems you might encounter while using Turnitin LTI assignments.

Please make sure that you are using a supported web browser.

If you see a “Login to Turnitin” screen:

NOTE: You do not need to log into Turnitin. You should log in only to Canvas using your PennKey and password.

  • First, try closing the browser window, then go to the Home page of the course Canvas site. Next, click Assignments, select the appropriate assignment, and try again.
  • If that doesn’t work, try closing all open web browser windows, then open a new browser window and return to Canvas.
  • It can help to switch to a different web browser – for example, try Firefox if you normally use Chrome, or vice versa.
  • If you prefer to get your preferred web browser working, try clearing your cache:
  • If you continue to see the login screen, clear cookies from turnitin.com websites:

Certain cookie-blocking settings can cause that error message to appear. Try allowing cookies by making these changes:

  • Chrome >Privacy > Content Settings: change from “Block third-party cookies and site data” to “Allow local data to be set (recommended).”
  • Firefox > Preferences > Privacy: use default “Remember history” settings, or if you use custom settings for history set Accept third-party cookies to “Always.”
  • Safari > Preferences > Privacy: change Cookies and website data from “Allow from websites I visit” to “Always allow.”

If your settings are at their defaults, but you also use ad-blocking software, try to create exceptions that allow cookies for *.upenn.edu and *.turnitin.com in that software. These same changes will also help with the Class Recordings tab of the course Canvas site (*.panopto.com).

If you see a “There was an error processing your request” message when you first access an assignment:

When copying Turnitin LTI assignments within a Canvas site or from another Canvas site, you must launch the Turnitin LTI tool for each copied assignment in order to establish a connection between the Canvas assignment and Turnitin. Be sure to update the assignment due date before launching Turnitin.

Last Updated: 11 Nov 2022