Turnitin - Create/Edit Assignments

Turnitin is best used for single-file text-based assignment submissions where each student is required to submit individually.

For assessments that are not text based (e.g. spreadsheets, illustrations, computer code, software), or that require multiple files to be submitted, or where a group submits one file between them we recommend using the Blackboard Assignment tool instead.


Create assignment

Step 1:

Select the Assessment area from the left sidebar.

Step 2:

From the Assessments menu select Turnitin Direct Assignment.

Step 3:

You will then see the Create Assignment page. Enter the information about your assignment.

  • Assignment Name.
  • Assignment Description – Make sure to enter some information here. This will appear to the students under the assignment name. A brief outline of what the assignment is, and relevant guidelines, or even instructions on where to find a full outline (e.g. the assessment page or in the module handbook) can be useful.
  • Submission Method – we recommend you select File upload. (Find out more about Turnitin and file types).
  • Overall Grade – Usually 100.
  • Number of Parts – Set to 1. Though Turnitin now supports assignments with multiple parts (ie more than one file) we do not recommend using this unless you have spoken to a Learning Technologist.
  • Start date – when assignment is visible to students.
  • Due date – final date for submission.
  • Post date – when grades and feedback will become available to students.

Step 4: Exclusions

This section of options allows you to define any elements of the submission that you don’t want Turnitin to check for its Originality Report. You will also be able to change these elements when looking at any individual Originality Report so don’t worry too much about them. You can leave them all set to NO for ease of setup if preferred.

  • Exclude small matches: If a potential match is just a few words long you may want to exclude them.
  • Minimum value to exclude: Set the number of words to define how long a small match is (usually 4-5).
  • Exclude bibliographic material: This excludes any text that appears under a heading such a Bibliography/References/Reading list. We recommend setting this to NO as it may exclude the wrong elements of the essay without meaning to.
  • Exclude quoted material: Do you want to exclude material inside quote marks? We recommend setting to NO.

Step 5: Account Specific

Use GradeMark: Set to YES.

Step 6: Repository

These options are about what Turnitin is checking student assignments against and whether it keeps a copy of their submissions for future comparisons. The default settings are usually fine but you may wish to make adjustments.

  • Paper Repository: Standard Repository means that students’ submissions will be kept in the Turnitin archive to allow them to compare future submissions (by anyone) against it in case of plagiarism. No Repository means that this copy is not kept.
  • Check stored student papers/Internet/Journals and Publications: Do you want to check the submissions against any/all of these things.

Step 7: Grades

  • Reveal grades immediately: Set to NO so that grades are only revealed to students on Post Date. If this is not set each student will be able to see their grades as soon as you mark their paper.
  • Ignore Turnitin Grades: Set to No or students won’t be able to see their grades in the My Grades area (and they won’t appear in the Grade Centre).

Step 8: Assignment

  • Report generation speed: You can allow students to see just one report (either the first time they submit or after the due date has passed) or a new one each time they re-submit. We recommend using immediately (reports can be overwritten until the due date in most cases so that students have the opportunity to learn from the reports.
  • Blackboard Groups: This option only appears if you already have groups set up in Blackboard. You can set an assignment to only be visible/applicable to a subset of students on a module. You will need to create an assignment for each group. (Please note that this is not suitable for group assignments where the group submits one piece between them. For that please use Blackboard Assignments.
  • Grading Schema: This must be set to Score or Percentage to provide a numeric grade.
  • Students view originality report: Set to Yes.
  • Allow late submissions: This must be set to Yes. Late submissions will be highlighted in red and you can apply the relevant penalty whilst still being able to view the submission and mark online.

Step 9:

Once you have finished click the Create assignment button.

Step 10: Inbox

You will then be taken to the Submission Inbox where you can see an overview of the assignment and the list of students. When students begin to submit you will also see their assignment details.

Step 11:

If you return to the overall assessment area, you will see a new Turnitin item with a View Assignment link. This is the link students will use to submit their assignments and that you can use to return to the Submission Inbox.

Edit assignment details

You can change the DETAILS of the assignment (title, description, turnitin options) by using the Edit item option. Editing the DUE DATE or POST DATE is done in a different way (see: Edit assignment dates).

Option 1: Click the dropdown button to the right of the assignment submission and select Edit the item.

Option 2: Click the View assignment link for the relevant assignment and then select the Modify tab near the top of the page.

Edit assignment dates

To edit the dates of an assignment (when it opens to submissions, due date, post date) first click the View Assignment link on the relevant assignment to go to the submission inbox.

Find the tools area and click the Pencil icon (labelled: Edit Parts).

Click the calendar icon next to each date to edit it. Click Update Parts to save your changes.