Downloading student papers from Turnitin

This post looks at the way Turnitin handles papers being downloaded from an assignment, in particular the differences you will see when anonymity is enabled on an assignment.

Turnitin introduced changes in this area just before Christmas but, in response to widespread criticism from HE institutions, made further modifications in mid-January. The way the process works now is definitely an improvement on earlier functionality, and hopefully the information provided below will continue to be accurate for the foreseeable future.

How to download papers from a Turnitin assignment: see our guide Downloading files from Turnitin.

Assignments where anonymity is not enabled

When you download the original files submitted by students, these will be saved in a zip file labelled turnitinuk_original_bulk_download.zip

Open the zip file and you will see that the filenames of the downloaded papers have been prefixed with Firstname_Lastname.

Papers downloaded from Turnitin

Papers downloaded from Turnitin

This enables you easily to match submitted work with the individual student.

Assignments where anonymity is enabled

When you download the original files submitted by students, these will be saved in a zip file labelled turnitinuk_original_bulk_download.zip

Open the zip file and you will see that the filenames of the downloaded papers have been prefixed with an 8-digit number – this corresponds to the Paper ID visible in the Turnitin Inbox.

Papers downloaded from Turnitin - anonymity turned on

Papers downloaded from Turnitin – anonymity turned on

Prior to December 2015, it was not possible to download papers from an anonymous assignment. Now you can download student papers, but anonymity is preserved.

Once the Post Date has passed – meaning that anonymity is removed – downloaded files will show the authors’ names.

Papers downloaded from Turnitin - Anonymous assignment after the Post Date

Papers downloaded from Turnitin – Anonymous assignment after the Post Date

FIXED Attaching feedback files on Turnitin assignments – avoid spaces in filenames

This issue has now been resolved: see Latest Turnitin connector installed 18th Feb 2016

 

The issue in a nutshell

  • If you are using the Blackboard Grade Centre to attach feedback files to Turnitin Assignments, you are advised to avoid spaces in the filenames of the documents that you upload.
  • Files with spaces in the name are currently inaccessible to staff via the Grade Centre.
  • Files with spaces in the name cannot be deleted if it needs to be replaced using the ‘Remove’ button.
  • This issue does not appear to affect student access to the feedback files.

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Turnitin changes

This post contains news of two recent changes in Turnitin functionality.

Deleting Turnitin assignments

We have updated the connector which links our Blackboard system to Turnitin.

As well as minor improvements and bug fixes, this introduces one new piece of functionality: the ability to delete Turnitin assignments from the Control Panel.

This will be particularly useful on courses where – probably as a result of course copying in the past – you can see redundant Turnitin assignments listed in the staff view which are not visible to students, or in the Blackboard Grade Centre.

To delete a Turnitin assignment

Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments

You will see a list of all the Turnitin assignments on the course.

On the right-hand side, for each assignment you will see a Delete Assignment button.

Delete Turnitin assignment

When you click on Delete Assignment you will see a warning message – press OK to confirm the assignment deletion.

Delete Turnitin assignment - warning message

A success message will be displayed .

Assignment successfully deleted

Image updated 26/02/2016 following minor Turnitin updates

 

Warning

If you are in any doubt at all – do not delete a Turnitin assignment!

On some courses, you may have what appear to be duplicate assignments.

Before deleting an assignment

  • go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments
  • click on the link to go into the assignment
  • if there are student submissions – do not delete the assignment
  • if you are sure this is a redundant assignment, click on the Edit assignment tab
    Edit Turnitin assignment
  • then edit the assignment name – append OLD or DELETE to the name.
  • now, when you go back to the (possibly very long) list of assignments on your course, you will easily be able to identify which assignment(s) to delete.

 

Downloading papers

As part of Turnitin maintenance just before Christmas, changes were made to the way staff can download papers from the Turnitin inbox.

  1. You can now download papers from the Turnitin inbox, even if Anonymous Marking is switched on.
  2. When you download a papers in this way, students’ names are no longer appended to the filename of the downloaded papers.
    This is the case even on assignments where Anonymous Marking has not been enabled – the result is that it is very difficult to match downloaded papers with the students who submitted them.

Please note, Turnitin have received a great deal of criticism about the way this change was implemented, and our understanding is that the changes may well be reversed in the near future- we will post any updates here.

Update 26/02/2016: improvements have now been made – see Downloading student papers from Turnitin