Student Authenticity: Originality Reports vs. Turnitin

In an ever-expanding digital age with nearly unlimited access to information, students are able to learn more than ever before and showcase their knowledge in unique ways. With so much available to students, institutions need to empower them to do their best work by fostering original thinking and authenticity. 

Turnitin has been a longstanding contender in the realm of EdTech built to uphold academic integrity, but Google Workspace for Education originality reports, included with the Teaching and Learning Upgrade and Education Plus editions, could be just the student support you need for your Google for Education domain.

Originality reports vs. Turnitin

Integration and enrollment capabilities

Turnitin is a standalone product that only integrates with Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, Sakai, and Schoology, putting Google Workspace for Education users at a disadvantage. Not only do originality reports integrate seamlessly into Google Classroom assignments, but they can also operate in any learning management system (LMS) with learning tools interoperability (LTI). 

Because they link to Google Classroom assignments, there is no enrollment process with originality reports. It is available for every student enrolled in a class and the teacher assigned to it. With Turnitin, institutions have a Google single sign-on (SSO) option, but students must still be enrolled in their Turnitin classes individually via a roster or self-enroll with a code. 

Academic integrity

Students regularly incorporate external inspiration into their writing and avoid plagiarism by attributing credit to the appropriate source. Before submission, originality reports and Turnitin let students pre-screen their assignments, enabling them to check their own work for missing citations and teaching them to build on outside ideas properly. Originality reports allow for 5 pre-screens while Turnitin only allows for 3. 

Student growth and success

Feedback and revision are key factors in students’ academic growth. Originality reports and Turnitin let teachers provide students with comments and grading rubrics, and have peer review capabilities. The additional feature that comes with originality reports is the interaction with Google docs so feedback can be accessed directly in Google Classroom. Beyond that, Turnitin includes a gradebook for assignment scores, but originality reports’ grades also sync with the gradebook in Google Classroom.

School matches

Once students submit an assignment, originality reports and Turnitin scan internet resources and previously submitted work in the class to show the percentage of plagiarized content, linking to where it was pulled from. 

Recently, originality reports went a step further and released the school matches feature. In addition to assessing student work against billions of web pages and books, it can also scan your Google Drive data for potential misconduct. 

When school matches are enabled by your admin, submitted Google Classroom work will automatically be added to your school-owned repository in a private, hidden shared drive. After an originality report is run, it can detect content matches among other assignments in the repository from other students in different classes across the Google Workspace for Education domain. Admins can also add or remove work from the repository at any time.

To enable school matches:

  1. Admin console Home page > Apps > Google Workspace > Classroom

  2. Select the teachers’ organizational unit

  3. Click Originality Reports and check the Enable originality reports school matches box

  4. Then Save

School matches allow for a student-to-student comparison on submitted assignments without compromising student safety and security. 

Amplified IT works with EDU institutions across North American to leverage Google Workspace for Education to meet the needs of their administrators, teachers, and students. Originality reports add so much value to a student’s EdTech experience and are the best choice for institutions currently using Google Classroom, especially now with the school matches capability. 

If your institution currently has the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus edition, make sure your Google Admin console is configured to support the school matches feature before you enable it.  

If you are interested in upgrading your Google Workspace for Education edition, contact your regional account manager.  

To learn more about the updates to Google Classroom, click here.

  • Catherine Weers
    Onboarding & Engagement Consultant

  • About the Author:

    Catherine lives in Virginia Beach, walking distance to the Chesapeake Bay where she is Amplified IT’s Google for Education Onboarding and Engagement Consultant. Catherine joined the Amplified IT team in 2017 after serving in public schools for 13 years as a teacher in addition to various technology roles. Her current role as Onboarding and Engagement Consultant allows ample opportunity to empower schools, while sharing best practices to get the most out of the cloud solutions they adopt. In her spare time, you can find her at the beach with her family, likely chasing her 2 young daughters and petting all the dogs.