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Turnitin and Canvas not working well together

Question asked by Maire Johnson on Mar 29, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 29, 2016 by Maire Johnson

After the recent shift from an integrated app to an external tool, Turnitin no longer works as well with Canvas as they once did. The process of linking a Canvas dropbox to Turnitin is annoying, though not insurmountable, as I miss the simple toggle we had prior to this shift. However, that's not the problem.

 

The problem comes when my students submit their papers to the Turnitin dropbox and I go into SpeedGrader to mark them. On a regular basis--generally between 2 and 6 students MINIMUM out of a class of 23-30--SpeedGrader will tell me that there has been no submission from a student when a check back to the Turnitin dropbox shows that they have, in fact, uploaded their assignment on time.

 

In a traditional class where the LMS isn't their sole interaction with the course material, and in which the tasks in a module are not locked (forcing sequential progression and completion before each element opens, so that A must be done before B, B before C, and if A is not done neither B nor C can be accessed), this is merely an annoyance. I have simply made a habit at this point of double-checking with the Turnitin dropbox before marking a student's submission as missing.

 

The trouble comes in an online class, in which I regularly use task-locking to enforce sequential progression through the material, with access to each component dependent upon the completion of what comes before. When Turnitin and Canvas do not play well together, the result is that Canvas will not mark an assignment as submitted, and that means that the student cannot progress to the next elements of the class EVEN WHEN THE ASSIGNMENT WAS, IN FACT, SUBMITTED. The result has been a hassle for myself AND for IT on my campus, and I've simply had to remove task locks for submitted assignments to avoid the necessity of IT having to resubmit the assignments Canvas isn't recognizing.

 

So this isn't about having to grade an assignment in Turnitin rather than in SpeedGrader (though I eminently prefer SpeedGrader for a LOT of reasons). This is about how SpeedGrader and/or Canvas not recognizing submissions made to a Turnitin dropbox is creating heck for task-locked online courses. I have since made certain to tell my students and my colleagues--and suggested to my students that they tell any other professors they have who also use Turnitin for paper submissions--to always DOUBLE CHECK the Turnitin dropbox to ensure that something SpeedGrader says is missing is, in fact, missing...but that still doesn't solve the need to remove a task lock on an assignment that students really do need to submit for a grade in an online course.

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