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Add a Turnitin Assignment in Moodle

Turnitin assignments differ from regular Assignments in Moodle. Turnitin helps instructors evaluate the similarity of students’ work by comparing electronic documents to online sources and the Turnitin database. The software returns an Similarity Report which rates submitted assignments and highlights text that appears elsewhere. Faculty can have their students submit their assignments to Turnitin, or they can use it to assess suspect submissions (e.g., assignments without works cited pages, assignments without drafts, etc.).

Adding a Turnitin assignment in Moodle is a two-step process. First, you add the Turnitin assignment to your Moodle course page and edit the settings from within Moodle, you can then open the assignment and make additional settings within Turnitin.

Add a Turnitin Assignment to a Moodle course

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon pencil icon). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the section where you want a Turnitin assignment to appear. If the section is collapsed, click the arrow icon above the Section name to expand the section.
  3. At the bottom of the section, click +Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop up will open showing a tile for each available resource or activity.
    Note: By default, the panel opens to All and shows all resources and activities. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To only view resources, at the top of the pop-up, click Resources.
  4. (Optional) On the Turnitin assignment tile, for information, click the Information icon (information icon). If you frequently add Turnitin assignment, click the Star icon (Favorite star icon) to add this resource type to the Starred tab.
  5. Select the Turnitin assignment icon or Turnitin assignment link. The Adding a new Turnitin assignment page opens.
  6. Enter a title for your Turnitin assignment in the Name field (required). The name you enter will display as a link to the Turnitin assignment on your main course page.
  7. To configure basic settings for the Turnitin assignment, see Configure Settings in Moodle (below).
  8. Click Save and return to course to return to your main course page, or Save and display to view the assignment page.

Configure basic settings for Turnitin Assignments in Moodle

When you add a Turnitin assignment activity to a Moodle course, you are required to set the assignment's name, and the Submission Type. The remaining settings are optional. This section describes each setting.


  • Turnitin Assignment Name (required)
    This is used as the assignment link on your course page.
  • Summary
    Enter a summary of the assignment and instructions. The Summary will be visible to students when they click the assignment link, or you can select Display description on course page to display the Summary on your course page (best if the Summary is very concise).
  • Submission Type (required)
    • Any Submission Type lets students choose to submit either a file or text entry.
    • File Upload requires that students upload a file containing their essay. Acceptable formats include PDF, Microsoft Word, and others. For the latest list of supported file formats, see Supported File Types and Size.
    • Text Submission provides students with a text box where they can type or paste in the text of their essay. This may work better for shorter submissions rather than essays that have multiple pages and have specifically formatted reference lists.
  • Number of Parts
    Specify whether students can submit multiple parts of their assignment, for example if they are uploading separate sections of an essay independently. This can be used for submitting multiple drafts of an essay.
  • Maximum File Size
    Set the maximum size of the file that students can upload. 
  • Allow submission of any file type?
    This setting will allow any file type to be submitted. With this option set to Yes, submissions will be checked for similarity where possible, submissions will be available for download and GradeMark feedback tools will be available where possible.
  • Display Similarity Reports to Students
    Specify whether students can see the reports that Turnitin generates. The default is No.
    Note: Instructors can always see these reports. This setting only determines whether a student can see the report that the instructor received for their submission which can be useful in resolving disputes on similarity of the student's work, or for draft submission to allow students to improve citations.
  • Grade Display
    This option sets the display mode for the grades options. Grades can be displayed as a fraction or percentage.
  • Auto Refresh Grades / Scores
    Specify whether grades and similarity reports will be refreshed automatically. The default is Yes, automatically refresh similarity scores and grades.
  • Set these values as assignment defaults
    Select this option to make the current settings default for future Turnitin assignments.


  • Grade
    Select the Grade Type:
    None - The Turnitin Assignment will be ungraded and worth no points.
    Point - Grade out of a simple number of maximum points. Enter the maximum possible score for the Turnitin Assignment in a Maximun grade field.
    Scale - Select a preset or custom Scale from the Scale drop-down. (See Standard & Custom grading scales in Moodle).
  • Grade Category
    Select a Category in your gradebook under which you would like the Turnitin assignment to be placed. See Grade Category Options in the Moodle Gradebook for instructions on how to create a category in your gradebook. 
  • Grade to pass
    This setting determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and course completion, and in the gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.

Assignment Parts

By default, Turnitin assignments are composed of one part. If the assignment has more than one part (set above), each part will have its own form.

  • Name (required)
    A name for the assignment part. The default is Part 1.
  • Start Date
    This defaults to the precise date and time the Turnitin assignment was created. Modify this if you want students to be able to start submitting their work at a later date and time.
  • Due Date
    This defaults to 7 days after the precise date and time at which you created the Turnitin assignment. Modify this with the actual due date you want for your assignment.
    Note: Students may still be able to submit their work after the Due Date if you enable Allow Submissions after the Due Date  (under Similarity Report Options, below).
  • Post Date
    This is the date at which your grades and feedback are made available for students to view. The default is 7 days after the precise date and time at which you created the Turnitin assignment. Modify this if you want your grades to be posted at or after your actual due date.
    Note: To have Turnitin and Moodle sync grades correctly you must have grades entered into Grademark BEFORE the Post Date. Any grades entered AFTER the post date must be synced individually. Instructors should set a reasonable time in which to grade student work for their Post Date.
  • Max Grades
    Enter the maximum points that can be earned in this part. The default is 100.
    Note: In multiple part assignments, if all parts have the same Max grades value, the parts will be weighted equally in calculating the grade for the entire assignment that is recorded in the Moodle gradebook..

Similarity Report Options

  • Allow Submissions after the Due Date
    Set this to Yes if you want to allow students to submit beyond the due date.
  • Report Generation Speed
    There are three options for this assignment setting:
    • Generate reports immediately (students cannot resubmit) generates an Similarity Report as soon as a student makes a submission. With this option selected your students will not be able to resubmit the assignment.
    • Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date): After 3 resubmissions, reports generate after 24 hours allows students to continuously resubmit the assignment until the due date. It may take up to 24 hours to process Similarity Reports for resubmissions.
    • Generate reports on due date (students can resubmit until due date) only generates an Similarity Report on the assignment's due date.
      Note: This setting allows all assignment submissions to be compared against each other when the Similarity Reports are created.
  • Store Student Papers
    Papers stored in the UMass Amherst dedicated databases of assignments at Turnitin  are used solely for the purpose of detecting possible plagiarism during the grading process this term and in the future. Select no repository to disable this feature. The default is Institutional Repository (Where Applicable).
  • Check against stored student papers
    Select Yes to check submissions' similarity against those stored in the Turnitin repository. Similarity reports will provide details for matches within your current and previous classes, and general information for other matches found.
  • Check against internet
    Select Yes to check submissions' similarity against internet content. 
  • Check against journals, periodicals and publications
    Select Yes to check submissions' similarity against content from academic publications.
  • Check against Institutional Repository
    Select Yes to check against UMass' Institutional Respository, which contains student work submitted at UMass. This is separate from Turnitin's databases.
  • Exclude Bibliography
    Select Yes if you would like to exclude the bibliography section of student submissions from similarity checking.
  • Exclude Quoted Material
    Select Yes if you would like Turnitin to skip over any quotes used in the student submission, as these are more likely to match works submitted elsewhere.
  • Exclude Small Matches
    Enter the minimum number of words (or the percentage of the essay) that need to match in order to flag a section of the student submission. This can cut down on commonly used phrases being flagged for similarity.

Grademark Options

To use a rubric for the assignment:

  • To use a rubric you have already saved, in the Attach a rubric to this assignment drop-down menu, select the desired rubric.
  • To build a new rubric, select Launch Rubric Manager. The rubric editor will open.

Note: Quickmark feedback must be configured from within Turnitin (see below).

Configure due dates and other additional settings from within the Turnitin Assignment

  1. On your Moodle course page, click the Turnitin assignment to configure. The Turnitin assignment will open to the Submission Inbox.
  2. There are several settings and entries available on the Submission Inbox page:
    • To change a date or grade, click the Edit icon (edit icon) next to the item. Drop-down menus or an entry field will appear.
    • To setup or edit a Rubric, click the Rubric icon (Rubric icon).
    • To setup or edit Quickmark feedback, click the Launch QuickMark Manager icon ().
    • To submit a paper for a student, click the Upload paper icon (Upload a paper for a student).
    • To view a student submission click the Submission Title. Submissions open in the Turnitin Document Viewer, in a new browser tab. From the viewer you can give feedback (Grademark, Rubric, score).
    • To sync a grade between the Turnitin Inbox and the Moodle Gradebook, click the Sync icon (Sync icon) next to a student's submission (this must be done for individual submissions for submissions which were not graded before the Post Date).

For additional help with Turnitin, see Turnitin's Moodle Moodle Direct V2 support articles for Instructors.