Turnitin is a cloud-based online tool which offers services as plagiarism prevention, online reviewing and peer review. Its aim is to help educators to evaluate student work and provide feedback to improve student learning. Turnitin can be integrated in Canvas assignments.

Three of the most important features of the programme are:

  1. Plagiarism Check (Similarity Report)

The programme checks for potential unoriginal content using a proprietary algorithm. It scans its own databases, and also has licensing agreements with large academic proprietary databases. On your screen it presents reports that show how much of a document is new, cited from other sources, or unoriginal.

  1. Online reviewing (Feedback Studio)

Using different rubrics you convey clear expectations for the assignments and use these criteria later to mark students, so they have an overview where their grades come from. Also to ensure instructors across courses and classes are evaluating students by the same standards you can share your criteria with the whole faculty. Additionally grading statistics give you an overview over the performance of your students and can identify areas of concern.

  1. Peer Review (PeerMark)

After evaluating your students work get connected through different instant feedback methods. The programme gives you the choice between a range of tools, including voice comments, drag-and-drop comments, and rubric-associated comments. See here for a comparison of peer review systems offered by the UvA.


Integration in Canvas

There are two ways to integrate Turnitin in Canvas assignments.

We recommend:

An integrated version of Turnitin within Canvas ‘Plagiarism only’. This is a bare bones version, allowing you to see the similarity score and an overview of the plagiarism report. Grading can be done via Canvas Speedgrader, in which the similarity score will be shown.

To use Turnitin in this way, create an assignment in Canvas, select ‘Online Submission’ with ‘File Upload’, select Turnitin in ‘Plagiarism Review’ and specify the settings as you wish. Select ‘Never’ for the option to show students the similarity report. Finish setting the assignment.

The alternative option:

Using Canvas as a portal to Turnitin. From Canvas you are led to a Feedback Studio version of Turnitin, allowing you to use Quickmarks and rubrics that you have saved earlier. Grading can be done via Turnitin.

To use Turnitin in this way, create an assignment in Canvas, select ‘External Tool’ for submission and click on ‘Find’. Select Turnitin, the URL will be entered automatically. Fill in the remaining fields and save the Turnitin assignment. In Turnitin you can adjust the settings that are specific to Turnitin.


If you are interested in the tool, please contact ICTO or check out the pages on Turnitin in the FMG training course on Canvas. If you are looking for even more information click here to go to Turnitin’s website.

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