Turnitin is an online plagiarism detection system, which can be used to scan assignment submissions within your WebCT sections. Students' submissions are automatically checked against all visible internet pages, journals, periodicals etc. as well as Turnitin's own archive of student essays. A detailed report is generated for each submission, showing the percentage that is thought to have been copied and the suspected sources.
The Turnitin tool can be used as an alternative to WebCT's own assignment tool, as it allows you to create assignments in the same way but with the added advantage of being able to check the submissions for plagiarism. If you already have submissions that you have received via WebCT or another source, and you would like to check them for plagiarism, it is also possible to submit them directly to the Turnitin website without the need for a Turnitin assignment within your section. In order to do this, you will need a login for the Turnitin site. For more details, contact Shelley Evans in the Academic Office.
If you are going to use Turnitin to check your students' submissions, then it is good practice to warn your students of this in advance and, as their work will be kept in Turnitin's database, to get their permission to do this. The University recommends that you display a warning next to each assignment, or somewhere prominent in each WebCT section that contains a Turnitin assignment. The following text is a suggested warning notice that could be included in your WebCT sections:
All work submitted for this assignment will be scanned automatically by the Turnitin web-search plagiarism detection system. Please be assured that if this detects any potential plagiarism issues, we will discuss these fully with you prior to deciding what action, if any, to take.
The new assignment screen appears:
Note that if you want to check how your assignment looks to your students, you will need to log in with a student account. If you change to the Student View tab, as you would to test other WebCT tools, Turnitin will detect your real username so you will still see the instructorâ€™s view of the assignment.
When a student views a Turnitin assignment, they are faced with the following screen:
Expand this assignment or Show details will display the instructions.
The process for students is two-step. When clicking Submit, the upload screen appears:
The student has the choice of either a cut and paste or single file upload. If they choose cut and paste, they will be presented with a text box into which they can paste their work. If they choose single file, they can browse their local disk for the file to be uploaded. Files must be less than 20 MB and the following file types are accepted: Word; WordPerfect; Text; Postscript; PDF; HTML; RTF. The student should also enter a title for the submission. Clicking upload previews the paper to be submitted.
Important: The submission process is only completed once the student has clicked submit, even though a file has already been uploaded.
Once the student has submitted an assignment, a receipt is displayed on the screen, along with the contents of the document and a paper ID number:
If the email tool is enabled in the WebCT section, the student will also receive the receipt in their inbox.
Change to the Teach tab and click the icon of the assignment you want to view. The list of submissions appears: