Turnitin Tips and Known Issues

When creating a Turnitin assignment:

    • Turnitin must be enabled for a Canvas assignment before students begin uploading their submissions, and Canvas administrators cannot submit a Turnitin assignment on behalf of students in Canvas. 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.
    • Always load the “External Tool Assignment” in a new window.
    • You cannot use Turnitin with group assignments.
    • You cannot restrict student submission file types.
    • Students cannot submit multiple file uploads.
    • If you want to use a Canvas rubric for the assignment, you must add the rubric before setting the External Tool submission type.
    • If you want your assignment to be moderated, you must  set up the moderated assignment before setting the External Tool submission type. If you need to return to the moderate page after the External Tool is added, open the assignment and add /moderate after the assignment URL. Please note: Only a Teacher in a Canvas site can add /moderate after the assignment URL, so other users who encounter this issue (for example: a TA) will need to ask a Teacher in the site to perform this workaround. 
    • Assignments honor Turnitin resubmission settings; they do not automatically allow resubmissions like regular Canvas assignments.
    • Please note that the Student View does not support Turnitin assignments as the Test Student.

When grading a Turnitin Assignment:

  • The originality report for an initial assignment submission may take up to ten minutes to generate.
  • The Turnitin interface only shows students who have submitted so you may need to search to view students who have not submitted their assignment.

When encountering error messages:

  • Turnitin may occasionally generate an error message about the status of a submission. If a submission includes an error, you can view the message by hovering over the Turnitin icon. Please contact canvas@pobox.upenn.edu regarding any Turnitin issues.

When using Turnitin assignments in future semesters:

  • If you copy a Turnitin assignment from another course, you will have re-enable any optional settings you customized previously and will also have to open the assignment before students can submit to it.

When students are submitting Turnitin assignments:

  • Please consult the instructions for submitting a Turnitin assignment.
  • Please note that you cannot submit a Turnitin assignment without having a confirmed default email address in Canvas. If you see a login screen for Turnitin when submitting a Canvas assignment, it means that you have not confirmed your default email address in Canvas. To fix this issue, follow the instructions for confirming your default Canvas email address, and then follow the instructions for submitting a Turnitin assignment in Canvas through a web browser.
  • Students using devices with small screens to submit assignments may have trouble viewing the Accept Submission-Save button since the confirmation dialog box is very tall and wide and on small screens the button to complete the submission process can be out of view.
  • Do not open the submission page of a Turnitin assignment until you are ready to submit. If you leave the Turnitin submission page open for an extended period, a page-time out error will occur with this message: “Sorry, we could not process your request. We are sorry, but it appears we are experiencing an issue at this time. Please try again in a few moments. If the issue persists, please contact Turnitin Product Support.” If you see this message, you will need to attempt re-submitting the assignment. If you experience any issues with the re-submission attempt, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu for help.

When Students Need to Resubmit an Assignment After the Due Date

Turnitin does not allow re-submissions after an assignment’s due date, so to have a student resubmit after a due date, an instructor must delete the student’s initial submission before they can resubmit.

When Sources Need to Be Excluded from Originality Reports

Instructors can exclude sources from originality reports. Please note that match-percentages with excluded sources do not display for student, but the “Assignment Comments” feature  in SpeedGrader can be used as a workaround.

Last Updated: 28 Sep 2022