SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service, offered by Blackboard. This service helps educators prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, it also has features designed to aid in educating students about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any borrowed content.
SafeAssign is a part of the Blackboard Beyond family and is centrally hosted by Blackboard, like the rest of the Beyond products and services. Although it is a new Blackboard service, it is based on a mature and proven technology that Blackboard acquired from Sciworth Inc. (MyDropBox) and enhanced to offer even better stability, performance, and integration with other Blackboard products. For more information, go to www.niu.edu/blackboard/assess/safeassign.shtml.
SafeAssign can be used in two ways.
A SafeAssign Originality Report highlights any blocks of text in submitted documents that match reference sources, and links back to the matching documents on the Internet or in supported content databases. SafeAssign reports also show similarity ratings for each matching sentence and allow Faculty Members to view a line-by-line comparison of potentially unoriginal text from submitted papers and the matching external documents.
If intructors enable student viewing, each student can view the reports for their own submitted papers.
SafeAssign currently checks all submitted papers against the following databases:
The Institutional Database is the archive of papers submitted by students in your institution. Each institution's Institutional Database is stored in the central SafeAssign service and kept separate from other institution's databases. Papers are automatically added to this database upon submission and are stored in the central service to be checked against other papers submitted from your institution. The Institutional Database is completely separate from the Global Reference Database which extends across institutions and students must volunteer their papers to.
SafeAssign can generate originality reports for papers written in all alphabet-based languages with left-to-right writing. The user interface is currently only available in English.
Blackboard does not claim any ownership rights on the content submitted to SafeAssign.
Reports are not generated instantaneously - it usually takes from several seconds to few minutes to receive a report. During peak use (such as the end of the semester), it can sometimes take several hours.
SafeAssign supports Word (.doc or .docx), plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), .pdf, and .html formats. In addition, supported file types can be compressed to a .zip file for Direct Submit.
There is a 10 MB limit on all files submitted to SafeAssign. This applies to individual student uploads to Assignments with SafeAssign enabled as well as .zip files of multiple papers uploaded by faculty using the Direct Submit feature (in which case the .zip file must be under 10 MB). Unfortunately, this limit is set by the SafeAssign servers, which are managed by Blackboard, so it cannot be overridden.
Blackboard's Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of their papers to help prevent plagiarism. It is separated from each institution's internal database, where all papers are stored by each corresponding institution, and students are free to select the option to check their papers without submitting them to the Global Reference Database.
Students submit their papers to the database voluntarily and agree not to remove papers in the future.
All papers are submitted to the Global Reference Database voluntarily, and students are free to choose not to submit their papers to this database. Faculty Members can still use the service effectively, even when students choose not to submit their papers to the Global Reference Database.
The synchronize function is to deal with breaks in communication or to update a course which is based on a template or has been copied. It is a good idea for the faculty member to click on this when first using SafeAssign and to periodically update it or update if any course level issues arise. It simply synchronizes the papers in the course with the SafeAssign central database, ensuring the correct associations exist between the course and our central database.
There is the option to make an assignment a draft. In this case, as mentioned above, the paper is not checked into the institutional database.
Make sure to enter SafeAssignment scores in the Grade Center after the students submit their assignments. Scores assigned prior to SafeAssignment submission are deleted when students submit their assignments. If paper assignments are collected together with a Blackboard SafeAssign feature, make sure to enter student grades after they have submitted their assignments electronically through SafeAssign.
It is possible to download all of the files that the students submitted to a SafeAssignment. This does not include the originality reports. Those must be viewed within Blackboard directly.
To download all of the submitted files:
Your browser will download a .zip folder that has all of the submissions. You can open the folder or extract the files to read the individual submissions.
If you get this error and you are logged into Blackboard, it means that the security or privacy settings of your web browser are set to not allow 3rd-party cookies. You will need to change that setting to be able to use SafeAssign.
For Internet Explorer:
If you or your students receive this error, you will need to re-synchronize your course. To do so:
Most answers to FAQs provided by the SafeAssign Wiki: http://wiki.safeassign.com
Last Updated: 02/11/2016