Assignments

Assignments in Original Course View

Assignments allow faculty members to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. Assignments may be created from any Content Area within the Course Menu, but NIU's default Course Menu includes a menu area for Assessments.   

Once an Assignment has been created, students may access the assignment, complete it in a separate file, and send it back to the faculty member from within Blackboard. The faculty member may respond to each student separately, supplying feedback about their individual assignment and attaching files, if necessary.

Assignments that are created within Blackboard will automatically generate a column in the Grade Center for that assignment.

Screenshot highlighting process to create an assignment

To create an Assignment:  From the Course Menu select a Content Area, such as Assessments > from the Content Area, click the drop-down menu labeled Assessments > then select Assignment

Faculty have multiple options when creating an assignment:

  • Assignment Availability allowing faculty to create assignments in advance
  • Tracking Statistics that track the number of views and by whom the assignment was viewed
  • Date and Time Restrictions which allows faculty to stop an assignment from displaying after a specified date
  • Individual or Group Assignments
  • Assignment Files allows faculty to attach supplemental information
  • Points Possible determines the grade value for the assignment and corresponds to the Grade Center column created for the assignment

Assignments in Ultra Course View

Status: Available

Assignments allow faculty members to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. Assignments may be created inside any folder or learning module, but we recommend creating a folder or module for each week that includes all of the content, tasks, and assessments students will complete during that time frame.   

When an Assignment has been created, students may complete the assignment by submitting a file, typing their response, or embedding media from sites such as Kaltura. The faculty member may respond to each student separately, supplying feedback about their individual assignment with inline annotation or by attaching files or completing a rubric.

Assignments that are created within Blackboard will automatically generate an item in the Gradebook.

Assignments are added by clicking the plus icon inside the course and selecting Create. Learn more about adding Assignments in Ultra Course View »

Assignments in Ultra Course View can include:

  • An interactive rubric
  • Course conversations to facilitate discussion or Q&A about the assessment
  • Group collaboration and submission
  • Peer review
  • A timer that restricts the time students have to complete the assignment once they have viewed the instructions
  • Embedded media from integrated tools, like Kaltura

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access my interactive rubric for grading an assignment?
Open up the assignment you wish to grade. Next, on the right hand side of the page, notice a light blue box with the word Attempt in it and a place for a grade. At the bottom of that box there is a tiny down arrow. Click on that arrow and the box will expand to show the rubric. Finally, open the rubric by clicking the title of it. You may grade directly from the interactive rubric which will appear directly below.   
How do I attach a file to my assignment?
From the Create Assignment page, scroll down to Section No. 2, Assignment Files, and click the Browse My Computer button. Locate the file you wish to add and click the Open button. Select the submit button once you have finished creating your assignment. The attached file will now be available to students when they go to view or complete the assignment.
How do I download all the attached files related to one assignment?

Enter the Grade Center and click on the action link next to the assignment name, and click on "Assignment File Download". On the following page, check the box next to the user's name, or you can check all users at the top of the screen.  Click Submit when finished, and on the following page, click the "Download assignments now" link.  All files you have selected have now been downloaded in a zip file to the location you specified.

There is a different process for downloading all SafeAssign submissions.

Do all assignments have to be included in the Grade Center calculations?
No, you can specify that certain assignments are not used in Grade Center calculations. To do this, you enter the Grade Center, click on the action link next to the assignment name, and click on "Edit Column Information". Scroll down to Section No. 3, Options, and select "No" for "Include item in Grade Center score calculations".

Assignment Statistics

Is there a way to check statistics for individual assignments and assessments?
Blackboard records statistics for all assignments created within the system. To view this, enter the Grade Center and click the action link next to the assignment name, then click Column Statistics. From here, you can access a variety of information, including Statistics, Status Distribution, and Grade Distribution.

Assigning Grade Values

How do I change the points possible for assignments?

Occasionally, point values on assignments and assessments are altered during the course copy process. To edit the points possible for an assignment:

  1. In the Control Panel click the Action Link to the right of Grade Center
  2. Find the column for the assignment that needs to be modified and click the Action Link next to the column name
  3. Click Modify Column
  4. Enter the correct value for Points Possible in the text box
  5. Scroll down and click the Submit button
I would like to avoid attaching point values to certain assignments.

One approach you may want to try with the Blackboard Grade Center is to add a column in the Grade Center in which you simply post for the students how many hours you have record of them completing. The column can be worth 0 Points Possible. When you are creating the column, set Points Possible to 0 and select No for the option Include item in Grade Center calculations. This will ensure that you are able to use that column to post the number of hours that a student has completed without that numerical value being added to their total points earned in the course.

You can take this same approach for other items such as attendance.

Is there anyway I can give check, check plus or check minus on some assignments I post to the Grade Center?

Blackboard doesn't have a built-in check, check plus, or check minus feature. However, by adding a text item to the Grade Center and using the square root sign √ in place of a check mark, it is possible to in effect assign these values.

First, add a column to the GradeCenter, making sure to enter 0 for Points Possible, to set the Primary Display to Text, and to select Nofor Include item in Grade Center calculations.

Then, click on a cell in the new column to enter a value for a student, either a √, √+, or √-. To enter a √ on a Windows PC, ensure that Num Lock is ON and then hold down the Alt key and type 251 using the number pad and then let off the Alt key. Then, a - or + can easily be entered after the √.

Because this is a text column, the values are not computed into a numeric score and are not included when Blackboard computes the total score for the course.


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