FIXED Turnitin: avoid changing the Post Date on Anonymous assignments

Update: This issue has now been resolved

We have had a couple of cases recently where lecturers have changed the Post Date on a Turnitin assignment, and the student grades entered in Turnitin have then disappeared.

Although the marks were not irretrievably lost, this inevitably causes some anguish, and leads to a delay in the availability of marks to students.

Turnitin Support have advised us that “Anonymous marking assignment settings will not function correctly when post dates are being moved forward or back”.

 

So please avoid making any changes to the Post Date if your Turnitin Assignment was set up for anonymous marking.

 

If, as the Post Date approaches, you are not yet ready to make marks and feedback visible to students, instead of pushing back the Post Date, you could use Adaptive Release to temporarily hide the assignment from students.

 

FIXED: Turnitin email receipts don’t include the Paper ID

Update: this has been resolved

From April 2016 Turnitin receipts have once again included the Paper ID

There is currently a technical issue which means that Turnitin email receipts (automatically sent to students when they submit their work) do not contain the Paper ID.

The email does contain details of the

  • submission title
  • assignment
  • course
  • date and time of submission

so is still proof of submission. However the Paper ID is the one unique identifier, and a vital piece of information if we need to raise a support call with Turnitin.

Turnitin are aware of the problem, and say that it will be resolved during their next maintenance window. But they have not as yet indicated when that is likely to take place.

While this problem persists, students are strongly advised to download a full receipt from Turnitin – instructions on how to do this can be found via the link labelled ’email receipt’ on the Support for Students tab in Blackboard.

Latest Turnitin connector installed

A recent post highlighted issues with feedback files attached to Turnitin submissions via the Grade Centre.

Once this problem was identified, Turnitin quickly issued an updated version of the “building block” which integrates Turnitin assignments into Blackboard. This was updated on our system as part of last night’s Blackboard upgrade. As a result, staff should no longer experience any issues when viewing feedback files via the Grade Centre, and should be able to remove any files uploaded in error.

Having said that, our previous advice still stands, that it is generally good practice to avoid using spaces in the names of files which are to be uploaded to Blackboard or other websites.

Potential display issue: long questions in Blackboard Tests

An issue has been identified with some Blackboard Tests, for example Multiple Choice tests. This problem only arises when

  • The Test is set to display one question at a time.
  • The first line of the question text is long enough that it fills the width of the Blackboard screen.

If these two conditions are met, students taking the test will find that the ‘Save Answer’ box obscures part of the question text. And this will persist, however you resize the browser window.

Blackboard question text obscured

One way round this would be to edit the Test Options, and under ‘Test Presentation’ choose ‘All at once’. But the option to display questions one at a time will presumably have been chosen quite deliberately e.g. where the text of one question might assist students with answering an earlier question.

In this situation the workaround is simply to edit the test questions, and to enter two or three blank lines before the question text.

Please note:

  • Shorter questions, which only take up part of the screen, will not be affected by this problem.
  • Staff previewing the Test will be able to replicate the problem – so you will also be able to check that adding extra lines has resolved it.

We have been provided with a workaround for this issue by Blackboard, which will be introduced as part of the planned system upgrade on 18th February.

FIXED Attaching feedback files on Turnitin assignments – avoid spaces in filenames

This issue has now been resolved: see Latest Turnitin connector installed 18th Feb 2016

 

The issue in a nutshell

  • If you are using the Blackboard Grade Centre to attach feedback files to Turnitin Assignments, you are advised to avoid spaces in the filenames of the documents that you upload.
  • Files with spaces in the name are currently inaccessible to staff via the Grade Centre.
  • Files with spaces in the name cannot be deleted if it needs to be replaced using the ‘Remove’ button.
  • This issue does not appear to affect student access to the feedback files.

Continue reading

Using a qualitative Blackboard Rubric? Here’s something to look out for!

Some colleagues who are using Blackboard assignments to mark student work will have set up a Rubric for use in providing feedback. Typically this will be a qualitative (non-scoring) Rubric called a ‘No Points’ rubric that does not automatically assign a grade as each box is ticked, but is a way of indicating to the student how well they have performed against each assessment criterion.

We have discovered a minor issue in using such Rubrics which markers should be aware of.

After filling-out and saving the rubric, it resets any grade entered in the Attempt grade field to 0 and you will then need to re-enter the grade.

Since these are non-scoring Rubrics, filling out and saving a Rubric should not enter anything in the Grade field. However, when you save a non-scoring Rubric, Blackboard enters a 0 in the Grade field – overwriting any mark which had previously been entered there.

The workaround for this is always to complete the Rubric before entering a Grade.

Continue reading