Turnitin

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Turnitin requires students to accept an end user agreement with Turnitin. If you are using Turnitin web (turnitinuk.com) to submit assignments on behalf of students, please refer students to Turnitin's end user licence agreement.

Turnitin is most commonly used to assist in the detection of academic misconduct (such as plagiarism or collusion) in an assignment after it's been submitted online. It does this by comparing the text of a submitted assignment against text from a wide range of electronic material including journals, websites, and other students’ work, including work from many UK universities. Turnitin can also be used formatively to help students learn about the importance of good academic practices and good referencing.

Some Schools with the University also use a Moodle integration version of Turnitin which provides a number of functions that facilitate online assignment management including collection, marking, and feedback, as well as checking work for similarity. Please speak to your school educational technologist before using the Moodle Turnitin integration.

 What is plagiarism?
  • Copying and submitting the work of a fellow student.
  • Buying and submitting an assignment from the internet.
  • Creating a piece of work by cutting and pasting various sections of text and/or images found on the internet into a document without referencing.
  • Quoting or paraphrasing from a source without acknowledgement.
  • Copying from other members while working in a group.
  • Resubmitting parts of your own previous work within a separate assessment.

Getting Started with Turnitin

 How can I use Turnitin?

The guidance on this page is intended for use where students have submitted their assignments via the assignment tool in Moodle and where the programme is using Turnitin to generate Similarity Reports rather than using Turnitin to mark assignments.

The potential applications for submitting directly to Turnitin include:

  • Assisting in the gathering of evidence to support a charge of academic misconduct via plagiarism or collusion
  • Help students check their own work for correct referencing
  • Scan your own research publications to ensure correct referencing

Some Schools and departments within the University use a Moodle integration version of Turnitin which provides a number of functions that facilitate online assignment management including collection, marking, and feedback, as well as checking work for 'similarity'. This function is not supported within all schools so if you are not already using this function please contact your School Educational Technologist for advice. If you are already using this function and you require guidance on setting up Turnitin with Moodle for students to submit their assignments to Turnitin and to use Turnitin to manage and grade student assignments, then please follow the link below.

Moodle Turnitin Assignment

 Getting access to Turnitin

This guidance is for staff only. If you are a student and want to get access to Turnitin, you must speak to lecturer to check what is available on your programme.

While there is no software required to use Turnitin, to get access, you must first request an account. If you have used Turnitin via Moodle, you will already have an account. To reset your password for the web version.

  • Go to https://www.turnitinuk.com 
  • Click on ‘Click here’ alongside Forgot your password 
  • Input your City email address 
  • Input your last name 
  • Click Next 
  • Click Forgotten the secret answer 
  • A new password will be emailed to your City account 

If you are a member of staff and have not previously used Turnitin via Moodle, you can request an account via IT Service Desk. You will then receive an email directing you to access the Turnitin website and set your password. It is a requirement that you undergo a short training session before using Turnitin and you will be contacted directly to arrange a suitable time.

Using Turnitin via http://www.turnitinuk.com/

 Explore the Turnitin Dashboard

 The dashboard is the first page you will see after logging into Turnitin. The functions available from this page are described below.

  1. Activity Stream creates notifications when one of the following events occurs within a class:
    • When a student/s submits or resubmits to an assignment
    • When a student/s makes a submission after the assignment's due date
    • When a student/s fails to make a submission to an assignment by the due date
    • When a high similarity index is generated for a submission/s
    • When a student/s views feedback on their paper in Feedback Studio for more than 30 seconds
  2. Dropdown list with viewing options showing:
    • All your active classes (default)
    • Any specific class you are instructor of.
  3. Recent and upcoming assignments displaying high level information which includes
    • Assignment name, type and due date
    • Overall similarity Index (OSI)
    • Progressbar showing percentage of students who submitted the assignment along with actual number.
    • Number of papers the instructor has graded for the assignment
    • Average grade for the assignment
 Explore the Turnitin Instructor Homepage

Clicking on All Classes tab from the top navigation tabs loads the Turnitin Instructors Hompage. The functions available from this page are described below.

Designing out Plagiarism

 Design out Plagiarism

Write learning outcomes that;

  • reflect the desire for students to find something out for themselves by gathering and using information.
  • avoid words like ‘list’, ‘describe’ or ‘explain’ as these invite students to copy.

Select assessment methods that;

  • provide variety and require students to present their learning in a range of different (and potentially shorter) formats - e.g. by poster, oral presentation, literature search, web page, through observation / dialogue - not always by extended written pieces such as reports or essays.
  • map / schedule assessments to avoid over-assessment.
  • ensure that students are not overloaded and to avoid bunching of assessment deadlines as these can encourage students to resort to dishonest tactics.

Assessment design strategies;

Vary the assignment each year - in a different style, format, wording to prevent students copying work or getting answers from previous cohorts.

Design questions and their wording to;

  • Avoid very general questions as this increases the likelihood that relevant materials will be available on the web or to purchase.
  • Avoid 'show you know' types of question (e.g. what were the causes? how would you treat?) as this can invite students to copy from texts.

Include something specific in the assignment;

  • specific to the student - a personal experience
  • specific to the subject - a case or theory
  • specific to the moment - a recent news item
  • specific to the location - a particular building/valley etc.

Be specific in your instructions;

  • Refer to two recent books or two internet sites

Ensure tracking mechanisms are in place;

  • ask students to complete some of the work in class so that it can be observed
  • ask students to submit their essay plan, literature search or first draft
  • integrate assessments - for example a subsequent assessment building on the first e.g. an oral presentation of an essay or project report
  • authenticate what the student knows via a viva or invigilated exam e.g. include an exam question that explores the same topics covered in an earlier written assignment
  • introduce an element of peer assessment e.g. by getting students to judge each others work against the criteria so that they may spot plagiarism

Assess the process not just the final product

Rather than awarding all the marks to the final report/essay, the record of the activities leading up to the final product should also be explicitly marked;

  • Comments given on draft work / essay plans / literature searches
  • Log book or progress file
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Reflections on how the group worked
  • Individual reflection

Write assessment criteria that reward;

  • referencing and citation
  • individuality e.g. of thought or interpretation
  • higher level learning such as analysis, comparison, evaluation, argument, critical thinking, reflection on practice

Student support strategies;

  • Foster a culture where learning is valued.
  • Assist in the development of students’ information literacy skills – identifying, finding, evaluating and synthesising resources materials.
  • Include guidance on referencing, citation, academic writing practices and academic integrity in study skills development activities.
  • Inform students about the rules, penalties and work with them to make clear what constitutes acceptable / unacceptable practice.
  • Emphasise and encourage good practice rather than focusing on rules and penalties.
  • Practice what we preach and ensure that our own course materials and handouts acknowledge their sources and are appropriately referenced.

Academic Misconduct Panels

 AMP Boundary Decisions

Appendix 1 of City's Academic Misconduct Policy provides some guidance on types of academic misconduct cases.

 Staff Narratives

School AMPs need to specify what markers should submit when alleging possible misconduct. The Turnitin report provides useful supporting evidence to aid markers, but the report alone is not sufficient in providing the details of alleged misconduct.

One possible approach is to require markers to provide a brief narrative to accompany a Turnitin report. Two examples are provided here.

“The Turnitin report identifies unattributed copying from at least 4 key sources. There is significant copying from references [1], [2], [4] and [12] highlighted in the plagiarism report. Reference [1] (e.g. pp.3‐4; p.15; pp.25‐27) in particular makes this unacceptable. In several cases (e.g. but not limited to p.3, 4, 15, 26), there is verbatim copying with only a general reference to the source (no quotation marks or page references). There are also many further instances, where material is copied without even a reference to the source. The conclusion section is of particular concern as it copies the conclusions of [4] without any attribution.”

Or

“The Turnitin report has identified a 12% match with work from Student XXX. In particular, pp.1‐2 in the introduction section contain 15 lines of identical material; the discussion section (pp.8‐9) contains two paragraphs of material that contains some rewording, but as evidenced by the Turnitin report, clearly comes from a common source as Student XXX’s work on p.9. The coursework instructions clearly stated that this submission must be entirely the student’s own work, so submissions from both students should be submitted to the AMP for consideration.”

  Importance of Fair Submission Strategy

A matter for both Schools and for the University as a whole concerns what type of papers to submit to Turnitin. A preferable policy is to either submit all papers to Turnitin, to submit all papers for a given module/paper, or to submit a random sampling of papers (for example, 10%). It should also be made clear to students which policy is at work, and be made clear how they can access support resources both before and after any course work is due.

Top FAQs
 What file types does Turnitin accept?

Turnitin currently accepts the following file types for upload into an assignment:

  • Microsoft Word™ (DOC and DOCX)
  • Corel WordPerfect®
  • HTML
  • Adobe PostScript®
  • Plain text (TXT)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, and PPS) (Unable to generate a Similarity Report )
  • Hangul (HWP)

For assignments that accept any file types the following image file types can be displayed and rendered in Feedback Studio, but will not generate a Similarity Report:

  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • BMP
  • PICT

All other file types that are not one of file formats listed above will be accepted by Turnitin when the setting for Allow submission of any file type is set to Yes, but the file may not be displayed in Feedback Studio. When files cannot be displayed in Feedback Studio, Lecturers and Tutors are still able to download the original files.

 What happens if I request to view a matched piece of work submitted to another University?

An automated email goes to the lecturer(s), Administrators and Teaching Assistants associated with the Turnitin assignment where the original submission was made. 

 What happens if I receive a request to view an assignment as it has been flagged as a match to a paper submitted to another University?

Papers should only be released on approval of the Module Leader (or for projects/dissertations the course director).

TurnitinUK is forwarding this request on behalf of <<Requesting instructor name>>, an instructor at <<Requesting University name>>. This instructor requests your permission to view the paper, <<name of paper>>, submitted to your <<module name and code>> class at City University on <<date>>.

This instructor has found a 100% match to this paper in a paper submitted to his or her class <<module name and code>> .

To grant the instructor permission to view the paper, please reply to this e-mail and the paper (included below) will be forwarded to the instructor.

Thank you for using TurnitinUK,

The TurnitinUK Team

We advise that you check through the assignment which will be included in the email to ensure that the student’s name or other confidential information is not revealed.  If you find instances of the student’s name or other confidential information in the text we recommend that the name is replaced in red text with the message: "Student name removed - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)" or "Confidential Information removed - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)"

Business School Final Projects

If you are enrolled on a Final Year Project module in the Business School, and receive a request to release a paper, please contact AQS with the details. You can then delete the email. 
  
AQS will make a decision on whether to release the assignment – submissions marked as confidential will not be released. Non-confidential submissions will have personal information removed prior to releasing the submission to the requesting Universit

 When do Turnitin assignments expire and become read only?

A class within Turnitin is equivalent to a Moodle module and has a natural shelf life of 5 years.  So if you set up a new module today, it will be 'active' until 2023. Within that 5 year period, when the class is initially set up, Turnitin automatically allocates a class end date for 6 months time.  So, if you set up a class today, it can last a total of 5 years, but the class would have an end date after 6 months.  Whenever you add a new assignment to that class, the end date will automatically extend 6 months into the future until the natural shelf-life date is reached.  Once this date is reached, no further assignments can be added.

 What is the best way to submit mathematical or programming code assignments?

Plain text formulas work best when submitting via a word document or a PDF. Please note that images of text are not supported and may not work/get picked up when Turnitin scans the document. Generally, Turnitin will try to extract text within a document. Also avoid using irregular spacing between letters (l i k e  t h i s).  

 As a lecturer can I submit my own work to Turnitin?

A Lecturer can upload a paper where they own the copyright to Turnitin for checking. To quickly check a paper you can use the Quick Submit feature. Please note that this will save your paper in Turnitin’s Standard Repository and will be stored by Turnitin to check similarity to other papers. To use Quick Submit or to set up a Class and Assignment on Turnitin you will need an account on Turnitin.

 If you have used Turnitin via Moodle, you will already have an account. To reset your password for the web version.

  • Go to https://www.turnitinuk.com 
  • Click on ‘Click here’ alongside Forgot your password 
  • Input your City email address 
  • Input your last name 
  • Click Next 
  • Click Forgotten the secret answer 
  • A new password will be emailed to your City account 

If you have not previously used Turnitin via Moodle, you can request an account via IT Service Desk. You will then receive an email directing you to access the Turnitin website and set your password. It is a requirement that you undergo a short training session before using Turnitin and you will be contacted directly to arrange a suitable time.

If you would rather not save your research paper to the Standard Repository you will need to set up a class and an assignment via http://www.turnitinuk.com/ and select No repository under More options in the assignment settings. Please refer to the guide on setting up classes and assignments via http://www.turnitinuk.com/.

To activate the Quick Submit feature you  http://www.turnitinuk.com/. Please note that Quick Submit will save your paper to the Standard Repository and will be stored by Turnitin to check similarity to other papers.

  1. Sign into your instructor account.

  2. Click on the “user info” tab at the top of the screen.

  3. Select “yes” from the “activate quick submit:” pull down menu.

  4. Click “submit”.

To submit a paper to your Quick Submit inbox, please do the following:

  1. Sign in to your account.

  2. Click on the “Quick Submit” tab located towards the top of the screen.

  3. Click the “Submit Paper” button to the upper left corner of the inbox.

  4. Select the databases you wish to have your submission checked against (we suggest you check all the boxes).

  5. Click “submit”.

  6. Fill in the name of the student you wish to submit the paper for.

  7. Fill in the title of the submission.

  8. Click on "browse" to find the file to submit.

  9. From the new window find the file to submit.

  10. Click on the file and click "open".

  11. Click "upload" .

  12. A new page will load with a text preview window. Click "submit" to confirm your submission

Further guidance:

Scroll down to Instructor and select the relevant guide from the Turnitin guidance website.

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