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Create and mark assignments

1. Introduction

The Blackboard assignments tool allows you to create assignments, view student submissions, and mark / provide feedback online.

When should I use a Blackboard assignment?

Blackboard Assignments are different to Turnitin assignments, in that they don't provide Originality / Similarity Reports. You should use a Blackboard assignment when you need students to submit files larger than 40Mb, URLs e.g. YouTube videos, or file formats that are not supported by Turnitin.

  Blackboard assignments  Turnitin assignments 
File types? All file types, including images and videos Word, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, text 
File size limits? 500MB maximum upload 40MB maximum upload 
Single or multiple file upload? Multiple file upload  Single file upload
Other tools? Group submission and tools (e.g. email) Single text submission only
Delegated or second marking? You can set up delegated marking when creating an assignment You cannot set up delegate marking when creating an assignment, but second marking is possible (markers initials display in Feedback Studio)
File attachments? Attach file(s) to original assignment instructions and to assignment feedback You can add a voice recording or add a hyperlink to online files
Student Preview mode? Student Preview mode is available NA - You can request a Staff as Student account
Submission receipts? NA Downloadable receipts for students 
Text matching? NA Text matching is available

2. Create a Blackboard assignment

a. In a module, turn Edit Mode ON.

 Edit mode

b. In the Assignments content area, hover your mouse over Assessments and click Assignment.

Assessments list

c. Type an assignment Name. This is the link that students will click on to open the assignment. You can change the colour of the link, but this is optional.

Name field

d. Type some Instructions for your students.

Instructions field

e. Under Assignment Files, you can attach any files you want your students to read in relation to the assignment.

f. Select the Due Date. This is the same one specified in the Module Handbook.

Due date field

g. Under Grading, enter the Points Possible for the assignment. Note, it's best to mark out of 100, then weight assignments later in Grade Centre if you need to. You can also add a rubric for marking and feedback.

Grading fields

h. In the Submission Details section:

  • Assignment type: Is your assignment for individuals or sub-groups?
  • Number of attempts: You can allow single, multiple or unlimited submission attempts.

i. In the Grading Options section:

  • Enable anonymous marking: Tick this if you want student submissions to be anonymous.
  • Enable delegated marking: Tick this if you want to set up delegated marking.

j. In the Display of grades section:

  • Display grade as: Choose how you want marks to appear to students e.g. Score.
  • Include in Grade Centre calculations: Tick this if you want the marks for this assignment to be included in the Total column, or other calculated columns. Note, remember to hide the Total column until you want students to see their marks.
  • Show to students in My Grades: Leave this unticked so that students don't see their marks too early.
  • Show statisticsLeave this unticked so that students don't see their marks too early.

k. Under Availability:

  • Make the Assignment Available: Tick this so that students can access the assignment.
  • Limit Availability: You can limit the date range that the assignment is available if you need to.
  • Track Number of Views: You can tick this to track views of the assignment.
l. Click Submit.

3. View a Blackboard assignment

To open a student submission:

a. In the Module Management menu at the bottom left of your module, click Grade Centre, then click Full Grade Centre.
Grade Centre

b. Find the column for the assignment.
c. All new submissions that need marking are highlighted with an exclamation mark.
Exclamation mark

d. Click the action link (circle with down arrow) next to the exclamation mark, then click the Attempt you want to mark.
e. Click the link to the attached file to view the submission.

3. Mark / leave feedback

The current document viewer for Blackboard assignments is called Crocodoc. This is being updated to an interface called New Box View at the start of January 2018. You can find out more in our get started with New Box View guide.

a. Before you start adding marks and feedback to a Blackboard assignment, please check that you have hidden any columns in Grade Centre that will contain marks you are not ready to release to students.

b. When you have opened a student submission, you can enter marks and feedback in the panel on the right. Click the down arrow to expand the feedback section.

Condensed panel

c. This will display a text box where you can type feedback for the student. Options in this panel may vary depending on your assignment settings, for example if you have attached a rubric, set up delegated marking, or if the assignment is for a sub-group.

Important: Feedback for Blackboard assignments does not save automatically. Please click Save Draft to ensure that you don't lose any of your comments.

Marks and feedback panel

d. When you have finished adding marks and feedback, click Submit. This will add the student's marks to the associated column in Grade Centre.

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