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Grade Assignments

Without leaving the Grade Assignment page, you can view, comment, and grade student-submitted assignment files.

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.

You access the Grade Assignment page from the Grade Center or the Needs Grading page. To learn more, see About the Needs Grading Page.

Inline Assignment Grading

On the Grade Assignment page, you can annotate directly within the browser on files uploaded and converted for display in the inline viewer. You can assign a grade, provide feedback, and make notes for yourself.

You can use the functions on the action bar to:

  • Navigate to other attempts using the arrows next to a user's name.
  • Hide user names so you can grade anonymously.
  • Jump to another attempt to view or grade.

The Grade Assignment Page

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Annotation sessions expire after an hour. You will receive a warning message. After the time limit, annotations may not be saved.

  1. View Instructions: Expand the assignment instructions.
  2. Add Comment or Annotation: From the inline viewer toolbar, click the Comment function and the annotation tools expand. You can comment, highlight, draw, strikeout, and zoom in and out. To remove a comment, point to the yellow comment and select Delete. To remove any other type of annotation, right-click the annotation. Use the arrow keys to view other pages in a student's file. You can also download ( icon down arrow ) a copy of the file after you annotate it.
  3. View Assignment: Submitted files open within the grading screen. Supported document types that are viewable in the grading screen are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF. Original formatting and embedded images are preserved. If a student has uploaded an unsupported file, you are prompted to download it.

    Assignment submissions created with the content editor are not compatible with inline grading. Submissions of this type show in the window, but annotation is not available.

  4. Add, Remove, or Reply To Comments: Add comments wherever needed. Point to the yellow comment and the Reply and Delete options appear.
  5. View Grading Details: In the grading sidebar, grade the submission, view the assignment details, the grading rubric, and each attempt. After you assign a grade, return to this screen to review the grade and comments. Click the pencil icon to override the grade.
  6. Provide Feedback: Type feedback for the student.
  7. Edit Your Content: Open the content editor to format your comments, attach a file, and check your spelling.
  8. Add Private Notes: Add notes and files that only you can see. For example, keep track of students' progress during the revision process and refer to your notes when assigning the final grade.
  9. Download the assignment: Download the original file.

Watch a Tutorial

Double-click the video to enlarge the viewing area.

Inline Assignment Grading and Crocodoc

The inline viewer is powered by a third-party, cloud-based technology called Crocodoc. The viewer is supported on current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. No plug-in or other application is necessary.

Student file submissions are stored in your Blackboard Learn instance, as always. A copy of the submission is transmitted to the Crocodoc cloud service for conversion. The converted version of the document lives in the cloud on servers managed by Crocodoc.

No personally identifiable data about students is sent to Crocodoc. Blackboard retrieves a document ID from Crocodoc and assigns it to the document. That mapping of document ID to user, course, assignment, and attempt is tracked locally in Blackboard. None of that data is available to Crocodoc. All that is transmitted to Crocodoc is the file for conversion. The converted file is stored in the Crocodoc service with any annotations made on the converted file.

How to Grade Assignments Anonymously

You can grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. For example, if they know you are grading anonymously, students may feel a higher level of comfort when expressing themselves in an opinion-based assignment.

In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.

To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:

  1. Access an assignment attempt’s contextual menu.
  2. Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:

  1. Access an assignment column's contextual menu.
  2. Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:

  1. On the action bar, click Hide User Names.
  2. 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:

  1. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
  2. Access the cell's contextual menu and click View Grade Details.
  3. On the Grade Details page, click Allow Additional Attempt and confirm.

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    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.

Grade Multiple Attempts

If you allowed multiple attempts for an assignment, and a student has submitted all attempts, they appear in the grade cell's contextual menu.

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On the Grade Assignment page, you can see how many attempts users have submitted next to their names on the action bar.

Click Attempts to view other attempts. If you associated a rubric with the assignment, you can refer to it while grading.

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After selecting an attempt, type a grade and feedback, and submit. 

If one of the multiple attempts is ungraded, the exclamation mark remains in the cell along with the last graded attempt.

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After you complete grading the attempts, the last attempt's grade appears in the cell by default. The last attempt’s grade also appears on the Grade Assignment page.

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To change the displayed grade to the first attempt, highest grade, lowest grade, or an average of attempts, access the Grade Center column's contextual menu, click Edit Column Information, and select the attempt to score from the Score attempts using drop-down list.

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My Grades shows students their scores on the most recently graded assignment attempt, or your selection in the Score attempts using drop-down list, as soon as that item is scored.

Related Tutorials video  Cleaning Up Assignment Files  (Flash movie |1m 47s)