[External Tools] Enable Turnitin for Discussion Posts


Thank you for your time in reviewing this idea.

It would be wonderful if Turnitin were enabled for Discussions posts and responses.

This would prevent students from cobbling together information from online sources to write original discussion posts.  It would be optimal if the Turnitin feature worked like the one provided for assignment submissions, so that students and faculty can see the percentage of match, etc.  This would be another great tool for helping students understand the importance of originality and avoiding plagiarism.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @Jeff_F ​, I'd be happy if only the initial post were screened for originality, inasmuch as I design my discussion rubrics so that more than half the grade for the assignment comes from the quality of the initial post.

Community Champion

Ideally, this would be an option faculty could select.  For some courses, I could see a benefit to checking every post, while others would benefit from checking just the initial post.

Community Champion

Either way would be better than what we have now, which is nothing. However, I would like all student submissions to be scanned by TII. If students figure out that reply posts are not scanned, I would expect that would be an issue.

Although, I do wonder how Turnitin and Canvas would implement this. Given that Canvas is invested in LTI, I wonder if the first step would be to allow LTI access in discussions similar to what we see with assignments now. After that, perhaps it would be up to Turnitin to build an integration for the discussion board or to adapt their existing tool?

For now, I am happy that this request has hit and crossed the 100 vote mark!

Community Champion

Great point about the LTI.  Being curious, I went looking in the 'other' LMS manual for TII and there is no reference to TII for discussions there.   And within Turnitin (access Speedgrader > view a student assignment post > Roadmap) I visited the Roadmap link (upper right corner) and perused their help/ feature request board.  Within I noted lack of any current feature request to enable TII for Canvas discussions.

ps.  I did see that a direct submit capability for Canvas/TII was on the horizon...   I added three of my votes for that feature.



Thanks, Jeff!


Having taught online courses using the "other" LMS (aka Blackboard), I have to admit that the lack of plagiarism detection (either Turnitin or SafeAssign) was frustrating. I'm encountering the same concern with the online course I'm currently teaching (in Canvas). It places a bigger burden on faculty to design discussion board prompts where the responses are less easily plagiarized. While this approach is often better pedagogically, it can make it more challenging for those who want to use discussion boards as a check for straight-up comprehension, practice in textual analysis, or an opportunity to bring outside sources/information into conversation with course materials. All of these areas represent productive use of discussion boards and easy opportunities for copy-and-paste responses from external sources.

Community Novice

Since best practices in Online classes include discussions posts, most every class has these.  Our students need to realize that plagiarism is plagiarism here too.  Please add this feature to discussions!

Community Champion

As a backup plan, I encourage everyone to vote for " modifiedtitle="true" title="Download discussion board posts. If we could download posts in bulk, we could quickly bulk upload posts to Turnitin via their quick submit feature to get originality reports on all posts and replies. Perhaps that is not perfect, but it would work for me as a start. Smiley Happy

Coach Emeritus

Hi Jarrett:

I just listened to a wonderful TED Talk in which the speaker recounts a quote from on of his student, "I didn't pay to learn, I payed for a degree." This, unfortunately is a reality today for many students at all levels. Another sad quote from a student to a teacher, "Just tell me what I need to memorize." It is these types of attitudes that foster plagiarism - "my goal isn't thinking and learning, my goal is some sort of certification of completion."

The message that we really need our students to get is that plagiarism is not learning and is not thinking. But that is a challenging lesson to teach when our institutions of learning are designed for students to be able to regurgitate facts and figures and perform problem-solving from rote.  A sort of form of academic bulimia.

Technology will never stop plagiarism, but the messages we give our students and the classroom environments we create can.

Just my $0.02, and it has absolutely nothing to do with this feature idea which I did vote up!  I was just sparked by your short response.


Community Champion

Sad but true!  As I often say, education is one of the few things people pay for, but are happy when they get less of it for the money they spend.