The Turnitin Similarity Score: what does it actually mean?

The Turnitin Similarity Score is often the source of much discussion. Not only is the score often an indicator of unattributed text and possible misconduct, it can also be a very valuable learning tool to initiate conversations with students about acceptable use of sources and broader concepts of academic integrity. The resource Setting reasonable expectations for the Turnitin Similarity Score is intended to help with some of those conversations around what is/is not acceptable in terms of similarity. Additionally the resources Understanding text similarity for students and Understanding the Similarity Report - A student guide are available to directly facilitate these conversations with students.

What guidance do you offer students on interpreting their Turnitin Similarity Score? Do you have any resources you could share? We'd love to hear from you.

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  • We never set a maximum or minim number, instead looking at pattern matches. Often the similarity score will show where a student has language problem or a writing problem too. It can also show where a (digital) translator has been used or applied. More importantly, it uncovers educational problems.  It provides the opportunity to support students to learn. Lynn

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      • Gill Rowell
      • Advocacy & Thought Leadership Specialist, Turnitin
      • Gill_Rowell
      • 7 mths ago
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      Great to hear from you Lynn I love that you are using the report rather like a diagnostic tool, to identify areas where a student may need more support.

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