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Using Turnitin LTI for plagiarism detection


Turnitin may be used to check the originality of student work and to detect for plagiarism. Turnitin LTI assignments provide more options to faculty than the legacy Turnitin API feature in Canvas. The Courseware Team is available to consult on how to set up Turnitin to meet specific assignment needs.

Important Notes:

  • Turnitin cannot be used with group assignments, quizzes, or discussions.
  • Only one file can be uploaded to a Turnitin assignment. If an assignment requires multiple submissions, students should either combine files into a single document or create a separate assignment in Canvas for each file
  • The default settings for Turnitin LTI assignments do not allow students to submit late work or to resubmit work. You can change this through advanced settings.
  • Bulk downloading and uploading of student submissions in Canvas is not available with Turnitin LTI assignments. You can bulk download student submissions from within the Turnitin LTI Assignment Inbox.
  • When copying Turnitin LTI assignments from another Canvas site, you must launch the Turnitin LTI tool for each copied assignment in order to establish a connection between the Canvas assignment and Turnitin. Be sure to update the assignment due date before launching Turnitin.
  • The Turnitin assignment has a short time-out window. You may need to refresh the page to access the Turnitin LTI assignment dashboard.

Creating a Turnitin-enabled assignment in Canvas

  • To create a Turnitin-enabled assignment, go to the Assignments Index page and select +Assignment.
  • Specify the assignment name, description, due date, and points.
  • If you use Rubrics, be sure to add the Rubric before adding Turnitin to the assignment.
  • Under Submission Type, select External Tool. Select Find to bring up a list of the available external tools. Locate Turnitin LTI in the alphabetical list and then Select.
  • The Turnitin LTI assignment dashboard can be loaded within a new browser tab by selecting Load This Tool In A New Tab, which will provide more room for navigating the Turnitin LTI assignment dashboard.
  • Click Save & Publish to make the assignment visible to students.

This will create a Turnitin-enabled assignment with the default assignment settings. To change the default settings, launch the Turnitin LTI Assignment Dashboard, select Settings and Optional settings.

Optional and recommended settings

Typical Turnitin settings for Wharton assignments include:

  • Set the Feedback release date to a future date, if you plan to evaluate student work in Turnitin Feedback Studio.
  • Set Allow late submissions to Yes for consistency with other Canvas assignments. Unless an Available Until date is set, Canvas assignments allow students to submit work late. Late submissions are marked as late in SpeedGrader, in the Grade Book, and on downloaded files.
  • Set Originality Report generation and resubmissions to Generate reports immediately (resubmissions are allowed until due date) for consistency with other Canvas assignments. All submissions will appear in SpeedGrader, though only the most recent will be available in the Turnitin Assignment Dashboard.
  • Set Allow students to view Originality Reports to your preference. Many Wharton faculty members choose not to allow students to see originality reports.
  • Leave the default setting for Submissions to this assignment will be stored in as Institution paper repository. No student work from Wharton or the University of Pennsylvania is ever submitted to the global Turnitin database.
  • Add PeerMark assignments to use Turnitin’s integrated peer review tool. (Canvas also has a peer review feature.) The Courseware Team is available to consult on which peer review tool will best fit your course needs.

You can make the selected settings the default options for future Turnitin assignments.

Setting up group assignments

Turnitin LTI does not support group assignments. If originality checking is required for a group assignment, you can create two assignments: a graded group assignment with online submission for grading purposes, and a 0-point external tool assignment for plagiarism checking. One member of each group should submit to both assignments.

Managing student submissions and viewing originality reports

The Turnitin Assignment Inbox lists all student submissions with similarity scores. Clicking on an individual score launches the complete report.

  • Turnitin generates originality reports either upon submission, 24 hours after resubmission, or the due date, depending on the assignment settings.
  • The Assignment Inbox presents a list of student submissions in the order received, with the most recent submission first. A Search box allows you to find a specific student’s paper.

From within Canvas you can view originality scores or access the full originality reports by launching Turnitin Feedback Studio.

  • Gradebook shows a color-coded icon indicating the compatibility score similarity range. Clicking on the icon will display the similarity score and allow you to access the originality report.
  • SpeedGrader displays the similarity score next to the submission details. Clicking on the icon launches Turnitin Feedback Studio with the complete report.
  • You may occasionally see an error message in Canvas indicating that a Turnitin compatibility report cannot be displayed. If this happens, go to the Turnitin Assignment Inbox to view the compatibility report.

Evaluating student work with Turnitin Feedback Studio

Turnitin Feedback Studio is an alternative to Canvas SpeedGrader for online grading. It offers several features not available in Canvas.

  • QuickMarks allow you to save and reuse common grading marks and comments.
  • Grades entered in Turnitin Feedback Studio are automatically sent to Canvas. Please note: Turnitin Feedback Studio supports grades entered only as whole numbers.
  • Students access to feedback and grades in Turnitin Feedback Studio is controlled by the Feedback release date set in the Turnitin Assignment Dashboard. Muting an assignment in Canvas will hide only grades and feedback within Canvas.
  • The Turnitin iPad app allows for offline grading.
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