Monthly Archives: July 2015

Turnitin: Email non-submitters

Turnitin have recently added a new feature to their product that appears to allow Succeed Module Instructors to email students who have not submitted to a Turnitin assignment. The purpose of this blog posting is to warn you that this new “Email non-submitters” option DOES NOT CURRENTLY WORK. Perhaps even worse, the new functionality does ‘appear’ to work.

When viewing Turnitin Assignment submissions in the Assignment Inbox area, a new option appears to ‘Email non-submitters‘ (circled in the image below):


When clicked the following form appears:

Email Non-Submitters Form

If a subject and message are added to the form, the ‘Include me‘ option is ticked and ‘Send‘ is clicked then the staff member will get a copy of the message as an email but the students who should also get the message WILL NOT.

Turnitin are working on a fix and hope to have a working feature before semester starts. If a fix cannot be found then the button will be removed.

In working condition such a feature would be particularly useful with anonymous assignments as it would allow a quick and simple way to alert students that they have missed a deadline (although it will not know about students that have been granted extensions).

Some background to this situation: Turnitin have two integrations with Succeed: ‘Basic’ and ‘Direct’. Stirling uses the ‘Basic’ integration and currently this is Turnitin’s favoured route for moving to their forthcoming integration (called ‘Next’, possibly arriving in Summer 2016). ‘Next’ will offer a host of improved features, including a modern interface. The ’email non-submitters’ feature does work with the ‘Direct’ integration. It is clear that Turnitin slipped up with their testing before releasing this feature.

Succeed Upgrade

We plan to upgrade Succeed to the latest release (October 2014) on August 1st. There are two reasons that we wish to upgrade:

(i) The underlying Oracle database needs upgrading and only the October 2014 release supports the appropriate release of Oracle

(ii) In the short-term, Blackboard have changed their release process away from two major releases a year (April/October) to one of smaller incremental upgrades and only the October 2014 release gets these, as say are called, cumulative updates. Thus we’ll be in a position to install security fixes, if needed, and add new functionality, if required.

Blackboard intend to return to their bi-annual release policy in April 2016.

The good news about October 2014 is that it is primarily a bug fix release and does not introduce a host of new features or modified workflows. Thus both staff and students should find that nothing or very little changes with the upgrade.

As we are upgrading both Succeed and the underlying database we expect Succeed to be down for the majority of 1st August (9am – 5pm). Obviously let us know if this date causes issues with planned activities.