1. Using Turnitin via MyCourses's Assignment

Turnitin can be linked to the MyCourses Assignment activity, allowing the teacher to use Turnitin's similarity check and AI detection via Turnitin's Feedback Studio interface. To do so,

add an Assignment > Assignment settings > 'Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings'

and assign the values to the settings there. The setting options are all intuitive and self-explanatory and are mostly the same as those in the Turnitin activity described below in section Turnitin activity. Read more in Turnitin's instructions on setting up the assignment and the tutorial on creating an assignment. In the latter link, the snapshot containing the list of activities differs from that in MyCourses (= Moodle).

The assignment can be graded using the Turnitin rubric (Grade mark options). The grade can be scaled to the desired assignment grade. Also, group feedback can be used for the assignment.

Note: The assignment activity has two date settings associated with the submission deadline. The first, called Due Date, is the date after which late submissions are allowed. (This is equivalent to setting Due Date together with the Allow late submissions in the Turnitin activity described below.) This date is marked in students' and the teacher's MyCourses calendar. The second, called Cut-off Date, is the unconditional deadline after which no submissions are allowed (Cut-off Date is a MyCourses Assignment setting; the Turnitin activity does not have an equivalent setting.) This date isn't marked in the MyCourses calendar.

2. Turnitin activity

2.1. Adding a Turnitin activity in MyCourses

See the Turnitin tutorial for the details. (The figure for adding the activity is visually different from the MyCourses view, but the activities are the same. For the correct activity visual, see Add activities and resources.)

2.2. Some notes and tips:

A note on parts:

  • Case 1: A submission box can contain several parts with different date settings. Work submitted in the different parts by the same student will not be compared when creating the originality report of a submission in a part (i.e., the submission in Part 1 will not be compared to the submission in Part 2), even if the option to store the work in the comparison database, called Standard repository, is selected in the submission box settings, and the work of different students is compared. So, a submission box can be created containing, say, three parts, the first two for two versions of drafts and the third for the final version to be graded, all having different Start, Post, and Due dates.
  • Case 2: If the file size exceeds 100 MB, it must technically be split into parts of less than 100 MB.

Post Date, the date when students see their feedback:

Set the date after which the student can see the teacher's feedback and grade in Feedback Studio and the grade in the feedback box. If you set the date to be the same as Start Date, the student will see the feedback given as soon as it is given even if given before Due Date. Naturally, by setting Post Date to be the same as Due Date, the feedback and possible grade will be visible to the student after that date.


  • Only whole numbers can be used in the overall grade. If the scale you are thinking of using contains half points, multiply the scale by two to give whole numbers.
  • Define the overall grade as a proportion, since Turnitin always calculates the overall grade as the sum of the parts, with the maximum grades of the parts first being proportioned to the maximum of the overall grade.
  • Examples:
    • if there is only one part, specify that the maximum overall score = the maximum score for part 1. If, however, you want to use the pass/fail scale, choose points with a maximum of 1, i.e. pass = 1 and fail = 0. Explain the meaning of the scale to students in the assignment.
    • If the assignment has two parts, Part 1 of which is a draft (Maximum mark = 0) and Part 2 of which is a final version (Maximum mark = 5), set the maximum overall mark to 5.
    • If the assignment has five parts, each of which accounts for one-fifth of the total grade, and the total grade is also the grade for the course on a scale of 0-5, the grades for the parts of the assignment could be, for example,  a maximum of 10p each, with a maximum total grade of 5.

Draft version: Make a clear difference between the activities for drafts and versions for grading, because the Turnitin similarity reports must correspondingly be interpreted differently:

  • The similarity report of a draft is an aid for assessing academic writing skills, correcting errors, and preventing plagiarism.
  • The similarity report of the version to be graded is an aid to assess the ethical aspect of the submission. If plagiarism is suspected during the assessment, the investigation process will be initiated as described in the Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity.

2.3. View and manage students' submissions

Teacher's view of the Turnitin submission box. Lists the student names and shows among other things the similarity percentage of the submissions.

3. The similarity report

 The similarity report is accessed via Feedback Studio, the interface through which feedback and a grade can also be given for the submission, by clicking on the similarity percentage or coloured rectangle in the submission box. Clicking on the document title opens the submission in Feedback Studio, but now the report must be turned on by clicking on the toggle switch 3 shown in the figure below. Activate the feedback-giving features by clicking on the location of the document where the feedback is to be given or on switch 2 shown in the figure below.

The similarity report viewed in Feedback Studio. All the functionality button are shown and described as well.

The details on the similarity report, the working of the buttons, grading, and giving feedback are on Turnitin's resource for instructors. The most relevant topics are listed in Links to the Turnitin Instructor guides.

3.1. Turnitin's AI tool

The AI tool is automatically available in all Turnitin submission boxes, and all new submissions are subjected to analysis. It is visible to teachers only, and there are no controls in the tool. The restrictions that currently limit the use of this tool are the following:

  • the text is in English,
  • the text length should be between 300 and 15000 words, 
  • the file size must be less than 100 MB, and
  • the accepted file types are .docx, .pdf, .txt, .rtf.

3.2. Links to the Turnitin Instructor guides

See also how students view feedback in Feedback Studio.

4. Submitting on a student's behalf 

Normally, students themselves directly submit papers in a Turnitin submission box. Sometimes, a student may submit their work to the teacher through some other method, in which case the teacher can submit the work in Turnitin on their behalf. Remember, however, that The Code of Academic Integrity requires students to be treated equally, and so such flexibility if permitted should apply to all students.

  1. Open the Turnitin submission box in your MyCourses course. If there is no Turnitin assignment activity in the course workspace yet, see the instructions above on how to add it.
  2. If the student whose paper will be submitted is not listed in the Turnitin submission box, add them as a participant to the MyCourses workspace. Go to Course home page > Participants > Enroll users > type the name of the student in the Search field and choose the right student from the search results > ensure that the Assign role = Student 
  3. Submit the file on the student's behalf: click the icon with an upward arrow (the icon looks like a cloud with an arrow in it) in the row with the student's name in a submission inbox and drag and drop the file in the submission area. See how to submit a file in the Turnitin tutorial.

5. Peer review in assignment

The teacher can add a peer reviewing feature to a Turnitin assignment activity.

The teacher can choose whether pairing is done automatically or manually, by students or by the teacher themselves.

Students review their peers' papers in the PeerMark view where they answer evaluative questions. In addition, they have the possibility to comment freely on the paper (the annotation feature).

It is recommended that if the teacher reviews students' papers in addition to peer reviews, they do it in Feedback Studio instead of the PeerMark view (where the teacher would be as if they were "one of the peers"). So, the rule of thumb would be: students evaluate their peers' papers with PeerMark tools and the teacher evaluates students' papers with Feedback Studio tools.

Instructions in the Turnitin tutorial


  • The student interface is not intuitive and requires reading the instructions
  • Peers cannot see the similarity reports of other students, but they can review their submissions otherwise.
  • Peer assessment grades given to students are not transferred directly to the MyCourse course assessment

Link to student instructions

6. Group assignment in the Turnitin activity

Set up the Turnitin assignment as follows:  

  • Description: instruct the students as follows:
    • One and the same representative of each group submits the group work (all versions). 
    • It is good to submit a draft version in order to get a Turnitin similarity report about it a day before the due date of the final version at the latest. The representative can view and share the similarity report with the rest of the group. The group interprets the report and corrects relevant similarities in the draft before submitting the final version.
    • Submissions are copied into the Turnitin student papers repository so that they are protected against plagiarism by others in the future, and the submissions are compared against each other.
  • Number of parts = 2
  • Assignment Part 1: Name = Draft version, Due Date (= 1 day before is recommended or at the same time as the final version), Post Date (=the same time as the Start date), Maximum mark = 0 (if the draft is not graded)
  • Assignment Part 2: Name = Final version, Due Date, Assessment available, Maximum mark = 5  (if the scale of the group assignment is 0-5) 
  • Similarity Report Options: Store Student Papers = Standard Repository 
  • Common module settings: Group mode = Separate groups (precondition: groups exist in the workspace) 

After the due date of the Final version, open the first submission by clicking on its name. Turnitin Feedback Studio opens in a new window. Read the submission and interpret its similarity report. Give a mark for it on the top bar of Feedback Studio. Assess the next submission by clicking the arrow to the right on the top bar.  

Return to the submission box in MyCourses and give marks to the other group members: 

  • Select a group in the Separate Groups drop-down menu 
  • Give the mark to the rest of the group members by clicking on the pencil icon in the Grade column 

The student sees their mark both in the assignment inbox and in the Grades view in MyCourses.