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Turnitin: Anonymous marking

Anonymous marking is addressed in The University Examinations and Assessment Handbook, which states, “Wherever practicable and appropriate, coursework should remain anonymous to the marker until the marking has been completed.”

Turnitin allows for the anonymous marking of papers submitted by students, by hiding students’ names from markers and programme administrators.

Some points to note:

  • Anonymous marking must be enabled before any submissions have been made to the assignment, and cannot be applied retroactively
  • Anonymity is automatically turned off (and student names revealed to staff) on the assignment Feedback Release Date.
  • Whilst anonymous marking is turned on for a Turnitin assignment, no grade data is transferred to the Blackboard Gradebook.
  • Non-submitters can be identified while Anonymity is on:
    • In the Gradebook the word “New Submission” will appear for any student who has submitted.
    • The “Submission List” downloadable sheet from the assignment inbox will show the names of those who have not submitted.

How do I enable Anonymous marking?

When a Turnitin assignment is created, there are some Optional Settings that can be applied.

In the section labelled Submission settings, tick the checkbox to Enable anonymous marking.

Circle check box to enable anonymous marking

For more general help with creating Turnitin assignments, please see our guide Set up a Turnitin Assignment.

Anonymous marking will remain in place until the Feedback Release Date is reached.

The Feedback Release Date determines

  • the date and time when students are able to view their marks and feedback
  • the date on which student names are revealed to staff.

Grading and providing feedback with Anonymous marking enabled



Step 1: Access Assignment

Access the Turnitin assignment you are marking from the associated Blackboard module. This could be through a assignment link in the Assessment area (see Turnitin: Access and View Assignments for more details).

A turnitin submission point is highlighted

In the Assignment Inbox, where you would see a list of student names, you will see all submissions anonymised with a label titled “Reveal author’s identity.”

Turnitin LTI Assignment inbox with Anonymised names

Step 2: Select a paper to mark

Click on the blue pencil icon  which denotes the submission has not been graded to open the Feedback Studio, where you can view and grade a student paper. The only difference you will notice is that you will see the word ANONYMOUS where the student’s name would normally appear.

Anonymous in feedback studio

You can return to the inbox or use the forwards and backwards arrows in the Feedback Studio to work though the papers. If you are using a group filter you will not be able to use the forward and backwards arrows as they will go on to the next student in the whole cohort not the next student in the group.

Managing and administering assessments with anonymous marking

While anonymous marking does not have any impact on the tools for providing feedback on student papers, it does have implications for the administration of assignments.

In the assignment inbox, showing where the Download All button is available in an anonymous assignment- Grade Report and Submission lists can be downloaded.

Recording non-submissions

The Download All button is still visible for an anonymous assignment.

  • Submission list – will download an excel spreadsheet with the names of those who have submitted obscured and the names of those who have not submitted will be revealed.
Submission Report spreadsheet the names of those who have submitted are anonymised but those who have not submitted are named.

Tracking submitted papers for moderation

The Download All button is still visible for an anonymous assignment.

  • Grade Report – will download an excel spreadsheet with the grade details, but with the names and email addresses anonymised.
In the assignment inbox, showing the paper ID column in the downloaded Grade Report

The Paper ID can be used to identify papers for the moderation process while anonymity is still on.

Downloading submitted files

If you download the original files submitted by students, having Anonymous marking enabled introduces some minor differences.

Before the Feedback Release Date (i.e. while anonymity is still enabled)

  • In order to download even a single paper, you will need to use Download All then Original files.
  • When you download submitted files these will be saved in a zip file. Open the zip file and you will see that, in order to preserve anonymity, the filenames of the downloaded papers have been prefixed with an 8-digit number, corresponding to the Paper ID visible in the Turnitin Inbox. All other identifying data will be obscured.
Download of anonymous files - showing in Exracted zip file.

Once the Feedback Release Date passed – meaning that anonymity is removed – downloaded files will show the Paper ID plus the authors’ names.

how files appear after post date in Extracted zip file.

Paper IDs are fixed during and after anonymity.

What if you need to lift anonymity at any point?

If you need to reveal the name of a student at any point during the marking process, you can do so by clicking on the Reveal author’s identity tab in the Assignment Inbox, as shown below. Add a reason for needing to reveal the name and click Reveal.

Reveal button and text box for reasons for need to reveal student's identity

Once revealed the name cannot be hidden again.

Student name revealed in Anonymous marking inbox.

All actions to reveal a student’s name are logged at system level.

Important information!
Please note that Anonymous marking must be enabled before any submissions have been made to the assignment – once students have started submitting (even if they are submitting drafts) you are not able to turn on Anonymous marking. Similarly, once students start submitting, if Anonymous marking was previously enabled, you are not able to turn it off.

Guide last updated on October 12, 2022

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