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Staff guide – Bulk upload assignments from Blackboard into Turnitin

This article outlines the process of how staff can bulk upload an entire cohort of student assignments into Turnitin to generate originality reports.

Please note that students should not be asked to submit assignments directly into Turnitin. Students as the York University licence does not allow for marking and feedback within the Turnitin environment

Downloading assignments from Blackboard

  1. Locate the assignment column in the Blackboard Grade Centre that you wish to bulk download the assignments from
  2. Click the down arrow next to the column name in the Grade Centre and then click on ‘Assignment file download’
  3. Select all assignments  (click the checkbox to the left of ‘Name’) and then click ‘Submit’
  4. Click on the ‘Download assignments now’ link

Removing unwanted files from the Zip file

When you download all of the assignments from a Blackboard submission point Blackboard will firstly rename each assignment file to the name of the submission point and append the username of the student and also the date and time the assignment was submitted and the original name of the file the student uploaded (so for example the files could be called ‘Summative Written Essay – Critical Review Submission Point_hyxxx_attempt_2019-12-02-20-10-16_essay.pdf’).
As well as including the assignment in the Zip file Blackboard will also include a text file (with a .txt extension) with details about the assignment (time/date of submission, attempt number etc) which is not required for Turnitin. To remove these files do the following:

  1. Extract the Zip file (right click and select ‘Extract All…’)
  2. Once extracted click on ‘Type’ to order by file type
  3. Delete the ‘Text Document’ files (these are all only 1KB in size)
  4.  Zip up the folder again (right click on the folder and select ‘Send to’ and then ‘Compressed zip folder)

Creating a Turnitin submission area

We now need to create a Turnitin assignment that we upload the zip file containing the assignments into:

  1. Create a hidden folder in Blackboard (which student cannot access)
  2. In this folder create a ‘Turnitin Assignment’ from the Assessments menu
  3. Select the ‘Paper Assignment’ option and click on next
  4. Give the assignment a title, the dates can be left as is
  5. Click on ‘Optional settings’ and specify whether you wish to add these assignments to the Turnitin repository (suggest not for formative but yes for summative)
  6. Click submit to complete the creation of the Turnitin assignment

Please choose options carefully when creating a Turnitin assignment, particularly whether or not the assignments get added to the Turnitin repository!

Bulk uploading the assignments into Turnitin

Now that you have created a Turnitin assignment in Blackboard you will need to bulk upload your assignments and create Originality Reports. To this follow these steps:

  1. From the assignment point in Blackboard click on ‘view/complete’
  2.  Important – change the upload option from ‘Single File Upload’ to ‘Zip File Upload’ and then select your file and click the upload button
  3. Turnitin will show you a preview of the files that will be submitted. Click to confirm
Requirements for zip file upload in Turnitin

Can contain a max of 1000 papers The zip file must be less than 200 MB Individual files must be less than 100 MB each The maximum paper length for individual files is 400 pages each File types allowed: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs, and plain text

Viewing Turnitin Originality Reports

It may take some time for Turnitin to process Originality Reports (depending on the number of files and how busy their systems are). Once the reports have been created you can access them by following these steps:

  1. In Blackboard expand the ‘Course Tools’ menu and select the ‘Turnitin Assignments’ option
  2. You should then see the name of the Turnitin Assignment submission point that created. Click on the name
  3. You will now see a list of all of the uploaded assignments along with their Similarity Index
  4. Click on a submission to see the Originality Report (which can be downloaded if required)
Updated on 12/04/2021

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