Blackboard Direct V2.5 Release Notes

2019 July 2nd

This change does not require a plugin update.

New science QuickMarks and rubrics now in TFS (except for UK)

Put on your chemistry goggles and fire up the Bunsen burners. The Feedback Studio and Teaching and Learning Innovations Teams (TLI) just released three sets of science-related rubrics and accompanying QuickMarks (QMs)! Aligned to the concepts of the NGSS and broken out for younger and older students, these resources will make it easier for teachers to score and provide meaningful feedback on both shorter and longer pieces of writing in science and STEM classes. Please note that these Marie-Curie-approved rubrics and QMs are not available in the UK yet, but they will be soon.

  • Rubric & QM: 6th-8th Grade Science Argument (CER)
  • Rubric & QM: 9th-12th Grade Science Argument (CER)
  • Rubric & QM: Science Short Answer

New ELA short answer QuickMarks and rubric now in TFS (except for UK)

Additionally, the TFS and TLI teams also released an English Language Arts (ELA) rubric and QM set that are both perfect for instructors to use when asking their students to directly, but briefly, defend a claim or explain a topic in an English class or other humanities course. This rubric and QM set is also coming to the UK in the near future.

  • Rubric & QM: ELA Short Answer


2019 May 24

This change does not require a plugin update.

Students now alerted when content loads on screen in text-only Turnitin Feedback Studio

Previously, in the text-only view of Turnitin Feedback Studio, students weren't getting visual or auditory indications that new content had been selected or loaded on their screen. Now, when students tab through sections of text, select radio buttons, or choose the "Show previous/next 20 highest matches" link, the selection is outlined or highlighted, and the text itself is read aloud (if the student is utilizing the screen reader).

2019 May 16

This change does not require a plugin update.

International Baccalaureate QuickMarks now available

Two sets of International Baccalaureate (IB) QuickMarks were just released in Feedback Studio to help teachers provide specific, actionable feedback aligned to the IB MYP5 Lit and Lang and the IB Extended Essay assessment criteria. Also, for the first time, localized British English versions of these QuickMarks will available in Feedback Studio in the UK.

IB QuickMarks

2019 April 16th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Accessibility improvements

We have made some improvements to the labeling of some aspects of our Text-Only report so that they can now be understood by screen readers. The three different modes available in the mode combo box can now all be properly identified as well as the list of preferences that can be edited within the ‘show matches one at a time’ mode. Unsure how to access our Text-Only report? Read our guide to learn how.

2019 April 10th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Localized links in welcome emails

The welcome email that all new Turnitin users receive now contains localized help links. The language of the welcome email sent out to administrators and instructors is dictated by the notification language selected upon opening the account.

Rubric criteria rounding issue

We’ve resolved a bug with rubric criteria rounding. Certain scenarios would cause the total percentage of the rubric criteria to appear as 99.999’% rather than 100%. This issue has been resolved.

2019 March 26th

This change does not require a plugin update.

Text-only view will now show your similarity matches correctly

For some papers, opening them in the 'text-only' view caused two different unintended problems when trying to view more details about a match.

  • When opening a paper with a match from within your institution, the paper view request form showed, rather than the original source text.
  • When opening a paper with a match from an external institution, the paper view request form would show as intended, but the process could not complete.

We have fixed the underlying problem that was causing these two issues, and similarity matches will now display correctly. No further action is required to update any assignments in which you may have noticed this behavior.

2019 March 7th

This change does not require a plugin update.

PDFs containing no text are now viewable in Feedback Studio

To generate a similarity report, we first need to extract text from a document. With PDFs, we used to only show documents that have extractable text, even when ‘Accept Any File Type’ was selected for the assignment.

Now when viewing a PDF with no text, we will show a viewable version of the PDF that you can use with QuickMarks and our other commenting tools.

2019 February 22nd

This change does not require a plugin update.

Improved Czech translations? Check!

One of the users using our Czech noticed a few areas where our translations could be improved. We’ve had these pages checked thoroughly and new translations have been added.

Have you noticed a problem in your own language? Get in touch with our support team at and let us know.

M14:11 errors should now be less frequent

In a number of cases, Feedback Studio would fail to correctly process a submission causing it to not show when trying to open the document viewer. This lead to the M14:11 error that some users were experiencing.

The M14:11 error denotes a problem with the processing of a submission when it is displayed. Investigation into this issue has been a top priority for our engineers for a number of weeks and we are happy to report that the underlying issues behind this error have now been resolved.

It is possible that it could still show when there is a genuine problem with a submission. However, for the vast majority of users the document viewer should operate as intended.

2019 February 12th

New password requirements for all users

We believe firmly in ensuring that our user's accounts are protected and secure. To this end, we have improved the options available to users when they create their passwords and extended the minimum character length to 8 characters.

All passwords created when initially setting up your account, or resetting your password, must be:

  • A minimum of 8 characters
  • No maximum length
  • Must not be a commonly used or simple password (I.e. 'Password' should not be your password!)
  • Use any mix of characters!

    We accept lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and any special characters you can think of. Research has shown that setting arbitrary requirements decreases password security. Feel free to make your password as complex as you would like.

Japanese language submissions will only be flagged with the suspicious paper tooltip when it is relevant

When a paper was submitted entirely in Japanese, we would sometimes show the ‘The service has flagged this paper as having characteristics common to papers submitted in an attempt to artificially lower the similarity index for the Originality Report.’ tooltip on the instructor dashboard when it was not relevant to the paper in question.

We will now only show this tooltip when a paper meets our criteria for a suspicious paper.

2019 January 29th

Google SSO is now available for our beta users

We made our sign-up form available for account administrators to help us set up their institutions to use Google single sing-on as an authentication method to connect to Turnitin. You'll have received an email from us once your account is ready.

Once you are activated, you'll now be able to use the 'Sign in with Google' button found on the Turnitin login page. Looking for a quick guide to get you started? Check out our Administrator, Instructor, and Student guides.

Haven't had a chance to sign up yet? Read our guide to learn how.

2019 January 23rd

Sign your institution up to use Google SSO from within Turnitin - Administrator Only

We’re excited to share this new feature with you soon, but for your institution to take advantage of Google SSO, we need a little extra information from you. We’ve made the link easier to find by putting it on the settings page for your account. Just look for the 'Register for Google SSO' heading.

If you've already sent us your details, no further action is required. We'll be in touch soon!

2019 January 15th

Change the visibility of QuickMark sets

This change does not require a plugin update.

Turnitin comes packed with many QuickMark sets that help to make your life easier. However, we know that not every set will be relevant to every Instructor. You can now change the visibility of QuickMark sets with just a few clicks! Check out our guide to learn how.

2019 January 11th

Browse button no longer disappears

If an error occurred while attempting to submit, the ‘Browse’ button to locate a paper would disappear, forcing the user to reload the assignment inbox and start their submission again. Now they simply resolve the error and continue as normal.

Removing students from an assignment

It was discovered that removing a student from an assignment that had already made a submission could cause the assignment in question to become inaccessible. Now students can be removed without impacting the assignment.

Launching GradeMark before the post date

If ‘Reveal Grades Immediately’ has been set for an assignment, the student’s grade will be visible to them from the assignment inbox however they can only view their full GradeMark report once the Post Date has passed. If a student were to attempt to launch their GradeMark report before the Post Date, they would receive an error stating a ‘problem had occurred’. Now a fix has been implemented disabling the launch of GradeMark with an indicator stating the PostDate has not yet passed.

2018 December 19th

You can now upload files inside a Google Drive folder

When using Google Drive upload and switching to the 'folder view', a bug had prevented files within these folders from appearing. We've replaced the 'folder view' with 'My Drive'. This new view will allow you to look through all of the files on your Google Drive, and even search for a specific file.

2018 November 28th

Translated help links now go to the right place

We made a few changes to our main website this year, which had the unintended side-effect of breaking some of the links within Turnitin Feedback Studio. One you may have noticed was the '(?) Help' link, for any of our translated versions of the site, would land you on our homepage. We've updated these links to take you to the relevant guidance for each language.

2018 October 30th

New instructors can now see the EULA in the language of their country

We identified an issue that displayed the English EULA to new instructors of non-English speaking countries. Now, all new users will see the EULA in the correct language!

Administrators can now change the email address of an unenrolled instructor

Administrators would be greeted with an error message when attempting to change the email address of an unenrolled instructor. An unenrolled instructor is an instructor who hasn't yet completed their user profile or logged into Turnitin. We’ve fixed this issue!

2018 October 17th

Instructors can no longer join a Turnitin account using a join key

At Turnitin, fair and secure usage of our platform is important to us. We’ve recently investigated the issue of unauthorized access to Turnitin through public sharing of join keys on external websites. Whilst this illegitimate access could not compromise the data of any of our users, it’s only fair that those using our service are doing so legitimately. To prevent uninvited folk from accessing our platform in the future, moving forward, administrators will have two options for adding instructors to Turnitin: uploading a list of instructors or adding instructors one by one. Any join keys currently in public circulation should be removed.

This change will impact instructors access only. Student join keys can still be used to access Turnitin; however, we ask that your institution removes any student join keys from public circulation.

2018 October 4th

 Integration deactivation modal no longer grayed out

We've fixed a cosmetic issue affecting administrators during integration deactivation. Previously, when administrators selected the 'Deactivate' button on the settings of a configured integration, depending on the size of the browser, the confirmation modal could be caught in a grayed out area. This has now been resolved.

2018 September 14th

Administrator tabs now display correctly

Previously, when an administrator switched over to the Instructors tab and then moved back to the Accounts tab from the Administrator Homepage, the colors of the tabs would not change. It could be confusing to users unfamiliar with Turnitin as to which tab was currently selected. This problem was purely cosmetic, but we’ve made sure that the right tab will be highlighted when in different sections of Feedback Studio.

Instructors can now enroll students with capitals in their email address

In our release on June 5th, we added the ability for uppercase letters to be used when an administrator adds Instructors to an account. We thought this was such a capital idea that we’ve extended the functionality to Instructors adding students to an account too!

2018 June 27th

 Voice comments now save to the correct papers in Google Chrome

Oops! Our Support team picked up reports that a bug was at large in Feedback Studio, causing voice comments to save to the wrong papers in HTML5/Google Chrome, which caused confusion for both instructors and students. Having sprayed the intertubes with a strong mite repellent, all is back to normal.

 Disabling online grading no longer disables ETS e-rater®

We identified a bug impacting the use of ETS e-rater® if an administrator disabled online grading in their Turnitin account settings. Now, should an administrator opt to disable online grading from the account features, they needn't worry about any other features being disabled, too. ETS e-rater® will remain active!

2018 June 19th

 Issues with Chinese and Japanese characters are now resolved

We received a report advising that, when using a rich text editor for Chinese and Japanese, the first letter of a text comment was not handled correctly; this caused some characters to duplicate and others to display in the Latin alphabet. We've fixed this issue!

 Instructors can now upload QuickMark sets without error

We found that QuickMark sets failed to upload if the set description contained " " which should be an accepted description. Whilst finding a fix for this issue, we advised users to enter the word null rather than use quotation marks. Thankfully, all QuickMark sets will now upload successfully regardless of their description.

2018 June 14th

 Increased support for quote exclusions in Feedback Studio!

You asked and we listened! Should you opt to exclude quotations from the Similarity Report, Turnitin (and iThenticate, too!) will now exclude all content between an updated set of quotation marks. This new support aims to provide a more reliable similarity score for our international users - specifically those submitting content in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Supported marks

Turnitin will exclude any matches that use the following quotation marks when you opt to exclude quotes from the Similarity Report:

" ... " « ... » » ... « „ … “ 《...》 〈...〉 『... 』


Unsupported marks

' ... '

Turnitin will not exclude matches using single quotation marks when you opt to exclude quotes from the Similarity Report:' ... '


2018 June 5th

 Uppercase letters are now accepted in user email addresses

If an administrator attempted to add an instructor to their account with an email address containing uppercase letters, they encountered an error message; this prevented them from successfully adding some instructors. We've resolved this issue by removing the letter case restriction in email addresses.

2018 May 29th

 No more references to 'pushing' PeerMark assignments to class sections

While Turnitin does not allow PeerMark assignments to be pushed to class sections, there were areas within the user interface that provided the option to do so; however, this quickly returned an error when attempted. To prevent any further confusion, we've made a big effort to remove all references to pushing PeerMark assignments to class sections.

 Oops! We've corrected anonymous marking tooltip information

When enabling anonymous marking in the "Create Assignment" page, we advised users that they would be applying a mask to a student's personal information until the due date. However, this was incorrect, as the mask is actually removed on the post date (the date that feedback is released to students). We've correct this information, located behind the anonymous marking tooltip icon .

 Administrators can now successfully share QuickMark sets to their account

We received a report that administrators were unable to share a QuickMark set to their account via the Share this set to account checkbox within the QuickMark library, with the checkbox failing to function as expected. This issue has now been resolved!

2018 May 5th

 Change the resolution of papers in Feedback Studio

Some of our users reported slow document load times since we upgraded the resolution of papers in Feedback Studio. To combat this, Feedback Studio now offers a "lite" image resolution option for quicker load times. At the bottom of the document viewer, you'll now find a High Resolution toggle which can be switched On and Off at your own convenience. We'll save this preference for any future visits you make to Feedback Studio, too. Say goodbye to delays in accessing submissions!


Archive - Turnitin Release Notes

2019 January 15th

Change the visibility of QuickMark sets

Turnitin comes packed with many QuickMark sets that help to make your life easier. However, we know that not every set will be relevant to every Instructor. You can now change the visibility of QuickMark sets with just a few clicks! Check out our guide to learn how.

This change does not require a plugin update.

2019 January 11th


You can continue to upload a file after encountering an error

Our upload process is simple to follow. However, sometimes a field can be missed or a student might forget to accept our user license agreement. Previously, if an error like this occurred, we'd let you know, but the upload process couldn't continue until you reloaded the page. Now, you can make any changes you need to and then go right ahead with the rest of the submission process.

Remove users from Blackboard without losing access to your Turnitin assignment

A bug had prevented some users from accessing their Turnitin assignments after removing a user from Blackboard. You'll now be able to remove users while still retaining access for yourself and other users.

Reveal grades to students without revealing Feedback

When you set an assignment to Reveal Grades Immediately, it was possible for students to view your feedback before the post-date for an assignment had passed. We'll now only update the grade column with any grade you give the student. Students can access your feedback once the post-date for the assignment has passed.

We now support Blackboard Q4 2018


2018 December 18th


This change does not require a plug-in update.

PeerMark Improvements

We wanted to kick the season of giving off in style, and what better way is there to do so than with some PeerMark improvements! After talking to users this year, we've tailored the improvements we've made to the things that will most improve the lives of our instructors and their students.

A prettier interface - We've changed how buttons and a few other elements look. This change should make it clearer to students where they need to click to start their reviews.

A new message when the start date hasn't passed - When a student tries to access a PeerMark assignment when the start date hasn't passed yet, we'll now show them a message telling them when they can come back to get started.

We've made accessing completed reviews much easier - A Received Feedback button can now be found on the PeerMark Reviews screen. This button allows students to immediately open any reviews they've received by their classmates.

Would you like to learn more? Students | Instructors

2018 August 02nd


 Users can accept our EULA when third-party cookies are disabled

When your cookie preferences were set to Allow from current website only, users found that they couldn't dismiss our EULA acceptance window. We've reworked the mechanics of how this window is displayed so that all users can use it as intended.

 You can now modify learners as well as instructors via Blackboard Course Tools

Feature improvement! Previously, you could access modify instructors from the ‘Modify Assignment’ page, but we’ve found this feature a new home and added the ability to modify learners enrollment, too!
You can now modify fellow instructors via Course Tools from the side navigation of your course page. Look out for the Turnitin Direct - Modify Enrollment link. Here, you can enroll or unenroll any students who are currently attached to the course.
We’ve introduced this new capability to help you manage your student usage limits. Any papers submitted by students that you unenroll will enter into a read-only state.

 The course relink option has been retired

We removed the access link to the Course Relink Tool in a prior release, but support still remained for the feature. With this release, the feature has now been retired.

 Continued support for previous versions of Oracle DB

In our 20180521.1.0 release, we fixed an issue where using our plugin with some versions of Oracle database would result in administrators seeing an error message when they tried to access the plugin configuration screen. We’ve revisited this issue and added further support for older versions of Oracle database.

 The assignment inbox will now load faster

We’ve streamlined some of our background code, and as a result, you should find that the assignment inbox now loads faster. This will be particularly noticeable in courses with a large number of Learners.

 Removed the possibility of duplicate submissions

We've all done it before. You open a tab and get distracted, then open the same page again in another window. Unfortunately, if you became distracted during the upload process, this confused the system and we weren’t able to identify which upload you were trying to complete. We've added an error message to notify you if the upload process has already been initiated in another window.

This error message will only appear if you attempt to complete two uploads at the same time for the same assignment. If you’re a multitasker needing to upload multiple classes or different assignments at the same time, you shouldn't have any problems

2018 May 22nd

 Hotfix! Instructors can now access all

We've all done it before. You open a tab and get distracted, then open the same page again in another window. Unfortunately, if you became distracted during the upload process, this confused the system and we weren’t able to identify which upload you were trying to complete. We've added an error message to notify you if the upload process has already been initiated in another window.
Note: This error message will only appear if you attempt to complete two uploads at the same time for the same assignment. If you’re a multitasker needing to upload multiple classes or different assignments at the same time, you shouldn't have any problems.

2018 May 21st


 Instructors can now create, modify, and attach a rubric or grading form during assignment setup

We've made assignment setup even easier! As an instructor, you can now attach, create or modify a rubric during assignment setup! Select the rubric icon to launch the manager, and use the rubric drop-down menu to attach your chosen rubric or grading form.

 Students can view the rubric or grading form used to mark their work

As a student, it's helpful to see the marking criteria for your assignment in order to understand how your work will be assessed prior to submitting. You can use this rubric as a tool to structure and write your paper. If your instructor has attached a rubric or grading form to your assignment, a rubric icon will appear in the submission inbox. Select this icon to view the rubric or grading form at any time before or after making your submission.

 Blackboard Grade Center grades can now be viewed in the submissions inbox

Have you chosen to ignore Turnitin grades, but would still like to view Blackboard grades in the submissions inbox? Now, you can! Create an assignment with the Ignore Turnitin Grades setting enabled and we'll display the Blackboard grade in the submissions inbox.

 Instructor repository settings are more transparent

We've made the Blackboard Direct v2.5 repository settings much clearer, by providing easy-to-understand, transparent language behind the Paper Repository help icon. During assignment setup, administrators and instructors can now be completely sure that they're selecting the correct storage options for student papers.

 Oracle DB administrators can now successfully configure the Blackboard Direct v2.5 plugin

We received reports that Oracle DPBadministrators were experiencing difficulty accessing the plugin configuration page in Blackboard, and were receiving the error message: 'Null or empty language code provided'. We've fixed this, and access to the configuration page is now possible.

 Students previously enrolled as instructors can now submit

We ran into an issue where a student was unable to submit if they had previously been enrolled in the same course in an instructor role. Our system failed to identify the student as being enrolled in the class with the 'Learner' role, and displayed the error message: 'Failed to submit paper'. We're pleased to advise that we've resolved this issue.

 Instructors can now accept the EULA when submitting on behalf of a student

We had some difficulty recognizing the fact that an instructor had accepted the EULA (end user license agreement) when submitting on behalf of a student; this was a result of Turnitin using the ID of the student, rather than the ID of the instructor. This problem caused the EULA to display in an infinite loop and prevented the instructor from submitting. Instructors can now accept the EULA without issue on their next visit to Blackboard Direct v2.5.

 No more duplicate submit icons!

Under certain circumstances, a duplicate submit icon appeared in the submissions inbox, which caused some confusion for our users. We've resolved this odd bug, and from here on out, users will only see one submit icon in their submissions inbox.

 We've fixed the 'Reveal grades immediately' setting

While the assignment setting ‘Reveal grades immediately’ should ensure that a student can see their grade (and overall grade) as soon as it becomes available, students found that they were unable to do so, being forced to wait until the post date had passed. We've made some updates to ensure that students can access their grade as soon as it's set by their instructor, providing that the 'Reveal grades immediately' setting is enabled.

 All instructors can now be unenrolled, regardless of their entry type

We noticed that the Modify Instructors page encountered an error if an instructor didn't have a local entry in Blackboard. Instructors who've been deleted from the Blackboard side don't possess a local entry, as well as those who've been enrolled in Turnitin directly. This issue caused the unlink feature - which unenrolls instructors from a class - to fail. We've managed to safely resolve this!

2018 March 08th


 The Blackboard Ultra theme now displays in Blackboard as expected

Are you using an instance of Blackboard that adopts the Blackboard Ultra theme? You may have noticed some cosmetic issues, particularly odd font and icon sizes, as well as skewed positions of text and boxes. We've made some changes to our CSS to fix all of these little snags. All should appear as you'd expect it to now.

CSS is used to format the layout of a webpage and stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows Turnitin engineers to create a uniform look across several pages or instances of the Turnitin product.

 Disabled fields now not only look disabled... they are disabled!

During assignment creation and editing, some of the setting drop-down menus looked disabled but remained active. We've made a fix to disable form elements so that they can now no longer be changed in instances where they're not meant to be changed. This should ease up any confusion.

2018 February 17th


 Previously, if you were using grading schemas, we'd show you a converted value in the Turnitin Inbox. Now, in the Turnitin inbox, you will only ever see the raw numeric value given for the submission. This value will still be passed to the Blackboard grade center where you can continue to use grading schemas.

2018 January 12th


 Instant Similarity Reports for up to three resubmissions

Feedback Studio allows students to view their Similarity Report results immediately! Students can now view their initial Similarity Report, then revise and resubmit their work up to three times, without having to wait 24 hours for an updated report. After three resubmissions have been made, the 24-hour report generation wait time will be restored. Instantaneous similarity results give students the formative support they need to master paraphrasing and citation conventions efficiently.

To enable resubmissions for students, you must correctly configure the assignment settings of a new or existing Blackboard V2.5 assignment.

  1. Scroll to Assignment.
  2. Under Report generation speed, select Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date): After 3 resubmissions, reports generate after 24 hours.

 K-12 QuickMark sets in Feedback Studio

QuickMarks are Turnitin's most popular feedback tool among Feedback Studio instructors! But in finding that many of our default QuickMark sets failed to address the needs of our K-12 instructors and students, we've added two new sets to the Feedback Studio collection. Our new drag-and-drop (and customizable!) comments will help instructors help their students to engage in revision, save time, and more importantly, achieve learning outcomes.

To view and edit your new QuickMarks, launch the QuickMark manager from the Blackboard Direct V2.5 submissions inbox, or alternatively, from within Feedback Studio.

Overall grades now appear correctly when using the schema scoring

When an assignment was configured to use the grading schema, 'Score', a submission's overall grade in the submissions inbox appeared to multiply by 1000. For example, a grade of 44 displayed as 44000. Sadly, our instructors weren't being overly generous this time, but rather a pesky bug! Having squished this critter, scores now appear as expected.