Turnitin: issues downloading individual/bulk original file format

9 April – ongoing

There is currently an issue when users attempt to request individual or bulk download of the ‘original file’ format from an anonymous submission point. When the download is triggered, the following message is shown onscreen, “there was an error processing your request”.

This means that there is not a solution for downloading original paper formats (e.g., Word, PDF, PPTX format) at this time. A ticket has been logged with Turnitin.


A workaround is to place a piece of annotation on the paper and then download the Grademark papers individually or in bulk, if you require PDF format for marking purposes.

Screenshot of a simulated Turnitin Submission Point with an error message show at the top of the screen when attempting to download the 'original file' papers

Screenshot of the error message shown in a Turnitin inbox as indicated by the purple arrow

Turnitin News – 22 October 2018

Turnitin Service was unavailable from 09.37-14.36 – Resolved and confirmed at 15.27

Students and staff cited issues accessing TurnitinUK services this morning for the purposes of eSubmission, marking and also use of the Turnitin Feedback Studio for iPad app. Upon accessing inboxes and submission areas, users received a ‘503’ error. Turnitin Support resolved the issue and notified us at 15.27 on Monday 22nd October.


Turnitin News – 17th September 2018

Current backlog of submissions – Monday, 17th September 2018:
Turnitin Support have notified us that service access was intermittent starting early this morning. This has been resolved by a fix implemented by their engineers, however as a result they report and we have confirmed that there is currently a backlog of submissions. This means that submissions are taking longer to go through than usual with a reported wait time of 4-5 minutes. This situation should be rectified over the course of the day.

Turnitin News – 25 July 2018

Notice: This issue will affect academic staff and administrative staff who use Turnitin to mark when no submission is present.

On Monday (23/07/18) we reported an issue to Turnitin Support where the option to mark without a submission is no longer available. This issue continues to persist and we have requested an update from Turnitin Support.

How this problem manifests:
From the Turnitin submission inbox when you click on the ‘pencil’ icon in order to mark without a submission, you may initially see a message to confirm that you wish to mark without a submission. After the initial confirmation, the Turnitin Feedback Studio window does not open and each subsequent click on the ‘pencil’ results in a grey loading animated GIF and no further action.

We will update this post as soon as we are notified of a solution. In the meantime if you require an alternative means to mark when no submission is present you can use a manual column in the studentcentral grade centre. If you need to use a rubric with a manual column or require assistance with the use of the studentcentral grade centre tools, please contact your Learning Technologies Adviser.

Instructions for attaching feedback to a manual column: https://staff.brighton.ac.uk/is/learningandteaching/Pages/adding-grades-and-feedback-to-a-column.aspx

Turnitin News – 31 May 2018

RESOLVED – Please synchronise your marking and install the new version of the app (released on 14/06) from the iTunes app store to resolve the issue.

Notice: This issue will affect Turnitin for iPad app users who have installed the app update released to the iTunes app store on 30/05/18

We have been alerted to an issue with the Turnitin for iPad where the ‘information’ or ‘i’ area for a specific student paper is no longer showing submission information. This issue has been encountered by more than one user in more than one submission point. Therefore we suspect that this is a broader issue related to the app update released yesterday. The screenshot below shows how this issue will display in the app. Turnitin Support have been notified of this issue.

Recommendation: If you have not yet updated, please do not update the app until further notice. Although no issues with the upload of marks have been reported to us at this time the app should be considered as ‘AT RISK’. As a result we advise that you continue your marking on a computer as a precaution.

For more information about using the app and our recommendations related to Turnitin for iPad updates refer to our guidance page: https://staff.brighton.ac.uk/is/learningandteaching/Pages/Turnitin/Marking-with-the-Turnitin-app.aspx

Turnitin app screenshot image


Turnitin News – Supplemental: Sync between Turnitin and Grade Centre

Update: Please note that issues adding submissions to the Turnitin Feedback Studio app for iPad directly via Safari web browser have been resolved. Please see the previous Turnitin News March Addendum post for details.

Current Issues affecting Turnitin Feedback Studio and the Turnitin/Blackboard Integration

We have detected issues with the syncing of grades between Turnitin and the studentcentral grade centre. If you are involved in marking students work using Turnitin, or involved in the administration of grades between Studentcentral and CAMS, please read on.

When a tutor marks and grades a script in Turnitin, this grade is sent to the studentcentral grade centre. It is from here that school offices download grades ready for importing into CAMS. We have identified that this ‘syncing’ of grades between the two systems is not happening automatically as expected.

We advise that all tutors should manually ‘sync grades’ once grading is complete, to ensure the studentcentral grade centre receives the up to date grades. Any subsequent changes to marks in Turnitin should be followed with a ‘sync grades’. This will ensure school offices receive the correct grades for students work.

To manually ‘sync grades’

  • Within a Studentcentral module, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments
  • You will see a list of Turnitin assignments. The sync grades button is located on the right side of the screen. You will need to ‘sync’ for each submission point you are marking

    screenshot showing sync grades

Turnitin News: 31st of January 2018 QuickMarks Error

Several staff members have reported seeing an error code when using QuickMarks in the Turnitin Feedback Studio. After the error code is dismissed the Feedback Studio window is subsequently frozen. This is an intermittent issue and when it occurs the only way to resolve it is to close the Feedback Studio window and then re-open the submission again from the inbox.

This issue is affecting several universities and the eLearning team have reported the problem to Turnitin Support.

Please note: this issue has been reported in all major web browsers (IE/Firefox/Chrome/Safari) on both PC and Mac. No reports have been received relating to the use of QuickMarks in the Feedback Studio for iPad app.

Screenshot image showing the error message
How the error looks onscreen

While we await the resolution of this issue, if you encounter this problem, please send the following information to the Service Desk via email.

  1. Which web browser were you using at the time?
  2. What type of computer were you working on? E.g. PC or Mac, at work or at home.
  3. Which module was it? E.g. module code and semester (if applicable)
  4. Which submission point was it? The name of the Turnitin submission point.
  5. What date/time did the problem occur?
  6. [Optional] a screenshot can help to provide evidence for Turnitin Support

Turnitin News August – Update on 1st of August at 6pm GMT

On the 1st of August 2017 at around 6pm GMT the document viewer in Turnitin, which is currently where essays are reviewed and marked, will be upgraded to the new Feedback Studio. This change will be implemented across the UK, some British HEIs have moved to the Feedback Studio already, as have HEIs in the United States.

For full details of this change, please visit the eLearning Team Blog where you can read a summary of the changes and view a before-and-after comparison video: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/elearningteam/2017/03/30/turnitin-update-aug/

Technical FAQs:

  • Any submission points created prior to the update will transition over, they do not need to be recreated.
  • If some student assignments are marked in the current version, then they can be picked up and moderated in the new version without issue.
  • If QuickMarks are applied to a paper in the current version they will be viewable and editable in the new version they just won’t feature the marker’s initials as they were created prior to that feature being available.
  • The way that students submit to Turnitin via studentcentral will not change.
  • The way that staff create submission points/inboxes and mark work will not change.
  • The route by which students get to their eFeedback in Turnitin via My Grades will not change.
  • Changes for the most part are limited to visual improvements and mobile compatibilty for students. See this blog post for more details.
  • The option to generate a code for the Turnitin for iPad app will be available via the information “(i)” button on the right after the upgrade.

Turnitin will be unavailable from 3pm-9pm on Saturday 5th August

Turnitin have advised us that they will be carrying out maintenance on the service on Saturday 5th August, from 3-9pm. The service will be completely unavailable during this maintenance window (including the Turnitin for iPad app), and we therefore recommend avoiding scheduling submission deadlines to fall within this period.

Tii News: July/August 2016

05/08/16: Turnitin Scheduled Maintenance on Saturday, 20th August from 3pm – 7pm

Turnitin has informed us that scheduled maintenance will take place on Saturday, 20th of August from 3pm – 7pm GMT. We recommend that you avoid scheduling any submission deadlines to fall during this period. TurnitinUK may be temporarily unavailable to users during that time.

Turnitin Building Block Upgrade this week

This week we are upgrading the version of Turnitin that we use through integration with studentcentral. This is a minor update, but based on testing there are a few improvements to report. This upgrade was confirmed as complete on the morning of Friday, 5th of August, 2016.

Grade Centre Column Visibility for Anonymous Submissions

In May it was reported that Turnitin was not automatically making the associated Grade Centre column visible to students on the post date. This was communicated broadly on 23rd May. After in-depth investigation by Turnitin support and myself this issue was later localised to anonymous submission points specifically. Normal submission points were and are revealing the marks and associated column as expected. Based on tests of the new version of Turnitin, this issue is now resolved for anonymous submission points. The associated Grade Centre column will become visible within 30mins of the post date passing.hideshowimg

Please note: if manual changes are made to the column visibility then the automatic availability will be overuled and the column will need to be manually made visible to students using the “Hide from Students (on/off)” option.

The Turnitin “…by Group” tool

The Turnitin “View Assignments by Group” tool now has the grade column included. This is a tool that is essentially part of studentcentral but interacts/pulls information for the Turnitin submission point and filters it by groups which have been previously setup in studentcentral. The inclusion of the Grade Column has been requested for a while as it will enable markers to keep track of which papers have been marked more easily as there was no indication of this in the prior view. Unfortunately, folks who use anonymous marking who have requested this most will not benefit as the marks are omitted from both the Grade Centre and the “…by Group” tool until the post date has passed in order to maintain anonymity. I will keep asking if improvements can be made to this tool, such as a way to manually indicate which papers in the list have been completed.
assignments by group

02/08/16: deleted submission point issue in Turnitin for iPad app

05/08/16 Update: based on testing this issue has been resolved in the Turnitin for iPad app and also the display shown in the class stats display shown in submission points (“hide dropped and deleted” is hiding deleted submission points again).

During scheduled Turnitin testing on Monday, I discovered that the Turnitin for iPad is still displaying submission points that have been deleted. This was reported to Turnitin immediately and is currently being investigated. This is a low risk issue as most deleted submission points are empty. The most common reasons for staff to delete submission points are as follows:

  • the submission point was surplus to needs and had no student submissions in it;
  • the submission point did not produce a student-facing link in the Assessment area of the module due to a login timeout error*;
  • the submission point is a duplicate.

*this is known issue that happens occasionally when a submission point is created after being logged-in to studentcentral for more than 1 hour.

As there is not a visual indication or warning that a submission point is actually deleted and no longer active within the iPad app, there is a small chance that if a deleted submission point contained submissions that a staff person could mark ‘said’ submissions unawares. If that is the case your marking would not sync through to the module-based submission point as expected. If you have any concerns that this may have happened, please contact me, Fiona MacNeill (Falmer LTA) as it is possible to arrange that deleted submission points are reinstated. I will update this post as soon as this issue is resolved.

Tii News: October 2015 – News from the Turnitin User Group

On Friday, 23rd of October I attended the Turnitin User Group in Westminster, London. The event focused on recent organisational changes at Turnitin, as well updates that we can expect in the forthcoming major release, Turnitin Next. Here is a summary of news from the event.

Turnitin Next

Is currently slated for introduction from March 2016 onwards although this may change based on technical conditions. The introduction will be gradual and staff will be allowed to switch between Next and the current version of Turnitin until they are ready to use the new user interface. When I say that the interface is new, it isn’t that new, it is really an update of the current interface; not so different that you won’t recognise it. Here is a sneaky slide image that I took for reference.

Turnitin Next Photo

In the coming months we will have access to a BETA version of Turnitin Next. During this period we may be able to give interested staff access to the BETA (with the option to switch between current and Next). If you are interested in taking part in this testing window, please contact me at: fdotmacneill(at)brighton.ac.uk.

Some tantalising functions mentioned as part of Turnitin Next

Please note: not all these functions will be available in the first release of Next. There will be iterative updates which introduce new functions.

  • The new Evaluation Viewer (this is their terminology, we normally call it the document viewer) this is what you see in the screenshot above. The initial viewer revamp will be for staff, the student version will follow later (estimated 2nd quarter of 2016).
  • A new version of the Assignment Manager (submission inbox etc.) is planned for the first quarter of 2016.
  • Aspirational changes with rough time-frames:
    • Q4 2015: new Service Level Agreement and improved helpdesk, including revamped help materials available at: https://guides.turnitin.com/
    • Q1 2016: grant individual extensions to specific students
    • Q2 2016: coloured marks to allow the identification of multiple markers on a paper
    • Q3 2016: support for decimal and non-integer grades
    • Q4 2016: peer evaluation – the current peer review tool, PeerMark will be superseded by functionality in next
    • Q1 2017: multiple marker delegation and double blind marking support

There is also a new emphasis on accessiblity at Turnitin, with the adoption of a new Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) with the Paciello Group.

Turnitin research areas

Turnitin has acquired a couple of tech companies and associated technologies. They also have plans to research certain areas. Here is a quick summary of their plans over the next year or so.

  • Q4 2015: Turnitin have acquired MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity) a command line tool for detecting code plagiarism. They hope to integrate this into Turnitin eventually, but may release it to the Turnitin community as-is to begin with…Stay tuned!
  • Q1 2016: research/scoping for an android grading app
  • Q1 2016: research/scoping for support of group work in Turnitin Next

Also of interest…
Turnitin have acquired LightSide (Pittsburgh, USA) and their developers who specialise in machine learning technology now work for Turnitin. LightSide have managed to create automated formative efeedback based on analysis of papers that have already been marked. This is currently only available at the Secondary Ed level in the US and is designed as a way to help students to improve their writing over the course of subsequent drafts, with automated efeedback based on set criteria. It is not designed to replace real feedback from intructors but to provide supplementary feedback for the drafting process (which is something that generally would not be marked). I’ll be interested to see where this goes in the future.

iPad app improvements coming soon

Plans include better syncing and improved password/login. They also plan to add Touch ID support in the future and a student viewer iPad app.

Company changes at Turnitin

Since Turnitin was acquired last year by Insight Venture Partners, they have undergone some major structural and staffing changes.

The key things to know are:

  • Insight Venture Partners have brought in new executive leadership and have put in considerable investment.
  • They now have a Director of User Experience Design, Steph Butler. This is a major step in the right direction in terms of making Turnitin products as user-friendly as possible.
  • They have put a lot of work into improving stability.
  • They are working on improving their customer service and communication with customers.
  • They have moved as a company to an Agile development framework, namely Scrum. This model supports the introduction of small changes and improvements, more often, and means that functions will be added to Turnitin products in iterations, called releases.

Finally… I took part in a Straw Poll on our behalf

  • Coloured marks in GradeMark to indicate different markers – I voted yes
  • Bulk data dump – I voted yes – us LTA folks would like to find out how Turnitin is used through use of more accurate statistical data
  • Word counts in Originality Reports
    • voted for a display of the quoted word count as a separate figure
    • voted for the option not to include the quoted words in the final word count, when exclude quotes from originality report is switched on
  • On-the-paper drawn annotation in both the app and the desktop – I voted yes

So hopefully we will see these features in a future release!

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave comments below, if you have questions.