Development:Turnitin

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Turnitin.

Template:Turnitin This integration is different from the Turnitin Assignment type developed by IParadigms and supported from Turnitin.com. This integration is being developed by Dan Marsden from Catalyst IT Ltd.

Details on the Official Turnitin plugin

The Turnitin assignment type provided from Turnitin.com has a range of issues that affect different Moodle versions. They have improved the code in some of the later versions that Turnitin have released, but it still has some major shortcomings.

Basically, their plugin just provides single sign-on into their own assignment submission process, keeping the Moodle sites header, and opening their site in a frame underneath. - this means that all assignments are stored in the Turnitin system, and there is no ability to store a grade in Moodle for those assignments. - if you canceled your Turnitin subscription, there is no way in Moodle to retrieve the files submitted either.

The new integration planned

I have started writing a new Turnitin integration which is now in beta release for Moodle 1.9

A 3rd party patch for Moodle 1.9 is currently available, and this should be in the Moodle 2.0 release.

it allows any module in Moodle to submit files to the Turnitin API, and be able to return a similarity percentage score, and a link to a full similarity report.

The integration will allow us to add the option for Turnitin submission to Moodle Modules that handle file submissions.

After a student has submitted a file to the module, it passes that file to Turnitin, gets an originality score, and link to a full originality report that will be displayed to whoever that module is configured to display the information to. Eg: on creating an assignment in moodle, a teacher will be able to elect to use Turnitin, and "what" to do with the reports generated. - they may choose to show the originality score but not the full report or a combination to the student.

A Capability moodle/course:enableturnitin has been created (given to teachers by default) that allows them to "enable" Turnitin submission in their assignment/forum etc.. This is so that you can assign this role to a select group of people if needed. (good for running a pilot!)

These are some of the areas which we could add the turnitin submission to, but not all of them will be available in the initial versions of the integration.

  • single file upload assignment type
  • advanced file upload assignment type
  • online assignment type
  • all files attached to forum posts
  • other modules that allow file uploads
  • modules that allow submission via the HTML editor (essay questions, regular forum posts, etc.)

I'm planning to present at Moodlemoot AU and Moodlemoot NZ on the Turnitin integration.

Other possible features

What we implement now really depends on what funding is available, and the priorities of the people providing funding, but here are a range of other ideas that could/might be implemented.

  • Need to investigate whether the API will allow flagging that the paper should not be stored for comparison against other submitted papers (and add an option to the interface for teachers to enable/disable it)
  • Push the originality score and link for full report into the gradebook for controlling/displaying.

Development Plan for Moodle 1.9 integration

Current Features in Released code

  • Integrate TII with Advanced upload and single upload assignment types.
  • A new capability moodle/course:enableturnitin will be created to give teachers to use TII submission.
  • Teachers will be able to "enable" the TII submission when creating a new Advanced Assignment Type.
  • TII originality Score, and Full report will only be available to Teachers via the submissions page.
  • all files uploaded to the assignment will be submitted to TII via cron
  • Originality score/Full report will be checked for availability via cron.
  • Display some "disclaimer" type text to the student when TII is enabled to explain that the assignment will be automatically submitted to TII

Add the ability for teachers to elect who/when a originality score and or full report is available to:

  • As soon as the report is back
  • After the due date of the assignment
  • Add options to admin pages to set what settings are the default for TII settings within modules.


Stuff that would be nice to do at some point, but is not currently funded

  • add the functionality to the Online assignment type
  • add the functionality to the discussion forum uploads
  • add the functionality for files uploaded via html editor(essay questions etc)

From The University of Waikato

  • Provide option for to not store assignment submissions on the Tii database and what to check/compare them against (as per Tii 'Allow other papers to be checked against submission' option)
  • Option to check/compare submissions against others in the same assignment or not
  • Better error display to students so they are informed if a file is not valid or long enough etc
  • ‘keep alive’ type communication when a lecturer is viewing a report to prevent Tii website timeout
  • Similarity report link advising the status of the report to the lecturer (e.g pending, invalid file type, etc)(Done as at October but after speaking with Dan this information needs to be more "user friendly")Category:Turnitin