Quick Start with Turnitin

Turnitin is a web-based application you can use to check plagiarism, grade student work and facilitate peer review among students.  It is used by an increasing number of ACU professors to manage class assignments.  It works best for grading various types of paper assignments, though it can also be used to grade other types of student work such as presentations or recitals (See the Grade Anything page on the Turnitin website for more information) .  You cannot administer quizzes or exams through Turnitin, but you can record scores from these types of assessments in the Turnitin grade book.   It is now used as a standalone web-based application, not integrated with Banner or our learning management system.

You can learn to use it by working with the Instructional Design team (David Christianson, christianson@acu.edu  or  Berlin Fang,  bxf13b@acu.edu), attend a workshop (check Adams Center mail notifications of such events),  consult a colleague who has used it before, or learn it from the Turnitin training page.

Here is a quick guide to get you started:

Create an account

  • Contact Berlin Fang (bxf13b@acu.edu) or David Christianson (christianson@acu.edu) to receive an Account ID and Join Password. You will need these to create a Turnitin profile.
  • Go to turnitin.com
  • Click on “Create account” (beside “login”, on the upper right corner)
  • On the “Create a User Profile” page, choose “Instructor”
  • Fill out all the fields, using Account ID and Join Password that you received from Berlin or David.  Please do not share such information with anyone, as the account administrator may change the join password from time to time for account security.
  • Click on “I agree– create profile” to complete your registration

Create a class

  1. Log in to turnitin.com using the credentials you have created
  2. Click on “+add class”
  3. Fill out all the fields for class settings.  For class type, choose “standard” if you do not have multiple sessions of the same class.  Choose “master” if you have multiple sections and you would like to add a teaching assistant for each section.  For Class end date, you might want to add some extra time after the class is officially over as some students may want to go back and review their papers.   A good practice, as Dr. Cliff Barbarick showed us, is to set the end date to be the first day of the NEXT semester
  4. Click on “submit” to complete it

Add students

  1. From MyACU, find the class roster
  2. Export the roster into an Excel spreadsheet
  3. Go to the Excel spreadsheet, edit it to have only three columns in this sequence, first name, last name, email.  Get rid of the headings row (last name, first name, email), save the file.
  4. Go to Turnitin, click on the class in which you would like to add the students, then on your class page, click on the “students” tab on the top;
  5. Click on the “Upload Student List” tab
  6. Choose and upload the Excel file you saved
  7. Once you click “yes, submit,” students will automatically receive an email invitation to create a Turnitin profile and join the class. If students have previously created a Turnitin profile, they will automatically be added to the class.
  8. If students are having trouble getting started with Turnitin, direct them to this resource page (http://turnitin.com/en_us/training/student-training) to set up their account and learn how Turnitin works from a student perspective

Add an assignment

  1. Go back to your account home page
  2. Click on the name of your class
  3. Click on “+new assignment”
  4. Provide all the information you are asked for.   Click also on “optional settings” to change the settings and save your changes for future use.
  5. Set the start date (when students can submit assignments), due date (when assignments are due) and post dates (when comments and grades can be viewed by students)
  6. Click on “submit” to complete.

On this page, you will be able to find other instructions to learn how to use Turnitin as an instructor

Accessing Personal Files from Kindle

If you enjoy reading books using the Kindle device or the Kindle app on mobile devices, you will be happy to learn that you can convert any PDF or even Word file on your computer directly into a Kindle file using nothing but the good old email, so that you can read, highlight, annotate, as you could with a regular Kindle book.

You will need to authorize an email to send from and find the email to send to.   This can be done in the control panel of your Amazon account.  Sign in to your Amazon account,  navigate to “digital content” and click on “settings”, choose “manage your content and devices” under “digital management”, and then select “settings” again.

On this page, find your Kindle email.  You will notice that each device has its own unique Kindle email that has been automatically assigned.  You can edit this email to something you can remember.  For instance, I changed mine to berlinfangipadmini@kindle.com.   

The next thing you will need to do is to “authorize” an email from which to send your files.    You can authorize a number of emails if there is a need to:

After this, you can simply email your PDF files from your authorized email (in my case bxf13b@acu.edu) to your Kindle email (in my case berlinfangipadmini@kindle.com) .  Make sure you use the word “convert” as your subject.

After this email is sent, wait a few minutes and then check your Kindle app to find the document in your Kindle booklist.   If it is not showing up, consider syncing your Kindle.

Sometimes the format may not look very neat, depending on how you format your document originally.  In most cases, however, I find it working well for personal reading.  For more professional-looking eBooks, consider other applications such as iBook Author.