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Normal on-campus examinations are cancelled for Summer 2020, to be replaced by formative assessment.  The Faculty has produced guidance on the approved methods of formative assessment which can be put in place – for more information click here: 2020 semester 2 formative assessment

Which assignment submission tool is best for my needs?

Blackboard has two assignment submission tools – the integrated Turnitin tool and the in-built Blackboard tool. It is worth giving thought to which is best for your assessment scenario.  The below feature comparison matrix is a good starting point. However, we strongly recommend you check with a Faculty eLearning technologist before committing to one or the other. Note also that some scenarios may be best supported by including both tools and asking students to submit to each (this has been common practice for dissertations in some departments for many years now).

Feature Turnitin (Tii) Blackboard (Bb) Matrix Comments
Setup & Design
Instructor can add additional file attachment to assignment instructions
Tii: Additional instructions must be made available separately and placed on Blackboard.
Bb: Additional files can be attached to assignment instructions within the tool.
Supports student peer marking of submissions
Tii: Supports peer review of papers submitted by the cohort. It also supports self-review of student’s own paper as part of the process.
Selective release of assignment to specific groups of students
Tii: Indirectly controlled via the adaptive release functionality in Blackboard.
Bb: Group release features built directly into the tool.
Similarity (plagiarism) checking
Tii: Fully integrated with Tii and approved for use across the University. Similarity reports only available for: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs, and plain text files.
Bb: SafeAssign is currently enabled and fully integrated into Bb assignments, but for high-stakes summative assignments please use Turnitin to generate originality reports until further notice.
Similarity reports only available: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files aren’t supported.
*Contact your Faculty eLearning team for further advice.
Both: PDFs containing only images of text are not supported.
Supports group assignments with one submission on behalf of whole group
Tii: Not fully supported.
Bb: Fully supported with one mark applying to the whole group, but marks can be changed at individual level.
Supports group assignments with assignments targeting specific groups only
Tii: Not supported.
Bb: Specific assignments can by made available to one or more groups only.
Students can type or paste a plain text submission as an alternative to uploading a file submission
Tii: Supports file submissions only.
Bb: Supports directly inputted text submission as well as file submissions.
Allows submission of multiple files per student
Tii: Only one file is permitted per student per assignment. If more than one file is needed per student, multiple assignments will be required.
Bb: Students can submit multiple files in multiple formats to a single assignment.
Allows for late submission
Tii: Late submissions are flagged as late and allow for easier handling of mitigating circumstances.
Bb: Late submissions are allowed if no date/time adaptive release restrictions are imposed on the assignment.
Allow for resubmission
Tii: Submissions are overwritten up until the deadline.
Bb: Resubmissions are added into the system on top of existing submissions, resulting in several files submitted for the student.
Accepts large submission file size
Tii: 40MB limit.
Bb: >2.5GB (set by Bb System Administrators) – SafeAssign similarity checker (see later) limit is 10MB per file.
Accepts any file type
Tii: Can accept any file type, but only certain formats will be displayed onscreen and generate an originality report. More info…
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs, and plain text files
Bb: Can accept any file type, but only certain formats will be displayed onscreen and generate an originality report. More info…
Student gets on-screen receipt of submission as well as receipt emailed to them
Tii: student gets on-screen confirmation of submission, an email confirmation and can download a digital receipt. Receipt is also viewable by instructor.
Bb: Student gets on-screen notification of submission and an email confirmation.
Both: Students should check their junk or spam email folders before reporting they have not received email confirmation.
Instructor gets an email alert for each student submission
Students can take back and correct work after submission
Tii: ‘Revision assignment’ allows students to submit multiple drafts without overwriting the previous drafts/submissions. Alternatively, instructors can allow for resubmissions of the assignment that overwrite the original.
Bb: Allows multiple attempts without overwriting previous submissions. All previously submitted attempts are kept.
Basic grading with a single value
Both assignment tools support numeric grading.
Bb: Also allows alphanumeric grading.
Grading with structured rubrics
Tii: Supports basic grid style rubrics with weighting. Also offers range slider style marking rubric. Marks are fixed value for a given marking criterion.
Bb: Strong support of grid style rubrics. Supports feedback at rubric criterion level. Can apply any mark within a given marking criterion range.
Grading without submission
Tii: If a student hasn’t submitted a file you can still grade and provide feedback by clicking on the greyed-out pen in the Tii inbox.
Bb: Grading without submission is controlled by the Grade Centre in Blackboard and not the Assignment tool. Create a column (optionally with a marking rubric) for an assignment without file submission.
Anonymous marking
Tii: When anonymous marking is selected for a Turnitin assignment, all submissions are de-anonymised when the post date is reached. This de-anonymisation is irreversible.
Bb: Anonymity can be achieved in BB by setting up the assignment with anonymous marking enabled. This setting cannot be edited after the first file submission in the assignment, but anonymous marking can subsequently be enabled by selecting “Grade with user names hidden”. Care should be taken in deciding when to release grades when anonymous marking is enabled – you can select either to release all marks on a certain date, or when marking has been completed.
Offline grading
Tii: Offline marking available on iPad only. More info…
Bb: Assignments can be bulk downloaded along with a Grade Centre marking template for off-line marking. Grade Centre marks, feedback and comments are subsequently uploaded back.
Supports multiple markers
Bb: Supports multiple marking including blind/independent marking processes.
Ability to save marking progress for further review and editing
Allows for inline feedback comments within students’ work
Tii: Provides good support for inline marking features with ability to create a library of predefined feedback comments which can be easily dragged to a point within a student’s submission paper.
Bb: Provides a basic set of inline commenting features (improvements expected from Summer 2020). Inline marking only available for file type submissions and not directly inputed text submissions.
Support for audio or/and video feedback to students
Bb: Audio or Video feedback supported via the “Record from webcam” facility in the feedback “full edit mode”. Audio files are not downloadable. Recording time limited to 5 minutes.
Tii: Only Audio feedback supported. Audio files are not downloadable. Recording time limited to 3 minutes.
Both: As audio/video feedback can’t be downloaded by students, this is only recommended for formative work.
Can attach files to student feedback
Tii: Instructor can only link to an external link in general comments in Feedback Studio.
Instructors can submit on behalf of students
Batch downloading of all submissions for archiving purposes
Tii: Batch download depends on type of file that is downloaded. Originality reports can only be downloaded individually. Batch download of Feedback Studio files can be done anytime so long as marking has occurred. Batch download of original files only possible after post date.
Automatic return of graded submissions to the student
Both: Grades are pushed through to the Blackboard Grade Centre.
Integration with Campus Solutions
Tii: Enrolments are synchronised from Blackboard to Tii and grades synchronised back to Blackboard after Post Date.
Bb: Enrolments integrated with Campus Solutions.

Using Turnitin  – a guide to using Turnitin to set up online assignment inboxes where your students can submit their work and where you can give feedback and mark their submissions, and check the originality of their work.

The Blackboard assignment tool

Audio feedback

Using Blackboard tests for formative feedback

Converting a Blackboard points rubric to one with no points

Rethinking assessment: less recall, more application – an overview of open book exams

Marking and assessment online – where do I start?

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