Turnitin Roadshow: a rough and ready live-blog post

Notes from Turnitin Academic Integrity Roadshow held at King’s College London on Monday, 5th of February.

----Event start: 13.30-----

Marc Daubach, Corporate VP International – Introduction

  • Reflecting on changes over the last three years since the change in ownership.
  • The International company was run as a separate company. Daubach has worked on integrating the parts of the company since he started.
  • They analysed the company for 6 months and they realised that the company had become a victim of its own success – there was a difference in perception of the quality of the product. He identified that this was to do with onsite onboarding of the product and that the product was not well supported centrally.
  • Work has been done to centralise support and improve customer service.
  • Specific partnerships: Integrations
    • Working with LMS vendors in order have stronger integrations
    • Partnering with Jisc for learning analytics
    • Workflows – working with universities to understand different workflows. Will be looking for further collaboration to validate marking workflows

----15.45 - second presentation----

  • Winter release of Turnitin Feedback Studio – live as of 16th of Jan, 2017
    1. Mentioned the change to the number of submissions (3) for the instantaneous production of similarity reports.
    2. Mention that class stats are back on the class homepage – FJM: although this is still not easily accessible for integration users.
    3. QuickMark Sets were added

Lots of examples of formative additions.

  • MoSS (Measure of Software Similarity): Looking at software similarity and bringing a programming code analysis product to the market
  • Outline of contract cheating (ghost written) – where work is written by others as pay-per-paper
  • Looking at the production of an Authorship tool.
    1. ‘Prediction whether a doc was written by a given author’
    2. ‘Summary of important findings for multiple docs; easy to understand’
    3. ‘Style difference and other factors provide concrete evidence’
  • The timeline of Turnitin:
    • 1998: copy-paste plagiarism checking
    • 2005: tackling collusion
    • 2007: research misconduct
    • 2018: looking to address contract cheating
    • 2018: code plagiarism
  • Improvements list:
    • Better service is promised
    • Reliability
    • Rolling out more languages
    • Better integration and LTI changes to workflow
    • The winter release, as already outlined
  • Code-word for ongoing work is Redwood for the new platform (in year 2 of a 4 year investment and development plan).
    • International launch towards the end of 2018
    • A new web-viewer is mentioned with better accessibility

New capabilities coming in 2018

  • New version of originality check
  • Code check
  • API
  • New integration framework
  • Privacy – GDPR – says that they will be fully compliant and ready. Going through soc2 compliance. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is SOC 2 compliant (if you are wondering what that means here is an example: https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/soc-faqs/)
  • The web viewer is apparently now accessible with screen readers
  • Redwood platform is really specific to the core service:
    • How suspicious is this piece of writing? – This is what their scale is based on in the forthcoming authorship tool, which will be surfaced in some way within the Feedback Studio interface.
    • The Authorship tool will look at the document metadata
    • Editing time is a firm indicator of a ghost written file.¬†FJM: they are essentially examining the ‘properties’ of the file as one would find in Microsoft Word.

In the code checking service the instructor is able to upload the base file and exclude that from the match report.

Their values as outlined and to summarise:

  • define policy
  • raise awareness
  • educate
  • protect your [institutional] values


Dr Cath Ellis – UNSW Sydney

Provides an overview of the contract cheating scandal that took place in Australia.

Talks all about the different sources for contract cheating. This has been something that she has looked at in her research.

For further information…

Ellis, C., Zucker, I.M. and Randall, D. (2018) The infernal business of contract cheating: Understanding the business processes and models of academic custom writing sites. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14(1), p.1. Available at: https://edintegrity.springeropen.com/articles/10.1007/s40979-017-0024-3 [Accessed: 5 February 2017].


Integrations development

  • Improved testing precedures
  • A new grade/score callback

Working on 3 key areas:

  • Canvas Plagiarism Framework integration is in BETA.
  • Blackboard Ultra is coming.
  • Moodle Direct v2

Observation: the Turnitin assignment creation tool in Canvas in tandem with canvas tools allows for group assignments.


  • Two routes for customers moving to Bb Ultra – original course navigation vs Ultra course navigation – original course navigation will allow the use of Turnitin but the new Ultra course navigation will not.
  • Blackboard are promoting LTI as the main integration route
    • Roster sync (including student drop)
    • Grade passback from Turnitin to Blackboard Grade Centre
    • Improved assignment creation flows, single screen setup
  • The full LTI workflow is completely accessible with text-to-speech

Next steps:

  • Continue work for delegate/group marking, course copy, calendar events;
  • Continue research and validation with their Bb customers;
  • Formally launch solution for Ultra course navigation over Summer 2018.
Moodle Announcements
  • Deprecation plans have started and the Moodle migration available for customers who still have version 1 of the plugin
  • Dropping support for older Moodle plugins
  • Introducing Roster Sync

Question in the room: where is LTI at? There is no parity of experience when there is no central plugin.

Answer: As Blackboard are saying no third-party plugins in Ultra. With Blackboard and Moodle it has to be a plugin – this is to improve the features that you have. Whereas the LTI is used with other VLE vendors.

Other notes…

  • There was no mention of the issues with saving QuickMarks which was reported during week beginning 29/01/18.
  • There was no mention of the issues with the iPad app or what the plans are for ongoing support of the iPad app.
  • There was answer to the longterm plans for the information from Turnitin UserVoice, which seems to have disappeared. It seemed that those in attendance from Turnitin did not like UserVoice as a tool, but it is not clear how/if the user feedback from the tool will be retained or used in the future.

[Note: Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to catch all of the presenter’s names.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.