Turnitin-Enabled Assignments and SpeedGrader **Updated**

An update to the previous post about a resolution – Some students are still experiencing assignment submissions not appearing in SpeedGrader. Canvas and Turnitin on working on a resolution. Please send information about any incidents of this issue to LDT. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Canvas recently extended the time that it waits before requesting the submission and originality report from Turnitin. Canvas now waits five minutes instead of the previous 60 seconds. This time extension should help alleviate some of the current issues. The previous time sometimes resulted in the submission and originality report request being sent before the submission was ready for processing, and the submission or originality report wouldn’t appear in SpeedGrader. Canvas and Turnitin hope to have a long-term fix in place before the fall semester.


Turnitin recently deployed a code to help alleviate of an issue with some student submissions not appearing in SpeedGrader. The code will cause Canvas to wait 60 seconds before requesting a Turnitin submission to be presented in SpeedGrader. This should reduce the issue described below.

If any of your students experience the issue below, please contact us with the course name/number, student’s name, and assignment name.

Issue description:
There have been reports of some student submissions of Turnitin-enabled assignments not appearing in SpeedGrader. Canvas and Turnitin are working diligently to resolve this issue. In the meantime, if one of your students experiences this, please contact Learning Design and Technology with the course name and section, student name, and assignment. We will report the issue to Canvas.

There is an alternate way to grade affected students’ submissions.

1. From the assignment, in your Assignment Inbox, find the student.
2. Click the download button next to the student’s name. You can view the Originality Report by clicking the percentage.
3. Type the student’s grade and comments in the GradeBook (Course > Grades).

We will update this post once a resolution has been made.

Please contact us with any questions about Canvas.

Due Date Information for Turnitin Assignments

This post will provide you with important information related to due dates within a Turnitin-enabled assignment.

When you add or change a due date on a Turnitin-enabled assignment by clicking, you can only add or change the due date for the entire assignment. When a due date is added to an assignment, the date is transferred from Canvas to the Turnitin LTI tool. Turnitin settings only allow one due date while Canvas allows multiple due dates. In addition, if you edit an assignment’s due date, it will transfer to the Turnitin LTI tool.

You won’t be able assign a different due date to an individual student. Turnitin only allows one due date on an assignment, so additional due dates for individual students won’t transfer to the Turnitin LTI tool. This can only be done on non-Turnitin-enabled assignments.

Please contact us with questions about Canvas.

Turnitin File Type and Size Requirements

If you’re enabling Turnitin on an assignment, it will be helpful to know its file size and type requirements.

File Size

If your assignment allows any file type, the following sizes will be accepted by Turnitin in order to generate an Originality Report.

  • Less than 40mb.
  • Has a minimum of 25 words.
  • Is less than 400 pages in length.

File Type

The following files types will be accepted by Turnitin in order to generate an Originality Report.

  • Microsoft Word documents (.doc / .docx)
  • Adobe PDFs (.pdf) – PDF image files, fillable forms, files that don’t contain highlightable text (i.e., scanned file), or files created with software other than Adobe Acrobat are not accepted.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint files (.ppt, .pptx, .ppsx, .pps) – Turnitin will convert a PowerPoint file into a static PDF, leaving all text and images in their original format. Features such as presenter notes, embedded video, and animations will not be visible. In addition, any visual effects (i.e., shadows and 3D) should be removed prior to submitting the file.
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xls / .xlsx)
  • HTML files
  • Rich Text Format files (.rtf)
  • Plain Text files (.txt)
  • Google Docs from Google Drive – Third-party cookies must be allowed by your Internet browser; otherwise, Google sign-in attempts will fail.
  • OpenOffice Text documents (.odt)
  • WordPerfect files (.wpd)
  • PostScript files (.ps / .eps)
  • Hangul Word Processor files (.hwp)

The following file types are not acceptable and will not generate an Originality Report from Turntiin.

  • Password protected files
  • Microsoft Works files (.wps)
  • Microsoft Word 2007 macro-enabled files (.docm)
  • OpenOffice text files created and downloaded from Google Docs (.odt)
  • Documents created using OpenOffice (.doc) – These documents are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent.
  • Apple Pages
  • Spreadsheets created outside Microsoft Excel (e.g., .ods)
  • Text with visual effects

If your student must convert a file to a new file format (extension), he / she should rename the file with a name other than that of the original file. This helps prevent loss of the original formatting or image content of a file.

Please contact us if you have any questions about enabling Turnitin on an assignment.

Coming Soon: Turnitin Similarity Scoring Improvements

Beginning in March, Turnitin will make some improvements to bring you a more reliable matches and a comprehensive Originality Report.

The improvement includes when bibliographic material is excluded from an Originality Report, Turnitin recalculates the Similarity Score based on the remaining content only. This will provide you with a more accurate score. When you select the option to exclude bibliographic materials from Similarity Index for all papers in an assignment, you are choosing to exclude text appearing in the bibliography, works cited, or references sections of student papers from being checked for matches when generating Originality Reports.

For example, opting to exclude a bibliography that constitutes 10% of a paper will generate a report according to 90% of that paper, rather than calculating reports out of 100%.

For assignments that have not yet passed their due dates, all reports will automatically regenerate in line with the improvement. Reports for closed assignments will not be updated. If you extend a closed assignment’s due date, you are reopening the assignment, and all reports in the assignment will regenerate to align with the update. If you have open assignments, log in to check regenerated reports, as the update may cause a slight increase to a paper’s Similarity Score.

Please contact us with any questions about Turnitin or Canvas.

Rubrics and Turnitin: Student View

Typically, when you add a rubric to an assignment, it appears when a student clicks the assignment. When you have a Turnitin-enabled assignment, the rubric no longer appears when the student clicks the assignment.

Students can view a rubric for a Turnitin-enabled assignment by following these steps:

1. From the course, click Grades.
2. Click the assignment.
3. Click the Show Rubric, located in the top-right corner of your screen.

Contact us with any questions about Canvas.

Students Unable to Submit a Turnitin Assignment

Occasionally, students receive an error message when attempting to submit an assignment using Turnitin. When this happens, it generally means the Turnitin needs to be enabled, or activated. Once you’ve created an assignment with Turnitin enabled, another page with the Assignment Inbox and Settings appears. You can also follow these steps to enable, or activate, Turnitin on established assignments by clicking the assignment first.


Click Settings, and then Optional settings (if desired). Verify your assignment settings, and then click Submit.

This enables, or activates, Turnitin and allows students to successfully submit assignments.

View this recorded workshop or recorded webinar for a refresher on using Turnitin with assignments.

Contact us with any questions about Turnitin.

Turnitin Webinars: On Demand

I received an email the other day about upcoming (free) webcasts being put on by the company Turnitin. All of the webcasts focus on plagiarism and the tools that turnitin provides (anti-plagiarism). These may be useful for faculty. Also, note that I’ve listed a link below to their previously recorded webcasts.

Future webcasts (click the link to sign up).

How Instructors Respond to Plagiarism: Survey Findings
A review of the findings from an instructor survey conducted and compiled by Turnitin.

Responding to Student Plagiarism as an Educational Opportunity
Explore a heuristic of questions for analyzing any case of student plagiarism to determine what the consequences should be.

Literacy is Fundamental: Leveraging Critical Reading to Improve Student Writing
Sharing strategies for engaging students in reading critically towards improving their research and writing skills.

Ghostbusting: Getting the Ghostwriter Out of Your Class
Approaches for identifying ghostwritten work and discouraging students from using custom essay writing services.

Getting to the (Power)Point:  Addressing Plagiarism in Student Presentations
Strategies for enhancing student understanding of proper citation and attribution when using media in presentations and projects.

Webcasts On Demand

View all On Demand webcasts