I. Benefits of Blackboard's Assignment feature
The best way to collect student assignments in Blackboard is through the Assignment Manager.
Here are some of its benefits:
- Instructors can create assignments.
- Students can complete assignments in Blackboard or submit work done in other applications, such as Word.
- Instructors can provide feedback and grades on assignments.
- Assignment grades can be automatically tied into the Gradebook.
- Instructors can track in the Gradebook who has or hasn't yet submitted a given assignment. Instructors can download assignments for the entire class with a single click.
- Student files downloaded through the Assignment Manager automatically contain the student's name in the file name.
II. How to Create an Assignment
- Step 1: In your course site, click on the Control Panel.
- Step 2: In the first box on the left, titled Content Areas, click on the Content Area in which you want to create the Assignment. In our example, we will create it in the "Assignments" content area, but keep in mind that you may add this to any area you choose, such as the Weekly Syllabus or within a subfolder of the Weekly Syllabus.
- Step 3: You will now see a menu bar similar to that which was used when posting your syllabus. However, instead of clicking on the "Add Item" button (which is used simply to upload a document), locate the dropdown menu on the right side of the screen. Select Assignment from the menu, and click the Go button next to the little arrow facing down.
- Step 4: After clicking Go, you will come to a form titled Add Assignment. Give the Assignment a title in the Name field, then click once in the text box underneath and type in the Instructions for completing the assignment.
- Step 5: (If you do not wish to attach a file for students to download, skip this step.) Scroll down to part 2, Assignment Files. If you wish to attach a file for students to download, click the Browse button and locate the file on your computer. Select the file you wish to attach, and click OK or Open.
- Step 6: Next, scroll down to part 3, Options. Here you may select whether or not to make the assignment available to students, to track how many times the assignment is viewd, and to set date restrictions. If you wish to make the assignment appear only after a specific date, for instance, a midterm or final assignment, select Yes for "Make the Assignment Available," then click the box next to "Display After" so that there is a check next to it. Underneath "Display After," select the date and time at which the assignment should be viewable to students. If you use this option, you will be able to post an assignment in advance without needing to worry about it being available to your students too early.
- Step 7: Once you have finished filling out the Add Assignment form, click the Submit button at the bottom right of the page. Then click OK.
Right away (or after the "Display After" date if you have chosen this option), students will be able to view a link to "View/Complete" the assignment. Once they have submitted it, it will be saved on Blackboard for you to review and/or grade.
III. Viewing Submitted Assignments
Student assignments submitted through Blackboard are automatically retrievable from your personal gradebook.
Step 2: In the second box on the right, titled Assessment, click on Gradebook.
You will come to a page titled Gradebook Spreadsheet View. On the left side under Name (Last, First) there will be a list of all the students enrolled in your course. In the next column(s), you will see the assignment that you created (in our example, we have named it Midterm Assignment) with a symbol corresponding to each student. If a student has completed the assignment you will see an exclamation mark.
- Step 4: On the next screen, click the View button to the right. Click on this button will take you to a page where you can view the original assignment information, view the student's submission, enter feedback that the student can view, and provide Instructor Notes for yourself that only you will be able to view.
- Step 5: When you are done viewing the student's assignment and have entered any desired comments, click the Submit button on the bottom right of the screen. You will return to the Modify Grade page, where you had cilcked the View button on the right. Now that you have seen the assignment, you may enter a grade in the Grade field. Click the Submit button to the right to save the grade, then click the OK button to return to the Gradebook Spreadsheet View page.
This manual will go into more detail about the Gradebook later on.
To continue learning how to build course content, click Next.
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