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Turnitin settings changing after cloning via API

Hi Everyone

We have what we call the Master Template for each course. In this Master we have Turnitin set up for each assignment. We then go into each assignment and change the settings. For instance these are the big ones we change

"Allow Submission of any file type" In the master it is set to Yes

Optional Settings

Under there Originality Report generation and re-submission set to Yes

Exclude bibliography materials from Similarity Index set to Yes

Exclude quoted materials from Similarity index set to Yes

Allow students to view originality report set to Yes


Then we submit the job that goes out and creates the courses (first Add Course, then Add Section and then Copy Content). Here are our POSTS

Add course


course[course_code]=MLS623: Test Course Title [8wk]


course[name]=MLS623: Test Course Title [8wk]








2.  Add section






3. Copy content









What we are finding is that for the settings above, they change in the newly created courses. But it gets better, some are fine, some change. You could have 5 courses of the same thing, 2 courses may be all correct, but then Course 3 may have assignments 1 and 2 wrong, Course 3 could have assignments 2 and 7 wrong and then Course 5 may have assignments 5-8 wrong.

So there is no pattern to these issues. Up until this last term we did see this issue because we had a small enough number of courses that we manually cloned. Now we are using the APIs to clone the and this issue developed. Has anyone seen this before? We have a ticket with support open but wondered if we are alone on this or if others have the same issue? Anything will help.



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1 Reply

Hey,  @sway ‌! 

There are several factors here:

  1. The Turnitin optional settings do not persist across a course copy or import.
  2. Settings in Canvas and any settings that sync via custom codes in the LTI setup do persist on course copy or import, but it is important to understand that Canvas copies the assignments; Turnitin creates a new assignment the first time a person access the assignment in Turnitin in that copy of the course.
  3. The Turnitin default settings follow the instructor for that course. Sometimes the settings appear to fine because that instructor probably has the same settings saved as her defaults as exist in your template. As long as the instructor accesses the assignment before any students, the instructor's saved defaults kick in when Turnitin creates a new assignment for that class. When the instructor looks to see what the settings are, they see their own settings because Turnitin used her settings as soon as she looked!
  4. If the instructor does not access the assignment before students do, Turnitin is creating a new assignment using their default settings. 

How good are you at programming? The solution is to set the features using the custom codes in the LTI setup.  @nwisseman   played with the code until he arrived at the setting he wanted for all Turnitin assignments on his campus: Turnitin Fix. However, if you start playing with teh code, I am not sure an individual professor would be able to change the settings, but perhaps you like that!

Your other option is to wait and see what Turnitin is cooking up with Canvas. They have an upcoming webinar:  Partner Webinar: Turnitin and Canvas: In the Flow.

I hope that helps, Scott.