Using Turnitin LTI in Canvas

Turnitin and Canvas are phasing out the Turnitin API tool in Canvas.  Instead, you are encouraged to use the LTI tool.

When is the change taking place?

In order to minimize disruption, we no longer turn on the API tool when switching to the new Canvas user interface on June 18, 2016, the date set to switch to the new Canvas user interface (check here for more information).  However, the LTI tool is available to use now if you will be teaching a summer course.

What is the Turnitin LTI?

The LTI tool, also known as “external tool”, allows Canvas users to use the full features of Turnitin, including Peermark. When you add an assignment in Canvas trying to enable Turnitin, add it through “external tools”, as shown below.

How do you add an assignment via the Turnitin LTI?

    1. Choose “external tool” for submission type in your assignment settings;
    2. Click on “Find”;
    3. Select “Turnitin Feedback Studio”;
    4. Click on “Select”;
Turnitin LTI 1

Turnitin Feedback Studio

5. Save the assignment setting when you have done the above.

What happens to the API?

If you used to be choosing “online” in the submission type and you click on the checkbox beside “Enable Turnitin Submission”, you were using the API tool, which Turnitin is phasing out.  In our earlier instructional video, we were showing the old API method.  If you have not used this method anyway, the change will not affect you.

Suggestions for Faculty

  1. If you intend to use Turnitin, please remember you will use Turnitin’s grading tools instead of the Canvas Speedgrader. It is not possible (nor necessary) to use both after Canvas and Turnitin phase out the API tool.  However, it is possible to use Canvas assignment tool with the convenience of the Speedgrader, etc., while using Turnitin through its site at for cases that you suspect of plagiarism. Alternatively you can create all assignments using the regular Canvas online assignment tool, while using ONE Turnitin dropbox for originality check only.
  2. I would recommend that you do not allow students to submit the same papers to two classes, as that will cause the papers to be flagged as plagiarized in later submissions.
  3. Tell students not to submit their paper to Turnitin through other means to avoid detection as that may deposit their papers in the Turnitin repository anyway, and therefore causing more problems for them when they submit their papers to your course.


For more information about the change, read the Canvas site on Turnitin integration.  You can also contact Berlin Fang or David Christianson if you have questions or need further information about adding Turnitin assignments in Canvas.

Check this page for additional Canvas resources.

2 thoughts on “Using Turnitin LTI in Canvas

  1. This “new” method is the one my co-teachers and I use anyway, and it is infinitely preferable, in my opinion, to the one Canvas is phasing out.

    Why? (1) As you say, Peer Mark, which offers a great opportunity for students to interact with each other, physically (if students review one another’s papers in class and are encouraged to move around and consult with each other ) and “educationally” (meaning the poorer writers have opportunities to read/edit better writing as well to have suggestions for their own writing on their papers–and for the better writers to contribute to and model good writing).
    (2) The GradeMark tools are excellent, affording both (a) a decent auto-suggest grammar examination (much better than, say, MS Word provides) and (b) an easy way to save your personalized, favorite comments for use and re-use. This not only saves time, but makes marking writing much more valuable to the student as s/he approaches a final draft.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen. This is not exactly a “new” method, I agree. It is one of the two options now available. But Canvas is phasing out the other one. I can tell from your use that having this one has many advantages.

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