Tech Tip: Getting Started With Turnitin

turnitinTurnitin is plagiarism-checker software integrated with EC Learn. You can use it for any Assignments in your courses, and it is compatible with all common file types, as well as the EC Learn rich text editor. Using Turnitin for an assignment is easy – just check the box once you have selected Online Submissions as the submission method.

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 12.48.27 PMTurnitin compares each submission against a database of millions of journal articles, webpages, and previous student submissions. It generates a “similarity score” (lower is better) as well as a full report of sources of uncited material. The report includes links to those sources, as well as a direct comparison of the relevant passages.

Turnitin isn’t perfect, so here are a few common pitfalls:

  • Turnitin must be enabled for an assignment before your students submit their work. The Turnitin database cannot sync retroactively with EC Learn.
  • Turnitin does not consider content in quotation marks, but if a student paraphrased a passage it may be flagged even if it is properly cited.
  • It does not check if citations are in the appropriate format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • It does not provide information on the proportion of citations to original content.
  • For group assignments, a separate copy of the submission is uploaded for each student. One student will have the correct originality report, but the other members of the group will be flagged for plagiarism.

If you would like to learn more about Turnitin, take a look at their instructor’s manual. You can also contact us ( with any questions.

— Emily

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One Response to Tech Tip: Getting Started With Turnitin

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