Using Turnitin with Moodle

Support for staff


Take particular care with the Report Generation Speed, as this cannot be changed once any student has submitted an assignment.

Do not duplicate Turnitin assignments

Do not use the Moodle Duplicate feature to copy Turnitin assignments. This will create a new activity within Moodle but not on the Turnitin server, which will cause problems for assignment submissions.

Turnitin assignments in Moodle should not be copied or selected for rollover from one semester to the next (via Backup/Restore or Import).If you copy or rollover a Turnitin assignment the following error will display on the assignment's Summary screen: 

"Duplicate copies of the same Turnitin assignments were found, duplicates occur when one or more Moodle Direct assignments is connected to the same one Turnitin assignment via the Turnitin API. This is known to cause issues, most notably submissions made to one of the duplicates will show up in the submission inbox of the others. To fix this you should either delete the duplicate assignments or reset the course where the duplicate assignments are. The following duplicates were found: [course name] [assignment name]"

If you accidentally copy or rollover a Turnitin assignment, you will need to delete the duplicate assignment to rectify the problem.


Create a Turnitin Assignment in Moodle

  1. On the home page of the relevant course, click Turn editing on 
  2. Navigate to the section where the assignment will be created and click Add an activity or resource.


  1. In the pop-up list generated, select Turnitin Assignment 2 and click Add

On the Adding a new Turnitin Assignment page, complete the fields using the following as a guide:

  1. General
  • Turnitin Assignment Name - Enter a suitable name, as simple as possible. It should not contain more than 40 characters.
  • Summary - Enter details of the assessment item - preferably copy and paste assessment details from your course outline. A link to the marking criteria is also useful here. If you copy and paste from Word, remember to use the Paste from Word function .
  • Display description on course page - Check this box if you intend to make the instructions written here visible to students on the main course page. If unchecked, the instructions will be visible when the student clicks on the Turnitin assignment

  • Submission Type - This is set to Any submission type by default.  This can be changed to File Upload or text Submission.  Note that Turnitin only accepts Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), Plain text (.txt), Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), PostScript (.ps), WordPerfect (.wpd) & HTML (.html, htm). file types. If your students are expected to submit excel files, we recommend advising them to save as PDF first
  • Number of Parts - Allows for the creation of assignments with more than one part. 
  • Maximum File Size - The default, 40MB, is large enough to handle complex files.
  • Allow submission of any file type? - If option is set to "No", students will be able to submit file types supported by Turnitin. If set to  “Yes”, students will be able to upload supported and non-supported file types and originality reports will be generated where possible. 

  • Display Originality Reports to Students - For a formative, corrective approach to grading, select "Yes". This will allow the students to view the Turnitin originality report for their own assignment.
  • Grade Display - This option allows you to choose the display type of grades. Either as a fraction e.g. 35/50 or as a percentage e.g. 70%.
  • Auto Refresh Grades / Scores - This is best left as “Yes”. Choosing “No” means you will have to manually refresh grades and originality scores in Moodle.
  • Set these values as assignment defaults – If checked, these settings will be duplicated for any new Moodle Direct Turnitin Assignment created by you. They will supercede the defaults specified by your system administrator and are unique to you.

  1. Grade
  • Maximum Grade - Keep marking schemes simple. If the assignment is worth 20% of the course's final mark, enter 20 as the Maximum Grade. An item with a value of 20 marks will be created in the Moodle Gradebook. Note: You cannot enter fraction marks.
  • Grade category - Select the Gradebook category in which you want this assignment to display.
  • Grade to pass - You can enter the passing value in the “Grade to Pass”.  This can be used either for activity completion or to indicate pass (highlighted green) and fail (highlighted red) grades in the gradebook.

  1. Assignment
  • Name - Enter name of the assignment.
  • Start Date - Date on which assignment will be available for submissions.
  • Due Date - Deadline for submissions.
  • Post Date - The date on which marks are released to students.
    • If you don't want students to view their marks as you award them, set the Post Date for some time after you anticipate completing marking. Once you've completed marking, return and change the post date to the desired day.
    • If you will be using GradeMark to mark the assignment, you must set a post date.
    • If you want students to be able to re-upload submissions, set the Post Date after the Due Date so that the necessary buttons display until the due date.

  1. Originality Report Options
  • Allow Submissions after the Due Date - "Yes" is recommended. Items submitted after the due date and time will be tagged late in the list of submissions.
  • Report Generation Speed - To allow students to review their submission before submitting it, or to allow them to re-submit before the due date, select either:
    • Generate reports immediately, (resubmissions are not allowed)- students will receive one report as soon as they submit. They will not be able to re-submit.
    • Generate reports immediately (resubmissions are allowed until due date), reports can be over-written until the due date.
    • Generate reports on due date (resubmissions are allowed until due date. generate an Originality Report on the assignment's due date.
    • If you allow students to re-submit and generate a new report each time, note that only the first report is immediate, subsequent reports will be generated 24 hours after the previous submission. This prevents students from "gaming" the system by re-submitting every couple of minutes with small changes.
  • Store Student Papers - Select Standard Repository.

  • Select “Yes” for the following:
    • Check against stored student papers
    • Check against Internet
    • Check against journals, periodicals and publications
    • Check against Institutional Repository       
  • Exclude Bibliography & Exclude Quoted Material - It is recommended that you retain the default setting of "No" for both these fields. This allows markers to check the accuracy of quotations and the reference list. Including these items in Originality Reports should keep the percentage match at an acceptable level.However, note that the percentage match is only an indicator. Turnitin cannot detect plagiarism; it can only deliver a figure on how much a student's work matches other work. The marker must view and interpret the report, not take the raw percentage match as an indicator of originality.Both of these settings can be turned on/off if required while reviewing an individual assignment.
  • Exclude Small Matches - 3 to 5 Words is recommended, to exclude accidental language matching - or you can enter a suitable figure and select Percent.

  1. GradeMark Options
  • Attach a rubric to this assignment - Launch Rubric Manager to use a rubric for marking. See the GradeMark page for more information about using a Rubric with Turnitin.

  1. Common Module Settings
  • Turnitiin does not support group assignments as each submission can only be attributed to a single student and not to a group configured in Moodle.
  • Group mode is provided as a way of filtering submissions based on groups to facilitate marking by multiple tutors.
    • No Groups does not allow filtering of submissions.
    • Separate Groups allow filtering based on groups. Recommended over Visible Groups as students will not be able to see the names of groups they do not belong to.

  1. Make appropriate selections in the remaining sections. Click the question-mark button for assistance. 
  2. Click Save and return to course.

Submitting an Assignment as an Instructor on Behalf of a Student

  1. On the course home page, open the relevant Turnitin assignment.
  2. In the Submission Inbox,  select the upload assignment button Upload Assignment butotn next to the relevant student’s name.
  3. Choose a submission type, type a useful submission title, upload the file and click Add Submission.
  4. Digital Receipt for the submission will be displayed.
  5. Click Close in the top right to return to the Submission Inbox.

Facilitating Different Tutors to Mark Turnitin Assignments

Turnitin does not have functionality built in for allocating submissions to different tutors for marking however, groups can be used to filter students during the marking process.

  1. Create groups of students if you want different tutors to mark assignments for groups of students. 
  2. When you create the Turnitin assignment or edit the settings, under Common Module Settings set the Group Mode to Separate Groups.
  3. Click Save and Display
  4. Instruct your tutors to:
    1. Log onto Moodle
    2. On the course homepage, click the Turnitin assignment link
    3. On the Submission Inbox page, select their marking group from the Separate groups drop-down list at the top of the page.
    4. View and mark only the submissions from their group.