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This guide explains how staff mark Exam papers using Turnitin. 

  • Turnitin allows for Exam submissions to be viewed and graded in browser (Firefox and Chrome recommended).
  • Turnitin has a range of marking options, but it does not support writing comments using a Stylus on an Ipad. If you want this, see the PDF annotation guide
  • It is not recommended you use the Turnitin App, as syncing between multiple markers can cause marks to be lost. 
  • Marking notes and comments won't be returned to students.
  • Exam marks need to be added to Portico. Whilst normally it is possible to export marks from Turnitin to a spreadsheet, for upload to Portico, this will not be possible with 24-hour exams.

Using this Guide: Expand Images

Click on the pictures provided in this guide to expand them. 

Video Guidance

Step 1Access your Exam on Turnitin

  1. Go to your Moodle course. 
  2. Find the Exam section. 
  3. Click the exam submission link to be taken to the Submission inbox page.

Step 2: Check the Submission Inbox page

  1. Check the Post Date! So long as this date is in the future, marking will not be visible to students. The date should be already set far in the future. Before the date, assignments will be hidden so that marking notes never become visible to students. 
  2. Check submissions have been received, they will be visible down the page. Submissions will be anonymous. Students have been instructed to name their submissions with their candidate number and module code. The candidate number will also be in the cover sheet of the submission. 
  3. Identify any late submissions, these will be highlighted in red. You can click the Submitted table heading to sort by submission date and time.
  4. Some student may have been unable to submit through Turnitin, and have been directed to submit through an Emergency Form. The Exams office will provide you with these submission files.  

Step 3Mark online directly in Turnitin

You can use Turnitin to add marker notes and annotations to a submission. 

Before you get started:

  • Feedback is not intended to be returned to students, rather it provides evidence of marking outcomes, and allows markers to discuss and agree marks. 
  • Blind second marking is not possible in Turnitin, as Turnitin can only store one set of comments/notes. To blind second mark, one marker will need to download the submissions and mark/annotate the downloaded copies. The final agreed notes can then be entered into Turnitin by one of the markers. 
  • Feedback is saved automatically
  • Where there are multiple markers needing to mark a paper, say to mark different questions, markers will need to access the paper one at a time to avoid overwriting each other's comments in Turnitin's Feedback Studio. This is similar to how in the past a physical script would need to go from one marker to the next. You could have an order of marking, or you could allocate days/times for each marker to access Turnitin Feedback studio. 

To mark a submission:

  1. From the submission inbox page, click the pencil icon next to the submission you want to mark. Turnitin’s Feedback studio should open with a display of the submission, beginning with the cover sheet, answers both text and images, followed by the Exam Paper Query form.
  2. Use Turnitin's marking tools to mark the paper.

Feedback Studio Overview

Marking options

Turnitin provides a range of marking options, which you can adapt to your needs. A list of the main marking approaches is provided below. Click on the name of the approach to read more.

 Add a Mark

Numerical mark for the paper. Only whole numbers are accepted. 


Type a number in the box at the top of the paper.

Marks need to be eventually entered into Portico. It’s up to you to decide on how to do this, and you can follow your standard Department approach. If you enter marks into Turnitin, you’ll also need to add them to a Spreadsheet for Portico. It will not be possible to export marks from Turnitin to a spreadsheet at this would compromise anonymity. 

 Add Comments in-line

Annotate submission with text comments. Comments can include numerical marks for questions, markers initials etc.


Clicking anywhere on the submission page, or dragging your cursor over some text, will bring up a menu of options:

  • The tick box icon adds a Quickmark; 
  • The speech bubble adds a free text comment;
  • The T icon adds text which appear on the page.  This could be used to provide a mark for a question, and the marker's initials as shown below:

 Highlight text and add comment

Annotate submission with text comments. Comments can include numerical marks for questions, markers initials etc.


Drag cursor over text to highlight text.

The comment menu should open automatically allowing you to add comment and  change highlight colour (Note. Different markers using different colours is one way marker comments can be differentiated). 

 Write Feedback Summary text

Free text comment for summary feedback. Allows for up to 5,000 characters.


Click the Feedback summary icon.

Enter your text in the Comment Box. (Note. Markers could include initials to differentiate comments).


Re-usable comments that can be quickly added to a submission. You can either click anywhere on a submission and add a Quickmark, or you can drag and drop Quickmarks from the right hand side menu onto the submission document.


Convert a comment to Quickmark

Any time you add a comment to a submission, you can click on the comment, and choose to convert the comment to a Quickmark to reuse. 

Set up Quickmarks in advance:

  1. Click on the Quickmark icon located in the top right margin.
  2. Click on the cog icon. 
  3. Click the hamburger menu icon (displayed as three horizontal lines) .
  4. Click Create New Set.
  5. Enter a name for the set. 
  6. Click the plus icon, and add your QuickMark comment, including name and explanation.  
  7. Click save. 
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for additional comments.

Share Quickmark set (so that other markers can use them):

  1. With your Quickmark set open in the Quickmark manager, click the hamburger icon menu. 
  2. Select Download set. 
  3. Email file to other markers, and instruct them to go to the Quickmark Manager, select the same hamburger icon menu and select Upload set. 

Additional guidance:

 Rubric/Grading Form

Attach a rubric or grading form to an assignment to use for marking. Rubrics can be qualitative or can calculate a mark. 

Rubrics are a matrix of criteria mapped to levels of achievement. Each matrix cell contains a description of the level of achievement and (optionally) a numeric mark attached; the marker selects the level to which a student has met each criterion and can optionally give further comments for each. If numeric marks are used the Rubric will calculate a total grade (though this can be overridden).

Grading forms give you the ability to provide free-form feedback and scores to your students for a set of criteria; the tutor types in feedback and (optionally) a numeric mark for each. Grading Form feedback can be individualised and discretionary.


Note. Hide the assignment first if you don’t want rubric/grading form visible to students. 

How to create a rubric or grading form:

  1. With a submission open, click the Rubric icon, in the top right margin.
  2. Click on the cog icon. 
  3. Click the hamburger menu icon (displayed as three horizontal lines).
  4. From this menu, you can choose to create a new rubric or grading form. 
  5. Add rubric rows and columns.
  6. Add Descriptors in each cell.
  7. Save Rubric
  8. Click the button next to Attach to assignment. 

Once a rubric is attached to an assignment, it remains accessible by all markers. 

For more guidance on creating a rubric see the Turnitin rubric staff guide.

For more guidance on creating a grading form see the Turnitin grading form staff guide.

 Text-matching report

If a Turnitin assignment is set to  generate a Similarity report, it will compare submitted work against a host of resources, these include webpages (archived and current,) work submitted by students at UCL and other institutions using the service and various periodicals, journals, and publications . Any matching or highly similar text discovered is detailed in the Similarity Report that is available in the assignment inbox.

Note  that the Similarity report is not confirmation that plagiarism has occurred. It only highlights similarities in text. Markers should view the Similarity report in detail and read through submitted work to make a decision on whether plagiarism has occurred.  

Viewing and interpreting a Similarity report

To access a similarity report, navigate the Turnitin submission inbox and click on the match overview icon to show the report. The match overview icon will have a numeric value highlighting the percentage of similar text found the paper you are viewing.

Video: How to view a similar

Step 4: Move to the next paper

Move to the next paper using the arrow icons or drop-down list in the top right of the Feedback studio window.  

Additional support

Guidance on anonymous marking (written for standard assessments but provides guidance on how anonymous marking could be organised with a 24 hour take home exam).

Staff FAQ on Turnitin.

If you encounter any issues grading 24 hour exams, please contact the Digital Education team at digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk. 

Complete this online tutorial to further explore Turnitin's grading options. 

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