Advice for staff
Using Turnitin to support assessment practice
Move from Turnitin Basic to Turnitin LTI
For those staff who use Turnitin within Blackboard Learn, please be aware that we are in the process of moving to the new Turnitin Integration (LTI). You can find out more about this from Using Turnitin in Learn.
Your students can access Turnitin only if you make it available to them.
The University of Edinburgh uses Turnitin’s Feedback Studio. This comprises two services:
marking and feedback interface
There is an additional tool, PeerMark, which enables you to set up peer marking and feedback. Further details can be found on the Using PeerMark page:
The similarity checker compares the text in a student submission against extensive databases of websites, academic reference materials and previously submitted work, to produce a similarity score and a similarity report.
Staff and students should understand that similarity reports do not say whether plagiarism has taken place; the report simply highlights sections of the submitted text that match other sources. It remains an academic decision as to what the similarity means and what happens as a consequence. For guidance on similarity reports see the Help and support page:
Marking and feedback interface
This allows staff to view the similarity report (if requested) and see exact details of any matching text and its source. It also allows staff to mark work and apply feedback, including the ability to create and use sets of feedback comments (Quick Marks), and apply marking rubrics. For help with marking and feedback, see the Help and support page:
Using Turnitin with students
We urge staff, where appropriate, to allow students to use Turnitin to review drafts of their work and the associated similarity report, before final submission, as part of the practice of learning good writing and referencing practice. To enable this, staff should both select that draft work is not added to the Turnitin database and also that students know how to interpret a similarity report.
Informing your students
It is important that you inform your students that the similarity checking service is being used when they submit work for assessment and that they know whether or not their work will be retained in a Turnitin database.
Turnitin similarity checking is an online service that enables the comparison of students' work against electronic sources including other students' work. The service is managed by iParadigms Europe Ltd in Newcastle upon Tyne is available to all UK tertiary education institutions by subscription.
The similarity checking service works by executing searches of online sources, extensive databases of reference material, as well as content previously submitted by other users. Passages copied directly or very closely from existing sources will be identified by the software and both the original and the potential copy will be displayed for the tutor to view. The tutor will also be able to see where direct quotations are appropriately referenced.
The software makes no decisions as to whether a student has plagiarised, it simply highlights sections of text that are duplicated in other sources. All work will continue to be reviewed by the course tutor.
Once work has been submitted to the system it becomes part of the ever growing database of material against which subsequent submissions are checked.
There are a range of resources for students available on our Help and support page:
Further help and support
A range of resources on how to use Turnitin are available on our Help and support page:
If you have any issues using Turnitin, contact the IS Helpline with as much detail possible (e.g. browser, platform, course):