Intended Audience: Instructors
Any assignment submitted within Brightspace that has Turnitin® enabled will generate a Similarity Report. Current settings will grant Michigan Virtual instructors automatic access to the full text of a matching paper that has previously been submitted to the institution account. This article provides guidance on how instructors can access Turnitin® Similarity Reports on enabled assignments and points out "false positives" and other factors that can lead to a high similarity rate.
How to Access the Similarity Report
- When logged into Brightspace as an instructor, go to the course that contains the assignment you want to view Similarity Reports for and then select Assignments from the navigation menu at the top of the course page.
- Next, to view a report, select the assignment from the list of assignments.
- Finally, select the percentage from the Turnitin® Similarity column.
How to View Matching Papers
- Tap the Match Overview button to access matching documents. You can immediately view matching papers that have previously been submitted to Michigan Virtual’s Turnitin® account.
- Then tap the matching paper in the "Match Overview" area to view the matching paper.
- Next, tap the hyperlinked title of the matching paper to view Source Release information.
- Sample view of Source Release Information for a matching document submitted to Michigan Virtual’s Turnitin® account.
- You have the option to download the original paper or you can click the Full Source View button.
- OPTIONAL: Click “Text-only Report” on the bottom of the similarity document, if you prefer this view.
- For more information, feel free to explore Turnitin®’s Similarity Report Teacher Guides.
Understanding Factors That May Produce a High Match Rate
It is important to note that the similarity score is a percentage of the paper’s content that matches within Turnitin®'s databases. It is not an assessment of whether a paper contains plagiarized material.
Identifying “False Positives”
Be aware that the following factors can create a high match rate, that may not necessarily be cheating.
- Worksheets or assignment templates will contain matching items and similar student responses submitted.
- Assignments with sentence starters or examples used by students may create high matches.
- Resubmitted assignments will typically show a high match rate.
- If a student accidentally submitted an assignment to the wrong course and then submits it to yours, there will also be a high match.
For more information, refer to these helpful Turnitin® Report Guidelines and Considerations or view the following video, Interpreting Turnitin® Similarity Layers.
Contact your Lead Instructor with department-specific questions about plagiarism. Contact Andrea Kistler for general questions about Turnitin®.