Essential preparation for e-submission & e-marking

Are your students submitting their assignments online?

Many of you will be preparing for assessment deadlines.  With e-submission being used and e-marking being trialled for the first time in some modules, the information below will help you to prepare, and make it easier for you and your students. This advice has sections relevant to:

  1. All staff involved in the assessment of an assignment
  2. Module convenors or staff responsible for creating submission points
  3. And information to share with your students about e-submission.

It is important that you are fully prepared before the University Christmas closure, as staff will not be available to provide support during this period.

Note that the University does not require staff to mark online this year. We recommend that you only start e-marking if you have received advice and undertaken staff development.

Important information you need to know:


1. For all staff involved in the assessment of an assignment

Advice Support and resources
Make sure you know how the assignment will be being submitted, marked and how the feedback should be returned. What parts of the assessment process are being done online and what are paper-based? Contact the module convenor well in advance of the assessment deadline if you are unsure.All markers on the same assignment will need to mark the work, and return feedback and marks to students, in the same way.
Familiarise yourself with the online support guides that you may need. Guides and advice are available on the ‘Support for Staff’ tab in Blackboard.
If you plan to mark hard copies by downloading and printing off assignments, then check with the module convenor that the anonymous marking settings have NOT been selected. If, after the assessment deadline, you find that anonymous marking settings have been selected:

  • You can de-anonymise a Blackboard assignment in the settings and then download the papers for marking.  You should inform the module convenor and/or module administrator if you do so.
If the submission point has been set up to use anonymous online marking, make sure you understand the restrictions and limitations:

  • You cannot identify students who have not submitted assignments.
  • You can only email ‘non-submitters’ if you have a Turnitin assignment.





2. For the module convenor or staff responsible for creating submission points

Advice Support and resources
Create new e-submission points for every assessment – do not re-use last year’s.
Have the correct settings been chosen to reflect how the assignment is going to be submitted, marked and feedback returned? Do not select ‘anonymous marking’ in the settings unless you have sought guidance about anonymous marking online.
Do not change the assignment e-submission settings once students have started submitting.
Make the assignment submission point available to students at least 3 weeks in advance of the assignment deadline.
Ensure the column in the Grade Centre is hidden from the students to prevent marks and feedback being released before you are ready.
Check the assignment due date (both Turnitin and Blackboard) and Post Date (Turnitin only) are correct.If any changes have been made to the assignment deadline since the submission point was set up, make sure:

  • The new date has been applied to the e-submission point.
  • The change has been communicated to the administrators and students.


The Turnitin Post-date should be set as 15 working days after the due date.Blackboard Assignment: You will need to manually unhide the column for the assignment in the Grade Centre to release the mark / feedback to students.

Delegated marking in a Blackboard assignment

  • Check that all of the markers have been correctly allocated to mark the assignment before the students start to submit work.
  • DO NOT edit delegated marking settings after students have started submitted their work.


Known Issue: If you are unable to allocate staff to mark a Blackboard assignment using delegated marking, this can be easily fixed by IT with sufficient notice.Note: IT Support is not available after 23rd December until 4th January.



3. Important information to share with your students

Advice Support and resources
Make sure students know if they are expected to submit an electronic submission OR an electronic plus paper copy. Put appropriate information in the relevant place on your Blackboard course.
Walk students through the process of e-submission in a lecture and explain what is expected of them. Blackboard induction slides with screenshots of Blackboard assignment and Turnitin submission process.
Inform students of the e-submission guides and link to them in your Blackboard module. Guides and advice are available on the ‘Support for Students’ tab in Blackboard.



Remind students to submit well in advance of the assignment deadline (especially students who are submitting online for the first time) to allow time in case they have any difficulties.
Tell students if they will get an email receipt for submitting their work online:

Turnitin – Yes, Email and stored online

Blackboard Assignment – Yes, Email and stored online (as of Sept 2016)


Tell students who they need to contact in your School or Department if they have an issue submitting online. Provide them with a name, email address or telephone number.
Set up a separate submission point, as needed, for late work


Prevent confusion for students who have submitted their assignment on-time by explaining that all students will see the ‘Late and Extensions’ submission point appear after the deadline.

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