Student submission cannot be opened for feedback


Sometimes student submissions may upload and submit correctly but not be available for on-script marking. Typically this is where a Turnitin Assignment has been setup to ‘Allow any file type‘ and a student submits a file that cannot be rendered or ‘read’ by Turnitin, instead the Feedback Studio will open and provide a link to the original file that the marker can use to read the file and then provide written feedback and a grade in the Feedback Studio.

However, if a student paper cannot be opened for a Turnitin Assignment that has been setup to ‘Allow only file types that Turnitin can check for Similarity‘ (i.e. the standard for most written pieces of work) then the programme/module marker or administrator should email the IT Service Desk with the following details:

  • Blackboard Course Name, e.g. 2022-23 (Easter) Curatorial Studies (U34512)
  • Turnitin Assignment Name, e.g. ‘Assessment 1 – Essay’
  • Student Name
  • Paper ID

The request information is compiled and raised with TurnitinUK Support to perform a paper refresh. Please note that this can take a few days particularly during peak submission times, so the more lead time the better. Often the paper is refreshed and appears for grading in the usual way, however sometimes TurnitinUK Support may need to replace the submission with a different file type (e.g. PDF) to facilitate this – in these instances a member of the TEL Support team will be in touch to confirm that this is to be the case and to ensure that a copy of the original file has been downloaded in case any formatting is lost or changed in the replacement process.

Turnitin iPad App

The Turnitin iPad app is available for staff to use for accessing and grading papers. This guide pulls together ‘getting started’ information from Turnitin’s own comprehensive guidance to assist staff with setting the app up for use.

Note: as the University uses Turnitin through an integration with Blackboard, the app cannot currently be used by students.

Downloading and Archiving from Turnitin

This section contains technical instructions for programme teams on downloading and archiving submitted work, Similarity Reports, feedback and lists of grades from Turnitin. It also contains advice on the University’s requirement to download and archive for retention purposes and arrangements for disk space for doing so.

Always check downloaded work from Turnitin

Downloads can be interrupted or the contents corrupted. This is particularly true with large ZIP files which can take a while to download, such as those from Turnitin.

Before archiving them, always check the contents of ZIP files downloaded from Turnitin to ensure all required information was downloaded.

Archiving in situ

Following a change in our Turnitin licence we now have the ability to keep submitted work, marks and feedback in Turnitin live within Blackboard. This is a new option since 20/21 Blackboards and you may still choose to download and archive offline. Course teams can decide which method is preferable but must do one or the other to meet retention requirements.

Rubrics and Grading Forms


What is the Difference?


Rubrics use pre-set level descriptors to enable you to indicate how well a student did within each assessment criteria. You can indicate levels achieved using sliders and/or on a grid:

  • Qualitative rubrics are used purely to feedback to students how well they did. These are the most commonly used type of Rubric at CCCU.
  • Standard (scoring) rubrics have weighting built in and will automatically calculate the grade for you.

Grading Forms

Grading Forms allow you to write personalised comments on how well a student did within the assessment criteria. You write comments in a form divided into sections for each assessment criterion.

Pros and Cons

  • By making assessment criteria explicit, both Rubrics and Grading Forms may promote a deeper understanding of the criteria amongst learners.
  • As feedback is in the form of pre-set level descriptors, Rubrics can be an efficient way of providing assessment criteria-related feedback. Where generic criteria are used and are applicable to future assessments, being able to see the ‘next level up’ may act as a form of feedforward. Rubrics may also support consistency amongst teams of markers and provide further justification of the grade for students. However, some markers may feel this is reductive in terms of assessing the overall quality of the work. Furthermore, students may perceive Rubrics as impersonal.
  • Grading Forms enable personalised, criteria-related comments. However, that of course requires more effort.
  • Being off-script, learners may find both Rubrics and Grading Forms difficult to relate to their own work. However, this may be helped by associating on-script comments (Bubble Comments and QuickMarks) with the criteria within Rubrics and Grading Forms.
  • Even so, learners may find Rubrics further lack specificity in relation to their own work because of the generic language which tends to be used in common level descriptors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from students can be found on the TEL Knowledge Base for Students

Can I grade more than one paper at once?

No, Turnitin does not support grading on multiple papers at the same time. Instructors should only have one paper open at any one time in order to minimise impact on grading and to prevent grades/feedback transferring onto other papers.

Can multiple instructors mark the same paper at the same time?

No, Turnitin does not support multiple markers having the same paper open at the same time. Although *technically* possible, this is ill-advised as the effect to the paper and any grading information entered can be detrimental. For ‘Best Practice’, it is recommended that multiple/peer markers agree between themselves when a paper has been closed and can be handed-over for the next marker.

Will I still have access to work submitted to Turnitin Assignments when my students are changed in my Blackboard Course or when I delete a Turnitin Assignment?

When you delete a Turnitin Assignment (submission point), remove students from a Blackboard site or delete a whole Blackboard site, you will no longer be able to see either students’ work submitted to Turnitin, associated Similarity reports, any feedback you’ve written or grades entered.  

IMPORTANT: In order to comply with the University document retention schedule, you must ensure you have manually archived any student work yearly, before you delete a Turnitin Assignment.  You should also provide students with the opportunity to download their digital receipts, Similarity reports and/or feedback.

See the Downloading and Archiving from Turnitin section for more information.

ALWAYS CHECK DOWNLOADED WORK FROM TURNITIN: As with any download, particularly ZIP files, it’s important to open and check them after downloading.  Always check work and other information has downloaded OK from Turnitin before archiving it.


Turnitin is the platform through which most electronic assessment work is submitted. The service enables students to improve their academic writing skills, and allows staff to confirm that submitted items are the authentic work of the student. In addition, the platform can be used to mark formal and summative assessments and provide feedback to students.

Turnitin can be accessed by staff and students on and off-campus through their individual modules on Blackboard using a supported browser.

Requirements under the Academic Misconduct Procedures

The Academic Misconduct Procedures require that word-processed coursework for levels 0, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (undergraduate to postgraduate) is submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin itself does not make any decisions about plagiarism, rather it produces a ‘Similarity report’ indicating where text in the submitted work matches other sources.  Students will have an opportunity and are encouraged to submit at least one draft and view the Similarity report for each piece of coursework or assignment they are asked to submit to Turnitin to help them develop good academic writing.  Courses should provide an early educational focus on the use of Turnitin to help students with this.

Before you start, please ensure that you have read and understood the University Requirements for use of Turnitin, the University Academic Integrity Policy, Limitations of Turnitin, and Turnitin User Agreement.

As some modules are still ‘teaching out’ using Blackboard Original sites and many now interacting with the new 22/23 Blackboard sites in Ultra, please select below which guidance you require:

Turnitin in an Original Blackboard (Index page)
Turnitin in an Ultra Blackboard (Index page)