Marking online – hints and tips

Are you marking coursework and returning feedback to your students online? Use the following tips and advice to make sure you make the most effective and efficient use of the tools.

This post includes some advice based on recent queries that we have received.

 

Read ‘e-Marking Essentials’

The e-Marking Essentials page in the staff help site provides key advice on what to do and how to avoid common pitfalls.

It includes advice on both the Blackboard Assignment and Turnitin tools and will be particularly useful for colleagues who are new to marking online.

Find out about:

 

Using Turnitin Assignments by Groups

Navigating between student papers

The Turnitin Assignments by Groups feature can be used where there are multiple markers, to allocate markers to student papers (even when Anonymity is turned on).

Do not use the navigation arrows to scroll through papers when you have a student’s paper open in the Feedback Studio.

Close the Feedback Studio window for that student’s work and open a new paper from the View Assignments by Group screen in Blackboard.

Screenshot of the top of the Feedback Studio window, indicating that you should not use the right and left arrows to scroll between papers.

NOTE: Using the left or right arrows at the top of the screen, will take you to the next student in the class as a whole and not the next student in the group you have been assigned to mark.

 

Anonymous marking and Turnitin Assignments by Groups

When anonymity is enabled,  the tool can still be used to filter the class list by Group, but you will not see any student names or the grades entered on the View Assignments by Groups screen.

 

Submitting scanned handwritten work to Turnitin

For Mathematical and Scientific notation that is marked online.

If your students need to submit scanned copies of handwritten work for you to mark online in Turnitin they MUST submit a file that includes at least 20 words of typed text in either their Word docx or PDF. This allows the file to be uploaded into Turnitin. You may wish to provide a standard coversheet template with the 20 words included to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students on submitting this type of work: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work. It includes instructions on how to add selectable typed text into a PDF.

Advice for staff: Setting up assignment submission points for scanned work.

 

The Grade Centre and anonymous marking

When Anonymous Marking is enabled, whether in Turnitin or on a Blackboard assignment, no information about grades or submissions is visible in the Grade Centre.

  • You cannot see which students have / have not submitted,
  • And you cannot see the grades that have been entered.

You cannot mark submissions for an anonymous Turnitin assignment from the Grade Centre. You should go via the main Turnitin assignment inbox. In your course, go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments (or Turnitin Assignments by Groups).

We recommend using this route to mark all Turnitin assignments, regardless of whether they are being marked anonymously.

 

Internal Moderation options

The way work is to be moderated may affect what first markers need to record, and where.

Module Convenors: please make sure you are familiar with the workflow and ensure that first markers have clear instructions on what you expect from them. The following pages offer guidance on a the different marking and moderation scenarios:

 

 

Students scanning handwritten work for submission to Turnitin

Who does this affect?

This is an important message for any staff who require their students to scan handwritten work – for example Mathematical or Scientific equations – and submit this to Turnitin.

This is likely to be relevant in subject areas such as Mathematics, Economics, Meteorology and the Sciences, and possibly on some Language courses.

 

When setting up a Turnitin assignment, it is possible to choose the ‘Accept any file type’ option, and students should then be able to submit files which won’t generate a Similarity Report, for instance a PDF containing only scanned images.

Recently, however, issues have arisen for

  • students attempting to submit files containing scanned work
  • staff wishing to mark such work using Turnitin Feedback Studio.

These issues have been raised with Turnitin Support, by us and by TEL staff at other Universities, and we are awaiting their response.

 

What can we do to avoid problems?

If you require students to submit scanned work to Turnitin, the key thing is to tell them to include at least 20 words of typed text in their Word document or PDF.

You may wish to provide a standard coversheet as a prompt, to make sure students do this.

We have put together this page to provide guidance to students: Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work 

If you, or your students, need additional guidance, please contact the TEL team via it@reading.ac.uk

Blackboard Upgrade November 2018

Blackboard upgrade icon

This weekend’s upgrade has now completed. You can log in again as normal, to access both Blackboard and Turnitin.

The upgrade was carried out primarily to enable RISIS-Blackboard integration to take place later in the academic year, but it also brings a number of bug fixes, and makes available a few new features:

Blackboard Assignments

The ability for students to download feedback from Blackboard assignments has been restored. They are now able to download an annotated copy of their work, containing all feedback added using the Box inline grading tool, as a PDF. 

Student help page: Blackboard Assignment – download marked assignment submissions

 

Grading in the Blackboard Instructor app

It is now possible to use the Blackboard Instructor app to mark work submitted to a Blackboard Assignment.

This functionality is very new, and the TEL team have not yet had the opportunity to test it thoroughly, so please use it with caution. Check out the Grading in the Blackboard Instructor app page on the Staff help site.

 

As ever, if you encounter any issues using Blackboard, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Blackboard and TEL – What’s New for 2018-19

As we start a new academic year, here’ s a summary of changes that have taken place over the summer.

Blackboard redesign

You can’t fail to have noticed that Blackboard has a crisp new look. The redesign was informed by feedback received from student and staff focus groups held in the Spring term. As well as aiming to be more visually appealing, the landing page has been designed to give prominence to those areas of Blackboard which users need to access most frequently. And we’ve used a new responsive theme, meaning that Blackboard should now display well on any device, and any size of screen.

Read more on the new Blackboard design

 

Blackboard upgrade

This was a fairly minor upgrade, but it brought a number of enhancements and bug fixes.

Read more on the Blackboard upgrade

 

Blackboard Ally

Ally is an innovative tool which can help improve the accessibility of content on Blackboard courses. It has been enabled on all 2018-19 courses. Ally is being trialled for a year as part of the implementation of the University’s policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning.

Read more on Blackboard Ally

View Blackboard ALLY support materials

 

New support sites for staff and students

We have launched new help sites for you and your students to use Blackboard and related technologies such as Turnitin and Collaborate (web conferencing).

Staff support site: https://sites.reading.ac.uk/tel-support-for-students

Student support site: https://sites.reading.ac.uk/tel-support

Help articles are categorised, so you can for instance find all articles on Marking & Feedback, but the best way of finding what you want is to use the search box at the top of every page.

 

Preparing for the new academic year

Highlighted on the staff support site at the moment is a checklist aimed to help you prepare your Blackboard sites for a new cohort of students – see Getting ready for the new Year.

 

Requesting support

As ever, when seeking support from the TEL team – whether you have a technical query or are looking for advice or training – please contact us by logging a support ticket through the IT Self-Service Portal

You can also simply email it@reading.ac.uk or use the ASK A QUESTION link at the top of the Staff support site.

Your queries and requests for support are picked up and dealt with by the TEL team.

 

Wishing you all a successful academic year.

2018-19 enrolments now being created in Blackboard

We are now into the 2018-19 academic year, and from Monday any 2018-19 course enrolments already registered in RISIS will start to flow into Blackboard.

Module Convenors on Part 2 and 3 modules: if you want your students to be able to access your Blackboard course, simply make your course available.

You’ll also want to email them to alert them that the course is available, as they’re probably not checking Blackboard on a daily basis just now!

 

Please note

This applies only to returning students (e.g. 2nd and 3rd years). 

New students (i.e. Part 1 and new PGT students) will not have full access to IT systems until they complete their enrolment in late September, and it is only at that point that they will be able to log on to Blackboard and access their courses.

Blackboard upgrade summer 2018 – complete

Blackboard has been upgraded to the latest version – for those of you who like to know such things, we are now running Blackboard 9.1 Q2 2018 Cumulative Update 2.

 

New features

  • Blackboard Tests: Students are now able to clear their selection on a Multiple-Choice question. This is useful in a test where negative scoring is in place, and they would prefer to submit no answer rather than one which they’re not sure about. 
    More on clearing multiple choice selection

  • Blackboard Assignments: you can now grant an additional attempt to a specific student, even when anonymous marking is enabled.
    To do this

  • Blackboard Collaborate: when setting up groups within a course, you are now able to enable a Blackboard Collaborate room.
    More on group tools
     
  • Turnitin: we’ve updated the building block which integrates Blackboard. We’re now on the Blackboard Basic integration version 2.7.5.
    This version improves the way marks are synchronised between the two systems – if you edit a grade in the Turnitin Feedback Studio, the change should automatically be reflected in the Blackboard Grade Centre (although we’d still recommend that you press ‘Sync Grades’ before releasing marks to students).
    The most obvious change staff will notice, is that when you access Turnitin via the Control Panel there’s a search box. This should make it much easier to locate the correct assignment on a course which has many submission points.

 

Blackboard Math Editor

Edit 09/08/18:

The Blackboard Math Editor was unavailable immediately after the upgrade, but Blackboard Support have now restored access to the tool. 

Those needing to insert Chemical symbols into content items will find that the Math editor has been upgraded to a later version of WIRIS, and now supports some chemistry specific content.
More on the Math Editor

 

Technical issues?

We will be introducing changes to the visual design of Blackboard in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime, if the Blackboard login screen or some courses are displaying incorrectly, please clear your browser cache, and the issues should disappear.

For details of supported browsers and operating systems, please see Browser Support for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 and Turnitin System Requirements.

If you encounter any problems using Blackboard or Turnitin, please log them via the IT Self-Service Portal.

 

Bug fixes

Blackboard + Safari

Previously mentioned issues using Safari with Blackboard have now been resolved – all file submissions will work as expected.

Original Article: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/tel/2018/04/06/important-information-uploading-assignment-files-via-safari-ios/

Blackboard Assignments – save as draft

Issues with students who overwrote a previously-saved file with another, which had the exact same filename, are now resolved.

Original article: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/tel/2018/03/08/changes-to-blackboard-assignments/