ARCHIVED: Oncourse Turnitin integration: Overview

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What it does

Turnitin is web-based plagiarism detection software owned by, Inc. Turnitin can be used as a deterrent, but also as an educational tool to teach students how to work with sources and to improve paraphrasing and quoting skills.

The integration of Turnitin into the Assignments tool of Oncourse allows students to submit written work to both their instructors and Turnitin at the same time. (Turnitin is also integrated into Canvas; 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.

For more about standards of academic integrity at IU, including disciplinary procedures for academic misconduct, see the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

Instructors at IU Bloomington may submit academic misconduct reports online.

Key concepts

Automatic submission: For assignments in which the Turnitin options are selected, the Assignments tool will automatically transmit student submissions in supported file formats to

Originality reports: A Turnitin originality report indicates overlap between the text of the submitted paper and other materials in the Turnitin database. The report indicates the percentage of non-original material in the paper, as well as specific matching passages. Originality reports will usually be available within 15-60 minutes of the submission or the due date, depending on the assignment settings. When reports are available, report icons appear in Oncourse in the assignment submission list and on the submission details screen.

GradeMark: Turnitin's GradeMark tool facilitates online marking of student writing. GradeMark is available through Oncourse, but students will be unable to view comments until after the due date for an assignment.

Things to consider

Interpreting originality reports

  • Turnitin compares submissions against a wide database of Internet sources (as well as previously submitted student work and commercial databases); however, it may not scan every site on the Internet. A clean originality report does not necessarily guarantee that the submission is the student's own work.
  • Turnitin does not flag essays that include plagiarized ideas or concepts, nor can it detect paraphrasing that dramatically changes the wording of an original source while maintaining that source's organization.
  • The Turnitin originality report will not distinguish between properly and improperly cited work. Students who are quoting correctly might have reports that indicate a high level of overlap with these sources. However, while reviewing the originality report, you can exclude quoted materials and bibliographic materials. For help, contact your campus teaching and learning center.

Using the Oncourse integration

  • For students' papers to be submitted properly, instructors must select the Turnitin option before any students have submitted their work for a given assignment. Papers submitted to Assignments before Turnitin is activated will not be submitted to Turnitin retroactively.
  • Be sure that your paper's filename has an extension (e.g., .doc, .docx). On a Mac, check Append file extension when you save your file.
  • Do not include ARCHIVED: unsupported characters in the filename.
  • Note:

    The first time you create an assignment that uses the Turnitin option in Oncourse Assignments, you may see a message saying:

    The assignment was saved; however, we were unable to save the Turnitin settings. Please contact the help desk.

    Edit the assignment, select the Turnitin settings again, and they will be saved correctly.

  • PeerMark is not available through Oncourse, but is available in Canvas and directly via

Help documentation offers guides and user manuals.

Instructors can also get help from their campus teaching and learning centers.

Feature demonstrations

This is document azlp in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 16:35:18.