Working with Groups


A commonly used assessment across the University is group work with multiple students contributing to a single item which has a single mark. However, this model doesn’t fit with the Turnitin model, which expects one submission per student.

There are two main approaches to dealing with this:

  1. Use Turnitin for both similarity checking and marking
  2. Use Turnitin for similarity and Blackboard for marking

In both cases, we’re assuming you are used to setting up Groups within MyDundee.

Turnitin for Similarity and Grading

This can be useful if you want to check all students in a group agree on the final report. It’s much easier to set up if you do not mark anonymously.

Set up the assignment as usual, with the final grade, due/post dates etc.

Similarity reports

As the students’ work starts to be entered into the inbox, the similarity score only picks up the similarity between the students’ work and other sources, not other student submissions for the assignment.

Once the due date is met, you will see that there are most reports are 100% similar

To look at a particular group, use the filter at the top. If they’ve all submitted the same essay, all of these will be 100% similar.

To show the underlying similarity (i.e. the similarity seen before the due date), use the option to Exclude sources. Use the All Sources link (1), then Exclude Sources (2) to select the 100% similar file.

Marking in Turnitin

In order for all students to see the feedback you can either mark one item. and then copy the feedback/ grade to the others. If you make heavy use of Quick Marks and/or Rubrics, it’s probably not the best way. Alternatively, you can mark one item, then download the feedback file. As the students are named, it’s easy to email each member of the group a copy of the feedback file. Remember to add the grade in for each student.

Turnitin for Similarity, Blackboard for marking

 This works regardless of whether or not you will mark anonymously.

 Create a Turnitin assignment

 When you’re setting this up, set the overall grade to 0. For anonymous marking, make sure the post date is after the date you intend releasing the grades (or you’ll get to see who uploaded which file before you want to).

 Create a Blackboard assignment

 If you are unfamiliar with Blackboard’s assignments, Blackboard has some useful help pages. 

You can also check out the Ultra 101 video and guide for creating assignments and tests. 

The key points to note are

  • Use a group submission 
  • Make sure you select the correct groups 
  • Don’t use SafeAssign, as you’re already using Turnitin. 
  • Remember to submit (

Student workflow

 The students will have to upload to Turnitin – just one group member needs to do this, and then they need to download the similarity report, and hopefully they’ll discuss it with the rest of the group. 

They should select the similarity layer (1) , click the download icon (2), then select current view.

Once they have updated the report if needed, and generated the final report, they need to upload both the similarity report and the essay to the Blackboard assignment area.

Download the Similarity report
Upload the similarity report and the essay


The marker will only have to mark the item once, using Blackboard’s grading tools.

If you need to further examine the similarity report, you can use the paper ID / Report title / similarity index to locate the correct report in the Turnitin area.

Which is best?

While there is no right answer, there are a few points to consider:

  • Are you marking anonymously? If so, it’s much easier to use the Blackboard assignments for marking – but you might not be as familiar with this as Turnitin.
  • Do you want to ensure that students have all agreed on the final report? Making them all upload it helps to confirm they’re all happy.
  • Do you want the students to really engage with the Turnitin report? Getting them to download it and then upload as part of the final submission makes it more likely they’ll look at it.

Other questions?

Come along to a CTIL drop in session (Tuesday/Thursday 12-2; Exchange Street (Booth 5) on the Mid Floor of the Main library)

Email Help4U

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