Turnitin: Known Issues: Turnitin and Blackboard Learn 9.0

Known Issues: Turnitin and Blackboard Learn 9.0

The most up-to-date known issues can be found here:


Known Issues for Bb v9.0


Changes in version 2.5.15
1.fix for Blackboard 9.1: creating Turnitin Assignments is in the "Create Assessment" area
Changes in version 2.5.14
1.fixed issue with Java error when grading a submission
2.fixed issue with IE7 and vertical scrollbar not showing up
Changes in version 2.5.13
1.fixed issue with students getting a blank page if an instructor user is disabled
2.fixed an issue with IE where the frame height was too small
Changes in version 2.5.12
1.fixed an issue with small fonts with Blackboard 9.1
2.fixed an issue where administrators accessing Turnitin Assignments got a java error instead of the error page
Changes in version 2.5.11
1.fixed a double breadcrumb bar on the submission page for Blackboard 9.0
Changes in version 2.5.10
1.fixed cancelUrl links in Blackboard Gradebook pages
2.added a setting for instructors to choose whether to display grades to students before the assignment post date
Changes in version 2.5.9
1.in view assignments by groups, use current user instead of earliest enrolled instructor
2.fixed recallUrl links for confirmation pages
3.use earliest enrolled TA as the instructor if nobody is enrolled with the instructor role
Changes in version 2.5.8:
1.save all files for instructor comments and notes in the directory including the user-created course ID; if the assignment was created using an older plugin (pre-2.x.0), there was a way it could have used the directory including the Blackboard-created primary course ID
2.when looking up files, search in directories using both the user-created course ID and the Blackboard-created primary course ID
Changes in version 2.5.7:
1.fixed the jsp:forward call for students to view grades when using Blackboard 9.1
2.fixed a bug when looking up currently attached files if attempt directories don't yet exist
Changes in version 2.5.6:
1.fixed a breadcrumb link for students on the submit page to go back to the Content page
Changes in version 2.5.5:
1.fixed a link on the page to save grades in the Blackboard Gradebook for submissions to assignments created using an old building block
Changes in version 2.5.4:
1.changed the way teacher email is created to support multiple instructor schema
Skipped version number 2.5.3

Changes in version 2.5.2:

Made changes to accommodate for Blackboard 9
1.added web services URL to configuration page as a setting
2.removed copy button when creating Turnitin Assignments
3.in course copy, set orig ID to first gradebook column ID if there is only one column
4.added support for Grader and Course Builder roles to see Turnitin Assignments as instructors
5.checked that paper ID for 'Clear Attempt' is valid value
6.fixed attempt ID to allow students to view instructor feedback files
7.fix Statistics page to support IE users
Changes in version 2.5.1:
1.fixed pages to support IE users
2.put Create, Modify, Submit, and View pages all within framesets
3.set size and names for these framesets so that they open completely
4.fixed breadcrumbs within these pages to have correct target
Changes in version 2.5.0:
1.changed version number according to new numbering scheme to match other versions and their numbering schemes
2.changed the directory in which files that instructors save for comments and notes are stored to include the user-created course ID rather than the Blackboard-created primary course ID. This is how files are stored for normal Blackboard assignments.
3.made changes to accommodate for Blackboard 9
4.fixed breadcrumb bar issues so links don't open new windows or add another breadcrumb bar to the frame
5.fixed links in breadcrumb bar
6.fixed paths to certain images ('OK', 'View') that resided in different places in previous versions of Blackboard
7.fixed paths to certain images ('OK', 'View') that resided in different places in previous versions of Blackboard
8.created new method to store files for instructor notes and comments because GradebookFileManager functions were deprecated
Known Issues:
1.430 error when checking the status of the Building Block after properly configuring it:

Try restarting your Blackboard server and try again
If the problem persists or happens intermittently, search your Blackboard server(s) for the saaj.jar file. If you find any instances of the saaj.jar file in any of the other building block directories, you can take the following action:

1.You can request from the vendor of that building block a version that has the saaj.jar file removed
2.You can manually remove the saaj.jar file from your server (we do not guarantee that the building block will continue to function normally, but it normally does); restart your server.
3.If problems continue to persist, contact our Helpdesk.
2.The '!' in the Blackboard Gradebook doesn't show for a student who has submitted to a Turnitin Assignment.

Basically, what is happening is that the student is submitting a paper, and it is being received by Turnitin, but when Turnitin tries to make a web service call back into Blackboard to indicate in Blackboard that the student has submitted, the web service call fails, and the student receives the error message: "The paper was submitted successfully to Turnitin, but the Blackboard Gradebook was not modified. The Blackboard Gradebook does not currently reflect his assignment's submission status." That means there is no exclamation mark in the Blackboard Gradebook for the Turnitin Assignment for each student that has submitted a paper and received this error message.

The likely cause is that during the submission process, after the papers were received by Turnitin, there was an error that occurred in the web service call. What happens when a student submits to a Turnitin Assignment is that it is accepted by our system, and then a web service call is made from our Turnitin servers to the Blackboard servers to indicate in Blackboard that the student has submitted for this Turnitin Assignment, and particularly to have that exclamation mark appear in the Blackboard Gradebook. However, there are times when that web service call can fail for one reason or another, thus making it so that Turnitin has received the paper successfully by the indication in the Blackboard Gradebook could not be completed. This is a known issue for which happens intermittently for different institutions, and we have not been able to determine the cause or reproduce it on our own systems. We are looking for a way to reproduce this error consistently so that we can come up with a solution for it but have not been able to so far. Because the papers are still successfully received by Turnitin, instead of giving the user a large error screen when this occurs, we just give a notice that the paper was successfully received, but that the web service call failed.

There isn't a solution to this problem really, or a way to get that exclamation mark to appear in the Blackboard Gradebook. We are looking into a tool that will try to resend the web service call, but we're not sure if this will work either. What you can try is having the instructor delete the submission and having the student try to submit again. If the error happens again for that student, please contact our Helpdesk.

3.Error when trying to modify an existing Turnitin assignment or grade a submission in an existing Turnitin Assignment.

One thing to check here is if there is a corresponding Gradebook column for this Turnitin Assignment, and that Gradebook column needs to have the same title as the Turnitin Assignment. If the Gradebook column is missing or the title is different (e.g., abbreviated, etc.) this will cause the errors to occur.

4.Copying Turnitin Assignments in Blackboard

First off, copying Turnitin Assignments that were not created with a Turnitin building block version 2.0.5 and above will not work no matter what. It just wasn't supported back then and won't work if the original Turnitin Assignment that is being copied wasn't created with a building block that supported Course Copy.

Secondly, using the "Copy" button that shows up next to the content item along with the "Modify", "Manage" and "Remove" buttons in the "Assignments" area in the "Control Panel" also will not work in trying to copy a Turnitin Assignment. We have added code to remove that button, but if for some reason it still shows up in that area, do not use it to copy a Turnitin Assignment.

The only way where copying should work is from the "Control Panel", selecting the "Course Copy" feature in the "Course Options" area. If you click on that link, it will give you 3 options.

Any one of these 3 options should work. However, if you choose "Copy Course Materials into a New Course" or "Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course", you have to be sure that you select the content area that contains the Turnitin Assignments that you want copied (e.g. Assignments) as well as the corresponding "Gradebook Items and Settings" to make sure the copy will succeed.

Otherwise, an instructor will need to delete any copied assignments and recreate them manually.

5.I'm having trouble with Blackboard 8 Grade Center and Turnitin Assignments

A known issue is that students are unable to access feedback that has been uploaded by instructors prior to the upgrade. When students view Turnitin Assignments in My Grades, the grade they have been given is not clickable, so they cannot view the additional files that have been uploaded.

This is the known issue with Blackboard 8 and our Turnitin Building Block. Blackboard has said that it will be addressed in Service Pack 4 for Blackboard 8, but we have not been informed as to when that will be released. The way Blackboard has implemented changes to their gradebook, "comments" that have been made by the instructor should be viewable there, but "attached files" are not accessible.

6.Incoming/outgoing connections with regards to the Turnitin Building Block and the Blackboard server

For the Turnitin Building Block to work correctly, the Blackboard server needs to be able to make outgoing HTTP/HTTPS connections as well as receive incoming HTTP/HTTPS connections. One the outgoing connections, the Blackboard server is going to be trying to make connections to api.turnitin.com over the standard HTTP or HTTPS ports.

Also, your Blackboard server needs to be able to receive incoming connections from our Turnitin servers. If you have a firewall in place that is not allowing outside connections to your Blackboard server, please check this. For your Blackboard servers, the ports 80 and 443 need to be accessible from our range of IP addresses, which is (note, this is different from the IP address you might get when your servers try to connect to our servers).

For other Blackboard known issues please see the frequently asked questions (FAQs) http://turnitin.com/static/helpCenter/index.php.


Any of the information and suggestions made in this file are "try at your own risk" and iParadigms/Turnitin cannot be held responsible for any actions you take.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 8199-904
  • Date Created: 8/17/2009
  • Last Modified Since: 1/6/2011
  • Viewed: 4192
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