At the University of Edinburgh, we are moving our self-hosted instance of Blackboard Learn to a SaaS instance. In preparation for this move, we need to upgrade our Learn building blocks to ensure support on the new SaaS platform. One of these building blocks is Turnitin Blackboard Basic.

Turnitin is an internet based plagiarism detection system. Our service team noted a new feature in the latest building block integration (version 2.7.6) that rendered the service unusable for us.

Lengthy assignment titles were now truncated. Because of this, it is impossible in most cases for staff to know which assignment link they should use for assessment management, marking, and moderation.

Truncated Assignment Titles in the latest Turnitin Building Block

The change is not referenced in the release notes for the building block. The truncation is because of a new CSS rule:

turnitin-bootstrap-container .truncate {
    white-space: nowrap;
    text-overflow: ellipsis;
    overflow: hidden;
        overflow-x: hidden;
        overflow-y: hidden;
}
CSS Rule Causing Truncation

Some institutions have been in contact with Turnitin requesting a fix for this issue, yet no firm date has been set to fix this issue. We did not want this issue to delay our move to Blackboard SaaS, so decided to implement our own fix.

Using the powerful building block, JSHacks we can write JavaScript packages which change the HTML pages in Blackboard. We can target and remove the new truncate CSS class from all affected assignment titles.

<!-- This snippet binds a function to the "dom:loaded" event.
You can put your own javascript into the function, or replace
the entire snippet. -->
<script type="text/javascript">
    Event.observe(document,"dom:loaded", function() {
        var links = Array.from(document.querySelectorAll('div.turnitin-bootstrap-container a'));
        
        links.forEach(function (element) {
            element.classList.remove('truncate');
        });
    });
</script>
JSHack Package

The package finds all links in a div element that has the class turnitin-bootstrap-container applied to it. It then iterates over each link, removing the class truncate if it is present.

With the JSHack enabled on our Blackboard instance, the full assignment titles are restored.

Turnitin With Applied JSHack Fix