Assignment Tool

The Assignment Tool in Blackboard 9.1 is an efficient way to deploy, receive, and grade student assignments digitally. The largest improvement to the Assignment Tool is the ability to allow unlimited or multiple set number of submissions, an action that was previously only possible by either creating multiple assignments or clearing attempts. Assignments can now also be deployed either to individual students or to specific groups. No matter which options are desired, the directions for adding an assignment are the same.

Adding an Assignment to a Content Area

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To add an Assignment to a Content Area:

  1. Click on a Content Area in the Course Menu to the left of the page.
  2. Image illustrating Step 3Navigate to the appropriate location within that area where the assignment is to be added.
  3. From the Create Assessment tab, select Assignment.
    Note: If Assignment is not an option within the dropdown menu, it will be necessary to activate it under Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. Simply check the box under Available in Content Area and click [Submit].
  4. In Option 1 Assignment Information on the Create Assignment page,
    Image illustrating step 4 a, b, and c
    1. Enter a Name for the assignment. (required)
    2. Use the dropdown menu to select a color other than Black (optional)
    3. Type Instructions using the text editor provided. (recommended)
      Note: It is now possible to add various media types including YouTube videos, Flicker images, and SlideShare files directly into the assignment using the Mashups Tool.
  5. In Option 2 Assignment Files,
    Image illustrating step 5 a and b
    1. Click [Browse My Computer] to attach files such as instructions or grading rubrics. (optional)
    2. Rename the Link Title. (recommended if the file name is cryptic)
  6. In Option 3 Grading, enter Points Possible. (required)
  7. In Option 4 Availability,
    Image illustrating step 7 a, b, and c
    1. Click Make the Assignment Available. (recommended)
    2. Select a Number of Attempts to allow. (required)
      • Allow single attempt (default) - Gives a student one attempt, but student can submit multiple files.
      • Allow unlimited attempts - Allows the student to submit as many attempts as they deem necessary.
      • Number of attempts - Allows the instructor to set a limit to the number of submissions the students have for a particular assignment.
        Note: When selecting Allow unlimited attempts or Number of attempts it will be necessary to set the Score attempts using option under Edit Column Information in the Grade Center.
    3. Select options to Limit Availability. (optional)
      Note: If the option to allow unlimited attempts is selected, it is recommended that a Display until date be set as a way to set a deadline for gradable submissions.
  8. In Option 5 Due Dates,
    Image illustrating step 8 a, b, and c
    1. Click the check box to activate due date features.
    2. Enter a date either manually in mm/dd/yyyy format or via the calendar icon.
    3. Enter a time either manually or via the clock icon.
      Note: Setting Due Dates within Blackboard provides visual cues for both the Instructor and Students. Assignments that have come past due or are submitted after the due date are identified as Late in the To Do module for students and the Needs Attention and Alerts modules for Instructors.  Due Dates also appear in My Grades for Students and can be used by Instructors to generate various Reports, make grading decisions, etc.
      (See Course HomePage and Notifications tutorials for additional information.)
  9. In Option 6 Recipients,
    Image illustrating step 9 a and b
    1. Select All Students Individually to set a standard course assignment. (default)
    2. Select Groups of Students then select the appropriate Group(s) to the assignment.
      Note: Only those students within the selected Group(s) will be able to submit to the assignment. Groups must first be created using the Groups Tool before an assignment can be assigned to Groups of Students.
      (See Creating Groups tutorials for additional information.)
  10. Click [Submit] to finish creating the assignment.

Resources

    • Click here to access a PDF version of this quickstart guide.
Grading Student Assignments Offline

Quick Start Instructions

For assignments where the student only has one submission attempt and is submitting the assignment as a digital document to the Assignment Tool, Instructors have the option to view the assignments offline via an Assignment File Download. The instructions here-in outline the Assignment File Download process.

To acquire the Assignment File Download:

  1. Image illustrating step 4 for Assignment File DownloadClick on Grade Center under the Course Management menu to the left of the page.
  2. From the resulting menu, select Full Grade Center.
  3. Click on the [Action link] button (chevron sign) next to the Assignment name in the column header.
  4. From the resulting menu, select Assignment File Download.
  5. On the Download Assignment screen, select the users for which you wish to download assignment files.
    Image illustrating step 5 selecting users
    Note: Students who have not submitted their assignment will not have a check box in front of their name and the Grade will indicate that a file is not available.
  6. Click [Submit] to generate the file download.
  7. On the resulting page, click Download assignments now to download the packaged files.
    Image illustrating step 7 to download assignments now
    Note: The file will be a compressed .zip file containing 1) the file(s) the students submitted and 2) a .txt document for any comments made by the students. Blackboard amends the file names to include the Assignment name, username, attempt data/time, and the submitted file name (or .txt for comments).
  8. Once the Instructor has reviewed the downloaded assignment files, assignment grades will need to be submitted through Grade Attempts, the directions for which can be found in the Grading Student Assignments Online tutorial.

Resources

    • Click here to access a PDF version of this quickstart guide.

 

Grading Student Assignments Online

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

For assignments where the student has been allowed multiple submission attempts and/or is submitting the assignment using the Submissions Text Editor in the Assignment Tool, Instructors have the option to view the assignments online via Grade Attempts, Grade Anonymously, or Grade Details. The instructions here-in outline the instructions for reviewing assignments online using Grade Attempts.

To grade assignments online using Grade Attempts:

  1. Click on Grade Center under the Course Management menu to the left of the page.
  2. From the resulting menu, select Full Grade Center.
  3. Image illustrating step 4 Grade AttemptsClick on the [Action link] button (chevron sign) next to the Assignment name in the column header.
  4. From the resulting menu, select Grade Attempts.
    Note: Grade Attempts will show the Instructor the User name. Select Grade Anonymously if the intention is to decrease bias through anonymity.
  5. The Grade Assignment screen will open to reveal
    Image illustrating step 5 Grade Assignment screen a and b
    1. Total number of submissions.
    2. The first User’s first attempt.
     Note: To grade anonymously, select Hide User Name.
  6. Review Option 1 Submission History which contains a summary of the user’s attempts.
  7. Review the item(s) submitted by the student for this attempt as presented in Option 2 Review Current Attempt.
    Image illustrating step 7 Review Current Attempt a, b, and c
    The Student's assignment attempt may appear in one of the following:
    1. Submission (viewable online) - Students can compose their assignment using a text editor directly within Blackboard and integrate images, hyperlinks, and Web 2.0 media such as YouTube videos, Flicker images, and SlideShare files.
    2. Attached Files (viewable by opening the file in an application) - Students can compose their assignments offline using whatever program is appropriate and upload the file to the assignment in Blackboard.
    3. Comments (viewable online) - While not intended for assignment submission students may use this to submit the attempt if not directed otherwise.
  8. In Option 3 Grade Current Attempt,
    Image illustrating step 8 Grade Current Attempt a, b, and c
    1. Enter a numeric Grade. (required)
    2. Type Feedback to User. (recommended)
    3. Attach File for additional feedback. (optional)
      Note: The file Link Title can be changed if the original File Name is cryptic.
  9. In Option 4 Instructor Notes,
    • Type Grading Notes. (optional)
    • Attach File for additional information. (optional)
    Note: Instructor Notes are only visible to individuals with grading privileges within the course such as Instructors, TAs and Graders.
  10. Click [Save and Next] to submit the grade to the Grade Center and move to the next attempt.
    Note: When the last attempt for the last user has been reached, click [Save and Exit].

Resources

    • Click here to access a PDF version of this quickstart guide.