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This FAQ is to support staff with their use of Turnitin plagiarism detec= tion software at UCL. Unless stated otherwise these FAQs relate to the use = of Turnitin via UCL Moodle. Please refer your students to the Student Turnitin FAQs page.
Turnitin is a third party tool, hosted externally and integrated with Mo= odle. It has a number of possible uses in different combinations here at UC= L.
Turnitin is most helpful when it is used to streamline assessment proced= ures, give and receive feedback and support good academic writing. The full= benefits of all forms of e-assessment becomes apparent when the process is= entirely digitised, without requiring paper copies.
Benefits which Turnitin shares with other forms of e-assessment are:
Benefits specific to Turnitin:
Via Moodle. Staff set up Turnitin Assignments in the appropriate Moodle = course area, and give students the necessary guidance about how to use them= .
For students a confidential self-check is available in the Moodle area t= itled 'Plagiarism and Academic Writing'.
See our step-by-= step guidance to setting up Turnitin Assignments in your Moodle area.= p>
This is straightforward - but the important thing is to avoid students' = work being checked against itself - this would necessarily yield a very hig= h or 100% match.
So, set up a separate Turnitin Assignment as outlined in the step-by-ste= p instructions above and make sure that in its settings you set Sto= re Student Papers to No Repository.
This means that student submissions
Sometimes departments are tempted to located all Assignment submissions = in a single Moodle course area. Below, we attempt to convince you not= em> to do this. This may work well from an administrative point of view, bu= t if we look at this set-up ffrom the markers=E2=80=99, students=E2=80=99 a= nd technology=E2=80=99s point of view, it's a different story.
For the following reasons, ELE cannot offer support to departments whose= problems arise due to using a single Moodle space for assignments from acr= oss the department. We simply do not have sufficient resource to support th= is practice.
Below is a summary of the reasons.
ELE understands the pressures on staff which make it tempting to put all= Assignments in one place. But the fact remains - this doesn't work well fo= r markers, students or Moodle. Talk with ELE about alternatives which recog= nise that staff and students need to protect their time and balance competi= ng needs.
The Similarity Score, expressed as a percentage match, simply indicates = the proportion of text in a submission which matches text elsewhere. Detect= ing similarity is what Turnitin does, but similarity isn't the same thing a= s plagiarism - similarity can be entirely legitimate. It can reside in quot= ations, or in the language of a discipline. Work may have a high score beca= use its author lacks confidence or knowledge and has over-quoted as a conse= quence. Work may have a low score but have used somebody else's idea or phr= ase without attribution - this becomes an even more significant concern if = that idea is central to the work. For these reasons it's impossible to poin= t to a definitive threshold.
That said, a very high score mean that the student's own words and origi= nal ideas are proportionally less. The principle of essay writing is that s= tudents need to evidence or illustrate their points with well-chosen quotat= ions, but the more of their own ideas, expressed in their own words, they g= et into their work, the more chance they have to earn credit. The important= thing is to ensure that ideas and quotations used are properly referenced = in an appropriate academic style, not to aim for a particular similarity sc= ore.
You can set up a Turnitin assignment to exclude quotes, or you can filte= r these out when viewing the submission. However it is important to note th= at Turnitin will consider quoted material to be anything within double quot= ation marks only ("), anything within single quotation marks (') will = not be considered a quotation. This can cause problems as the Harvard syste= m of referencing, which is commonly used at UCL, requires double quotations= for direct speech and single quotations for direct text. This means that a= human eye will still be required to check references are accurately given = at the end of quoted text, at which point they can then be disregarded. Tur= nitin is a text matching system based on a computerised algorithm and = not a judgement engine, so human interpretations of results are always requ= ired regardless of quotes materials.
No, a Similarity Score of 0% does not guarantee originality. Turnitin us= es a large database of web sites, books, journal articles and other sources= , but does not (and cannot) include everything ever written. Although Turni= tin can help with highlighting areas of poor academic practice, it can't su= bstitute for academic knowledge and judgement.
No, all students in the class must use the same submission method to ens= ure fair treatment.
All papers should be treated equally throughout the submission process.<= /p>
No, students must be informed of the method of submission. If you wish t= o run the papers through Turnitin after receiving them from a different sub= mission method then students must be informed. Usually, they are informed o= f the submission method in the handbook for their module / programme.
Details of what Turnitin checks against can be found here - http://submit.ac.uk/en_gb/features/originalityche= ck/content
If you would like to check if a particular book or journal is in the Tur= nitin database then you can check this on the iThenticate = website.
No, work submitted within a single assignment by a particular student wi= ll never match another submissions within the same assignment made by the s= ame student. An assignment will only match work by the same student across = multiple assignments (unless you have set it up as a draft assignment to no= t submit work to Turnitin).
Most common word-processing formats are accepted. Turnitin will accept d= ocuments in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, and pl= ain text. Turnitin will not accept Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel documents= , image based PDF and formats for computer programming languages.Turnitin w= ill not accept compressed or zipped files.
Note: equations created in Word using Microsoft Equation a= re compatible with Turnitin, but equations created in other applications an= d then converted to PDF are likely to cause problems when the document is d= isplayed in Turnitin. If students need to submit documents containing equat= ions to Turnitin please pass on the advice below: Will Turnitin accept documents containing eq= uations?
Turnitin only accepts documents containing images if those documents als= o contain some text.
As long as students use Word (with Microsoft Equation) to create their d= ocuments, Turnitin should have no trouble displaying their assignments. Wor= d is available to all UCL students free of charge via WTS: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/students/windows/wts/acc= ess
* *The maximum file size is approximately 20MB for v1 and 40 MB for= v2, though tutors may choose to reduce this for an individual assignment.<= /p>
It may be necessary to compress a document so it is small enough to be u= ploaded to Turnitin. This is especially true for long documents (such as di= ssertations) and documents that contain many images.
Saving Word documents to PDF format will often compress the document to = a small size, but if your file is still above the maximum upload limit you = can follow these instructions to compress the PDF further.
To compress or minimise the file size of large PDF documents:
On a PC:
If you don't already have software to compress PDF documents you can ins= tall the following free software and then follow the steps below.
On a Mac:
If you can't add comments to or grade assignments, this is usually cause= d by the Post date having been reached. The Post Date= is the date students receive their feedback and marks and anonymous a= ssignments become un-anonymised.
To mark or add comments you need to change the Post Date to a date in th= e future:
You should now be able to mark and comment on assignments.
It is now possible to bulk download Turnitin assignments from within Moo= dle. You can bulk download the original files, PDF versions of the original= files and grades (along with the matching scores). If you need to bulk dow= nload the papers along with the feedback you have provided using Grademark = you will need to log into submit.ac.uk directly.
The bulk download option is available after the due date for non- anonym= ous assignments, or after the post date for anonymous assignments.
Downloading Grademarked papers (Turnitin V2 ONLY)
It is only possible to bulk download Turnitin assignments with Grademark= feedback from within Moodle using the V2 Turntin plugin. Follow these step= s to bulk download grademarked assignments:
The individual files will contain any text based feedback you retur= ned to the student via Grademark including Quickmarks, general comments and= rubrics.
Because Turnitin assignments are stored in an external system it is reco= mmended that assignments are bulk downloaded at the end of term and securely arch= ived in line with current practice for electronic assignment storage within= your department. For undergraduate courses, all submissions made in = the course of the academic year will be captured in the Moodle archive. &nb= sp;This takes place mid-June. As postgraduate courses have different = timetables, not all submissions are captured in archiving process, so we re= commend you manually archive your Moodle course to retain submissions, please click here for more information about manu= al archiving.
The three Turnitin assignment reset options are described here:
Copy Turnitin Assignments (Create Duplicates, New Turnintin Class)
This will create a new Turnitin class and a new assignment with= in the class for the assignment link in Moodle. The old class and assignmen= t will remain associated with the Moodle editors' Turnitin accounts, so can= still be referred to in future via Turnitin and the Moodle archive. This i= s the most appropriate option for a new cohort of students (e.g. a new clas= s).
Replace Turnitin Assignments (Replace Assignment Parts, Reuse Tu=
This will add a new assignment in the same Turn= itin® class and removes the pre reset assignment from view in the class= . This option does not create a new class, so the students from the previou= s year would have access to this new assignment.
Leave Turnitin Assignments Untouched
This will lea= ve the assignment link in its current state and not remove any associated u= sers. This would mean that when students are removed from the Moodle course= during a reset their submissions in the Turnitin® assignment will stil= l be displayed as non enrolled users, hence not really resetting the course= properly. You will need express permissions from students to retain their = work in this manner.
There is no way to double blind mark using GradeMark in Turnitin. One wa= y to double mark using GradeMark is to put initials such as M1 and M2 next = to comments made by each marker. However, this is not blind as the markers = will be able to see the previous markers comments. Students will be able to= see these comments when their marks are released, unless they are deleted = first.
The submission inbox can take time to load as it has to synchronise data= with the Turnitin servers and check all of the originality reports. This i= s a particular problem when there=E2=80=99s a high number of students enrol= led on a Moodle course. There are two ways to reduce the loading time, eith= er preventing the submission inbox from auto refreshing or setting up multi= ple inboxes.
To prevent the submission inbox from automatically refreshing each time = you enter it, go into the Turnitin assignment and then click the =E2=80=98O= ptions=E2=80=99 tab (located next to the Submission Inbox tab). Located the= =E2=80=98Auto refresh Grade/ Score=E2=80=99 setting, and from the drop dow= n menu (which should be set to =E2=80=98Yes, automatically refresh original= ity scores and grades=E2=80=99 by default) select =E2=80=98No, I will refre= sh originality score and grades manually=E2=80=99. Once you have done this = you should click =E2=80=98Save Changes=E2=80=99.
NB This will change the setting for the submission inbox for everyone us=
ing it. Make sure that other tutors/ administrators know to click =E2=80=98=
Refresh Table=E2=80=99 at the top of the submission table to refresh the gr=
ades/ originality reports.
If you set up multiple inboxes then ensure = there are no more than 100 students submitting to one submission inbox. You= will also need to set up a new Turnitin assignment for each inbox, and cli= cking the duplicate button will simply produce multiple links to the same i= nbox.
Windows 8 is currently unsupported by Turnitin. Advice to users is to us=
e Internet Explorer in conjunction with Windows 8 for best performance.
Firefox and Chrome do not allow the marker to select text to make comment= s.
If you get the following error when you try to bulk download assignments from=
Moodle, you are probably not specified as a Turnitin tutor for that Moodle=
The user does not have the specified role in = the class.
To add yourself as a Turnitin tutor for assignments on a particular Mood= le course:
You should now be able to bulk download Turnitin assignments.
If you restore a backup containing Turnitin assignments or import them f= rom a Moodle course you will see the following warning message:
Duplicate copies of the same Turnitin assignments were found, duplicates=
occur when one or more Moodle Direct assignment is connected to the same o=
ne Turnitin assignment via the Turnitin API. This is known to cause issues,=
most notably submissions made to one of the duplicates will show up in the=
submission inbox of the others. To fix this you should either delete the d=
uplicate assignments or reset the course where the duplicate assignments ar=
The following duplicates were found:
To fix this you need to either:
You will notice that the yellow pencil icon will have changed to a blue = pencil indicating that GradeMark is now being used.
The new Turnitin 2 document viewer is not compatible with older versions= of Internet Explorer. Use a more recent version of IE8+ or use Firefox ins= tead.
Sometimes students may not name their submission title correctly (forget= ting their candidate number, or including their name for anonymou= s assignments).
When they next upload their assignment they can rename it (providing thi= s is done before the due date).
Turnitin will only display the new assignment title when the next report= is generated. As Turnitin will only generate a new report every 24 hours, = it may take up to 24 hours for the new assignment title to display.
Why are some of the assignmen= ts in my submission inbox appearing twice?
It is possible on occasion, normally due to an error with Turnitin, that= assignments within an inbox can appear in duplicate. In this case = DO NOT delete either assignment as this will in fact delete both t= he duplicate and the original. The assignment is not actually duplicated, i= t simply is displayed as such. To rectify the issue you should display all = of the assignments, then filtered by the paper ID. Next scroll down the lis= t looking for duplicates (comparing the final number can be a good way to d= o this). When you find the duplicate, refresh that assignment. This will re= ctify the issue and you should see the number of submitted assignments= decrease.
There is currently a bug which will not allow you to access submissions = this way. Please click on the title of the submission in the inbox, t= his will load the paper correctly.
You may need to contact the students who haven't submitted. Finding out = who has or hasn't submitted is straightforward - though not terribly obviou= s - and won't compromise anonymity (except by a process of elimination if t= he group is small, and that's a trade-off to decide about within your depar= tment).
UCL recommend using Turnitin via Moodle, rather than directly, as it is =
the easiest way to enable multiple staff to access an assignment.
Note: UCL support staff are unable to support direct access to T= urnitin.
To upload an assignment in to Turnitin via Moodle students need = to follow these steps:
Please refer to the following document for further information on using = Turnitin via UCL Moodle:Guidance for= students submitting work via Turnitin in Moodle (PDF)
Further detailed information is available here: T= iiUK_Moodle_Integration_Student_Manual.pdf
To view Turnitin assignment grades and feedback via Moodle students need= to follow these steps:
Ensure you setup the assignment to accept multiple submissions and gener= ate multiple reports by setting Report Generation Speed to Generate reports immediately, reports can be overwr= itten until due date.
In the past, students had to delete old submissions before resubmitting.= With the new version of the Turnitin plugin they now just upload over the = top of their old submission instead.
NOTE: Once the due date has passed, stude= nts will not be able to resubmit. Only those students who have submitted no= thing will be able to submit, assuming you have enabled late submissions in= the settings. To allow a student to resubmit after the due date, you will = need to delete their existing submission first using the delete (rubbish bi= n) icon and they can then upload another file (or you can do this on their behalf).= p>
No, there is no automatic notification. If you set the Post Date to the = expected Post Date, and stick to that, then students will know (from the Tu= rnitin Assignment's landing page aka Summary) when to check back. Otherwise= , tutors can always send a News Forum post saying =E2=80=98Your marks are n= ow available to view=E2=80=99.