See video above How to Create a Turnitin Assignment in Echo360.

How to create a Turnitin Assignment

  1. Log into LEO and navigate to your unit.
  2. Click the Turn editing on button.
  3. In the section where you want to add your activity, click Add an activity or resource.
  4. From the options under the Activities heading select Turnitin Assignment, then click Add.
    Turnitin Assignment in the Add Activity panel
    This will take you to the settings page for your new Turnitin Assignment activity.
  5. In the General section, give your Turnitin Assignment a Title, which should be the name of your assessment task.
  6. Add assessment information in the Summary text area. You may also wish to select the Display description on unit page option to show this information to students on the unit page.
  7. In the Assignment Part 1 section, set the dates for your assignment:
    • Start Date: the date from which students may submit assignments.
    • Due Date: the date when submissions are due.
    • Post Date: the date when feedback and grades will be available for students to view.
  8. Modify any additional settings as required (see Additional Settings topic below).
  9. Click the Save and return to unit button. You will be returned to your unit where your assignment link should now be accessible in your unit.

Should I use the Turnitin Assignment activity?

Turnitin requires text-based submissions in order to find text matches and generate and originality report. Images, video, and some presentation formats may not work.

Turnitin does not allow group submissions. If your students are required to submit in groups, you can still use Turnitin by designating one member of the group and the submitter, and then marking students manually in Gradebook using a manual grade item.

Turnitin Feedback Studio shows grades only as a numeric score. If you prefer students see only a letter grade, you may wish to use a manual grade item to enter your grades into instead and display this with a letter grade. Feedback Studio can still be used for feedback.

Turnitin does not allow you to grant extensions to individual students. If you need to accept submissions beyond the due date you can:

  • Create a new Turnitin Assignment activity specifically to accept late submissions (with an extended due date), or;
  • Delete the existing student assignment and allow them to submit late to the inbox and simply ignore the late submission warning.

If your assignment requires any of these options, you may want to consider using the LEO Assignment tool instead.

When you create a new Turnitin assignment, there are a number of settings that may be customised to suit the assessment task. The default values are usually fine for most of these settings, however their are some settings you may need to change to suit your assessment task.

Maximum Grade

Expand the Grade section and set the maximum grade field to be the highest possible grade for the overall assignment (by default, this is 100). This overall grade that will be displayed in Gradebook. To learn more about Gradebook and how grades are calculated and displayed refer to LEO Guides: Grades.

If you are using multiple Parts, ensure the maximum grade equals the sum of all Parts (see information on Parts below).

Note: you should only use the Grade type Point. The Scale options do not display correctly in Turnitin and are not recommended for use.

Number of Parts

Under the General section, you can specify the number of Parts of your Turnitin Assignment. By default this is 1, which means a student can submit 1 file. If your assignment requires multiple submissions of different files (and different submission deadlines), you can select up to 5 Parts. Each Part will have separate dates and maximum marks, which total the overall maximum grade.

In most cases, one Part for each assignment submission is sufficient. Using a single Part is also usually much simpler for students to use.

Dates and Marks

Under the Assignment Part heading, you need to customise the dates for the assignment:

  • Start Date: the date from which students may submit their assignments.
  • Due Date: the date when the assignment is due.
  • Post Date: the date from which grades and feedback will be visible to students.
  • Max Marks: the maximum grade for this Part. The Max Mark will be shown in the Turnitin Submission Inbox as the Available Marks for that part. Note: if you are using only one Part, this should be the same as your overall maximum grade.

Submission Type

By default, Turnitin assignments accept File Uploads as assignment submission. Files that may be uploaded include text documents such as Word, PDF, PowerPoint (see full list of possible file types for more information).

You may also choose the Text Submission option as your submission type, which provides a text box for students to paste their assignment text into. You can also choose Any Submission Type to allow for both file uploads and text submissions.

Allow submission of any file type?

This option under the General section of the settings changes the file types students can submit to the Turnitin activity:

  • No: This allows file types with written text, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and PDF files, and generates an originality report. Warning: PowerPoint files including text in dialogue boxes can cause errors. Instruct students to convert PowerPoint to PDF before uploading to Turnitin.
  • Yes: Allows non writing file types, such as image files. If there is less than 20 words it will not generate an originality report, however Feedback Studio can still be used for feedback.

GradeMark Options

If you are using a rubric or grading form, you can attach it using the dropdown box under this section, or create a new one using the Rubric Manager. For more on using these functions, please see LEO Guides: How to create a rubric or grading form.

Group Mode

If you are using groups in your unit, you should set the Group Mode setting under the Common Module Settings heading to Separate Groups. This will mean that tutors in your unit can filter the list of submissions in the submission inbox by their groups, making it much easier for them to find students in larger unit cohorts. For more information on using Groups in your unit, please see LEO Guides: Groups and Groupings.

Originality Report Options

The settings in this section are generally fine when left at their defaults. However, there are some that may be useful for your assessment:

  • Allow submissions after the due date: change this to No if you do not want students to be able to submit late.
  • Check and Exclude options: using these options, you can choose what sources submissions are text-matched against, and what parts of submissions should be specifically not text-matched.
  • Exclude Small Matches: if you find that students use a lot of common short phrases, you can use this setting to ignore them. For example, if you see a lot of matches that are phrases 5 words and under, you can change this to 5 and Turnitin will leave those matches out of the similarity report.

Restrict Access

You can set up restrictions on a Turnitin Assignment as with any other activity or resource in your unit, by Group, Grade, Activity Completion, and more. Please see LEO Guides: Restricting Access for more on how to do this. Note that restricting access to the assignment will not stop students from being listed as participants in the Turnitin Submission Inbox, it will just prevent them from accessing the activity to submit files.

When creating a Turnitin assignment it is important to consider the assignment design.

Cheating at university is becoming increasingly sophisticated and text-matching software and various detection and deterrence measures such as Turnitin have their limitations. There are so many sites that it’s difficult for Turnitin to manage this growing problem.

The focus of Contract Cheating and Assessment Design: Exploring the Connection was a two-year, national project (SP16-5383, 2016-2018), funded and supported by the Australian Government Office, producing a very useful website with links, hints and resources.



For more information visit Contract cheating and assessment design

To view feedback such as comments and rubrics, students must open their assignment from the Turnitin submission inbox by clicking the title of their assignment.

The student view of the originality report will include general and individual comments in their assignment:

Example of instructor feedback in student view

How to print a hard copy

Alternatively students can print out a copy of the grades and feedback. Comments will appear in the last pages of the report,. The option to print a copy in the grey section of menu, indicated by a download arrow.

The download option in Feedback Studio

The "Student viewed paper" icon

When a student has viewed their paper an icon will appear in the submission inbox next to the Grade column.

Icon indicating student has viewed the paper

Graham-Matterson, L. and Starr, S, (2013) Is it cheating or learning the craft of writing? Using Turnitin to help students avoid plagiarism in Research in Learning Technology, v.21, sourced

Bretag, T (2019) Contract cheating and assignment design: exploring the relationship, v44, sourced

Silvey, V., Snowball, T.; Do, T., (2016) Bridge over troubled water: A literacy approach to Turnitin in Journal of Language and Learning, v 10. sourced

Third-Party academic research, sourced Includes a range of articles on the effectiveness of Turnitin in preventing plagiarism and promoting student learning. The summaries included on the site present key findings from peer-reviewed scholarly articles on plagiarism and prevention technologies such as Turnitin.

Page last updated on 12/08/2020

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