Blackboard Assignments allow you to create online assessment submission points, mark and create feedback online or offline, and provide online grades for your students. Blackboard Assignments give you greater flexibility when grading but does not provide the Turnitin originality report.
Important note: If you want to use the Turnitin originality report tool then you will need to use Turnitin assignments rather than Blackboard Assignments.
Navigate to the Assessment area of your module.
From the action bar at the top of the module click Assessments and, from the drop down, select Assignment.
Give your assignment a name and enter any instructions in the text box. You may also choose to attach a document to the assignment – this could be the full assignment brief or a file they will need to use as part of the assessment.
Set the due date (including time) for your assignment.
Set the points available for the assignment (generally this is 100).
Decide whether you wish to use a rubric/marking grid with your assignment – if yes, add it here. See the Rubrics/Marking Grids section for more information.
You should then click on each of the three options areas to expand it and edit the assignment options to suit the needs of your assessment.
The assignment can accept submissions that are either:
You can also choose whether students can submit only one, a set number of times, or an unlimited number of times (only unlimited until the due date).
You can choose whether to make the assignment available immediately or only before/after certain dates in order to restrict access. If you don’t want to restrict access then just leave this section blank.
Click the Submit button to save and create your assignment.
Student assignment submission confirmations
When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions.
To ensure that students do not see their grades before all assignments have been marked you will then need to use the Grade Centre to hide them.
Group assignments can be set up to enable a group of students to submit together. They are then graded and given feedback as a group (though individual grades can be overridden). See the guide to Group Assignments for more details.
To edit a Blackboard assignment simply navigate to you assignment and hover over it until you can see the grey action button. Click the grey button to reveal the dropdown menu and select Edit. This will take you back to the assignment set up page where you can edit all elements of the assignment.
Please note: You should not delete summative assignments that students have submitted to/completed. If you no longer want the assignment to be visible to students then simply make it unavailable to students by editing the availability (see: Editing an assignment).
In the Course Management toolbar click the Grade Centre heading to expand it and then click Full Grade Centre.
You will now see a view of the Grade Centre. Each row is one student and there will be columns for each assignment in your module. Assignments that have a submission but have not been graded will have a yellow exclamation symbol and any student with no submission will have dashes (- -).
To view submissions for online annotation, feedback and grading, click the options circle to reveal the menu for the assignment you wish to mark. Click Grade Attempts or Grade Attempts with usernames hidden (for semi-blind marking).
This will take you to the assignment viewer with the first assignment showing for grading. From here you are able to add a grade, type feedback to the learner (or upload a feedback file), and annotate the assignment document with comment boxes and highlight.
To look at a different submission you can either:
Please note: Due to enforced changes from Blackboard, the following amendments are in effect.
The annotation functionality that exists within Blackboard’s native assessments tool (note: this does not include Turnitin) was previously provided by Crocadoc, which has now been acquired by Box (more information on this can be found on the Crocadoc Website). This will result in a change in functionality, which is detailed below.
With the previous version of Blackboard’s own assessment tool (in use until January 2018), users could add annotations such as text, strikethrough, hightlights, freehand drawings and comment boxes.
As of January 4th 2018, you will only be able to add annotations by using the 'Point Annotation Mode’ or by highlighting the text with your mouse and then adding a comment to the highlighted area (see images below).
Another important change is the removal of the option to download annotated files from the Blackboard Assessment marking area. In the previous version (used until January 2018) staff and students could download a copy of the assessment with the annotations that have been added.
As of January 4th 2018, this will no longer be possible. Any work downloaded after this point will not include any of the annotations made to student’s submitted files.
With the assignment grading area open (seeView online submissions for instructions) click the blue gradebox labelled Attempt which will appear on the right side of the screen.
This will allow you to enter a grade (out the points possible you allocated during assignment creation) and reveal the Feedback area. You can either type feedback directly into the textbox or you may wish to upload a separate feedback file (e.g. if you have a specific feedback form). To upload a feedback file simply click the paperclip button and follow the instructions for attaching a file.
Navigate to the Grade Centre (see: View online submissions).
Hover over the column header for the assignment you want to download until you see the grey action button. Click the action button to reveal the menu and select Assignment File Download.
You will then see a list of all student submissions. Check the box next to each submission you want to download (there will not be a box for students who have not submitted). And then click Submit.
You should then see a page with a note that “Assignments have been packaged. Download assignments now.” Click the link to download a zip file of the assignment submissions.
Blackboard allows you to download parts of, or the whole of the Grade Centre, which can then be opened and worked on in a spreadsheet application such as Excel and re-uploaded.
On the Grade Centre page click the Work Offline button and select Download.
You will then need to select the data that you want to download. For marking an assignment the simplest method is to select Single column and then use the dropdown to choose the correct assignment. Make sure to tick the checkbox for include comments for this column.
The other options specify the file type and destination. If you are using Microsoft Excel or similar then you can leave these set as they are and click Submit.
You will then see a confirmation page. Click the download button to begin downloading the file.
You can now open the file to begin working on it. DO NOT change the file name or you will not be able to re-upload it to update the Grade Centre.
There are three key fields you may want to edit:
In addition you can change the format of the Notes and feedback columns to:
When you have finished editing the grades and feedback or need to take a break simply save the file (DO NOT change the file name) and return to it when you are ready.
Once you have completed grading offline, return to the Full Grade Centre (see Step 1). On the Grade Centre page click the Work Offline button and select Upload.
Select the grade file from your computer and click Submit.
You should now see the Grade Centre updated with the grades you uploaded. Feedback to students and Instructor Notes will only be visible if you examine Grade Details for individual student submissions.
Blackboard offers some options for blind/anonymous marking that you may wish to use. Please be aware that because of the way the online submission tools like Blackboard Assignments and Turnitin work, there cannot be true anonymous marking, and that the Assessment Policy does not require it. See Assignment Submission – Required Process
This is because multiple attempts may cause confusion: when marking anonymously staff are not presented with all the attempts made by a single student (e.g. if a student submitted three attempts, her submissions will be presented in random order and will not be linked).
Students will need to ensure that they do not include their name on any files submitted to anonymously marked assignments and instead use their student number. They are alerted to the anonymous grading setting on the Upload Assignment page but should also be told by lecturers.
During assignment setup
When creating the assignment you can specify anonymous grading in the Grading Options section. You can only turn this on before submissions have started to come in. But if you haven’t done this and still need to be able to grade anonymously see the next option: during grading. Also see Create a new assignment for more instructions on creating assignments.
Even if you did not set up the assignment to be anonymous you can still grade without seeing student names.
When viewing the Grade Centre simply select Grade with usernames hidden instead of Grade Attempts from the action menu.
At any time when you are using anonymous marking you can choose to turn on usernames. When viewing an assignment simply click the Show User Names button.
In the case of second marking it can be useful to switch on delegated marking. This can be switched on under Grading options when creating an assignment.
If you switch this option on you will need to ensure that you set up what access possible graders have to the submissions.
After grading has taken place, you will also need to ultimately reconcile the final grade for each student. The reconcilation option can be found by selecting the drop down arrow to the right of the assignment title in the Grade Centre.
For more information on delegated marking please see Blackboard Help – Delegated Grading
Rubrics, or marking grids, can be added to your Blackboard assignments to aid with marking and feedback.
On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click Rubrics.
You will then see the Rubrics pages. If you have already created and rubrics then you will see them listed here. To begin setting up a new rubric click Create Rubric.
You will now see the rubric creation page. Begin by giving your rubric a name and a description (with any information you need e.g. which assignments it’s for, how use it, etc).
Underneath the name and title area you will see the rubric grid. This is where you can start adding information and customising it to suit your assignment. Edit the grid (see options below) and when you are done, click Submit.
You can also watch a video version of how to create a rubric for Blackboard assignments.
Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ReR0icb-4Vk
On the rubrics home click the grey action button next to the rubric you want to edit to reveal the menu. Select Edit.
The different rubric types are related to how you use them for grading.
Add a row or colum
Click the Add Column or Add Row button to add additional cells at the end of a row or column.
Edit row/column headers
Click the grey action button next to the column/row header and then select Edit from the dropdown menu. Adjust the name and then click Save.
Click the grey action button next to the column/row header and then select Delete from the dropdown menu.
On the rubrics home click the grey action button next to the rubric you want to delete to reveal the menu. Select Delete.
Copying a rubric is helpful if you have similar assignments for your students that will follow the same criteria or if a rubric will only be slightly different. This allows you to keep the settings, and you can rename the rubric and do minor edit. You can also copy a rubric when you want to edit a rubric that was already used for grading.
On the rubrics home click the grey action button next to the rubric you want to copy to reveal the menu. Select Copy.
This will create a new rubric called Copy of Rubric Name which you can now edit and associate with different assignments.
Navigate to the rubrics home page, select the check box next to the rubric you want to export, and click the Export button. You can choose to save the exported rubric to your computer or to the Content Collection.
Navigate to the rubrics home page and click the Import Rubric button. Select the rubric .zip file from your files or from the Content Collection. Once imported you will be able to edit and associate the rubric as needed.
Once your rubric has been created it can be associated with a variety of assignments including:
In Section 4: Grading of your assignment setup, click the Add Rubric button.
When associating a points-based rubric, the option to use the rubric’s points value as the Points Possible are available after clicking Submit on the rubric creation or selection page.
Once your rubric has been associated you can adjust some options:
Show Rubric to Students offers four options for rubric visibility:
When you are viewing an assignment that needs grading (see: Grading an assignment) and clicked into the blue grade box to begin entering information you will see information about your rubric. Click the Rubric name to expand it.
You can then choose to show or hide the descriptions of each level of achievement, and whether to provide additional feedback per category of achievement.
Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/fvN0Q4jPd-c
Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7ZuZW9-KAjY