100 ways to use a VLE – #11 Integrating Turnitin

A decent VLE will allow you to integrate different tools and services into it.

Turnitin is a service that allows both learners and staff to check the originality of their work and then some…

Turnitin is far more than just a plagiarism prevention and originality checking tool. Turnitin is an integrated set of tools that helps educators manage the process of delivering meaningful feedback during the entire writing process – from drafts through reviews, revisions and even reflections.

Now you could simply link to Turnitin from your VLE, however what you can do with a VLE such as Moodle, is to integrate it into the assignment submission process.

What this means is that both practitioners and learners don’t need to create new accounts to use Turnitin, the process is automated. The feedback, grading and originality reports follow the same kind of format that Moodle uses for its own built-in assignments. That familiarity makes it relatively easy for both practitioners and learners to start using Turnitin if they are use to the assignment module already.

The process for a Turnitin assignment is pretty much a similar experience to adding a “normal” assignment to Moodle. You can either write up the brief or you can upload a document (you know write up the brief, better for the learners).

You can choose whether your learners cut and paste in their assignments or upload their assignment as a file. The originality process can then be adjusted according to your needs.

The key really with Turnitin is to use it as a learning tool with learners. Integrating it with the VLE allows this for many to be an easier route into using it effectively.

Of course you do need a subscription to Turnitin and it’s not a free (or what I would call a cheap) service. However experience from my own and other institutions in using Turnitin to support learners on what originality actually means and avoid palgarisim, Turnitin is a very good tool and effective.

3 thoughts on “100 ways to use a VLE – #11 Integrating Turnitin”

  1. To add to this post, I think it is important that when organisations look at plagiarism deterrence with tools like turnitin, they think strategically about how it is to be used – as the issue of plagiarism effects lots of people within the organisation, not just the tutor and the technical people, but is effected by admissions policies, student support, management, discipline procedures, but most of all educating the learners about what is and isn’t acceptable, and looking at things like designing plagiarism out of assessment etc.

    As such TurnItIn is at its most powerful when it this holistic approach is taken, and as is the ethos of this excellent blog series, by integrating it into the VLE is a huge step towards that holistic approach.

  2. Agree entirely with the intent and plea to use Turnitin (or SafeAssign if you’re a Blackboard school) as part of the learning process, to encourage academic integrity and to learn about fair acknowledgment of others’ work.

    But don’t call it a plagiarism prevention tool. It might detect plagiarism, and the ‘fear of getting caught’ might act as a deterrent, but staff must not think that by using Turnitin they will prevent plagiarism. Education and understanding are the best prevention.

    1. Ah, just checked that paragraph was a quote from Turnitin, so have updated my article accordingly. Turnitin call themselves a plagiarism prevention tool. I agree with you that tools are only one part of the process of educating learners about plagiarism.

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