Technology Enhanced Learning

Anonymous marking in Turnitin

The technical side of anonymous marking is straightforward, but the implications may need a little more consideration.

Turnitin settings

How to switch on anonymous marking

Anonymous marking should ideally be switched on when setting up an inbox, and must be switched on before any student submits an assignment. If an assignment is submitted without anonymity, then it is assumed that all student identities are known, and anonymity cannot be applied. Similarly, if students' names are revealed, they cannot be re-anonymised (the assumption being that if someone could have seen each identity, subsequent anonymity is meaningless).

Students' names will be revealed when the post date is reached, though you may reveal individual names if necessary (see below).

Anonymous marking is switched on in the first group of settings when adding a new Turnitin inbox.

Anonymous marking

The inbox, before submissions are made, will appear as below, with each student's name replaced by 'Anonymous Marking Enabled'.

Turnitin inbox anonymised and empty

Originality report settings

Whether you allow students to see the originality report or not, the setting under Originality Report Options-Report Generation Speed will affect administration of your submissions. If you allow students to resubmit, then each student can correct submissions made in error. If you do not allow resubmissions, those papers will have to be deleted. Doing so with anonymity turned on will require the Turnitin paper ID. This 8-digit number is visible to students, included in the email receipt sent from Turntin, or discoverable by going back into the Turnitin inbox within Moodle.

Originality report options

If the separate option, 'display originality reports to students' (in the general section) is set to no, then students will not see the originality report, but the resubmissions portion will still apply. Staff will see the originality report when it is generated whether students can see it or not.


If your students are separated into groups in SDS, you can also use those groups in Turnitin - that allows markers to mark just their students, even when anonymised. The option is under 'common module settings' within the Turnitin assignment settings. It does not matter whether you choose 'separate groups' or 'visible groups'. (Note that the 'visible' setting here is separate, and refers to whether the Turnitin inbox is visible by students.)

Switch on groups


The process of anonymous marking may prompt changes to existing admin processes. Some areas for consideration are covered below.

Communications to students

The contents of the paper submitted should also be anonymised; students should be told not to include their name. Your processes may mean including their student number is safe (and that markers either cannot or will not look it up) - if so, advise students to include it. Such a unique identifier is probably only necessary if papers are going to be printed and marked offline. If they are marked online, students' identities are revealed on the post date.

If you want to make the submission totally anonymous, students should be informed:

  1. To title the file generically, without identifying information, because the assignment file name is revealed when a file is downloaded.
  2. How to remove identifying information from Word. The author's name will appear in a file's properties even if saved as a pdf. (In Word, use File-Check for Issues-Inspect document.)

Adding marks to SDS

Current administrative processes may rely on knowing a student's name so as to input marks to SDS. Names are only revealed when the post date is reached. You can bring the post date forward, but should only do so when all marking has been completed, so as to avoid some students learning their marks early.

Removing submissions

You may need to remove a student's submission - for instance, if 'do not allow resubmissions' is set under the originality report options, and a student wants to submit a second time. With an un-anonymised inbox, you can just look for the student's name and delete their paper.

Recommendation: allow resubmissions or inform students that, when asking to resubmit, they must supply their paper ID, which they can find by going back into the Turnitin submission inbox within Moodle.

Uploading submissions

School staff (administrative or academic) will not be able to upload work on a student's behalf, as they will not be able to tell which 'Anonymous Marking Enabled' user is that student. FLTs can, where absolutely necessary, alias as a student and upload work on their behalf where there is a problem.

Contacting non-submitters

You may still contact anyone who has not uploaded work, by using a feature within the Turnitin inbox. With anonymity switched on, it will be impossible to spot where a student has submitted work to a different Turnitin inbox, putting a little more onus on students (or in extremis, an FLT) to tidy up any such mistakes by submitting to the correct inbox.

The 'notify non-submitters' option, available above the list of student submissions, sends an email to everyone who has not submitted a file to the Turnitin inbox. You may also copy in your own email address.

Notify non-submitters

Marking groups of students

If groups are setup in the module, those groups can be selected within the Turnitin inbox, to allow markers to filter an inbox, showing only their students. The option to show these groups is within the Turnitin inbox settings, under 'Common module settings'. This option can be selected at any point, even after submissions have been made to the inbox.

Groups are available in the inbox

Revealing an individual student's name

To reveal a student's name, to investigate a case of plagiarism, for example, click on the 'anonymised...'. The red text at the bottom right, mostly missing from the popup, is 'There are required fields in this form marked Required field.'

Reason for unmasking

Curriculum Development Team - Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 12/12/2016

Banner image courtesy David Brossard