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The assignment feature allows students to "turn in" assignments electronically.  Instructors can then easily access students' assignments, review their work, and provide a grade in the Grade Center.  Students may submit many documents for an assignment at once.  The assignment feature allowsfaculty to download all files associated with an assignment at the same time (fewer clicks).  The files get downloaded into a Zip file that can then be uncompressed.

Available Tutorials:
  Creating Assignments (PDF),  Access Assignments (PDF),  Grade Assignments (PDF)


SafeAssign is text-matching software that is installed as part of the Blackboard system.  The software is designed to check paper submissions against the global reference database, the Web, and a number of published journals, newspapers, and magazine articles.


Global Reference Database

Blackboard's Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of their papers to help prevent plagiarism.  It is separated from each institution's internal database, where all papers are stored by each corresponding institution.  Submissions to the Global Reference Database are extra copies that are given voluntarily for the purpose of helping with plagiarism prevention.  Blackboard does not claim ownership of submitted papers.


SafeAssign Originality Reports

After a paper has been processed, a report will be available detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources.  It also shows the suspected sources of each section of the submitted paper that returns a match.  Instructors can delete matching sources from the report and process it again.  This may be useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student.  Because SafeAssign identifies all matching blocks of text, it is important to read the report carefully and investigate whether or not the block of text if properly attributed.


Interpreting SafeAssign Scores

Sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning.  This number can also be interpreted as the reciprocal to the probability that these two phrases are similar by chance.  For example, a score of 90 percent means that there is a 90 percent probability that these two phrases are the same and a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes content from the existing source (whether or not it is appropriately attributed).

Overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources.  This score is a warning indicator only and paper should reviewed to see if the matches are properly attributed.

  • Scores below 15 percent:  These papers typically include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents.  These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.

  • Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent:  These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism.  These papers should be reviewed to determine if the matching content is properly attributed.

  • Scores over 40 percent:  There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other sources.  These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for plagiarism.

Grade Center Integration SafeAssignments are created with associated Grade Center items.  The score is then recorded in the Grade Center.

Available Tutorials:  Create SafeAssignments (PDF),  Direct Submit SafeAssign (PDF), View SafeAssignments (PDF), Grade SafeAssignments (PDF), Understanding SafeAssign Reports (PDF)

Available Video:  Using SafeAssign (VIDEO)