Turnitin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Lecturers

System: Turnitin »

Q. What is 'Turnitin'?

Q. Why does the ANU use Turnitin?

Q. How does Turnitin work?

Q. What is an Originality Report?

Q. What is GradeMark?

Q. How do I use Turnitin as a Lecturer?

Q. Can I change the standard assignment creation settings?

Q. Why can I see a reference to 'PeerMark' in the Originality Report?

Q. When will Turnitin be available?

Q. Who can use Turnitin?

Q. Why do I have to accept Turnitin's 'User Agreement' the first time I use Turnitin?

Q. Do I have to use Turnitin?

Q. What do I do if a student wants to 'opt-out' of using Turnitin?

Q. Why do I see a "Non Moodle User" in my Turnitin Submission Inbox?

Q. Why do I get a M14:11 loading error message when I tried to view the originality report?

Q. How do I allow a student to resubmit after the due date?

Q. Why can't I backup/restore/import/duplicate Turnitin assignment in Wattle?

Q. Where can I go for more information?

Q. What is 'Turnitin'?

Turnitin is a 'text-matching' software which is designed to educate students regarding appropriate citation and referencing techniques. Turnitin is also used to provide the ANU with confidence in the academic integrity of students work. Turnitin does this by comparing a student submission against an archive of Internet documents, Internet data, a repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. Turnitin then creates an 'Originality Report' which can be viewed by both lecturers and students, which identifies where the text within a student submission has matched another source.

It is important to note that Turnitin does not detect plagiarism. Turnitin will only match the text within a student's assignment to text located elsewhere (e.g. found on the Internet, within journals or on databases of student papers). Correct interpretation of these results by both lecturers and students is essential for the successful use of Turnitin.

Q. Why does the ANU use Turnitin?

A large number of leading Universities across the world, including several members of the Group of Eight, are currently using Turnitin to enhance the education experience they provide to their students.

The ANU uses Turnitin both as a tool to educate students regarding appropriate citation and referencing techniques as well as to provide the ANU with confidence in the academic integrity of students work. Turnitin also provides lecturers and tutors with modern online grading capabilities and enhances the way in which students receive their grades and feedback on assessment items.

It is important to understand that Turnitin is not a punitive tool or a mechanism to 'catch students out'. The primary purpose of using Turnitin is to provide students with an interactive means of understanding and applying citation and referencing techniques in their work, and provide online grading to academic staff.

If misconduct is suspected as a result of using Turnitin, information provided through the use of Turnitin would not in itself determine any wrongdoing. This information would be considered within the wider context of the ANU Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity. 

Q. How does Turnitin work?

If a lecturer chooses to use Turnitin for a particular Course or Assignment, the lecturer will create a 'Turnitin Assignment' within Wattle. When a student submits a 'Turnitin Assignment' within Wattle, the assignment will then be submitted to Turnitin for text-matching.

Turnitin matches the text within an assignment by comparing a student's submission against an archive of internet documents, Internet data, a repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. Turnitin then creates an 'Originality Report' which can be viewed by both lecturers and students, which identifies where the text within a student submission has matched another source.

Turnitin also stores a record of all submitted assignments on a central database. This is done so that future submissions, for example assignments submitted to the ANU in future years, will be checked against previously submitted assignments.

While Turnitin retains a copy of submitted assignments, it does not reproduce these assignments or disclose them to third parties. This means that while a copy of your student's assignment is stored, it is never shown to a third party and the student retains ownership of their assignment. 

Q. What is an Originality Report?

The 'Originality Report' is the report Turnitin creates after it has assessed a student submission against the Internet, repositories of previously submitted papers, and subscription repositories of periodicals, journals, and publications.

The 'Originality Report' identifies where content in a student's submission has been 'text-matched' to other sources. The 'Originality Report' shows the overall 'similarity index' percentage (the total percent of the submission matched against other sources), and provides a detailed breakdown of what text within the submission has been matched against what source (e.g. Internet sites, journals or previous submissions).

Please refer to the detailed reference guide 'How to Interpret an Originality Report' for additional information.

  • What is an acceptable score in Turnitin
  • What does the Originality Report do

Q. What is GradeMark?

GradeMark is a feature within Turnitin which allows Lecturers and Tutors to mark student submissions completely online. Within an Originality Report, you can use GradeMark to provide feedback through inserting digital comments, voice comments and Rubrics as well as provide an overall assignment grade.

Grades entered into GradeMark will automatically populate GradeBook (and vice-versa), and grades will be made available to students based on the 'Post date' set for the assignment.

Q. How do I use Turnitin as a Lecturer?

In order to use Turnitin and GradeMark, a Lecturer must first create a Turnitin assignment within their Course via Wattle. This will enable students enrolled in the Course to submit their assignments to Turnitin, which will generate an Originality Report and also enable the GradeMark functionality for Lecturers.

The following Reference Sheets and video have been developed to assist Lecturer's in using Turnitin:

  • How to create a Turnitin assignment in Wattle
  • How to grade a Turnitin assignment in GradeMark
  • How to create a Turnitin assignment in Wattle

Q. Can I change the standard assignment creation settings?

Yes. Turnitin is entirely optional and configurable on a per-assignment basis; however it is advised that unless there are unique elements of the assignment which need to be catered for, that the default settings are used. This is because the default settings ensure that Turnitin is used in a transparent and fully effective manner, for both Lecturers and students.

If you would like to modify the default assignment creation settings and need assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk or call 612 54321 and select 'Option 1' then 'Option 5'.

Q. Why can I see a reference to 'PeerMark' in the Originality Report?

PeerMark is an additional feature available from Turnitin which enables students to view, review, score and evaluate papers submitted by their classmates. This function is not currently available at the ANU, but is being assessed and may become available at a later date. 

Q. When will Turnitin be available?

During Semester 1, 2014 the ANU will be piloting the use of the text-matching software Turnitin. Several Courses offered by various Colleges have been selected to pilot Turnitin during the Semester 1 teaching period. If you delivering a Course included in the Pilot, information regarding Turnitin should be included in your course materials and made available to your students.

From Semester 2, 2014 Turnitin will be deployed across the entire ANU and be made available to all lecturers and students. 

Q. Who can use Turnitin?

During Semester 1, 2014 Turnitin will only be available in the Courses included in the Turnitin pilot, as well as some areas of the ANU which have been using Turnitin previously. From Semester 2, 2014 Turnitin will be deployed across the entire ANU and be made available to all lecturers and students.

Q. Why do I have to accept a Turnitin 'User Agreement' the first time I use Turnitin?

ANU staff and students are licensed to use the Turnitin service as part of the agreement between the ANU and Turnitin. However staff and students, as the end-users of the service, are required to confirm that they agree to the terms set out in the 'User Agreement'.

Q Am I required to use Turnitin?

The use of Turnitin for academic staff is outlined in ANU Student Assessment (Coursework) policy. Please refer to Assessment Task Submission for the use of the University approved text-matching software (Turnitin).

Q. What do I do if a student wants to 'opt-out' of using Turnitin?

Students do not have to submit their assignment to Turnitin if they choose not to accept a Turnitin 'User Agreement', but it is important that they discuss their opt-out request with you within a reasonable time prior to the due date.

It is important that you openly discuss the use of Turnitin with the student to ensure the student understands why Turnitin is used by the ANU, and that you understand the student's concerns.

Once you have discussed the matter with the student, if the student has decided they do not want to submit their assignment to Turnitin, you will need to provide the student with an alternative means of submission. For example, you may need to also create a 'Wattle assignment' within your course or arrange for the student's submission to be provided by another alternative means. As the student will still be enrolled in the course and assignment, a grade can still be entered against the assignment within Moodle (Wattle).

It is recommended the courses require all opt-out requests from students to be received by the end of Week 3. 

Q. Why do I see a "Non Moodle User" in my Turnitin Submission Inbox?

If the student has submitted a Turnitin assignment in your Wattle course and then withdrew from the course, the student assignment would remain in the Turnitin Submission Inbox. However, the row in the Submission Inbox will be referred to a "Non Moodle user" with the student Turnitin ID listed.

Q. Why do I get a M14:11 loading error message when I tried to view the originality report?

You may see an error message which states: Loading Error This paper is not available Error M14:11. The error can be caused from multiple reasons, such as internet connectivity issue or server issue, etc.

If you experience this issue, the following are the available options:

1. If it's before the due date, ask the students to return to their document, open it and save it in a different format (see below) before re-submitting the assignment. When re-submitting, it may be useful to upload a version of the paper in a different document type. If, for example the paper is a Microsoft Word (.docxs) file type, it may be better to open the document and then re-save it with a Word 97-2003 .doc file type or a PDF file type. This may improve the chances of the paper being processed correctly. 

Note: It is important to note that the original submission date and time will be overwritten when re-submitting. If the due date for the assignment has already passed, the resubmitted paper will appear as 'late' (highlighted in red) in the Submission Inbox. Students are advised to contact their lecturers or tutors before re-submitting if the due date has passed.

2. If it's after the due date and resubmission is not suitable, please contact Wattle Support. We can request Turnitin support to regenerate the originality report.

Q. How do I allow a student to resubmit after the due date?

As Turnitin assignment does not allow individual due date extension, if students have submitted before the due date, they are not able to resubmit after the due date, even if they have been granted an extension.

Manual deletion is required to allow resubmission after the due date. Please follow instructions below:

  1. The lecturer deletes the student submission.
  2. The lecturer informs the student that they can resubmit the assignment again.
  3. The student resubmits and the resubmission automatically appears in the Turnitin inbox. The student can also inform the lecturer after resubmission.

Further details can be found in the Lecturer Guide: How to allow late submissions for Turnitin Assignments

Previously, the lecturer was required to click on the "Submit to Turnitin" link to push through the resubmission. As of July 2017, an update to the Turnitin assignment in Moodle has simplified the process so this final step is no longer required. The student resubmission would automatically come through and appear in the Turnitin inbox.

Q. Why can't I backup/restore/import/duplicate Turnitin assignment in Wattle?

Due to a new issue with Turnitin, the backup/restore/import/duplicate functions for Turnitin assignment is disabled in Wattle until a fix is available.

What this means:

  • There is no Duplicate icon for the Turnitin assignment.
  • If you roll over a course or import a course with Turnitin assignments, they will NOT come across.
  • Please manually add new Turnitin assignments as needed.

If there is any special case or investigation where the colleges need to backup and restore Turnitin assignments, college administrators can contact Wattle support for assistance.

This issue is being investigated and further updates will be provided when available.

Q. Where can I go for more information?

A range of 'reference sheets' and other support information is available on the Turnitin page.

If you require additional information or assistance, please contact IT Service Desk or call 612 54321 and select 'Option 1' then 'Option 5'.

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