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Turnitin: Verifying Academic Originality

January 21, 2011

ITS is pleased to offer Turnitin's OriginalityCheck, a plagiarism detection tool available to any NYU or NYUAD instructor with a current Blackboard course shell. By verifying originality of work at student submission prior to grading, faculty are able to not only prevent plagiarism in their classes, but also encourage proper research and citation methods. Students submitting papers to Turnitin can rest assured that their privacy and security are well protected, and that they retain copyright of all original work created and submitted to Turnitin.

FERPA & Turnitin

When using Turnitin, it is important to understand FERPA disclosure implications regarding student education records. Student work submitted to the instructor is considered part of the student's education record and cannot be further submitted to a service such as Turnitin without written permission from the student. Only students may submit their papers directly to Turnitin, and, in those cases, their papers are not considered education records. Faculty members who create the assignments for the students to submit to Turnitin must be cognizant of FERPA disclosure rules and must make the following clear to their students:

  • What the specific search options for the particular assignment include (i.e., student paper repository and/or current and archived Internet and/or periodicals, journals, or publications)
  • Whether the standard NYU institutional paper repository or no repository will be selected
  • That the plagiarism prevention tool will be used in the grading process, but only after the paper has been submitted to TurnItIn by the student and the submission has been reviewed by TurnItIn

For questions or more information on FERPA, please email or read New York University Guidelines for Compliance with the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act.

Adding a Turnitin assignment to your Blackboard course

Turnitin assignments are easy to create and integrate into your Blackboard course shell and curriculum, syncing your assignments with your class roster and allowing for easy grading within the Blackboard Grade Center.

First, you must have a current and activated Blackboard course shell to utilize Turnitin, and you must activate the content type before you can add the assignment. If you have not already done so, activate your course through the ITS Course Request Form.

To activate the Building Block content type, go to the Blackboard Control Panel, and under the Course Options panel, choose Manage Tools > Building Block Tool Availability. From the list of options, select the two Turnitin Assignment check boxes, Turnitin Assignment List and Turnitin Assignments by Groups, to activate the Building Block within your course. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to confirm the change.

To add a Turnitin assignment, choose a content area of your choice, such as "Assignments," from the control panel. From the drop-down menu on the top right-hand side of the content area screen, select "Turnitin Assignment," and choose "Go."

You will then be walked through a series of steps to set up your assignment. Choose an assignment type: Paper Assignment or Revision Assignment. If you would like to create a Revision Assignment to allow your students resubmit their work, you must first create a Paper Assignment as the parent assignment.

The assignment will need to have a title, a point value for grading, as well as a start date (when the assignment becomes available to the students), a due date (when the assignment is due), and a post date (for grading), which must be later than the due date.

Advanced options include making the originality reports available to students, setting the number of words considered a match, and selecting which repository the paper will be submitted to as well as the repositories you would like to check these papers against. The repository options include checking submissions against other papers submitted by NYU students to Turnitin, current and archived web pages, and Turnitin-partnered and publically accessible periodicals, journals, and publications.

Once the instructor submits the assignment, students can choose from a variety of file types to complete their work, but the file must not exceed 20MB in size.

For more detailed instructions, search the ITS knowledgebase for the keyword “Turnitin”.

For training on integrating Turnitin into your Blackbord course shell, you can sign up for a one-on-one tutorial through NYUiLearn, the web-based training system accessed via the Work tab on NYUHome.



Pilar Abuin is a Faculty Technology Specialist within ITS Faculty Technology Services.

This Article is in the following Topics:
Connect - Information Technology at NYU, Learning Management Systems, Teaching and Learning

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Turnitin: Verifying Academic Originality

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