Teaching with Turnitin

Turnitin is a complete Web-based solution for managing writing intensive assignments. Instructors may use Turnitin through Blackboard Learn or through the Turnitin website. Though an instructor can use either method to access Turnitin, it is strongly recommended that an instructor make the decision on which method to use before a semester begins because these two options do not work in conjunction with each other. In other words, student submissions submitted through Blackboard Learn cannot be seen by the instructor who may also have a Turnitin account directly through the Turnitin website and vice versa. Turnitin is an integrated solution, so instructors and students are able to view the student’s paper in its original format with OriginalityCheck, PeerMark and GradeMark results shown simultaneously, or in any combination.

  • Originality Checking encourages proper citation and acts as a deterrent to plagiarism by checking student writing assignment against a database of over 13 billion pages of web content, more than 80 thousand subscription-based journals and periodicals, thousands of books, and 135 million student papers.
  • Peer Mark lets you organize students to review each other’s work and deliver clear, timely comments.
  • GradeMark offers a rich set of tools for clear mark-ups, custom feedback and standardized rubrics. GradeMark simplifies commenting on papers, evaluating performance and calculating grades -- all completely online.

Use one or all three components to meet your needs.

Getting Started

From Blackboard Learn, click on any course content area where you want to add a Turnitin Assignment. From the content area, click the Assessments link, then select Turnitin Assignment.

How Does it Work?

Here are the basics of how Turnitin works:

  1. An instructor makes the decision to use Turnitin through Blackboard Learn or the Turnitin website.
  2. The instructor creates an assignment through the Turnitin website or through the Turnitin tool in Blackboard Learn.
  3. Students submit papers to the Turnitin assignment you created.
  4. Turnitin compares the text in the paper against text on the Internet, other student submissions, and commercial databases (as listed above).
  5. Turnitin generates an Originality Report for each student submission and highlights any text that duplicates text found in other sources.
  6. The instructor uses this information to decide if the duplicated text is plagiarized. In many cases, students will have properly cited the duplicated text, and this duplicated text may not indicate plagiarism at all. The instructor remains the arbiter of what constitutes plagiarism

Turnitin and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA regulations prohibit institutions from releasing personally identifiable information from a student’s educational records to third parties without the written consent of the student. Such personally identifiable information includes the student's name and identification number or any other information that alone or in combination is linkable to the student's identity by that third party. Because it is possible that student assignments may contain such personally identifiable information, it is important that faculty members understand when a student's written consent is necessary and how to obtain such consent to ensure compliance with the law.

Students Submit Papers

Instructors are not required to get consent from students to have them submit their own papers to Turnitin if they post notice in the course syllabus informing students that they are required to submit written assignments to Turnitin prior to submission.

Sample notice:

Students are required to submit written assignments for this class to Turnitin, a web-based plagiarism detection service. Before submitting your paper to Turnitin, please remove your title page and other personal information. (OPTIONAL: Any paper that is not submitted to Turnitin prior to submission to the instructor will not be accepted by the instructor and will not be graded.)

Faculty Submit Papers on Students' Behalf

Faculty members who choose the option of submitting assignments to Turnitin on behalf of students (individually or in bulk) are responsible for obtaining written consent or electronic signature of the students before doing so or must make certain that no personally identifiable information is on the work prior to submission. This can be accomplished by requiring students to complete and sign (via written or electronic signature) an Authorization to Release Assignments to Turnitin form. Students may either authorize the instructor to release their assignments (with personally identifiable information) to Turnitin or agree to provide the faculty member with an identical copy of the assignment with personally identifiable information removed.

Best Practices Using Turnitin

Faculty at the University of North Texas can use Turnitin to help prevent plagiarism. Students submit papers to Turnitin and the tool compares the submissions against other sources on the Internet, the Turnitin database, and other commercial databases. Turnitin does not decide if a paper has been plagiarized, but instead provides the faculty member with a report of how much text is similar to other sources. The faculty member ultimately decides if a paper has been plagiarized.In your syllabus, inform students that you are using the Turnitin tool to help prevent plagiarism.  

CLEAR instructional consultants have expertise in working with the e-learning technologies UNT supports and are here to assist faculty who wish to use these tools. Contact your CLEAR instructional consultant to make an appointment for one-on-one or small group training.

Accessibility

Turnitin's accessibility program aims to incorporate accessibility into the entire product development lifecycle to ensure that its website and applications are accessible and usable.

Get Help with Turnitin in Blackboard Learn

If you are a faculty member at UNT, and you are using Turnitin through Blackboard Learn, contact the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign for assistance with this tool:

Email: clearhelp@unt.edu
Phone: 940-369-7394

Get Help with the Turnitin website

If you are using Turnitin at the external website: http://www.turnitin.com, go to the Turnitin Knowledge Center for assistance.