Assignments - How do I use SafeAssign

How do I use SafeAssign?

A SafeAssignment is used when instructors want all of their students to upload their papers and be checked for plagiarism across the Internet and University database. 

To set up a SafeAssignment:

  1. Go into a content area where you’d like to add the assignment such as “Course Documents”. Then click on the “Assessments” button at the top and choose Safe Assignment (last option) from the drop down menu.
  2. The resulting screen is where you set up your assignment information and specifications. Give the assignment a name and assign a points value. These are mandatory fields as the SafeAssignment feature is directly tied with the grade center and will automatically create a column there for it. There is no need to create a separate one for this assignment. 
  3. In the Instructions field, it’s a good idea to mention that the papers will be checked for plagiarism and that they should upload Word Documents or pdf files only. You might also mention how they go about submitting their paper (by clicking the “View/Complete Assignment” link). They can also access their assignment the upload through this same link to check that it worked properly or to see their plagiarism match report. They will only be able to submit the assignment once so it’s important that they ensure it’s their final draft. If you plan on having them submit a rough draft first, then a final draft, then select the “Draft” checkbox. It won’t be added to the plagiarism database if you select this button thus enabling them to submit a final draft later and not have their entire paper plagiarizing their rough draft version. You will have to set up an additional SafeAssignment if you want them to resubmit a paper. They cannot submit an assignment twice through the same assignment link unless you reset their attempt manually for each student.
  4. You can also set up date restrictions in this window if you don’t want it to be accessible to students yet and under Options #2 you can add an additional announcement to be sent to students that the assignment has been added. Then click “Submit” to save it.

Grading a SafeAssignment:

You grade the submitted files through the Grade Center. Click on Grade Center in the Course Management control panel on the lower left side of the page. You can then view a complete list of all submitted assignments that have not been graded by clicking on the link that says “Needs Grading” instead of the Full Grade Center. Again, assignments are linked to the Grade Center directly so there is no need to create an additional column for the assignment in grade center, it does so automatically.

In the Needs Grading window, you can select the “Grade All” button to go through and grade each assignment. You can click on the attached file to see the original file or the Plagiarism check version to see the percent matching (sometimes won’t show the entire paper through this link).

You must use your own judgment when deciding whether an assignment had too much plagiarism by clicking through the suggested matching links to see if it is indeed plagiarized or if the student properly cited their sources. Most papers will show up with some percent plagiarized even when they are not so it’s important to page through and check each paper before deciding whether it was plagiarized. Many papers might show up with something like 10% plagiarized just from properly citing sources at the end of a paper. It does not necessarily mean they actually plagiarized 10%.

Each time you enter a grade (and comments etc.) and save it then move to the next student by clicking the “>” icon it will update the grade automatically in the Full Grade Center column that was created along with the assignment. You will not have to reenter the grade there.

You can also grade assignments directly from the Full Grade Center.  Assignments that have been uploaded but not graded will be marked with a bright green "!" in this area. Simply hover your mouse over that area for a particular student and click on the downward arrow icon next to the exclamation mark and select “View Grade Details”. In the subsequent window it will show an overview of the student’s submission. You can click on “View Attempts”, “Grade Attempt” or “Edit Grade” to enter a grade and your own comments that the student can see in the Feedback to Users text box. If needed, you can also attach a file that the student can download, perhaps containing correct answers or a marked up version of the student's work.

How can students access Safe Assignment results and/or grades?

Students can access their Safe Assignment file they submitted and its resulting plagiarism check results by going into the same link they used to submit the assignment (the “View/Complete Assignment” link). If you have entered a grade for them already or any feedback, they can also see those there.  They can also access this information through their “My Grades” area by finding the assignment and clicking on the link that contains their score (not the name of the assignment).


Watch a tour (from Blackboard Inc.) on how to view submitted SafeAssignments.

tags: assessments, safeassign, safe assign, students, essays, tools, direct submit, report, database, grade center, draft, submission,