Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Canvas Turnitin Assignment


Turnitin is an cloud service that enables instructors to assess the originality of student submissions. Turnitin can be used as a deterrent and instructional tool for students. The Canvas Turnitin app allows instructors to create Turnitin Assignments in their courses and assess student submissions without having to leave their course environment. 

Integrating the new Turnitin app (replacing the old Turnitin ANGEL plug-in) and implementing it in Canvas requires a different process as explained below.  


When creating a regular Canvas assignment (no Turnitin) in which students submit documents online (and not on paper) then choose Submission Type = Online. For Turnitin assignments you will need to choose Submission Type = External Tool as explained below.

  • Add a Canvas assignment
  • Give the assignment a name (tip: append the name with something like TII so you know that the assignment is using Turnitin)
  • Set the Due date and Points that the assignment is worth
  • If there is a More Options button click to expand the choices. Otherwise scroll down to Submission Type. 

  • To the right of Submission Type choose External Tool and follow the steps below. 
  • Click the Save button. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Published vs. Unpublished Courses

By default all new courses are unpublished. Although students are enrolled in these courses they can never access them in an unpublished state.

  • An unpublished course is like a house with the front door locked. You are the only one that can get inside and do things.  
  • The Canvas term start date for students is the week before classes begin. 
  • Thus students cannot access your course until you Publish the course AND the Monday before classes has begun. These two conditions are required before you can send Canvas messages to your students. You can of course communicate to your students through or by Gmail. 
  • However, you are under no obligation to Publish courses the week before and in fact can Publish them later such as the first week of classes. (Students, though, may persist in asking when their courses will be available.)
  • In unpublished courses you as the Canvas Teacher can freely add materials and interact with the course without worry that students can see your ongoing work. 
  • Because the Test Student (Settings > Student View) works in Unpublished courses you can test access to your materials (e.g. modules, assignments, discussions) before the course is Published. See What is Student View: and How to Enable Student View:
  • Modules and items within modules need to be published for students to access them (once the course is published). Extending the analogy, modules are like rooms in a house. The rooms need to be opened (module and items published) for students to access them