Changes to bulk upload for Turnitin similarity reports

Turnitin has just informed us of its decision to cease support for assignment submissions on behalf of non-enrolled students, effective from 19 September. Submission on behalf of non-enrolled students is an integral part of the workflow that allowed instructors to bulk upload Blackboard assignments to to generate similarity reports.

From 19 September, student administrators who wish to continue to use this workflow will have to manually associate each submission with an enrolled student, following upload. If this is not feasible – due to large cohort size, for example – we recommend switching to using Turnitin assignments for student submissions, rather than Blackboard assignments. (If the submission requires multiple files per student, you will need two submission points: one via a Turnitin assignment, to generate the similarity report, and another via a Blackboard assignment, to manage the additional files.)

For group submissions, files must be submitted via Blackboard assignments; you will then need to download one file per group using the Marks and Feedback tool. Afterwards, you will upload these files to Turnitin and manually associate each of them with one group member in order to generate a similarity report.

More detailed guides for the options suggested here will be made available shortly.

If your school will be affected by Turnitin’s decision, please contact the DEO to notify us of the number of units that will be affected, by emailing us at

[Resolved] Turnitin delay in similarity report generation

Turnitin have now informed us that the issue causing a delay in Similarity Report generation has been resolved.

Starting at 6:49 AM today, an unexpected service incident occurred in Turnitin Feedback Studio, causing a delay in the generation of similarity reports. The impact of this issue was limited and most Turnitin users were unaffected.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, or if you have been affected, please email

[Closed] Turnitin delay in similarity report generation

Turnitin Feedback Studio is currently experiencing an unexpected service incident. Students remain able to submit work but may experience a delay in receiving a Similarity Report.

Further information is available on the Turnitin status page.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us by emailing

Teams for Teaching – Archiving Unit Teams

As Preparation for the new academic year your unit Teams for 2022 will be archived on 31st August. This means that although the unit Teams and their SharPoint folders will still exist and be accessible, they will be set to be ‘read-only’. If you wish your unit Team to remain editable you can easily unarchive it if you are a Team owner. Please see instructions on how to do this here

Access to PGR theses and new PGR organisations

This information is relevant if your school uses Turnitin to run similarity checks on PGR theses (practice, submission and re-submission).   

PGR students who submitted work to a Turnitin submission point in Blackboard before September 2023 will not be able to access their theses in Blackboard after August 2023. This is due to the supplier ending support for the older Turnitin integration with Blackboard. 

As we have communicated to schools directly, the DEO has been working with AQPO and representatives of administrative and academic staff to update the Blackboard Organisations for PGR Turnitin Submissions. 

Please take the following actions by 31 August 2023: 

  • Encourage students who may be affected to download their submissions before 31 August 2023.  
  • If you are one of the School Administrators who have received a form to complete for setting up new organisations, please complete the form by July 28. 
  • PGR student administrators should start using the newly created Turnitin Upload organisations which has been set up with the Turnitin LTI and the Academic Progress Monitoring form page. 

Please also note that, from 1 September 2023, staff who need access to the older theses will need to contact the DEO. 

[Open] Turnitin intermittent loading error for staff

It has been reported that staff may be experiencing intermittent issues with slowness when opening the Feedback Studio in Turnitin, and receiving errors when attempting to grade or add feedback.

Students making submissions are not affected by this issue.

Turnitin UK is aware of the issue and is currently working to bring the service back to optimum health. We will update this blog with any further developments.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us by emailing

The look of the Blackboard submissions page is changing

The interface for Blackboard submissions such as essays, some timed assessments and some exams is changing on June 2, 2023. There is no change to functionality.

After June 2, if students need to upload a submission, this option will be contained within a ‘concertina menu’. This makes the interface less confusing, allowing them to select the options they need without having to navigate the options they don’t.

Below are three images: one showing the current interface and two showing the new interface.

Old submission point: this is the old submission point for Blackboard which has all upload options on display.

The old interface has all the ‘Attach Files’, ‘Write Submission’ and ‘Add Comments’ functions on display.

New submission point (unexpanded): the new submission points have three clickable options: one called "Create Submission", one called "Upload Files", and one called "Add Comments"

The new interface places the same features behind concertina menus.

New submission point (expanded): once the "Upload Files" option is clicked, three buttons are revealed; one for "Browse Local Files", one for "Browse Content Collection", and one for "Browse Cloud Service". 

Once expanded with a click, the same options are available.

[Open] Footnotes in Blackboard submissions can be rearranged unless in PDF

An error has been identified in Blackboard that can affect the display of submitted documents containing footnotes and formatting styles. The error rearranges the footnote order, affecting the marker’s view of the document. The Blackboard developers are aware of the error, and are working on a fix. In the meantime, we recommend that students submit documents in PDF where they contain footnotes.

This error affects the DEO’s “Blackboard Online” workflow, and we have updated the recommendations in our EMA – Blackboard Online Workflow guidance accordingly.

[Resolved] Issue affecting marking groups in Turnitin

To fix the issue affecting marking groups in Turnitin, please try refreshing the Assignment Inbox, using the refresh button in the top right-hand corner.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Click on the Turnitin submission point to access the Assignment Inbox
  2. Make sure the first filter is set to All Students
  3. Click the Refresh Inbox Data button with a circular arrow, in the top right-hand corner of the Assignment Inbox
  4. Try the filter again (if it still doesn’t work, please close and re-open the submission point)
  5. If steps 1-4 do not work, please try accessing Turnitin from within the Grade Centre at least once using “Mark User Activity” (and close and re-open the course if required)