Best practices for teaching with Turnitin

On this page:


Using the Turnitin plagiarism detection software most effectively requires some preparation and planning. Turnitin is least successful when used covertly for monitoring students' work. Follow the guidelines below.

Before the semester begins

Set up your Canvas site

  • Submitting work: At IU, the simplest way to integrate Turnitin into your class is through Canvas. You can easily add Turnitin as part of an assignment if you just want to review the Similarity Report. If you want to use the other tools in Turnitin Feedback Studio (QuickMark, rubrics, and peer reviews), use the external LTI tool in Canvas. For more about the two Canvas options, see About Turnitin in Canvas.

    If you are an instructor, and you want to submit student papers to Turnitin yourself (that is, students have not submitted their papers with the Turnitin option enabled in Assignments), it's best to submit the papers directly through, not through Canvas. See Submit papers directly to Turnitin.

  • Learn how to use Turnitin: Contact your campus teaching and learning center for assistance.
  • Test the tool: Test materials from your discipline; see how Turnitin handles sample work from classes, a paragraph of yours, or text from a common web resource.
  • Interpreting reports: Decide whether students will be able to view Similarity Reports. Contact your campus teaching and learning center if you or your students need help in interpreting these reports.
  • Incorporate it into your syllabus: If Turnitin is included in your point structure or assignment parameters, determine policies about late submissions, and include these in the syllabus as well (for example, a paper handed in during class but not uploaded to Turnitin may be considered late).

Introduce Turnitin to students

  • Introduce and discuss Turnitin: Create trust early by discussing Turnitin with your students. Explain your rationale for using it, and set their expectations for its use in class. For pedagogical and technical support in introducing your students to Turnitin, contact your teaching and learning center.
  • Locate student directions for Turnitin access and registration: The instructions you provide will depend on whether you use the integration with the Canvas Assignments tool (the Canvas Plagiarism Framework) or the LTI Integration: If you wish to have your students use Turnitin separately from Canvas (only needed in special circumstances), see Submit papers directly to Turnitin.
  • Practice assignment: Conduct a practice assignment in conjunction with introducing Turnitin. Doing so allows students to practice without being concerned about this assignment having a significant impact on their grades. For the practice assignment, ask students to produce and submit something original, rather than having all students submit writing based on a common text. Asking students to work with the same source material may result in similarities between their reports, which means you will have to spend time analyzing these reports.
  • In-class discussion: Lead students in a brief in-class discussion about Turnitin's results, so that they have a chance to ask questions and understand what the report indicates. Contact your campus teaching and learning center if you have questions about similarity reports.

This is document asxq in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-02-02 15:59:24.