InterPro - Teaching & Learning - Tools & Technology - Turnitin

Turnitin is a Canvas LTI tool that compares existing sources to assignments submitted by students, allowing instructors to check the integrity of student work and manage grades all in one place.



"Turnitin is an academic integrity tool that is integrated with Canvas at UW-Madison" (UW-Madison, 2020). It gives instructors and students similarity comparisons for work submitted through Canvas's Assignment tool. Turnitin compares submissions to websites, publications, other students' work, and more.


For EPD's purposes, Turnitin should only be accessed through Canvas, not using Turnitin's website. Turnitin - Configuring Turnitin at UW-Madison [UW-Madison]  explains how to:
  • Configure Turnitin with a Canvas assignment
  • Access the Turnitin Similarity Report (via Canvas Gradebook or SpeedGrader)
  • Interpret the Similarity Report


At UW-Madison, we use the Turnitin Canvas Integration. EPD has the option to use this tool when requesting students to submit reports, research, and other types of original writing. This encourages students to practice academic integrity and learn how to cite sources properly. For more on academic integrity, see Professional Development University Policies.

It is recommended that EPD instructors use the following settings when using Turnitin for assignments:
  • Store submissions in: Institution paper repository
    • This is required to compare submissions against other UW-Madison students' work. However, there may be scenarios where "Do not store the submitted papers" is a better option (e.g., to protect a student's original work).
  • Compare submissions against: Student repository, Institutional repository, Website content, Periodicals, journals, and publications (check all boxes)
  • Similarity Report: leave all boxes unchecked
  • Show originality report to students: Immediately
    • This allows students to check their work and reflect on their citation practices.

Within an assignment's Turnitin settings, select Institution paper repository for submission storage. Compare submissions against all options. Leave all boxes under Similarity Report unchecked.


The similarity score on Turnitin's Similarity Report does not automatically tell instructors whether or not the student plagiarized their work. "The similarity score simply highlights of any problem areas in a student's paper; you can then use this as an investigative tool, in order to determine if the match is or is not acceptable" (Turnitin, 2020).

Copying or importing a Canvas course will preserve an assignment's Turnitin settings (Turnitin, 2020). However, duplicating an assignment will cause the Plagiarism Review field to default to None, and the Turnitin settings will need to be reconfigured (Turnitin, 2020).

Currently, Turnitin capabilities can only be accessed through the Assignment tool in Canvas. They are not available for discussion forums or essay questions in quizzes (Turnitin, 2020). Additionally, assignment submissions must conform to the accepted file types and sizes in order to generate a Similarity Report (Turnitin, 2020). The Turnitin Canvas integration also has some accessibility barriers, as discussed in Turnitin - Accessibility & Usability Information [UW-Madison].


Turnitin Setup and Settings

Navigating the Similarity Report

See Also:

Keywords:LDT, edtech, technology, learning technology, tech tools, plagiarize, similarity, compare, sources, cite, reference, assignment, academic integrity,   Doc ID:101556
Owner:Learning Design and Technologies Team .Group:Interdisciplinary Professional Programs
Created:2020-04-29 13:13 CDTUpdated:2021-06-30 15:53 CDT
Sites:Interdisciplinary Professional Programs
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