Turnitin Tips & Known Issues

When creating a Turnitin assignment:

Turnitin must be enabled for a Canvas assignment before students begin uploading their submissions.

  • Assignment Settings
    • 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. For more information, please consult the directions for creating a Turnitin assignment in Canvas.
    • Always load the “External Tool Assignment” in a new window.
  • Limitations
    • You cannot use Turnitin with group assignments.
    • You cannot restrict student submission file types.
    • Students cannot submit multiple file uploads.
    • Student View does not support Turnitin assignments as the Test Student.
  • Grading
    • 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 (e.g., 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.

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.
  • RESOLVED on June 3, 2017. The “Submission Details” page for an assignment now only shows a submitted status if a submission has been received. The “Submission Details” page for students who have not submitted a Turnitin assignment used to display the text “Submitted” in the upper-left corner of the page. This was a bug that Instructure, the makers of Canvas, fixed through the June 3rd Production Release.

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:

You cannot submit a Turnitin assignment without having a confirmed default email address in Canvas.

When Students Need to Resubmit an Assignment After the Due Date:

  • Turnitin does not allow resubmissions 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 students, but the “Assignment Comments” feature in SpeedGrader can be used as a workaround.

Last Updated: 4 Oct 2021