How to set up Turnitin Assignments

The following article explains the process of creating a Turnitin assignment, which allows students to submit their work to a digital dropbox for marking and the generation of Turnitin similarity reports. All written assessments must be checked through Turnitin similarity reports before grading.

Educative approach to academic integrity and Turnitin

At Southern Cross University, students must ensure that they have correctly cited all sources as part of our academic integrity policy. As part of our educative approach, students are encouraged to use Turnitin similarity reports as a learning tool to support their understanding of academic integrity.

To enable students to use Turnitin as a learning tool it is important to: 

  • Make the assessment Start date (when Turnitin becomes available) to at least 2 weeks before the assignment Due date. 
  • Use settings that allow students to access their similarity reports immediately and continue to submit work until the due date. 
  • Talk to your students about similarity checking and how to practice academic integrity in your unit or discipline. 

There are excellent student support resources on Turnitin and academic integrity available from the Student Learning Zone. 

Turnitin links copied from a previous site

For Turnitin links that are copied into a unit site from a previous site, it is important to communicate to students that they will need to access their feedback through the Turnitin portal link, as a hyperlink will not be available through "Grades and Feedback".

Video: setting up a Turnitin Assignment

This video covers the end-to-end process of setting up an assignment in Turnitin, including all setting preferences.

  1. Start by logging into the unit learning site in MySCU.
  2. Locate the Assessment Tasks and Submission area, from the site menu on the left side of the screen.
  3. Open an existing assessment folder, or create a new folder to contain the Blackboard assignment link and task instructions.
  4. Inside this folder, click on Build Content and choose Turnitin Assignment (LTI).

  5. Enter a Name for the assignment and provide Instructions for submitting the assignment.
  6. Ensure that the Max Grade is set to the assessment weighting for the unit.

    For draft portals

    If you are setting up a draft Turnitin portal, set the Max Grade to zero (0).

  7. Check the Start Date, Due date, and Feedback Release Date are set correctly using the date format YYYY-DD-MM, 24 hour time, and AEST time zone.

    Setting assessment due dates

    In accordance with the SCU assessment policy, the assessment due date should normally be set on a Monday at 11:59 PM (23:59) AEST (NSW time). See the Assessment, Teaching and Learning Procedures for more details.

    Setting the Feedback Release Date

    Students can view their rubric and feedback AFTER the Feedback Release Date has passed. Ensure that this date is set after all marking will be completed, otherwise, students' grades and feedback may be visible while you are still marking.

    Note that you always can edit the feedback release date option if you are ready to release the feedback earlier than planned.

  8. Open the Optional Settings by clicking on the heading, and carefully check your Submission & Similarity Report settings. Below are the recommended settings:

    Turnitin SettingDescriptionRecommended Setting

    Submit papers to

    Whether the paper is stored in a database or not

    Standard paper repository” for summative assignments.

    "No repository" for draft assessment portals.

    Allow submission of any file type

    Allows submission of non-standard file types


    Allow late submissions

    Allows submissions after the due date: only when no submission has been made.


    Enable Translated Matching

    Text-matching for non-English writing


    Enable grammar checking using ETS® e-rater® technology

    Gives an overview of writing/ grammar in the Feedback Studio

    💭 Depends on whether this is appropriate to the assessment task being graded

    Attach a rubric

    Attaches a rubric for use in the feedback studio

    ✔️ Assessment rubric is normally used for all written work

    Compare against

    Select which mediums should be checked against for the similarity score

    ✔️ Select all

    Generate Similarity Reports for student submission

    Controls whether students can resubmit, and the frequency of similarity score generation

    Generate reports immediately (can resubmit until due date)

    Allow students to view Similarity Reports

    Controls whether students can view the similarity report

    ✔️ This is mandated by Academic Integrity policy


    ·       bibliographic materials

    ·       quoted materials

    ·       small sources

    Selects whether to exclude components from the similarity score.

    This setting is not always accurate.

    Exclude assignment template

    Excludes text from a template from the similarity score

    💭 Enable when students must use a particular template/cover sheet

    Save these settings for future use

    Saves pre-sets for ‘optional settings’ to speed up assignment creation


    Allow resubmissions!

    The optional settings provided under the heading Similarity Report support enable students to use Turnitin as an editing tool, and improve the use of sources in their writing. Make sure you allow students to resubmit by choosing Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date) for the option The default option (Generate reports immediately) does not allow resubmissions, whereas the other two options do allow for student resubmissions.  Similarity reports will be generated within 2-5 minutes the first three times the student submits work through the Turnitin assignment drop-box. However, on the fourth and subsequent submissions, it will take up to 24 hours for the report to be created. 

  9. To upload a digital rubric for grading using Turnitin Feedback Studio, select Launch Rubric Manager under optional settings. See the article on creating a Turnitin rubric for more details about this process.

    Rubrics and Turnitin Assignments

    Written work submitted at Southern Cross University is normally graded against a rubric following the Recommendations and guidance for writing rubrics.

    If you are using Turnitin only for its text-matching capabilities, and do not want to use it for grading or feedback, you can attach a Blackboard rubric to the Turnitin assignment column in grade centre after the assignment has been created. Ensure that Turnitin does not include a rubric in this case, to avoid student confusion.

  10. Once you're happy with your settings select Submit, and you will be taken back to the Blackboard learning site.

Checking Grade Center

After you finish setting up your assignment, don't forget to jump into the Grade Centre and check the Running Total and Column Visibility. By default, Turnitin assessment columns are visible to students. It is recommended to hide the column until you are finished grading and providing feedback.

Hide Marking and Feedback from Students

 In the Grade Centre, click on the appropriate column and select "Hide from students (on/off)". Hidden columns are denoted with a grey circle with a red line through (). You can also change the way the grade is displayed to students by selecting "Edit Column Information".

Once marking and feedback are ready to publish to students, simply repeat the process to remove the hidden column. You will also need to ensure the Feedback Release Date has passed in the Turnitin Assignment settings.

Editing a Turnitin Assignment

To edit a Turnitin assignment, please see the following article: How to edit a Turnitin Assignment.

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)