Add Turnitin to Brightspace assignments

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Instructors can add Turnitin to Brightspace assignments to scan student work for potential plagiarism. WSU maintains a campuswide Turnitin Originality license that instructors and students access through their Brightspace courses. When creating a Brightspace assignment folder, instructors can add Turnitin functionality to that folder. When students submit a file to the folder, the file is scanned automatically and receives a similarity score. A similarity report is generated listing sources of potential plagiarism.

Enabling Turnitin on an assignment folder

Configure your assignment folder

  1. From your Brightspace course homepage, select Assignments from the Assessments menu.
  2. Select the New Assignment button, enter a title, grade information, and instructions as usual. Select Save to save these assignment properties.
  3. Select the Evaluation and Feedback panel on the right to expand the related properties (Fig 1.1). Scroll down to the bottom of the panel and select Manage Turnitin (Fig 1.2). This will open the Turnitin Integration window.
  4. Select the Enable Originality Check for this folder checkbox (Fig 2.1). Select Allow learners to see Turnitin similarity scores in their submission folder (Fig 2.2) if desired. Determine whether you want all submissions to be scanned automatically or whether you would like to select submissions for scanning manually (Fig 2.3). Select Save.
  5. From the Evaluation and Feedback panel of the Assignment folder properties, Select Manage Turnitin again to return to the Turnitin Integration window.
  6. Select the More Options in Turnitin button to review and configure additional settings. This will open the Turnitin Assignment window.

More options in Turnitin

When you select the More Options in Turnitin button, you are presented with a set of properties. Some of these properties were already set when you created the folder and others can be configured to meet your specific needs.

Submission settings

  • Submit papers to. Select either Standard paper repository or Do not store submitted papers. This decision has important consequences for you and your students, so please review the guidelines below carefully.
  • Allow submission of any file type. Turnitin can only analyze files of certain types (e.g., Microsoft Word .docx). Review a current list of scannable file types here. Use this setting to either prevent or allow the submission of other types of files. If you allow students to submit any file type, those files of a type not supported by Turnitin will not be scanned. Note that Brightspace also places restrictions on the types of files that can be submitted to assignment folders.
  • Allow late submissions. This is configured when creating the folder and cannot be changed here.
  • Enable grammar checking using ETS e-rater technology. ETS e-rater analysis is integrated into Turnitin and can be enabled or disabled for an assignment folder using this setting. If enabled, students will receive feedback in their Similarity Report on the categories you choose (e.g., grammar, spelling).
  • Attach a rubric. Use this setting to access Turnitin's rubric editor to create and assign an assignment rubric. Note that this feature is not connected to the Brightspace Rubrics tool. Instructors interested in attaching a rubric to an assignment should use one or the other.

Compare against

Choose these settings if you want your students' submissions to be compared against:

  • Student paper repository. All the student papers stored in Turnitin's database, including any of a student's own papers submitted to this database previously
  • Current and archived website content. Openly available web resources (e.g., Wikipedia)
  • Periodicals, journals, and publications. Publisher-owned online resources to which Turnitin has been granted access

Similarity Report

  • Generate Similarity Reports for student submission. Select one of these three options: Generate reports immediately (students cannot resubmit), Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date), or Generate reports on due date (students can resubmit until due date). Use the guidelines below to inform your decision.
  • Allow students to view Similarity Reports. This is configured when creating the folder and cannot be changed here.
  • Exclude bibliographic materials. Allows instructors to prevent Turnitin from including bibliographies, reference sections, and works cited in the similarity scan.
  • Exclude quoted materials. Allows instructors to prevent Turnitin from including quoted text in the similarity scan.
  • Exclude small sources. Allows instructors to prevent Turnitin from including segments of a certain word count or percentage of the source in the similarity scan.

Additional settings

  • Save these settings for future use. Check this if you would like your settings to be applied to all subsequent folders by default. Then you would not need to go through these steps each time you enable Turnitin functionality on a folder.

Guidelines for using the student paper repository

  • Any original coursework created by a student and represented in tangible form is that student's exclusive intellectual property and is afforded copyright protection under federal law upon creation immediately. When students upload a copy of their work to a Brightspace assignment folder and/or to Turnitin's student paper repository, they retain exclusive ownership of that copy. They can request that the copy be returned or deleted from your Brightspace course or Turnitin's database. Students can send requests to delete their work from Turnitin's database to TLT (
  • The first time students submit a copy of their work to a Brightspace folder that has Turnitin functionality enabled, they will be asked to agree to Turnitin's End User License Agreement (EULA). This agreement will be applied to their Turnitin account and they will not be asked to accept the agreement again. The terms of this EULA include allowing Turnitin to store a copy of the student's work permanently and use it for the purpose of checking other works for plagiarism. It's important that your students understand that they are accepting these terms. They can direct any questions to you, to TLT, or to Legal Affairs.
  • Although a general notification is displayed on the assignment submission page, students receive no indication from Turnitin or Brightspace that their instructor has opted to send their work to Turnitin's repository. Also, students cannot bypass this setting (i.e., submit their work to the assignment folder without sending a copy to the Turnitin database). Instructors should inform their students if the assignment folder is configured to send copies of their work to Turnitin's database.

Guidelines for releasing Similarity Reports

  • When an instructor adds Turnitin to a Brightspace assignment folder, an icon appears next to the name of the folder (Fig 3), for both instructors and students, and the following message appears on the student's assignment submission page, "This assignment will be submitted to Turnitin" (Fig 4). Although these notifications should be adequate, instructors are encouraged to remind students that Turnitin is enabled on an assignment folder.
  • Instructors who want to spot check student work manually rather than submit all student work to Turnitin automatically can do so. However, all students will still receive the Turnitin notification on their Brightspace assignment submission page. Instructors should clarify that they will only be spot-checking a sample of assignments and that not all students will receive a Similarity Report.
  • Instructors can configure Brightspace assignment folders such that only they, and not their students, have access to the Similarity Reports. Students will still be notified via the message on the Brightspace assignment submission page that their work is being scanned.
  • If you allow students to resubmit their work and receive Similarity Reports immediately, they will receive the first three reports immediately. Subsequent reports will be sent after a 24-hour delay. Turnitin does this to reduce the load on their servers.
  • If you choose to release the Similarity Report on the assignment due date, make sure to assign a due date to the assignment in Brightspace. Remember that a Due Date in Brightspace is not the same as an End Date.

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