Why do I get error messages about dates and post-dates on Turnitin assignments?

~ 0 min
2019-11-20 09:36


Error messages can occur when instructors have set, in conjunction with Turnitin (TII), the “Available from” date on the Assignment settings in WorldClassRoom to:

  • Any date before students are loaded
  • A date more than a year in the past

 turnitin errors related to start date


There is no need to use a date before the term starts (in either Turnitin or WorldClassRoom) so it is best to remove any dates that occur before the official start of the term.

There are dates, however, that are set by the Turnitin (TII) system as soon as you touch the assignment. If you want to use "availability" dates to prevent students from seeing an assignment before a specific time determined by you, then do the following:

1.  If you are setting dates after students have been loaded, go to the Assignments list and unpublish the assignment in question. If students haven’t been loaded yet, there is no need to unpublish.

unpublish from assignment list


2.  Click on the Assignment and then click on "Edit Assignment Settings" to open up the assignment properties. Scroll down through the assignment properties and remove the “available from date.” Save the changes.


 remove available from date


3.  The error message should now be gone and you should see the Turnitin Inbox.

4.  Click on the TII settings. You will notice that the Due Date is grayed out – this cannot be changed in the TII settings (but can be changed in the Assignment settings).


 basic TII settings

Basic Turnitin Settings


5.  You can and should change the Start Date (This should be changed to the day students are loaded or after OR to the desired "Available from" date) and the Feedback Release Date (Change this to one day after the Due date).

6.  Submit your changes.

7.  Go back into Edit Assignment settings, add back in your “Available from” date then Save and Publish the assignment.

For Course Leads:

It is important that course leads look at the Turnitin settings on assignments within the Master course. Because there are no dates set on Master courses, Turnitin can project a false positive for assignment date set-ups and this can cause problems in the sections that will be cloned.

Course leads should look at the Turnitin settings to check for the "Start" date of each assignment (see image in above section). In your master, this could be several terms in the past and it will carry forward to the live, cloned sections unless you change it each term. If the instructors teaching the live sections do not review the assignment, there could be problems for students when it comes time to submit. The start date should be set to a date within the term that is coming up. Using the first day of the term will ensure the assignment is available. 

Canvas has created several very useful guides for creating and managing Turnitin assignments. These are listed below:

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