Overview: Assignment and Turnitin

The table below compares fair, valid and reliable options including:

  • submission with deadlines
  • ability to hide marking from students until a certain date
  • an offline feedback environment supporting the use of reusable comments and rubrics/marking guides and a numeric mark
  • download submissions to look at without a network connection


What is the capability of the tool, for example is it a standalone assignment; does it provide submission and grading options; does it have an educational purpose such academic integrity?


Text Matching

Assignment submission

OVERVIEW Third party software integrated into LEO as a standalone activity. Core activity in LEO (it does not include text matching reports)
Produces a similarity report (Checks student sources and referencing against the Turnitin database - including electronic text on the internet; published works, commercial databases and assignments previously submitted to Turnitin ACU and external) Able to mark student submissions and add comments or record feedback directly into students Ability to associate a comment with a single criterion, enabling cross referencing
Yes No, Turnitin is a standalone tool it doesn't integrate with LEO assignment.
Turnitin does not support group submissions or individual extensions.
Allows group submission with feedback option for individual groups member or whole group.
Supports multiple files and a range of file types
Supports offline marking
No, not integrated with Turnitin. Yes, allows multiple file submissions, including ePortfolio, Kaltura media, group and individual submission and feedback.
Electronic/online resource to record, store and archive the artifacts of learning and reflection for an individual learner.For more information refer to ePortfolio
No, not integrated with Turnitin. Yes, it can be selected as a submission type and submitted via LEO assignment.

Provides a collaborative space to add and edit content., It could be used for individual or group activities. For more information refer to Wiki
No, not integrated with Turnitin No, standalone LEO activity
Assignment submission type particularly suited to self review and peer assessment review. It is helpful if the teacher or students have some experience using Assignment tool before attempting to use Workshop.
No, not integrated with Turnitin. No, standalone LEO activity

What types of submission does it support for example file types; limit and size of file submissions and accessibility.

Capability Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment

Supported formats

Turnitin generates (similarity reports of the following file types including 20 words or more of selectable text).
  • Microsoft Word (DOC and DOCX) Corel WordPerfect HTML
  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Rich Text format (RFT
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX and PPS)
Any file type can be submitted to a LEO assignment.
Range of Media Turnitin assignment accepts a range of media types if the 'allow any file type' is selected in the assignment settings. Supported image types are:
Yes, only limited by what the assessors can technically open and view, includes submission from ePortfolio if the ePortfolio option is selected in assignment settings.
Maximum file size per submission 100 mb 100mb
Number of separate files Up to 5 parts (1 file per part). Can accept zip files of 40mb up to 20 files
Mobile iPad only for markers Yes

Limited Accessibility support
It is recommended to change the view to 'document view'. There are problems with screen reader's ability to interpret embedded comments.
To access ' document view, open the 'toggle page preview' and press 'tab' on your keyboard. A message will appear 'Navigate to text only Similarity Report'. The option is not available for feedback.

For more information refer to Web-based accessibility features and Accessibility compliance standards.

Ensure feedback file is selected in Assignment settings. Attach a Word document including track changes feedback. Alternatively download a Word copy with track changes and email to student. May not be possible to read PDF with embedded comments
Declaration of originality The student is required to agree to a Declaration of Originality at the beginning of each semester before they access LEO. It is also necessary for students to agree their work is stored in the Turnitin repository before submitting their assignment. A brief digital display of the submission is provided to complete the submission process.
For further information refer to Turnitin privacy and security - legal FAQs
The student is required to agree to a Declaration of Originality at the beginning of each semester before they access LEO.

What operational processes does it support for example submission dates; reminder to non-submitter and allow late submissions or resubmissions after the due date.

Capability Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment
Impose deadlines, prevent editing Yes Yes
Feedback on drafts Provisional
Resubmission overwrites earlier feedback and submission date when student resubmits. For more information about options refer to Allowing resubmissions
advise about settings to avoid resubmission overwriting earlier feedback
Staff follow up for late work Via Turnitin submission inbox and notify non-submitters Yes, individual can be granted extensions or resubmits. Via the Gradebook, individual marks can be released or withheld
Release or withhold marks Yes
Caution - this applies across the whole cohort. It is not possible to release or withhold marks for individual students.For more information about options refer to  Allowing resubmissions
Yes, individual can be grated extensions or resubmits. Via the Gradebook, individual marks can be released or withheld.
Extenuating circumstances/discretionary deadlines for individuals Minimal with workarounds e.g. add students into groups and restrict access. Yes
including ability to set new deadlines for individual students
Allow late submissions Yes
If the student has not submitted before the due date and late submissions are allowed they can submit once. Workarounds for students who have submitted prior to the due date is to delete assignment and then request the student resubmit. For more information about options refer to 'Allowing resubmissions'  
Word count Yes,
Caution - inclusive of everything including coversheet and references
If Word documents opened/downloaded. Word count for online in-text is inclusive of everything or parts can be selected.
Download summary report on speadsheet Yes Yes
Technical issues Students and staff may need to disable their pop-up blockers. Known issue with Feedback studio freezing, possible workaround is to switch to 'classic' view.

How does it support governance; fairness and ethics? For example print/download, moderation/multiple markers, notify or retain copy of digital receipt.

Capability Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment
Email receipt for students Yes
A on-screen confirmation is displayed to student during submission. A digital receipt is retained in the submission inbox. Caution - depending on user profile settings a receipt may be sent via email.
Depending on user profile settings a receipt may be sent via email.
Blind-marking (student anonymity) No No
Anonymous users No No
Independent marking (multiple markers) Minimal
Workaround necessary to present each marker with clean submissions - e.g. turn off similarity report or Feedback studio comments to review clean copy
Workaround option would be for one marker to download the submissions and view offline from LEO.
Moderating Yes Yes
External examiners Limited
Possible workaround could be to download for external examiners to review offline.
Possible workaround could be to download for external examiners to review offline.
Print/download Yes,
students are able to download a PDF copy of their similarity report and/or feedback. The downloadable file includes the a summary of the report and/or comments as an appendix at the end of the document.
Staff have the option to download individual, selected or all reports.
Attached feedback files can be printed or downloaded. Also PDF files including inline comments.
Selection options include bulk download all original files.
If feedback is entered in the feedback text box this has more limited print options.

What type of support does it provide for marking and feedback? For example sources of unoriginal writing; various types of feedback; share rubrics; check if students have viewed feedback. Ability for markers to mark offline or download original submission files.

Capacity Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment
Grade display Provisional
Grade displayed in submission inbox is always displayed as a number.
Grades can be displayed as a letter, number or percentage in Grades.
It is only possible to add numerical options to marking guides and rubrics.
If the assessor only wants grades displayed in Grades a possible workaround is to leave the grade empty in the Turnitin assignment gradefield and import grades into Grades.

Grade can be changed to number, letter or percentage and displayed to student in Gradebook. However it is only possible to add numerical options to marking guides and rubrics.
For further information about grades refer to Grades

Similarity report (text matching, sources of unoriginal writing) Yes
By default students receive a similarity report each time they submit. Students can resubmit multiple times before the due date. This is to encourage an educational approach and scholarly approach to academic integrity
Caution - similarity matches increase if coversheets or templates are used in the body of the submission.
A possible workaround could be for student to submit via the 'student support' unit https://leo.acu.edu.au/course/view.php?id=1243 to check text matching, referencing, paraphrasing and quoting prior to final submission.
The academic could request students download a copy of the report and submit it to the LEO assignment.
In context (bubble) comments Yes
Type your comments directly into Turnitin using a variety of options, It is also possible to highlight text, add strikethrough text (similar to track changes and link to URL's within the body of the comment.
If the student submits an assignment as a PDF it is possible to use the 'comment inline' functions to add comments. Other options include downloading, marking offline in Word processor, then uploading feedback.
Stored frequently made comments Yes
The ability to create and share multiple 'QuickMark' sets. These are embedded into the individual assignment. Attaches to the individual assessor.
There are limited options to save comments to a quick set or select a colour for a comment box. It is not possible to save into seperate sets or a library of comments or share with others. Attaches to the individual assessor.
Structured marking guide Yes
Called a 'Grading Form'. Weighted criteria, blank space for markers grades and comments for each. Marks can be a number or letter but only numbers can be calculated and applied to the grade field.
Called 'Marking Guide' Accessed via advanced grading, weighted criteria, blank spaces for markers grades and comments for each. Numerical grades calculate and applied to Grades.
Rubric Yes
Marking grid plotting criteria reference statements against levels of achievement. If marks are attached to each level, can calculate a mark and apply to grade field.
Marking grid plotting criteria reference statements against levels of achievement. If marks are attached at each level, can calculate mark and apply to grades.
Rubric viewable by students Yes
However it is easy to miss - students need to be told it exists and where to view it (click on 'view rubric' button in GradeMark
However students need to be told it exists and where to find it. It will not appear in Grades, once assignment link is clicked the grad, feedback and rubrics are viewable to students.
Cross-reference between rubric add comments Some
Markers can associate each comment with a single criterion located in the rubric or 'grading form'. The association displays both in the individual comments and in the rubric (student can filter all comments for a given criterion)
Feedback and freehand drawings No Provisional
If student submits their work as a PDF the comment inline includes circles, rectangles, straight and freehand lines, ticks, crosses and different colours.
See all comments at a glance Yes
Students and tutors, page by page. Includes a scroll option and a quick preview button.
Document using track changes and attached to assignment as feedback. Also if student submits PDF, the comment inline provides a page by page scroll option.
Symbols as feedback Limited
Workarounds include comment boxes with hyperlinks, bold, italic text. To limited degree simple text can be copied and pasted into General comments
Inline comment for PDF includes symbols for ticks, crosses, smiley face and free hand drawing. Word document also include symbols and drawing tools that can be incorporated in feedback.
Spoken word feedback Yes
Feedback Studio comments include the option to record 3 min audio
Possible workaround would be to create an audio file and upload as feedback or via Kaltura media.
Feedback as track changes No Yes
If file submission or feedback file is marked in word processing software.
Feedback as video or screen capture No Limited but possible e.g. record video and attach as a file in the feedback.
Check if students have accessed feedback Yes
Submission inbox includes a review icon to indicate whether a student has opened the assignment after grading is released (e.g. Post date)
In a more round about way than Turnitin. For more information refer to report logs.
Offline marking Yes (with iPad)
If you use Turnitin Apple iPad app you can mark offline and sync marks back to Turnitin. For more information about the Turnitin iPad app refer to Turnitin feedback studio for iPad.iPad users, be aware that because syncing overwrites data, multiple markers need to coordinate with extreme caution.
Alternatively you can download the submission and read offline unlike assignment there is no upload files with track changes option available in Turnitin.
Bulk download submissions with mark sheet. You can also bulk download marked submissions (including track changes).
Bulk download Yes
Possible to download or print individual report or Feedback Studio. It is also possible to select and bulk download specific students, filter for groups or the whole class.
Caution - If too many assignments are downloaded at once this process may crash or time out.
Possible to select individual or specific students or download the whole class.
Caution - these files take time to generate a zip file. Too big and the process may time out.

What options does the assignment offer for group work for example submitting a single piece of work on behalf of group; providing feedback for the group or members of a group?

Capability Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment
Apply groups to an assignment Limited
i.e. allocate marker to pre-existing groups such as tutorial direct groups. Use restrict access to release to groups.
Caution - students are only able to submit as individuals, Turnitin does not allow group submission.
Assignment include 'group submission settings' that allow students to submit a group assignment, the includes how the assignment will be submitted by the group and provide feedback to the whole group or individuals within a group.
Markers need to create pre-existing groups e.g. via tutorial direct groups. Groups can also be used to restrict access or release assignments to specific groups.
Collaboration on a single piece of work No
Turnitin does not provide an editing environment for group collaboration - consider using ePortfolio or a Wiki instead for this type of activity.
Assignment does not provide an editing environment for group collaboration - consider using ePortfolio or a Wiki instead for this type of activity.
Submit single piece of work on behalf of group No
Currently every submission is attributable to an individual only.
Group submission are included as an option in the LEO assignment settings. Requires setting up student groups.
Differentiate between individual contribution within a group N/A Consider using ePortfolio or Wiki Limited
If the group submission option is selected, the marker/lecturer is able to view which files were submitted by which student. Consider using a Wiki if tracking how students collaborate and edit a document together.

What options does the assignment offer for self or peer assessment? For example to setup tasks where students can evaluate their own work or/and the work of other students.

Capability Turnitin (stand alone) assignment LEO assignment
Peer review/assessment Yes, Use Turnitin Peer Review (this can be selected and attached to the Turnitin assignment via the Turnitin submission inbox. Click on the 'green cog' icon to create, the 'green page' icon to review.
PeerMark does not provide the option for self evaluation.
Use the Workshop or Turnitin for peer review activities.
The Workshop activity tool allows for self evaluation of own work or the work of other students.


Comparing Moodle Assignment and Turnitin, Retrieved from:https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/display/MoodleResourceCentre/Comparing+Moodle+Assignment+and+Turnitin [Accessed 08/12/2017].

Yu, Fu, Y.., Wu, C. P  (2011). Different identity revelation modes in online peer assessment learning environment. Effects on perceptions towards assessors, classroom climate and learning activities, in Computers and education journal, v.57, no 3. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.05.012 [Accessed 01/12/2017].

Douglas, T (et al)  (2016), The feedback process: Perspectives of first and second year undergraduate students in the disciplines of education, health science and nursing.in Journal of Learning and Teaching Practice v.13, iss 1 Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol13/iss1/3/

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