A new Turnitin plugin allows you to have more assessment options where you can check for text similarity (with all the same similarity report features you are used to). It will also save you time and improve the efficiency of groupwork submissions.

The standalone Turnitin assignment is no longer the only option you have for the submission of written work for plagiarism detection as required by the MQ Assessment procedure (Section 6: Designing for Academic Integrity).  

Turnitin can now be integrated within the iLearn Forum and iLearn Assignment, meaning that you can check for text similarity when you use either of these activities.  

5 benefits of the new Turnitin plugin

  1. TIME SAVING – I know time is an issue for us all right now and this plugin solves a huge pain point – setting up your Turnitin assignments again and again and messing up your Gradebook at the start of every session. If you use the iLearn Assignment with Turnitin enabled, it will copy across when you clone your unit at the start of each session, so you don’t have to rebuild your Turnitin assignments. The Gradebook structure will remain, so you won’t have to re-order that either.
  2. MORE ASSESSMENT OPTIONS than just the Turnitin activity for written assessment tasks. Pick the best tool for the job of assessing your learning outcomes, whether that’s a Turnitin assignment, an iLearn assignment or an iLearn forum.
  3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEARN A NEW TOOL – Save time (again)! by not having to learn a new tool. Access the same Turnitin Similarity Report and Feedback Studio tools you are already familiar with. See below for how to access the similarity reports.
  4. GROUP WORK SUBMISSIONS MADE EASIER – Collect groupwork assignments and use Turnitin (without crazy work arounds) *Still some caution here – see below.
  5. IMPROVED ASSESSMENT SUBMISSION FOR STUDENTS – Forum assessments can now go directly through Turnitin without students (or teaching staff) having to separately submit to Turnitin. Groupwork submissions will also be more streamlined for students.

Which iLearn activities does the new Turnitin plugin work for?  

  1. iLearn Assignment: When enabled in the activity settings, the integrated Turnitin matching checks are done for both text and attachment submission methods.
  2. iLearn Forums: When enabled in the activity settings, the integrated Turnitin matching checks are done for both forum post text and attachments to posts.

Note that attachments will need to be text-based files such as txt, docx or a PDF containing text. It is not yet available for Quiz or Workshop (This may be available in 2023).

Screenshot showing activities in iLearn containing the new Turnitin plugin.

How to enable the plug-in for an iLearn Forum or Assignment

By default, the new feature is turned OFF when a new Assignment or Forum activity is created. You just need to enable it in the settings. See the Assignment quick guide and Forum quick guides on how to do it.

Screenshot showing where the plugin settings can be enabled.

How do I access the similarity reports for student submissions through the iLearn Assignment and Forum?

iLearn Assignment: Navigate to the list of student submissions (as per usual) by selecting View all submissions within the Assignment activity. Click on the similarity percentage or pencil icon for each students’ submission to access the similarity report.  

Screenshot showing where to access the similarity report for an iLearn assignment.

Forum: Click on the similarity percentage icon underneath each forum post.

Screenshot showing where to access the similarity report for a forum post.

Which marking tools should I use?

You’ll have the choice of using either the tools/rubrics within the iLearn assignment itself OR Turnitin Feedback Studio/rubrics. In team taught or team marked units be sure to agree upfront on which method you will all use for each assessment task to ensure consistency for students. Refer to the Turnitin and Feedback Studio Quick Guides

Will existing Turnitin activities still be available?

Yes, and all past standalone Turnitin activities will continue to be accessible and will function in the same way (ie must be recreated upon unit roll-over). We’ll see how these new features meet our needs to make a decision to remove or retain the standalone Turnitin activity in the future. Please send any feedback through to ilearn.help@mq.edu.au  

If you have already set up all your Turnitin assessments for S2, then don’t worry, everything will operate in the same way. But if you would like to take advantage of the new plug-in options now available, you can tweak your S2 iLearn to activate the settings (see above ‘Enabling the plug-in’)

What are the cautions for using the TII plugin with Groupwork?

In a nutshell, the recommendation is to use the marking tools within the iLearn Assignment for giving feedback rather than using the tools in Turnitin Feedback Studio (eg Quickmarks and rubric) to make this work. Full explanation below… 

The iLearn Assignment will be a much more efficient way to collect written groupwork submissions than some of the workarounds we have had to resort to in the past in order to meet the Assessment procedure (link) (eg having students submit to multiple points or staff downloading and uploading copies here and there).  

Full details are available in the iLearn Assignment quick guide, but the general workflow for groupwork is: 

  • Create student groups using the usual iLearn Groups function 
  • Set up the iLearn Assignment activity and apply the Groups and Turnitin settings 
  • One student submits the work to the iLearn Assignment on behalf of the group  
  • Use the iLearn Assignment feedback tools for marking 
  • All students in the group can access their grade, similarity score and feedback through the iLearn Assignment 
  • However, only the student who made the submission will be able to access the Turnitin similarity report and breakdown of the similarity score. It would be up to this student or teaching staff to download and share this on.  

Where to find help 

Follow the steps in the iLearn Assignment and Forum quick guides 

More information about using Turnitin and Feedback Studio is available in these quick guides 

Contact ilearn.help@mq.edu.au 

Come along to the iLearn Drop-in Clinic 13 – 28 July 2022 

Banner image: Sergey Nivens on Shutterstock

Posted by Amanda Parker

Learning Enhancement Manager, PVC L&T

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