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Enable Turnitin for Discussion Posts

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.

Community Member

As we try more ways to keep people online engaged, we are making more use of discussion boards as a way to facilitate group work. It would really be helpful to be able to utilize TurnItIn for discussion threads, especially if they are graded. I can see not making it available for ungraded threads, but graded ones need that capability.

Community Participant

Agreed. Online discussions are more important than ever in these crazy times. Adding Turnitin makes sense. I understand there are work-arounds, but imagine a world with less workarounds 🙂 Our teachers could just focusing on teaching, and not admin.

Community Member

Discussions are essential for student engagement.  Please add a plagiarism check into discussions.

Community Champion

It would be great to have a built-in canvas plagiarism checker, but most schools subscribe to one for scanning assignments.  Integrating those third-party checks into discussions is the subject of several ideas:

I don't see the conversation about using another popular tool, unicheck, in discussions.  It may have been archived.

Of course, that still excludes others such as the scan my school uses at without a lot of cutting and pasting, and so a download option would help:

Community Member

It looks like I'm not the only one who would find a TII check on Discussions helpful. I use Discussions as a critical feature in my class, and I would like to catch misunderstandings on how to cite works and out-right intentional plagiarism early in the class rather than with a big writing assignment. Discussions would be the place to do this. Having a TII option would make this relatively easy to do.

Community Member

I'm curious why Turnitin is available for paper submissions and even for group exercises (as "regular" assignments) but not for discussion posts. Many of us faculty have caught students using other students' discussion posts from past classes, but we've only caught this in certain circumstances. I see that faculty have been asking for this since 2016 - can we do this please? Faculty really need it. Students need it too: many times they aren't aware of what plagiarism is in a discussion post and this would help them to see their score. Ultimately, there seems little sense in checking all other student work for plagiarism but not what they do most regularly: discussion posts. 



Community Member

I agree completely - we need this so much because there is no way to check plagiarism in the tool most students (and professors) use every week: discussion posts. This would be a great way to have conversations with our students regarding the need for academic integrity in ALL college work, not just formal papers. 

Community Member

I echo what previous commenters have said.  Let's get this implemented already!

Community Member

We need plagiarism detection in Discussions and on Essay Questions on Exams! 

It is way too time consuming for faculty to search on our own, particularly when this software (TurnItIn or Unicheck or Vericite) exists!  We just need Canvas to make it an option to use on Discussions and on Essay Questions on Exams.

Community Member

This is desperately needed! 

Community Member

Before teaching in higher ed, I had always thought the value of discussion forums lied in their potential to promote higher-order thinking and had never thought of it as a potential vehicle for plagiarism. In ideal academe, discussion forums would have well-defined expectations for students to think critically about real-world applications, post thoughtful, original content, and invite peers to engage in meaningful conversations; however, the reality is that many assignments fall short and students find shortcuts.  "Turn It In" would be a fantastic addition to deter even a glimmer of desire to circumvent the system and encourage students to stay focused on the task for which they are responsible.

Community Member

I'm an instructor who assigns weekly discussion posts. Enabling Turnitin within Canvas would be a very useful feature!

Community Member

Just caught a student who plagiarized a discussion post.  Please add this feature!

Community Member

It would be extremely helpful to be able to turn on TurnItIn for Discussion Posts. I've caught students copying from previous students in my class multiple times and I can only imagine how many more went unnoticed.

Community Member

I love to use the discussion feature so students can learn from each other, but it does make it hard to keep track of plagiarism. This would be an awesome addition for Canvas!

Community Member

Add Turn-It-In as an option to discussions. 

Community Member


I am frankly appalled that a popular LMS like Canvas has not included this function to automatically run discussion posts through TII. I could run them through Safe Assign manually in Blackboard which was the source of many an instance of plagiarism that I could **bleep** in the bud. I find this unacceptable.

If we let students plagiarize their discussions, we are, in essence, teaching them how to plagiarize. Then when they do it in the assignments we lower the boom? I find this very unfair to the students.

I don't know if Canvas even reads these ideas. The original posts for this issue in this Community were posted in 2016, which is now 5 years ago!

And here in 2021, we still do not have a way to run Discussions through TII in Canvas?

 Like I said, appalling!

Dr. Melanie Tidman

Community Member

I agree, Melanie! The only workaround at this time requires the instructors to copy and paste each student's discussion post into a word document, and then run those documents through TII. Not only does this require more work for the instructor (like most workarounds that are suggested on this community), it also doesn't provide the students with the same opportunities to learn how to be accountable for their own academic integrity. Online courses rely heavily on discussions and it is not fair for students to only be held accountable for plagiarism detection on their assignments and not on their discussion posts. The only other option I can think of would be to require students to write their discussion posts in a word document, upload that document to a 0-point assignment in the course just to get the TII report, and then post to the discussion board. Both options for workarounds are ridiculous and not at all scalable. 

This 5+ year old feature request needs to be implemented! 

Community Member

Turnitin needs to be integrated into discussion boards and quizzes. At the moment, instructors can only use Turnitin for assessments submitted as assignments, leaving students free to submit plagiarized work for discussion board posts, quizzes, and exams. This has always been a problem, but has become a much more serious concern over the last year and half when everyone switched to remote learning. For example, I'm unable to assign students a timed, take-home, essay-based exam because I have to choose between a timer and having their work run through anti-plagiarism software.  This is a pressing concern that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Thanks.