Carnegie Mellon University

Instructor Guide: Tools


NameCoach is designed to support inclusive teaching practices. It allows students and instructors to record and share the proper pronunciation of their name.

NameCoach Instructor Guide...


Piazza is a Q&A type of discussion tool that allows students and instructors to post questions and provide responses in a timely way. The tool provides a number of other features including polling

View Piazza how-to's


Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser intended to provide secure testing by allowing access to only those sites/apps (e.g., a Canvas quiz) as designated by the instructor.

View Respondus how-tos


Turnitin is a plagiarism detection tool that compares students' submissions with Turnitin’s database of academic journals, commonly plagiarized websites, and other student submissions. 

View Turnitin how-to's

Atomic Jolt (PILOT)

We are repiloting this tool for spring semester only and we will be asking for user feedback at the end of the spring semester to determine wether or not we will continue to offer this tool.

The Atomic Jolt Search tool gives users a search bar that they can use to search for keywords across all content they have access to. The Search tool is accessed from within a course site and scans within content for any occurrence of the keyword(s) the user is searching for. 

View Atomic Jolt how-to's

How-to: Enable Piazza

  1. Go to the Settings area of your course site
  2. Click the Navigation tab
  3. Locate Piazza in the list and click the three dots to the right of “Piazza”
  4. Select Enable
  5. Save your changes on this page
  6. Next, click the Piazza link that now appears in your course’s left navigation menu

You will be prompted to set up your Piazza site. If you have already created a Piazza site that you would like to link to your Canvas site, use the “Already have a class on Piazza?” prompts. Note: while you will be required to enter an estimated enrollment, this will not impact anything if your actual class enrollment is either more or less than the estimated enrollment.

How-to: Enable Respondus LockDown Browser 

  1. Click on the “Navigation” tab from your Settings page.
  2. Next, find the LockDown Browser icon from the list and enable it within your course.
  3. Click the Save button. LockDown Browser will now appear on your left Course Navigation menu.
Note: This area of the course is only accessible to Instructors and TA’s.

The first time you click the LockDown Browser item you will receive a tutorial page. You can skip this by clicking the “Continue to Lockdown Browser” button. If you do not wish to see this again, you can also click the “Don’t show this page again” checkbox.

The Lockdown Browser Dashboard will bring up a list of all of your current Quizzes and whether or not the features of respondus are required for the particular Quiz. 

How-to: Change LockDown Settings

  1. Click on the arrow drop-down by the title of the Quiz in question and click the Settings option.
  2. You can now select and review the settings for your Quiz. When finished, click the “Save + Close Button.”

Quizzes that have LockDown Browser enabled will appear in three areas of your course:

  • The LockDown Browser Dashboard
  • On the title of the Quiz
  • In the Quiz’s settings

How-to: Enable Turnitin on an assignment

The first step in enabling Turnitin is to create a Canvas assignment. You can do this either through the Assignments area of Canvas or within a Module.

  1. When editing the assignment, set the Submission Type to Online and check the box, “Enable Turnitin Submissions”
    • ss-turnitin-submission-type.png
  2. For additional options, click the “Advanced Turnitin Settings” link
    1. The first option involves selecting when (if at all) students can view their originality report. This is the report that details what % of their submission matched against Turnitin’s database.
    2. The next options allow you to specify what resources Turnitin should check student submissions against and whether you want any portions of student submissions excluded from the plagiarism check
    3. The Turnitin Repository option allows you to exclude student submissions from being stored in Turnitin’s database of student submissions. If you are enabling Turnitin on a draft assignment and expect students to make changes to their submission and resubmit to a final assignment, we highly recommend you uncheck the “Include in Repository” option so that student final submissions will not return a high match against their draft submission.
Viewing Originality Reports
  1. Go to the Grades area of your Canvas site
  2. Submissions that carry a Turnitin originality report will appear with a colored tab in the grade cell.
    • ss-turnitin-originality-reports.png
  3. Enter SpeedGrader for this assignment. On the far right side of the page a percentage will appear in a colored box.
    • ss-turnitin-speedgrader.png
  4. Click on the percentage to be taken to the Turnitin originality report. Portions of the paper that match outside sources will be highlighted.
    • ss-turnitin-percentage.png

Best Practice Recommendations

  • If you are enabling Turnitin on a draft assignment and expect students to make changes to their submission and resubmit to a final assignment, we highly recommend you uncheck the “Include in Repository” option so that student final submissions will not return a high match against their draft submission.
  • In general, a matching score below 33% is considered low. If you are utilizing a template that students fill out for an assignment, a higher match can be expected as each submission will return a match on the template itself.


How-to: Use Atomic Jolt

  1. The Search tool can be accessed by clicking the Search link in your course’s left navigation bar
    • canvas search button
  2. In the search bar, type the keywords you would like to search for
    • atomic jolt search bar
  3. By default, the search will search within the course site that you are currently in; to search across all Canvas courses you have access to, check the “Search All Courses” box
    • atomic jolt search example
  4. If you are searching across all courses you have access to, the name of the course that any results appear within will appear in smaller text below the item name in the results list
    • atomic jolt search all course button
  5. Please note: course content is indexed to be searchable at the end of the day. If you would like your content to be indexed sooner, you can manually opt to have it indexed by going to the Search area of your course site, hover over the “Status” text and click the Reindex Course button.
    • atomic jolt reindex course button