Restoring Deleted Content


Whilst we all try to minimise the number of accidental deletions that can occur across the Learning Platform Suite, we accept that it does happen. Recommended best practice is to avoid deleting items where possible until you have checked whether:
a) it is necessary (could the item be hidden instead?)
b) it impacts other items (if deleting a folder, are you clear that everything inside it will be deleted too?)
c) it is agreed at a wider level (have the module/course team or Leader been consulted?)

The TEL Team can often recover deleted items, however it is not a guarantee and should not be treated as such. Listed below are a few examples which include what to expect and what to include in your request for restoring content to the IT Service Desk. Each request may take up to 5 days to complete, though faster will always be aimed for where possible (note: where raised with a third-party, such as Turnitin, the request may take longer to fulfill).

Blackboard – Content Item/Folder Deleted

If an item or folder (not containing Turnitin Assignments, see below section) has been deleted, the TEL Team are able restore from archives that are generated on a daily basis (in most cases and for a module in the current academic year) and which are only kept for 30 days at a time. Please consider first if the item can be re-uploaded, for example if it was a file, which would be quicker. If not, then please include the following in an email to the IT Service Desk:
Blackboard Module Name (e.g. 2022-23 (Advent) Biology 101)
Name and original location of the item/folder deleted

The TEL Team will restore a version of the module as a separate site and then copy the item over. If it is not clear what item needs copying, or if multiple items need copying, the requestor will be added as the sole enrollee on the site and asked to review/copy for themselves. Once complete, the requestor should confirm that the separate site is no longer needed and the TEL Team will remove it from the live system.

Turnitin – Submission/Paper Deleted

If a submission/paper is deleted from Turnitin, the TEL Team are able to request a restoration from Turnitin’s own support team. So long as a submission has gone into Turnitin’s wider database, Turnitin Support are able to retrieve it and re-add it to the relevant Turnitin Assignment from where it was deleted.

Please include the following in an email to the IT Service Desk:
Blackboard Module Name (e.g. 2022-23 (Advent) Biology 101)
Turnitin Assignment Name (e.g. Final Submission – Assessment 1)
Student Name

Submissions that have been marked will restore with their mark and feedback.
The TEL Team will liaise with Turnitin Support to have the submission restored as soon as possible.

Turnitin – Assignment Deleted

If a whole Turnitin Assignment is deleted (including all of the submissions to it), this can be trickier so our recommendation is not to delete Assignments unless there is a need. If this does happen, the TEL Team are able to request a restoration from Turnitin’s own support team by way of ‘moving’ the papers.

Assignments cannot be re-added as they were, so to facilitate this the TEL Team will need to create a new Assignment into which the deleted papers will be moved to by Turnitin Support. Once created, the TEL Team will ask the requestor if a rubric had been used on the original Assignment and, if so, ask that the same one be attached to the newly created Assignment*; if the same rubric is not attached and was used for marking previously, rubric scores will be lost when the papers are moved.

Please include the following in an email to the IT Service Desk:
Blackboard Module Name (e.g. 2022-23 (Advent) Biology 101)
Turnitin Assignment Name (e.g. Final Submission – Assessment 1)

* Note: the TEL Team do not have access to rubrics as they belong to individuals. It is the responsibility of the requestor to attach the rubric to the new Assignment or co-ordinate the rubric owner doing so. If the wrong rubric, or no rubric, is attached and approved to go ahead with the move, neither the TEL Team nor Turnitin Support will be able to retrieve the previous rubric scores on the papers.

How to set-up a Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard Original using the newer standard of integration called LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability)

All modules and courses created prior to 2022/23 have the Blackboard ‘Original’ look-and-feel and used an older version of Turnitin called the “Blackboard Basic Building Block”. This method of setting up Turnitin Assignments was no longer possible from late October 2022.

If you need to set up Turnitin Assignments (submission points) in Blackboard ‘Original’ modules and courses for trail and progress students or where the module or course has a longer period of study, the new Turnitin LTI version is available to use on the Blackboard ‘Original’ modules and courses and can be set up in the following way:

  • Within your Original Blackboard site navigate to the Assessments area and relevant sub-folder
  • Select Build Content and from the drop-down menu select Turnitin [2022-23 onwards]
screen image showing the new LTI Turnitin option in Original Blackboard

You can now follow the guidance given from Step 4 for setting up Turnitin Assignments in Blackboard Ultra, (this will open in a new window). Once the Assignment has been built there are a couple of additional steps required, see below.

Additional Steps

Once the Turnitin Submission point has been created there are a couple of additional steps required please see below or view this short (01:05mins) screencast : New Turnitin on Old (Original) Blackboard setup extras

  • Adaptive Release
  • Visibility to students
screen image showing a new Turnitin submission point on an Original Blackboard

To remove the Adaptive Release simply use the drop-down option next to the title of the submission point and select Adaptive Release and remove the tick from the Display after date field and then select Submit.

screen image showing the check box next to the Display After date field

To ensure that students do not have an early visibility of their marks or feedback, select the drop-down next to the tile of the submission point and select Edit. Ensure the Visibility to Students is set to No and then select Submit.

screen image highlighting the visibility to students check which needs to be set to no

To double check that the marks and feedback will not be released by Blackboard early open the Full Grade Centre and check that the column heading has the column not visible to students symbol next to it:

screen image showing the not visible to students symbol

Once the Feedback Release date has passed, the student will be able to access their feedback and mark by selecting the submission point and viewing their submission. It will not appear in the students Marks screen until the column is made visible to students via the Full Grade Centre.

Deleting a Marking Grid / Rubric from the Turnitin library

Marking Grids / Rubrics need to be imported into your Turnitin Rubric Manager before they can be attached to a Turnitin Assignment. Once attached these cannot later be deleted from your Rubric Manager library, unless they are first ‘detached’ from the Turnitin Assignment.

NOTE: If you or another marker has already marked any submission against the existing attached Rubric or linked feedback/bubble comments to any criteria against the existing Rubric this will be lost when you detach it from the Turnitin Assignment.

However, if the Rubric has not been attached to an Assignment it can be deleted from your Turnitin Rubric Manager library.

  • Navigate to any Turnitin Assignment inbox
  • Select the ‘cog’ settings icon from the top right-hand corner
screen image highlighting the settings cog in a Turnitin Assignment inbox

  • Select Optional Settings
screen image showing the optional settings icon
  • Scroll down the page a little way and select Launch Rubric Manager
  • If this is not visible then select the check box next to Attach a rubric
screen image showing where the launch rubric manager is

  • This opens the Rubric Manager
screen image of the rubric manager window displaying the menu drop-down

  • Select the menu icon from the top left-hand corner to see the lists of marking grids / rubric already existing in your library
  • Click on the name of the rubric you wish to delete so that it is displayed in the rubric manager window
  • Select the menu icon again, if the delete this rubric option is greyed out (as in the above image) then you are unable to delete it because it is attached to a Turnitin Assignment
  • If the delete this rubric option is not greyed out (as in the image below) then select this
screen image showing the delete this rubric option available from the rubric manager

  • A further window will open, select Yes if you are sure that you wish to delete this rubric from your Rubric Manager
screen image showing the are you sure window
  • Closing the Rubric Manager window returns you back to the Turnitin Assignment settings, scroll to the bottom of this screen and select Submit

Attaching a Marking Grid / Rubric to a Turnitin Assignment

There are two ways to attach a marking grid to a Turnitin Assignment:

  1. When setting up a Turnitin submission point, or after set-up but before students submit any scripts: Attaching a marking grid to an empty Turnitin Assignment
  2. Or once students have submitted to a Turnitin submission point via Feedback Studio: Marking grid for Turnitin in Ultra

Downloading Submissions from Turnitin

To download and archive papers from a Turnitin Assignment (submission point), navigate and open the necessary Turnitin Assignment Inbox.

If you wish to only download specific submissions, select the check box next to the Author(s) name, if you wish to download all submissions, select the check box next to the title Author column heading.

Next select Download All to view the drop-down menu:

Screen image of the Assignment Inbox with Download ALl selected to view the drop-down menu.

Downloading Original Submissions

  • Select Original Files from the drop-down menu.
  • A ZIP file will download to your downloads area of your PC.

Downloading Submissions with e-Feedback

  • Select GradeMark PDF’s from the drop-down menu.
  • A message will appear informing you that this might take a little while and that a notifications message will appear when ready:
Screen image of the bulk download message that appears

  • After a little while return to the Assignment Inbox
  • A small red dot should appear next to the Notifications icon:
screen image of the notifications icon in a Turnitin Assignment inbox

  • Select the Notification icon to view the message.
  • Click on the message to expand it:
screen image of the notifications message in Turnitin

  • Select the .ZIP link within the message
  • The ZIP file will download to your downloads area of your PC.

Check the Downloaded Submissions

Note: please ensure you check a few of the files once downloaded to ensure that the operation has completed successfully.

If you need to download submissions to a Turnitin Assignment (pre October 2022) from an Original Blackboard please contact a member of the TEL Team or visit one of our Lunchtime Surgeries (Monday to Friday between 1 and 2pm).

Turnitin Feedback and Marks in Blackboard Ultra

This section describes the types of feedback that can be added using Turnitin and contains advice for markers as a set of important considerations before adding feedback to students’ work using Turnitin. These include selecting the types of Turnitin feedback to use and managing the release of feedback to students in the context of the standardised University Turnitin set-up, the need to download and archive feedback for retention purposes and some limitations and risks involved in using Turnitin for feedback.

If you are new to providing feedback through Turnitin we would recommend that you start with the Important Considerations before adding Feedback section.

Adding Feedback and Marks to Turnitin submissions on Blackboard Ultra

A number of feedback options are available in Turnitin depending on the needs of the assessment. Below are a list of links to the different types of feedback and how to add them to a paper that you have opened for marking.

Access the relevant Turnitin Assignment and open the submission you wish to add feedback and mark: Accessing submissions to add feedback

Instructor Tour of Feedback Studio

Commenting Tools

Turnitin supports the following types of feedback. More about each one and technical instruction can be found on Turnitin’s own Commenting Tools page for Instructors:

* Note: voice comments are limited to 3 minutes and cannot be downloaded/archived. Please speak to your School’s Digital Academic Developer before planning to use this feature.

Rubrics and Grading Forms

Turnitin also supports Rubrics (scorecards) for all types of assessment, as well as Grading Forms for types where students might not be making an actual submission per se (e.g. to assess a form of performance). See the Rubrics and Grading Forms page and associated sections for more information.

Accessing Submissions to add Feedback in Turnitin on Blackboard Ultra (or for new Turnitin Assignments built on an Original Blackboard)

Within your module Ultra Blackboard, click on the title of the Turnitin Assignment you wish to view submissions for.

If a new Turnitin Assignment was set-up in an Original Blackboard (post September 2022), navigate to the Assessments folder and location where the Assignment was built (e.g. the route student’s use to submit), then simply click on the ‘Title’ of the Assignment which will take you directly to that Assignment Inbox.

With the Assignment Inbox displayed either select the Title of the submission you wish to view or select the Pencil icon under the Grade column:

Screen image of a Turnitin Assignment Inbox showing a list of those that have submitted

The submitted script will open in a separate window: Turnitin’s Feedback Studio for you to view, add feedback and mark.

If you are unable to open the submission to add feedback please see: Student submission cannot be opened for feedback.

Important Considerations before adding Feedback in Turnitin on Blackboard Ultra

How and When do Students see their Feedback?

Under the standardised University Turnitin set-up, students will see their Feedback at different times and in different ways depending on whether they submitted on time or late:

Turnitin Assignment (submission point)How and When Students See Their Feedback
Final (on time)Students access feedback directly through Turnitin on the Post date
Final (after deadline)Students access feedback directly through Turnitin on the (After
Deadline) Post date
Table showing when students can expect to see their feedback depending on the type of Assignment used

Feedback for Late Submissions

The policy has been revised to improve efficiency of work processes. The agreed ‘best fit’ date (5 weeks minus 1 day) is set so that feedback will be released automatically to students on the Post Date. Please be advised if moderation is required after the Post Date has passed, feedback will need to be conducted outside of Turnitin.

Accessible Feedback

Feedback Studio has been designed to be highly accessible across a range of devices and by users with a range of needs. Where students may find accessing their feedback difficult, a PDF copy can be downloaded and e-mailed to them (as per the Special Arrangements for Feedback for Late Submissions section above).

Choice of Presentation of Feedback

Choice of presentation of feedback in Turnitin may help to improve your learners’ understanding of assessment criteria, their motivation to engage with your feedback and their ability to do so.

The Technology-enhanced Assessment link in the Teaching Resources area of the Blackboard Institution Page contains guidance, examples and evidence for ways technology can support and enhance feedback. See the using technology to improve feedback section, particularly Use Turnitin ‘rubrics’ to encourage learners to engage with assessment criteria and using a range of feedback types in Turnitin. See also our own research on influences of presentation of Turnitin feedback on learners’ engagement with their feedback.

Special Arrangements for using Audio Feedback

Currently, Turnitin Voice Comments cannot be downloaded and archived for retention purposes. However, there are ways of linking audio, as well as screen-recorded, feedback to Turnitin feedback in a way which can be retained. Contact your School’s Digital Academic Developer for advice.

Ensuring Feedback is Downloaded and Archived

Where you need to retain feedback on work submitted to Turnitin, or a list of grades for a particular assessment, you will need download archive the contents of your Turnitin Assignment. You must do this before:

  • the Turnitin Assignment is deleted,
  • the Blackboard site is deleted
  • you Refresh Inbox Data (update the list of students)

Failure to download and archive beforehand may result in lost feedback. See the separate Downloading and Archiving from Turnitin section for advice and instructions.

Risk of Losing Feedback added before the Turnitin Due Date

Under the standardised University Turnitin set-up, after a student has submitted to a Final (on time) Turnitin Assignment they can update their submission with a new file any time up until the submission deadline. This is useful in the case of accidental submissions of the wrong file (although they can only see their Similarity Report once, after the deadline). If you add feedback to students’ work before the submission deadline for Final (on time) submission points, you will see a prompt from your browser stating:

An embedded page at says:
This is a draft submission. Any and all marks will be deleted when or if the paper is resubmitted. Would you like to continue?

This does not mean the student has submitted a draft to self-check their work – there are separate submission points for this. It is a warning that, because you are adding feedback before the submission deadline, your feedback will be lost if the student updates their submission.

Note: this is not the case for Final (after deadline) submission points. Students can make only a single submission to these.

Ensure you save paragraphs of summary text comments before closing Turnitin

After typing paragraphs of summary feedback into the Text Comments side panel, in order to save this you must click out of the text box by clicking on another area of the screen such as the white space next to the formatting options.
If you close Turnitin before clicking outside of this Text Comments area, your feedback will not be saved. If you accidentally delete or overwrite feedback in this Text Comments area, you may be able to recover it by immediately Undo-ing. Clicking the right mouse button or the CTRL+Z keys will work on many (but not all) web browsers.

As Turnitin has a security time-out feature that locks open papers that have not been interacted with after approximately 10 minutes, we recommend that markers either save regularly by clicking outside of the Text Comments are or draft their feedback in a word-processor first and then copy and paste this in.

Limitations in Second Marking and Moderation

Turnitin currently has no built-in facility for recording second marker comments. Second markers can comment as additions to the first marker’s feedback but changes made to the first marker’s feedback are not tracked. Turnitin only shows the latest version. There is currently no provision blind second marking. The second marker will always see the first marker’s feedback. If your external examiner has instructor access to Module-level Blackboard sites containing Turnitin
Assignments, submitted work and feedback will be visible by them. However, the following limitations apply:

  • you cannot restrict external examiners’ view to only a sample of work in Turnitin, they will be able to see all submitted work and feedback
  • you cannot set Turnitin as ‘read only’ for external examiners, they will have the ability to edit or even delete submitted work and feedback

An alternative is to download a sample of submitted work and feedback as PDF for external examiners. Contact your School’s Digital Academic Developer for advice.

Limitations with Group Work

Turnitin has no built-in support for group work. You can only add feedback to an individual student’s submitted work. The only way to manage group work in Turnitin is to ask for a nominated member of the group to submit work on behalf of the group or ask all members of the group to submit a copy of the same work and write a duplicate set of feedback for each member. A single student’s feedback cannot be shared with several students online, in an interactive way. You would have to download a PDF copy of the feedback and distribute amongst the group outside of Turnitin. Also, a single grade would be entered by Turnitin into the Module-level Blackboard site Gradebook. You would have to manually duplicate the grade for other group members. You cannot copy a whole set of Turnitin feedback between students. You would have to copy and paste individual comments from one student’s feedback to another’s.

Risk of using the Turnitin iPad App in Marking Teams

The Turnitin iPad app enables offline marking and feedback (see separate guide). However, due to the way it synchronises between the online Turnitin Assignment online and your iPad, there is a risk of feedback being lost when marking in teams. Contact your School’s Digital Academic Developer for advice.