How do I use Turnitin?
What is Turnitin?
Turnitin is a web service used primarily for reviewing written work for originality. The service compares submitted text strings with a large database of student papers, common full-text journals, and web content, identifying any matched "unoriginal" material. Through its Feedback Studio interface, Turnitin provides a similarity report (also known as an "originality report"), which depicts highlighted segments of text which match a preexisting source. Turnitin can also be used for teaching how to apply citation of sources correctly and how to appropriately use quotes or to paraphrase accurately. Turnitin may also be used to detect possible plagiarism. Pacific Lutheran University has licensed Turnitin for institutional use as a resource by faculty. Faculty who choose to use Turnitin may enable its use within the Sakai Assignments tool.
Turnitin also provides grading tools within the same view as the similarity report, bundled as part of Feedback Studio. For more information, see How do I provide student feedback with Feedback Studio?
WARNING: If an instructor configures an assignment to use Turnitin for originality or plagiarism checking, students receive a notification that Turnitin will process their submission.
Enabling Turnitin in Assignments
The Turnitin service may be optionally enabled by Sakai course instructors for individual assignments via the Assignments tool. Turnitin works only with one file attachment, so the Assignments tool will automatically force the Student Submissions setting to "Single Uploaded File only" (1) when you opt to use Turnitin. However, ensure that you do NOT check Allow Resubmission (2) when you want to use Turnitin, because doing so can yield confusing results. For instance, instructors could not otherwise be certain which of the student's multiple submissions would be accounted for in the similarity report returned to Sakai.
To use the Turnitin Service, check the box labeled Use Turnitin (3). You can optionally check Allow students to view report (4). Note that if using the grading tools in Turnitin Feedback Studio, checking "Allow students to view report" would (eventually) be necessary.
Note: When Allow students to view report is checked, then the Turnitin report will be made available to students as soon as it is processed. In other words, students will have access to the Turnitin report at the same times as instructors.
Once you've posted the assignment, you'll return to the Assignment List (5). Click the Grade link (6) for the assignment in question, and you'll see a new column showing the status of each student's Turnitin report (7).
Student Assignment Submission
Students may submit their assignments to Turnitin as file attachments. The following file types are acceptable: Word 97-2003 (.doc), Word 2007+ (.docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint (.pps, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptx), PDF (.pdf), PostScript (.eps, .ps), plain text (.txt), HTML (.htm, .html), WordPerfect (.wpd), OpenOffice (.odt), rich text (.rtf), and Hangul (.hwp). Also, the file size may not exceed 20 MB. Once the assignment is submitted, students receive a confirmation message and an emailed receipt confirming their assignment submission.
Reviewing the Turnitin Similarity Report
Similarity reports may take as long as 10 to 20 minutes to be created after an assignment submission. You can check the status of a student report under the Turnitin column of the assignment grading view (7). A completed report will be illustrated as a report icon. Clicking the icon opens a new window with the Turnitin Similarity Report as depicted below.
Details for how instructors can view and interpret the Turnitin similarity report are available in the following Turnitin help documents: