Important Considerations before adding Feedback in Turnitin

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.