What is Turnitin

Turnitin is a suite of tools supporting the submission and review of students’ assignments. The various features support instructors in providing feedback on and grading students work:

  • Similarity: Turnitin analyzes students’ work for originality and produces a Similarity Report to identify any similarities between a student’s submission and other sources.
  • Feedback Studio: Instructors can annotate students work with comments, markups, and annotations; utilize rubrics to grade and provide feedback; and assign final grades

What is the purpose of Turnitin

Turnitin provides an efficient system for reviewing, marking, and providing feedback on students’ submissions. The Studio’s tools support instructors to provide specific and consistent feedback to students. The Studio further supports students in receiving constructive and specific feedback on their writing assignments.

Turnitin compares student-submitted work to its large collection of published and previously-submitted work to determine the amount of plagiarism. To do so, it generates an "similarity report" for each student submission; the report presents instructors with the percentage of unoriginal work contained in the document and links to the potentially plagiarized original work. Turnitin can help detect plagiarism and can assist with academic integrity.

How to use Turnitin

To use Turnitin, you must first activate the Turnitin service on the assignments you create in OWL. This section provides an overview of activating Turnitin for OWL Assignments and utilizing the various features of Turnitin.

When enabling Turnitin for your assignments, you can choose whether students can view the report, whether to include student submitted work in Turnitin's repository, and what types of matches to include or exclude.

Viewing the Similarity Report

Using the features of the Similarity Layer, instructors can review and explore the interactive data produced generated for the Similarity Report. Turnitin provides comprehensive support to instructors on viewing and interpreting the Similarity Report data.

Where to find Support

This tool is centrally supported


For help, you can contact the WTS Helpdesk


Additional information and resources are available on WTS' Turnitin page.

Additional help is available from Turnitin Support.

Tool Evaluation

Functionality overall rating: 3 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 3 stars


Feedback Studio can be scaled to accommodate any size class with the flexibility to create smaller sub-groups or communities of practice

Ease of use rating:3 stars

Ease of Use

Feedback Studio has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and personalize

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 3 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

In addition to Turnitin’s own support documentation for Feedback Studio, the tool is supported by WTS as an integrated OWL tool

Hypermediality rating: 3 stars


Feedback Studio allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) and allows for non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 3 stars

AODA Friendly

Feedback Studio fully supports compliance with AODA standards for accessibility (W3C WCAG 2.0 Standards), and makes it easy for materials to be made AODA-friendly. See Turnitin Accessibility

User Foused Participation rating: 3 stars

User-focused participation

Given the ability for instructors to provide textual and audio feedback in a variety of ways, Feedback Studio can be used to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning

Required Equipment rating: 2 stars

Required Equipment

In order to give audio feedback in Feedback Studio, specific equipment is required (i.e. microphone, speakers), however this equipment is commonly available and/or purchased at a low cost

Technical overall rating: 2 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
OWL Integration rating: 2 stars

OWL Integration

Feedback Studio is embedded into OWL. However, grades generated in Feedback Studio do not sync with OWL or OWL Gradebook. We recommend that as you complete your grading of an assignment in Feedback Studio you manually enter the grades into your OWL Assignment grading.

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively utilize Feedback Studio with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Windows 10, Apple OSX, etc.). See System Requirements

Web Browser rating: 3 stars

Web Browser

Users can effectively utilize Feedback Studio with any standard, up-to-date web browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10 etc.). See System Requirements  

Additional Tech Requirements rating: 3 stars

Additional Tech Requirements

No additional technical requirements are typically needed to use Feedback Studio. See System Requirements  

Mobile Design overall rating: 2 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Feedback Studio is fully functional with a range of electronic mobile devices (laptops, tablets, touchscreens, mobile devices, etc.)

Mobile Functionality rating: 2 stars

Mobile Functionality

Basic features of the Feedback Studio are functional on the mobile app but the user may experience some limitation with the size of text

Offline Access rating: 2 star

Offline Access

The Feedback Studio platform can be used offline but tools and content are affected.  

Usage and account set up overall rating: 2 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 3 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Use of Feedback Studio does not require the creation of an external account or additional login beyond OWL login

Cost of Use rating:  3 stars

Cost of Use

Western holds an institutional license for the use of Feedback Studio. It is available free of charge for all Western instructors and students.

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 3 star

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Users can archive, save, or import and export content or activity data in a variety of formats

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 2 star

Data Privacy and Ownership

The Turnitin Terms of Service reads: "If you are a student submitting a paper for review in connection with a class you are taking, know that you retain copyright ownership; the content of your paper is used solely for the purpose of performing educational services”

Social Presence overall rating: 2 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: 2 stars


Feedback Studio has the capacity to support a community of learning through asynchronous but not synchronous opportunities for communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users

User Accountability rating: 3 stars

User Accountability

Students are identified in the Feedback Studio system by their credentials in OWL.

Diffusion rating: 3 star


Feedback Studio is widely known and popular, it’s likely that most students are familiar with the tool and have basic technical competence with it

Instructor Presence overall rating: 3 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating:3 stars


The tool has easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and engagement

Customization rating: 3 stars


Feedback Studio provides many opportunities for Instructors to customize their use of the tool for specific teaching contexts, including but not limited to customized rubrics and the creation, customization, and sharing of instructor-specific mark ups via QuickMarks feature.

Learning Analytics rating: 3 stars

Learning Analytics

Instructor can monitor students’ performance on a variety of responsive measures

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 2 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 2 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Feedback Studio may enable functional improvement to engagement in the targeted cognitive task(s) (given consideration to the nature of feedback provided and the ability to see one’s report)

Higher Order Thinking rating: 2 stars

Higher Order Thinking

Feedback Studio may engage students in higher order thinking skills  (given consideration to the nature of feedback provided and the ability to see one’s report)

Feedback on Learning rating:3 stars

Feedback on Learning

Through the tool, students can regularly receive formative feedback on learning (i.e. they can track their performance, monitor their improvement, test their knowledge, etc.). It is strongly recommended that students be enabled to view the originality reports produced of their work so that they can receive the feedback provided by the report and access any feedback provided by the instructor via the feedback commenting options.

Security and Privacy

This tool has been formally reviewed by Western’s Technology Risk Assessment Committee

Security and Privacy Flags

Information Collection

  • Application collects information that could identify the user specifically (email address, class schedule, etc..)


  • Application's Terms of Conditions or End User License Agreement poses a risk of binding the institution to an agreement thereby requiring legal counsel to review the application. However, this is mitigated as it has undergone legal review during the Technology Risk Assessment process.


  • This application saves grading information independently from OWL
  • This application transmits data (grades, student data, etc...) to or from a Western system of record

Last Updated: February 28, 2024


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