What is Turnitin?
The Turnitin Canvas LTI allows students to submit an assignment from within their Canvas course directly to the Turnitin originality checking service.
Turnitin generates an 'Originality Report' which identifies unoriginal submitted material. The originality report is available to Canvas teachers via the Turnitin Reports course tool.
Turnitin's Originality Check helps instructors check students' work for improper citation or potential plagiarism. Turnitin takes a piece of work that a student has written and compares the text to an enormous database of other writing. It generates an originality report which shows the percentage of text from the student work that matches an outside source.
Remember: Turnitin does not detect plagiarism, it highlights matching text. You, as the teacher, are the one who decides if the matching text indicates a problem, or otherwise. The similarity index (score) should never be used as a measure of plagiarism. It is only a measure of matching text, which can arise through using the correct language of the discipline, correctly referencing sources, or correctly quoting other people's work. Originality reports have to be interpreted. You have to examine a report to understand what the coloured highlighting is telling you.
Giving students access to originality reports can be a great learning tool, when they are learning academic writing. But it has to be in a supported environment, where they can understand how to interpret what they are seeing.
Turnitin's sister product, Feedback Studio, is used to support online grading of assignments. It is used to provide rich feedback, including comments (and comment banks), audio comments and rubrics. This provides a powerful way to give useful, individual and timely online feedback to students on their work.
For more information about using rubrics to aid grading and provide feedback to students see CELT's advice on Assessment.