Turnitin + Canvas issue: "Resubmit to Turnitin" button occasionally results in submission getting stuck in pending

Discussion created by jpoulos Employee on Jul 26, 2016
Latest reply on Dec 3, 2019 by Maeve McCooey

Student's submissions appear in Canvas, but the originality report (OR) is not returned. The error thrown is: "Turnitin has not returned a score after 11 attempts to retrieve one." Clicking on the "Resubmit to Turnitin" button from speedgrader occasionally results in the OR getting stuck with a "Pending" status (visible in the submissions API).


Cause: When Turnitin tells Canvas that someone submitted, Canvas tries to get the OR. If it fails, we try 10 more times, with 5 minute intervals. If we are unable to retrieve the submission after that number of attempts (so ~60 minutes of trying), then we throw the above error in speedgrader and display the "Resubmit to Turnitin" button.


Canvas has identified one way this can happen, but there may be more:

Consider the case in which TII does not calculate the OR until the due date has passed (this is a setting in the TII LTI side). Canvas will still try to get the OR as soon as the student submits. Since it's not ready, the error will get thrown, and the "Resubmit..." button will appear. Since the due date is set on the TII side, and TII does not use Canvas API to return an OR, there is no way for Canvas to even know that there is a due date (unless the due date is set in Canvas, in which case we send that over to TII). It's unknown why manually resubmitting these from Speedgrader after the due date has passed results in a pending OR.

Detection: After clicking on the "Resubmit to Turnitin" button in Speedgrader, a "Pending" status is visible in the submissions API. A clock symbol will also be visible in Speedgrader and the gradebook will show a gray  comment bubble where the OR should be. The OR should come back within an hour.


What’s already been done:

In early 2016, Canvas fixed the "Resubmit to Turnitin" button, which previously caused all submissions to get stuck in pending.


Canvas has been working with Turnitin on this issue and has opened a case with Canvas engineers to investigate the cause(s) of this issue.


Proposed solutions:

1) Investigate the ways in which this issue can occur

2) Canvas has a proposed new feature to obtain the OR after the due date has passed. For this to work, the Due Date would have to be set in Canvas, which would then be passed during LTI launch to TII if the tool has its custom fields is configured correctly.



            Teachers and students can still see the OR in the TII LTI.



               1) Use the "Resubmit to Turnitin" button in Speedgrader.

               2) Wait at least an hour.

               3) If the score is still stuck, contact Canvas support and they may be able to repair the issue. If not, they can report the issue to our engineers so they know how many users are affected and prioritize the issue.


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