Nicholas Wisseman

Turnitin Fix

Discussion created by Nicholas Wisseman on Sep 7, 2017
Latest reply on Apr 23, 2018 by Ira Strauss

Hi everyone,


Like many people, my organization has had trouble with the Turnitin LTI integration. Specifically, we’ve had instances where students can’t submit their assignments because the Turnitin interface blocks them with an error message. As far as I can tell, this primarily happens for two reasons:


  • In a copied course (we create most of courses by copying them from a master template), Turnitin assignments aren’t recognized by Turnitin until the teacher views the assignment page. So if a student views it first, they can’t submit, and panic ensues.
  • Turnitin’s default setting for late assignments is harsh: it won’t accept them.


Until recently, our workaround was to check every Turnitin assignment in a live course and adjust the settings. But this isn’t sustainable—we want Turnitin to function for each new session without intervention. And a few days ago, we found a patch that seems to solve both of our main issues. Here’s the fix:


  1. As an admin, navigate to your account's Turnitin settings page (go to Settings-->Apps-->View App Configurations, select the Gears icon for Turnitin, and select Edit).
  2. Adjust the Custom Fields by making the startdate equal a date in the past and adding late_accept_flag=1 on a new line.
  3. Select Submit.



That’s it. Setting the startdate seems to ensure that Turnitin assignments automatically generate in Turnitin’s database, and mandating that the late_accept_flag field be equal to 1 defaults Allow late submissions? to Yes (and locks it as such).



So far, this hasn’t blown anything up in our live courses. I’ll report back if anything comes up, though.




Update: Looks like you'll have to make an annual tweak to the startdate--Canvas gets mad if that's more than a year in the past. I changed ours to 2018-01-01, and everything's fine again.