Community Champion

TurnItIn Schools: What are your training strategies and tips?

We will be integrated TurnItIn with Canvas this summer. We have been using TurnItIn for several years but only a small portion of our faculty have been using it and it was never integrated into our previous LMS or Canvas until now. One of the initiatives we want to accomplish is to increase TurnItIn adoption on our campus. Of course the first step to increasing adoption is integrating with Canvas. What other things have you done to increase awareness of TurnItIn as tool to use in any type of course? Are there any issues for the folks who have been using it and now have to use it through the integration? Any tips or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Smiley Happy

5 Replies
Community Novice

We have had the same issue on our campus--Turnitin is used widely in several departments (English and Humanities, mostly) but others never seem to have heard about it. What we have done is we speak on it during our Canvas Basics workshop for new instructors, which helps since we are in the process of moving to Canvas this summer and fall. This workshop will be required for all faculty who teach online, so we make note of it when we show them how to build assignments and such. That has sparked the conversation about "What is Turnitin? I've never used that before!" (The workshop we teach also has a sample student submission that was sent to Turnitin, so faculty can see that report in the Speedgrader area.)

In addition, we host a technology fair each academic year where we showcase new technologies and products that faculty can use. We create handouts and set up product demonstrations to provide faculty with more information. Those handouts and demonstrations on Turnitin have worked well for our faculty, also.

In regards to integration issues, we really didn't have any when we adopted Canvas. We had to go in to our Turnitin administrator settings (on to create a new integration on our account, but once we had that code we just plugged it in to the Turnitin settings in the Admin area of Canvas. We tested some submissions through a few practice sites we created--if you don't get an originality report back in 24 hours, it likely means something is off in your settings.

I hope this helps! Smiley Happy Good luck with getting your faculty on board and using Turnitin--it really is a cool product to use in Canvas!

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

snugent​, we started our migration to Canvas in 2011 and signed on to Turnitin at the same time, so we were using the Canvas-Turnitin integration from the get-go. Since I was not only a participant in the Canvas pilot, but also one of the instructional designers contracted to transition courses from our previous LMS as well as a humanities professor, I was asked to give presentations to humanities faculty members about SpeedGrader and Turnitin to help smooth over the "buy-in."

All I had to do was to put the SpeedGrader on the big screen behind me and show how easy it was to access the Turnitin report, and the response in those rooms was palpable. Nothing beats those live presentations.

Also, because many of the faculty members in attendance were F2F instructors, they were very interested in Turnitin's print capabilities, so I was able to show them how easy it was for students to save and print their originality reports and GradeMark annotated submissions to bring to the Writing Center. I also reminded them that their students could log into their Canvas course from the Writing Center and view the Turnitin/GradeMark report on screen with a tutor.

So from my perspective, there are two focal points: the originality scores that Turnitin generates (important for those plagiarism-focused disciplines) and GradeMark (loved dearly by all instructors of writing-intensive courses). Show them the adaptability and portability of the GradeMark QuickMarks templates, which can be customized, exported, shared, and imported as desired.

Good luck!

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Community Contributor

Hi snugent

I think the key point should not be round the use of Turnitin but making the students and staff understands the concept of plagiarism and that Turnitin does not detect plagiarism! What I hear you say! Let me explain.

Turnitin detects matches and displays those matches as links to the original document, it also provides a value (originality percentage).

A high originality score does not always mean the work is plagiarised.

The analogy I use is to think of Turnitin as a spellchecker. A spellchecker will scan through a document and highlight those words it believes are spelt wrong. But if those words highlighted are place names, foreign language or the dictionary is set to US English rather than UK English. Then they might not be misspelt.

Likewise Turnitin will highlight what it thinks are matches, but these could be standard medical terms, common phrases etc. Also you must remember Turnitin does not always find the original material.

It is a tool to help detect potential matches and potential possible cases of plagiarism.

The biggest issues I have seen revolve round people becoming prefixed on the originality percentage, and this is a case for both staff and students.

The other areas of use should cover the ability to use the Turnitin filters and exclusions so matches found to be accidental etc can be excluded from the results. I've spent over 14 years explaining Turnitin to users and happy to chat further on this.

Hope this helps.

 @r_v_jones ​

Thank you for the feedback. I do agree. When I was researching how other schools used TurnItIn I found several blog posts for and against TurnItIn. One of the complaints was exactly what you described. I have a feeling our faculty may look at it like that so I do plan to make the point that TurnItIn is teaching tool and should not be used just for catching plagiarism but teaching students how to write better.

Academic Integrity and Student Plagiarism: a Question of Education, Not Ethics - The Chronicle of Hi...

Community Coach
Community Coach

We started using Turnitin last semester via the legacy API, and now we also have the new LTI app enabled, too.  To my knowledge, we only have one instructor using the Turnitin LTI app in his Economics course.  From what I've been able to gather, the LTI works pretty good, but I know that you really need to make sure your Turnitin settings for each assignment are correct (i.e. if students can re-submit the assignment, due dates, etc.)

Have you had the opportunity to read through  @dhulsey ​'s blog, Canvas and Turnitin?  It's really good, and there's lots of great discussion over there, too.  I'd recommend reading through this.