New Turnitin features – August 2015

In this summer’s upgrade to VITAL there were a couple of enhancements to Turnitin worth knowing about.

1. New 40MB file upload size limit. The previous limit was 20MB. Students can now submit one file of up to 40MB to a Turnitin assignment.

2. ‘Email late submitters’ facility.​ Send an email to all students who have not yet submitted to an assignment. This feature also works with anonymised assignments.

And as a refresher, there have been a number of useful new features introduced into Turnitin over the last couple of years which are listed below along with some links to more details. Any questions about any of the below please do contact the eLearning Unit (

1. Submit PowerPoints, Excel and Google docs for originality checking. The range of file types that can be submitted by students and which Turnitin will scan for originality and create an Originality Report includes PowerPoint, Excel and Google Docs as well as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), and plain text. They should be less than 40MB and contain at least 20 words of text. When creating the assignment, on the page where dates and titles are entered select the option “Allow only file types that Turnitin can check for originality”.

2. Submit images. Students can submit images in the JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP, or PICT formats. These are not originality checked so will not generate an Originality Report but can be opened directly in GradeMark for comment, feedback and grading. They should be less than 40MB. When creating the assignment, on the page where you add in the dates and title select the option “Allow any file type”.

3. Submit any file type. A new option at the assignment set-up stage will let students submit any file type they wish to the Turnitin assignment. (When creating the assignment, on the page where you add in the dates and title select the option “Allow any file type”). Originality checking cannot be guaranteed here. The Originality Check facility will try to scan student submissions but will not return a value or report if it cannot. GradeMark will also try to display the file directly in the Turnitin document viewer but again, if it cannot do this for a particular filetype then it will display the submission as a link to download the file to open in the relevant application. You can still use all of the GradeMark feedback facilities and a blank page for QuickMark comments is available in the case where the file is only available as a download. Files must be less than 40MB.

4. Grade without submissions. You can use the GradeMark facilities with no need for the students to submit work. An example context of this kind of use is an assessed presentation – GradeMark could be used during the presentation on an iPad or laptop to make grading notes, notes on any criteria marking, and offer the overall comment, grade, criteria marks and/or audio comment afterwards.

5. Link inline comments and marks with Rubric card criterion. If using a rubric card and also the QuickMarks to comment inline on student work you can choose to link a particular QuickMark/comment with one of your criterion which is then visible to the student on the rubric – extremely useful for evidencing the levels attained by students in the criterion. For more details of this feature see this blogpost from Turnitin.

6. ‘Grading Forms’ (simple criteria marking sheets). Essentially a scaled-down rubric/criteria electronic marking sheet, as exemplified in the screen shot below. For full details on this new feature see this blogpost from Turnitin.

An example of the new grading form for use with Turnitin Grade Mark

7. Upload criteria from Excel. Use the Turnitin Excel template to import your criteria from Excel which can make creating Turnitin criteria cards much faster when you have the cards existing in other digital formats. See this Turnitin item for details.

8. Student assignment submission ‘workflow’. The student submission workflow is a three stage process as it always has been. The stage where students check their work before submission is a paginated and expandable window on the submission confirmation page (stage two) containing the fully formatted work as submitted by the student (it used to be an unformatted view of the submitted text only). Students click on the image of their work if they need to enlarge it, and click through it using the on screen arrow icons to check their work.

This is an important detail as students need to confirm that the content displayed here corresponds to what they expect to submit (i.e. there have been no glitches etc in the upload process) and any submission guidance should be updated to reflect this. Students can also now submit directly from DropBox and GoogleDocs, as well as upload from their desktop machine. For more details please read this Turnitin blogpost.

9. Quantitative % grading schemes – do not need to add up to 100%. They can be less than 100% if required.

Turnitin continually seek ideas and feedback from users on how to improve the system (which includes GradeMark and PeerMark also). You can see the current list of ideas, vote for them, add you own etc on the Turnitin Roadmap forum from any Turnitin assignment classlist. See this blog post for more details on the Turnitin Roadmap.

We’re offering workshops on GradeMark and Turnitin this academic year. Keep an eye on the CLL Booking site or our twitter feed for dates.



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