Online assignments - submission and marking options

14 Aug 2015
eLearning Update, eLearning Systems and Support
14 August 2015

Assessing communication skills

Students in Dr David MacDonald's Physiotherapy course conduct an interview to demonstrate their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as well as their interview and interpersonal skills. Students record the interview in a video and submit it using UQ's video server Kaltura. 

David finds that video submission assignments allow for the ideal combination of formative and summative assessment. Students have the opportunity to complete multiple takes to produce their best performance for submission for evaluation. David shares his views on the benefits of video assignments and tips for managing them. Watch Video (4:28)

New Turnitin features

Turnitin, the online assignment submission and marking software, now has two new features. The upload limit for files has been increased from 20mb to 40mb. Staff can also use the Email non-submitters feature to send a reminder email to all students in their course that have not submitted an assignment. Refer to the Email non-submitters guide for step-by-step instructions.

New Blackboard assignment tool features

The Assignment tool is an alternative to Turnitin for online assignment submission and marking, and it is particularly useful for group assignments. The new features allow course coordinators to assign the marking of specific assignments to individual tutors and to enable anonymous marking. A new Bb Grader iPad app is also available for online marking. For further information refer to the Blackboard Assignment tool guide.

New Groups tool feature

The Groups tool can be used to set up self-enrol or manually enrolled student project groups. The new feature allows course coordinators to view and edit lists of students and their groups all on the one page. Refer to the group enrolments guide for step-by-step instructions.

Need help moving to online marking?

Course Coordinators, would you like:

  • an one-on-one consultation to help you select an online assignment tool?
  • help setting up online assignment submission links.
  • an individual tutorial on using online marking and feedback tools?

Then nominate for the eLearning Solutions Service by emailing to organise an appointment.

Online marking workshops for tutors

Need training for your tutors on using the Turnitin or Blackboard assignment online marking tools? Email to organise a workshop at your school.

Online assignment submission and marking options

There are a variety of online assignment submission and marking options available at UQ to cater for different assignment types:

Individual assignments

Turnitin is the most popular choice for individual text-based (Word, PDF and PowerPoint) assignments. The online marking function allows you to annotate assignments, use comment banks, include a voice comment and give feedback using a rubric. There is also an iPad app available for off-line marking. 

Turnitin also includes a text matching (plagiarism check) function that reports on any text matches with web content, previously submitted assignments and journals. For further information refer to the Turnitin guide.

View video case studies on UQ staff who have successfully implemented Turnitin assignments: Brian McNamara, Dr Andrew Allsebrook, Dr Pauline Ford, Dr Judith Seaboyer and Dr Glyn Thomas.

Group assignments

Using the Blackboard Group and Assignment tool in combination allows you to set up group project submission links. Any student in the group can submit the assignment and all members automatically receive the assignment results and feedback. The online marking function allows you to annotate assignments and give feedback using a rubric. For further information refer to the Groups and Assignment tool guides.

View the video case study on how Dr Bryan Morgan successfully implemented Blackboard group assignments.

Alternatively if text matching (plagiarism check) or the use of comment banks is required, Turnitin can also be used for group assignment. This has the disadvantage that marks and feedback are not available automatically to all group members.

Video assignments

Kaltura, UQ's video server can be used by students to submit video assignments. You can also set up submission links using the Blackboard Assignment tool which allows you to use the online marking function to give comments and feedback using a rubric.

For further information refer to the Video and Audio upload and Assignment tool guides.

View the video case studies on UQ staff who have successfully implemented video assignments: Jacqueline Bond, Dr Karen Cheney and Dr David MacDonald.

Web-based assignments

The Blackboard Assignment tool can be used if you require students to submit links to web-based products such as websites, Prezzies and VoiceThreads. The online marking function can be used to give comments and feedback using a rubric. For further information refer to the Assignment tool guide.

Reflection assignments

The Blogs or Journals tool allows students to submit regular reflections that incorporate multimedia elements. Blog assignments are public and can be viewed and commented on by all course members. Journals are private and can only be viewed by course staff. Staff can use the online marking panel to give comments and feedback using a rubric. For further information refer to the Blogs and Journals guide.

View the video case studies on UQ staff who have successfully implemented blog assignments: Dr Rebecca Laws and Dr Chris Campbell.

Oral presentations and performance based assignments

There are two choices if you need to mark assignments such as oral presentations or performances that do not require a file submission.

Option one is to set up a Turnitin non-submission assignment, this option allows you to use Turnitin's marking tool GradeMark. Refer to the Create a Turnitin assignment (no file submission) and Mark no file submission assignments guides for step-by-step instructions.

Option two is to set up Grade Centre column and attach a rubric for feedback. Refer to the Create a column and Enter marks using a rubric guides for step-by-step instructions.

Online assignment submission instructions for students

Guides for students on how to submit and view feedback from Turnitin, Blackboard, Blogs and Journals and Kaltura video assignments are available from Ask I.T. It is recommended that you include a link to the relevant guide in your assignment instructions to students.

Announcement emails

The recent Learn.UQ upgrade changed the behaviour of Announcements and some other system based emails. They will now have as the 'From' address. Student replies to announcement emails will still be sent to the staff member who posted the announcement as their address is contained within the reply-to field If you need to communicate with students and have it  show up as coming from yourself, you will need to use the Email tool.