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Blackboard Assignments – Overview and Context

Blackboard Assignment submission points offer more flexibility than Turnitin, allowing students to submit multiple files, a wider range of file-types and write comments and additions directly into the submission text-box. If you are unsure whether to use Turnitin or Blackboard assignments please contact the Digital Education team.

Creating a Blackboard assignment provides a versatile submission point for students to submit work.  You can provide detailed instructions, along with corresponding files (for example templates and pro-formas).  You can assign due dates, with extended control for students with additional requirements, and control grade and feedback release.

Blackboard assignments are particularly useful where the student work involves more than a single text-based document (essay/report).  This could include slideshow presentations, spreadsheets, graphic design files, or a combination of multiple files.  This differs to Turnitin submissions, which will only accept one file that must be text-based.

Assignment Information

Be sure to give your assignment a clear and descriptive title, followed by very explicit instructions.  You can attach files to the assignment such as resources that the student will need or a breakdown of the marking criteria.  Try to keep all of this information in one location on your Blackboard site to avoid duplication or confusion.

Set a due date and time; we strongly recommend assigning due dates as weekdays within the working hours of the day; for example Monday at 16:00.  This means that in the final hours before submission, students are able to seek support from their tutors or Digital Education if there are any problems.  Assigning deadlines outside of working hours removes these support mechanisms.

Grading Settings

We recommend that all assignments are graded out of a maximum ‘Points Possible’ of 100.  This makes Grade Centre calculations work more smoothly and helps students to understand their grade more clearly.  If you have multiple assessments for a module which have different weightings, this can be calculated in the Grade Centre, rather than changing the weighting on each assignment.

Blackboard assignments allow for individual, group and portfolio type submissions.  You can also allow students to make multiple attempts at a submission.  The benefit of this is that students can resubmit if they have made an error without the need to contact tutors or Digital Education for support.

Anonymous marking is also available for Blackboard assignments.  You should check with your School policy on anonymous marking.  Remember, with anonymous marking enabled, you will not be able to see which students have and have not submitted until grades are released.