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Activities: Turnitin's Moodle Direct v2

Maintained by Picture of John McGettrick John McGettrick, Picture of Paul Dawson Paul Dawson, Picture of Alex McLarty Alex McLarty, Picture of David Winn David Winn, Picture of Caroline Westgarth Caroline Westgarth, Picture of David Hatton David Hatton
Turnitin's Moodle Direct v2 integration activity module is a standalone Moodle module with the aim of representing the full suite of Turnitin's features within the standard Moodle workflow. The module is an upgrade on the previous Turnitin plugin and is developed and maintained iParadigms the creators of Turnitin.
Moodle 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1

Moodle Direct V2 is the latest version of the Moodle Direct integration for Turnitin. Moodle Direct V2 installs separately to the original Turnitin Moodle Direct plugin within Moodle so that it can be used in parallel.

Key New Features

  • PeerMark - PeerMark is now integrated into the Turnitin Assignments and is accessible from the inbox for instructors and students.
  • Rubrics - Instructors can now attach their own rubrics to Turnitin Assignments and access the Rubric Manager, Students can also view any rubric that is attached to an assignment.
  • Quickmarks - An instructor's Quickmark manager (used within GradeMark) can now be accessed from within their Moodle environment.
  • More informative Inbox screen - An assignment inbox screen is now organised so that much more information is readily available and combined on to one screen.
  • Quick editing - Certain assignment details (e.g. dates and marks) can be edited quickly in the inbox without having to go to a specific edit screen.
  • Drag and drop submissions - Users can now submit via drag and drop. They will also be provided with an extract of their submission as proof that it has been submitted to Turnitin.
  • Class Migration Tool - Instructors and administrators can now recreate classes they have on Turnitin which may have existed in previous integrations or created through the Turnitin website.

Inherited features from v1

  • Multi-part Assignments - Each Turnitin Assignment may consist of up to 5 parts, parts can be configured to have start dates, due dates and post dates independent of one another.
  • Real Turnitin Users - The integration maps Moodle users to real Turnitin user accounts for both Instructors and Students, there is the option to disable student emails should an institution not wish to have students log in to Turnitin rather than Moodle.
  • GradeMark / Moodle Grade Book integration - Grades are synchronised between Turnitin's GradeMark and the Moodle grade book.
  • Anonymous Marking (UK Only) - Anonymous marking allows student names to be masked from instructors up until the post date.
  • Troubleshooting / Diagnostics - Diagnostic mode allows administrators to identify bugs and communication issues by enabling API call logs and displaying line numbers within error messages


This plugin is part of set Turnitin.


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Picture of John McGettrick
John McGettrick (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Caroline Westgarth
Caroline Westgarth
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  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Mon, Jun 27, 2016, 4:40 PM
    Hi Ivan,

    You have to install another plugin: to use Turnitin within a Moodle Assignment. Before you can use it though, you'll have to enable Plagiarism which is under Advanced Settings when logged in as an admin.

  • Lina
    Tue, Jun 28, 2016, 4:21 PM
    Hi John. Many thanks for providing this plugin to the community; its functionality is really appreciated by our staff and students, and we’re really grateful to you for your efforts to maintain and update it.

    On that note, please could I quickly query whether you have any plans to update the plugin to be fully compatible with Moodle v3.1, and its new Global Search feature in particular? To clarify: while we’ve tested the Turnitin’s Moodle Direct v2 integration plugin under v3.1 and all of the core functionality seems to work fine, we’ve found that instances of the activity are not searchable via v3.1’s Global Search feature. Please see the following screenshot for details, which lists all of the available areas that can searched under v3.1 (note that these settings are available via: Site Administration -> Plugins -> Search -> Manage Global Search):

    Note also that the above screenshot was taken on a v3.1 system where the Turnitin’s Moodle Direct v2 integration plugin is installed and available. However, as you can see, the Turnitin’s Moodle Direct v2 integration activity is not listed as being available to be searched. Obviously, this is likely to be a significant problem/cause of confusion for users who might want to search for specific instances of the Turnitin’s Moodle Direct v2 integration activity across Moodle.

    I’m not a developer, but my understanding is that mod plugins can be made searchable relatively easily via the addition of a new search class within the plugin’s codebase (located at ../classes/search/activity.php). Please see the following for further details:

    We really hope this search capability can be added to Turnitin’s Moodle Direct v2 integration as I’m sure it would be a huge benefit to our users (as well as those of other v3.1 systems) and, again, many thanks for all your efforts to develop this plugin and share it with the community.

    Best wishes,
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 4:03 PM
    Hi Lina,
    Thanks for the information, this is something we will investigate and hope to include as soon as we can.
  • Lina
    Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 9:21 AM
    Hi John,
    Many thanks for your prompt reply and we will be looking forward to the new release.
    Best wishes,
  • Picture of John Paul Posada
    Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 1:23 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Firstly thanks for the useful plugin. My institution uses it extensively.

    I was just wondering it there are any plans to truely support group/team work within the plugin? I have many users who manage large groups of students that work in teams and would like to use turnitin for these assignments, but are finding it difficult to manage these assignments due to the lack of support for:

    Group submission by 1 team member reflected to all members
    Originality reports made visible to all group members not just submitter
    Marks and feedback available to all group members not just submitter

    Are there any future plans to support this?

    John Paul
  • Picture of Ken Farrimond
    Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 11:47 PM
    Hi Everyone

    We are having problems with the defaults not loading when we create an Assignment using the Turnitin direct 2 version 2016011105. this is not an issue on earlier versions. I note the githead discussion on this
    Is there any guidance for when a corrected version will be available? We are training users in setting up assignments at present and want to know if we ought to try to apply a fix ourselves or wait for an update.


  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 10:56 PM
    Hi Ken,

    We're hoping to release a fix for this by the end of the month.

  • Picture of Caroline Westgarth
    Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 11:15 PM
    Hi John,

    Thank you for raising this with us.

    Yes we are planning on looking into group submissions this year.

    Kind Regards

    Caroline Westgarth
    Turnitin Product Manager, Integrations
  • Picture of Huw Smith
    Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 9:37 PM
    I have installed Turnitin Assignment 2 (Version: 2016072601) on Moodle 3.1.1 (Build: 20160721) and the plugin installed fine.
    But when a student tries to submit a file the upload icon just sits there and doesn't complete or show an error.
    With debugging turned on this error is displayed: Fatal error: Class 'finfo' not found in /srv/www/htdocs/csg/mod/turnitintooltwo/sdk/lti.class.php on line 540

    When I try to delete the failed upload this error is displayed:

    You need to update your sql to include additional name fields in the user object.

    line 3273 of /lib/moodlelib.php: call to debugging()
    line 193 of /mod/turnitintooltwo/turnitintooltwo_submission.class.php: call to fullname()
    line 69 of /mod/turnitintooltwo/turnitintooltwo_submission.class.php: call to turnitintooltwo_submission->get_submission_details()
    line 353 of /mod/turnitintooltwo/view.php: call to turnitintooltwo_submission->__construct()

    Any suggestions how to fix this?
  • Picture of Huw Smith
    Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 11:55 PM
    Enabling php_fileinfo extension fixed the problem
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 2:58 PM
    The debugging warning showing "You need to update your sql to include additional name fields in the user object." shouldn't impact on functionality but we'll get it fixed for the next release.
  • Picture of Nick Williams
    Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 8:45 PM
    Hi all,

    We are currently running version 2016011105 on Moodle 2.7 and we've noticed that anyone with the ability to grade in the submissions inbox can also change the submission times/dates at the top, regardless of their status as non-editing in the course page. Has anyone else found a way to change this and/or a workaround to prevent this?

    Any advice appreciated!

  • Picture of Ken Farrimond
    Tue, Oct 11, 2016, 8:08 PM
    Hi John and everyone else

    We are having intermittent failures to connect between our Moodle sites and Turnitin. We have several departmental Moodle sites on one Debian based server each connected to a sub-account of our main Turnitin account. There are different versions of Moodle in use eg

    2.8.7 (Build: 20150706) with Turnitin2 Version: 2016011105
    3.0.5 (Build: 20160711) with Turnitin2 Version: 2016072601

    Usually the outages are just for a few minutes, several times per day, but occasionally last for an hour or more. When there is an outage there is no connection, including in the "Test Turnitin Connection". We reported this to Turnitin support who sent instructions to install CA certificates, which we followed. However the problems have continued - we have just updated our error report to Turnitin support, but I thought I would check with you to see if you have any suggestions.

    Typical lines from the APIlog are

    2016-10-11 7:54:46 +0100 - ERROR --> ------------------------------------------------------------
    Turnitin SDK Exception: Curl Error - couldn't connect to host

    2016-10-11 7:54:46 +0100 - ERROR --> ------------------------------------------------------------
    Curl Error: couldn't connect to host

    Typical lines from the Activity log (with server address ***** starred out)

    Fault Code: Curl Error | File: /srv/*************/public/htdocs/mod/turnitintooltwo/sdk/soap.class.php | Line: 342 | Message: couldn't connect to host | Code: 0
    2016-10-11 12:24:20 +0100 (API_ERROR) - There was an error connecting to Turnitin the return error message is below:

    Fault Code: Curl Error | File: /srv/*****************/public/htdocs/mod/turnitintooltwo/sdk/soap.class.php | Line: 342 | Message: couldn't connect to host | Code: 0
    2016-10-11 12:24:29 +0100 (API_ERROR) - There was an error connecting to Turnitin the return error message is below:

    Fault Code: Curl Error | File: /srv/***************/public/htdocs/mod/turnitintooltwo/sdk/soap.class.php | Line: 342 | Message: couldn't connect to host | Code: 0

    Many thanks

  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Mon, Oct 17, 2016, 8:28 PM
    Hi Ken,

    Generally in cases like this we've found that updating the CA certificates solves the problem. It's very difficult to diagnose from our side if it's intermittent. The information Product Support is similar to what's in the plugin documentation:

    Is it still happening regularly? Is there any pattern to when it happens?


  • Picture of Ken Farrimond
    Mon, Oct 17, 2016, 8:53 PM
    Hi John

    Thanks for your response. The issues has been passed to the Turnitin engineering team on Friday, who have copies of our API logs, so we hope to have a response soon. We did update the CA certificates, but could they cause intermittent failures? If it can then we might need to investigate this area further. It is the intermittent nature of the failures that is so perplexing. I have tried plotting the failure times, but there is no real pattern. Most failures are during the main part of the day, but that is when the service is being used.

    We are looking at other services on the server, let me list them in case any give a suggestion as to a cause. We have a single physical server running 12 Moodle sites, most with a Turnitin connection. There is also MNET connections from each site to a single Moodle site (which does not use Turnitin). We have running on the same server a copy of EZproxy so there server has two IP addresses to all EZproxy to work (we are looking at moving EZproxy to a virtual server in case this is the cause).

    At its most basic level this problem means that sometimes you can test the Turnitin connection and it works fine, other times you try and get a failure. But for staff and students it just looks like something not working.

    Any help much appreciated.

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