Vendor documentation: “Assignments”
Information on this page:
- Creating a Blackboard Assignment
- Submitting an Assignment (the student perspective)
- Viewing Submitted Assignment
- Inline Assignment Grading
- Grading Anonymously
- Allow Additional Attempts
- Downloading Files in a Batch
Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several courses areas, such as in a content area or folder.
Creating an Assignment
- Select or create the content area where students will access the assignment.
- Click on the Assessments button, then select Assignment
- Enter a Title/Name for the Assignment
- Enter value in the “Points Possible” field in the Grading section. (For a non-graded assignment, enter 0.)
- Click Submit
For Advanced options and related instructions when creating a Blackboard Assignment, click here.
Submitting an Assignment (the Student Perspective)
- To submit an assignment, students will need to click on the View/Complete Assignment… link in the course Content area.
Please note that if the student has the “What’s New” module to receive course notifications, they can click on Assignments and the Title of an Assignment to go directly to it.
- Once the student is viewing the assignment, they can click on the title of the Assignment to begin the submission process.
- On the Upload Assignment page, students can see all of the Assignment Information in one place.
- Students have the option to writing or copy/paste their assignment or to upload a file. To submit text, they would click on Write Submission button to display text editor. To attach a file, they would need to click Browse My Computer and select a file to upload. Students also have an option to add comments to their submission. Note: copying / pasting from Microsoft Word results in unwanted formatting tags that may cause display issues in the browser. Students should be advised to save their file as plain text first before pasting it into the text box in Blackboard.
- To complete the assignment student must click the Submit button. Students receive a confirmation that their file has been submitted.
If a student clicks the Save as Draft button, they can come back to finish the assignment later; when the student clicks the Submit button, their comments and files will be uploaded and available to the Instructor.
Note: If a student clicks the Submit button prematurely, you will need to clear the attempt in order to let the student try again. You can do this by viewing the individual assignment details in the Grade Center.
Viewing Submitted Assignments
- Find the appropriate Grade Center column for the assignment – it will match the name you gave the assignment.
- Click on the down arrow after the name for that grade center item (on the student’s row), and then choose the Attempt Date menu item to view the submission details.
The inline grading sidebar gives you all of the tools you need to grade the assignment.
- Expand assignment details to show the information from the assignment content items.
- When you create an assignment, a column is added automatically to the Grade Center. An assignment that has been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs grading icon.
- View submissions inline within the Grading Screen. Supported document types viewable in the grading screen are Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and PDF. If a student has uploaded an unsupported file, you are prompted to download it. Note: Assignment submissions created with the content editor are not compatible with inline grading. Submissions of this type show in the window, but annotation features are unavailable.
- Give feedback using the in-line viewer toolbar. Comment, highlight, draw, strikeout, and zoom in and out with the annotation tools. Right-click an annotation to remove it. To remove a comment, point to the yellow comment and select Delete.
- Format your comments, attach a file, and check your spelling using the Content Editor.
- Add to your comments wherever needed. Point to a yellow comment and the Reply and Delete options appear. The Reply function allows you to expand on previous comments.
- Privatize your notes to keep track of students’ progress during the revision process and refer to your notes when assigning the final grade.
- Assign grades and view assignment details, the grading rubric, and each attempt using the Grading Sidebar.
- Download the student’s original file or a copy of the file after annotation
If an instructor wants to save annotations on a document they may use a Print-to-PDF feature. Mac OS have this feature built in and there are free plugins available for a Windows OS.
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
You can grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.
What is the difference between Grading Anonymously and Anonymous Grading option? When the Anonymous Grading is enabled in the Assignment’s Grading Options student names are automatically hidden from graders.
To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:
- Access an assignment attempt’s contextual menu.
- Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:
- Access an assignment column’s contextual menu.
- Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:
- On the action bar, click Hide User Names.
- Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the action. If grading was in progress, any unsaved changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Assignment page refreshes and all identifying information is hidden.
How to Allow Additional Attempts
If a student has submitted the maximum number of attempts for an assignment, you can allow an additional attempt:
- Locate the cell for a student’s assignment containing an exclamation mark.
- Access the cell’s contextual menu and click View Grade Details.
- On the Grade Details page, click Allow Additional Attempt and confirm.The Allow Additional Attempt function only appears if a student has already submitted the maximum number of attempts allowed for that assignment. You can continue to offer opportunities to resubmit attempts each time a student reaches that maximum number. You do not have to grade previous attempts to allow a student to submit again.Alternatively, click Ignore Attempt to ignore the attempt’s score in grade calculations and not count it against the maximum number of attempts.
Downloading Files in a Batch
You can download assignment submissions to review them offline instead of reviewing them online. Choose to download all or only selected submissions as a single ZIP file. Unzip or expand the file to view the contents. Each submission is saved as a separate file.
- Under your course’s Control Panel, click on the Grade Center link, and then the Assignments link. Click on the option Chevron under the column title for the assignment you wish to download all submissions.
- Click on the Assignment File Download menu item.
- Use the check boxes to choose specific students, or click the Check All box (to the left of the Name column heading) to select all the students who’ve submitted work.
- Click the Submit button. You’ll see a message confirming that the files have been exported. Click the Download assignments now link.
- Click the Save button and navigate to the place on your disk or hard drive where you’d like to save the files.
- The files will be saved to your computer as a Zip archive (.zip). You’ll need to double-click on the zip file to view and open the individual files. You’ll notice that Blackboard includes the students’ usernames (most likely their NetIDs) in the filenames, so they’re easier to identify.