Turnitin (& iThenticate) direct will be unavailable on March 17, 2018

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22909113@N06/2985215512/A note from Turnitin UK.

Please be aware that students will still be able to submit essays within WebLearn; the submission of work and the generation of reports will be queued by WebLearn and will be processed as soon as Turnitin is available again. The outage only affects the services when accessed directly using a web browser.

Turnitin Service Alert

Scheduled Maintenance

We’re just dropping you a note to let you know that the following Turnitin services will be unavailable on March 17, 2018:

  • Turnitin and TurnitinUK (including all integrations)
  • Feedback Studio for iOS
  • iThenticate
  • WriteCheck

To ensure that services remain stable, particularly during high submission periods, this maintenance will include several hardware updates and performance improvements.

When will services be unavailable?

PST   March 17 8am – 2pm
GMT  March 17 4pm – 10pm
AEST  March 18 2am – 8am

How will you be affected?

While we’d love to provide an uninterrupted service, our machines require a health check every now and again…

Users will be unable to submit and grade during this maintenance window, so please ensure that any submission deadlines are adjusted to fall outside of the window.

Thanks for your patience!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Turnitin’s summary of UK User Summit (19 Oct 2017)

This blog already contains an entry on the national UK User Summit that was held in Newcastle on 19 October 2017.

Here is a summary (with links to further information) provided by Turnitin after the event:

  • More education is needed to communicate what academic integrity actually means – for both staff and students.
  • This lack of understanding represents a major reputational risk for individual institutions, awarding bodies and the HE sector as a whole.
  • Contract cheating is a growing industry. 800–1,200 different websites have been identified as selling essays – there is sure to be more out there.
  • The QAA, working in partnership with Turnitin, provided an overview of its latest policy to help HE institutions address contract cheating and essay mills.
  • However, it is not just essay mills that are the problem. “When a student gets someone else to do the work for them, they usually give it to a friend or a family member or someone they know rather than a commercial service.” Phil Newton, University of Swansea (Watch Phil’s presentation here)

The Support and Consultation team in Academic IT Services (Technology-Enhanced Learning) is working closely with Turnitin and the UK higher education sector on these and many more aspects of promoting academic integrity.

Contact Oxford University Turnitin support: turnitin@it.ox.ac.uk


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnitin and iThenticate review project – Update

The Turnitin and iThenticate Review project aimed to find out if Oxford’s plagiarism screening and awareness tools (including Turnitin and iThenticate) continue to meet the needs of staff and students. A staff survey was conducted during September 2017.

Details about the review, including a summary of survey findings and reasons for the recommendations, are available from the Turnitin and iThenticate Review web page.

Based on findings from the survey, (completed by 93 staff members), along with information gathered from the higher education sector, the project recommended:

  • Retain licences for both Turnitin and iThenticate
  • Review expected improved product offerings, including those of possible competitors, after November 2019

In the meantime, there is potential to enhance service provision, and to increase awareness across the University about Turnitin and iThenticate, and their intended purposes.

Contact us if you have any questions: edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnitin and iThenticate review project

IT Services recently ran a project to review the use of the University’s licences for Turnitin (to screen the coursework of registered Oxford students) and the sister product iThenticate (to screen personal statements and other materials submitted by prospective students).

The finding of the review project is that the University should keep both services and review their respective product offerings over the coming two years. Turnitin is embarking on a major redesign of their underlying system architecture, and the University is considering a new virtual learning environment, which may affect integration with Turnitin. Both these activities introduce some uncertainty into the landscape.

The project recommends that our Technology Enhanced Learning team should continue to consult with Turnitin about the University’s needs, and participate in the current sector-wide discussions. We will also increase awareness around the University about the two products and clarify their allowed usage according to the licence conditions.

More information:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnitin User Summit 2017

The annual Turnitin User Summit was held in Newcastle on 19 October 2017. As a result of recent corporate changes in the Turnitin organisation, there is a new USA executive management team: Marc Daubach (Chief Executive Officer), Ron Park (Chief Technology Officer) and Bill Loller (Head of Product Management). They have restructured the organisation with a view to improving efficiency and responsiveness. The team gave presentations outlining their new approach as a global company, their intention to engage more with the UK HE sector (through the Heads of eLearning Forum – HeLF), and plans for a forthcoming overhaul to the underlying technical architecture of Turnitin.

Kerr Gardiner (formerly Head of Learning Technology & Media Production at the University of Glasgow) gave a presentation outlining seven themes that emerged from his recent consultation with 14 UK universities, including University of Oxford. Oxford’s Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) team continues to engage with Kerr, by completing a survey for HeLF members and participating in focus group activities.

Our TEL team will also study the new report developed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), to see how it may inform the University’s policies and practice. The report recommends that institutions should provide early information to students, engender a positive focus on academic integrity and consider blocking questionable websites.

As a company, Turnitin appears to be putting more time and resources into improving customer support and reducing response times to queries from users. We have a dedicated account manager, Jamie Whitehead, who came and gave a presentation to our local Turnitin User Group earlier in 2017. Their help desk reports that response times (from a human help agent) are now 30 minutes instead of the previous 5 hours.

Their product development team are working on  enhancements to the Similarity Report, checking the originality of computer code, and how to use machine learning and forensic linguistics to detect instances of ‘contract cheating’ – that is, where a student has contracted someone to write their assignment for them. Universities should not ignore possible plagiarism that might be taking place amongst their students. In 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald uncovered a major case of contract cheating and the same newspaper continues to monitor and report on the issue.

Turnitin is working on a completely new cloud platform that should improve speed, power, flexibility, accessibility and security. The key enabler is ‘redwood architecture’ and active development on the platform will begin in January 2018. The new system will offer a brand new version of Peer Review and will enable what the UK sector has been requesting for a long time: multi-actor workflows including double marking and double-blind marking.

Oxford University has offered to talk with Turnitin’s researchers, to discuss our needs and processes, given the fact that we use both Turnitin and the sister product (iThenticate) – Turnitin is keen to understand more about this unique use case and to consider our needs in their new version. During this consultation, they will show us some of their new prototypes currently under development.

Contact the Turnitin support team at Oxford University: turnitin@it.ox.ac.uk


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reviewing Oxford’s plagiarism awareness tools

Complete the staff survey and have a chance to win an Amazon voucher!

All staff are invited to complete a survey on the plagiarism screening and awareness tools Turnitin and iThenticate, whether or not you have a teaching role or currently make use of such tools. Survey responses will be used to help to assess whether such tools continue to meet the needs of staff and students. The survey should take from 5 to 15 minutes to complete, and responses will be treated in confidence. At the end of the survey, you will have the option to contribute further to the review of plagiarism awareness tools by offering to participate in an interview. You can also enter a draw for one of four £25 Amazon vouchers.

The survey is now open until 6pm on Friday 29 September 2017, and is available from:

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tunitin Usage Growth Over the Last five years

Our account manager at Turnitin has just sent an interesting graph which show the growth in use of Turnitin at Oxford over the last five years.

Another interesting chart shows the growth in active students over the last 5 academic years. (A student is considered active if they are enrolled in a class that has had any activity in the Turnitin system during the time period.)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnitin Feedback Studio – formative feedback

In WebLearn

In your WebLearn site, create an assignment using the Assignments tool, and select the Turnitin integration (See our step-by-step guide). When students submit their assignment in WebLearn, Turnitin will generate an Originality Report which is returned into the WebLearn tool, for viewing by the student and the tutor.

In Turnitin

The new version of Turnitin (called Feedback Studio) now offers seamless integration of originality checking, and electronic grading and commenting on a piece of student work (what was previously called ‘Grademark’).  As a tutor, you can build your own library of frequently-used ‘quickmarks’ (for easy click and drag onto the document). Bubble comments can be inserted (and saved into your quickmark library, if desired). You can also record an overall voice comment to provide personalised feedback to a student.

In WebLearn

Back in the WebLearn Assignments tool, you can allocate a mark (if you set up the assignment that way) and an overall comment in the text feedback box. You will see the list of all assignments submitted, and their status, as well as the link to each individual Turnitin report:

The students will be able to access their Turnitin report as soon as it has been generated (if you allowed this feature when creating the assignment). This is clearly advisable in the formative sense, in order to enhance student learning about acceptable academic writing practice. Note that students will not see the Turnitin feedback comments until after the closing date of the WebLearn assignment. This allows you to finish commenting on (or marking) all the assignments before releasing the feedback (and marks) to the students. Thereafter, when students access their report via WebLearn, they will see both the originality layer and the comments layer (similar to the tutor view at the top of this posting).

More information

Contact mailto:turnitin@it.ox.ac.uk


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnitin User Group meeting: 23 March 2017

Date: Thursday 23 March
Time: 14:00 to 16:00 including refreshments
Venue: IT Services, 13 Banbury Road OX2 6NN
Booking is required

  • We are delighted that our account manager at TurnitinUK (Jamie Whitehead) will join us at next week’s meeting of the Oxford Turnitin User Group.
  • We will also hear from Amanda Tattersall (Exams and Assessment) and Adam Marshall (WebLearn and Turnitin service manager) about the latest processes at Oxford for anonymous online submissions using WebLearn.

Jamie will demonstrate the much-improved new version of Turnitin called Feedback Studio, as well as the use of Turnitin on a tablet for originality checking and GradeMark. The latter is now integrated into Feedback Studio, and includes features such as electronic commenting, audio feedback and marking memoranda (‘rubrics’), to enable student-oriented feedback in improving academic writing skills.

Please inform your colleagues about this meeting, which is bound to be informative and beneficial for academics, administrators and examiners.

Any questions: Contact turnitin@it.ox.ac.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The government plan to crack down on essay writing services

There’s an interesting article in the Guardian about the government’s response to a QAA-authored report about plagiarism. See: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/feb/21/plan-to-crack-down-on-websites-selling-essays-to-students-announced

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment