Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Frequently Asked Questions: Restricted Access Pilot of Turnitin

Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Divinity School and the Law School have chosen to employ a restricted access pilot this semester as the evaluation begins. During this portion of the evaluation period, students and faculty can only access Turnitin in consultation with the Center for Teaching and Learning. Turnitin will not be broadly available in Canvas courses for faculty or students in these schools. Turnitin will only be available while physically visiting the CTL and meeting with a writing consultant or staff member in the Center. This will provide community access to evaluate the software’s strengths and weaknesses and offer feedback on the experience.

How do I access TurnItIn?

Beginning the week of October 21, faculty, Yale College students, and students from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Divinity School and Law School will have the ability to schedule an appointment at the CTL to access the TurnItIn tool.

Yale College students should use the Writing Center’s appointment system. The software will not be available during drop-in hours.

Graduate and Professional students should use the Graduate Writing Lab scheduling system.

Faculty should use the instructional consultation form.  

As an instructor, what will happen during my Turnitin consultation?

During an appointment, a CTL staff person will upload up to five papers provided by the instructor into a Canvas site to be reviewed by Turnitin.  The CTL staff person will be prepared to address technical questions and consult with the faculty on the settings and outputs of the software. The instructor will retain access to this Canvas site, and to view Turnitin reports after the appointment, in a way that simulates the experience they would have in their official classes if the software is adopted. The faculty member will be asked to complete a brief, anonymous survey after the appointment to provide their opinion on the effectiveness of Turnitin and whether they feel it should be adopted.

As a student, what will happen during my Turnitin consultation?

After a student makes an appointment with a writing tutor, but before they arrive, the student will receive a notification to join a site in Canvas and upload their paper. They will not have access to view the originality report until they attend their appointment in the CTL.  At the appointment, the tutor will login to Canvas, retrieve the originality report for the student, and review it with the student.  The student has the option to request a PDF version of their originality report to be emailed to them.  They will not retain access to their report in Canvas after they leave the CTL.

Does TurnItIn obtain any intellectual property ownership rights of the content I upload?

Absolutely not. You retain full ownership of all of your intellectual property uploaded to the site.

What is the “institutional paper repository” option?

Yale has purchased an “institution paper repository” to store papers submitted to Turnitin through Canvas. Yale submissions will not be stored in the general repository that can be accessed by other institutions or businesses using Turnitin to verify original work.  Any Yale course that chooses to use Turnitin has the option of storing submitted papers in Yale’s institution paper repository, or not storing them at all.   Storing student submissions in Yale’s private repository allows other Yale instructors to ensure that papers are not being copied and reused in other courses.  

Why would I not want to store submitted papers?

If you are creating an assignment where students are submitting a rough draft of a paper, you may not want to store the file in the repository.  Storing a draft means that when the student submits their final draft, the final draft may be flagged as plagiarized, because the rough draft is in the repository.

I have questions about the Turnitin End-User License Agreement. Who should I contact?

The University is currently piloting the Turnitin service. While Turnitin’s account creation process requires that all of its users accept its End-User License Agreement, Turnitin has agreed with the University that its End-User License Agreement will not apply to Yale instructors and students during the University’s evaluation period. You may contact the Office of the General Counsel with any questions.