Turnitin Resources for Faculty

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service used by many professors at Gordon State College. After submitting a paper to Turnitin, the paper's content is checked against other content on the internet, periodicals, or within documents previously submitted to the Turnitin repository. Most submissions are kept in the repository after submission so that future uploads are checked against that paper as well.

Instructors and students have two avenues for using Turnitin:

  • Turnitin within Brightspace by D2L: Turnitin has been integrated within D2L. Instructors can "turn on" Turnitin within D2L dropboxes (it is NOT turned on by default). Students can then submit their papers to the D2L dropbox using their D2L login. Student will not need to make a special account to submit to the D2L dropbox. Instructors can add feedback and grade the paper within D2L. The grade can be synced to the D2L gradebook.
  • Turnitin.com (Standalone website): Instructors and students can create free Turnitin.com accounts here. This is particularly useful if the instructor does not use D2L in his/her classes. The instructor will need to create a class and assignment areas for the students to submit their documents. The instructor will also need to provide the students with the class code and enrollment password (so that students can auto-enroll themselves into the Turnitin course.) Instructors can add feedback and grades within the Turnitin Feedback Studio. These grades will need to be manually transferred into an external gradebook (such as D2L).


What is plagiarism and how does it appear within Turnitin?

Plagiarism can be categorized as:

  • The complete copy of someone else's work. This would be in cases where the paper was "borrowed" from someone else and turned in. In Turnitin, there would be a high match to the person's original paper.
  • The turning in of one's own work from another class. This is self-plagiarism. In Turnitin, there would be a high match to the student's own original paper.
  • The fragmented copy or work without proper citation. This occurs when the student uses other sources (maybe internet, articles, or other people's papers) but doesn't give proper in-text and bibliographic citation. With Turnitin, these works still may show up as a match or a similarity. At that point the student/teacher will need to review the paper to see if the student cited the source correctly. (For example: If a student quoted an article and cited it correctly, Turnitin may still show it as a match because the words align specifically. Discretion is used to determine if the student gave proper credit through citations. An issue arises if there is a significant match but the student didn't provide proper in-text and bibliographic citation.)

Turnitin may also match certain technical terms and phrases to other papers. This is particularly in cases of medical terminology, historical names, etc. Again, discretion must be used for this. To avoid plagiarism, it is best that the student read the material and synthesize the main concepts using their own words (and minimizing quotations). It is also best to cite the source of any ideas or concepts used.


How do instructors create dropboxes or accounts for Turnitin? How do they use the Feedback Studio?

The following video will provide faculty with an overview of how to connect Turnitin to D2L dropboxes as well as how to build a course and assignments within Turnitin.com (standalone). The features of the Feedback Studio (which are the same in D2L and Turnitin.com) are also reviewed. The link below provides the institutional code and enrollment password that instructors will use to create their Turnitin.com (standalone) account (if they opt to use that instead of the D2L dropboxes). If a faculty member uses Turnitin within D2L, he/she will not need to establish a special account.


How do I use the PeerMark tool within Turnitin (within Brightspace by D2L)?

Turnitin's PeerMark tool can be used within D2L. It allows students to upload their files to be sent through Turnitin and an originality report to be created. In addition, instructors can set up peer reviews so that students are able to review and comment on others' papers. Peer reviews are able to leave markups in addition to answer questions set forth by the instructor.