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The Assignment Tool is an efficient way to manage and collect your student's individual and group assignments digitally. Blackboard's Assignment Tool allows faculty to create a secure location for students to submit class assignments. Faculty use the Grade Center to monitor the submission process, to view and/or download submitted work, to compose and send confidential feedback to students and to grade the assignment. Faculty can download all of a particular assignment’s student submitted files in a single zip file. In the download zip file, each student submitted file will be renamed automatically to include the assignment’s name, the student’s username, as well as the filename the student originally submitted.

A number of options are available when creating an assignment using the Assignment Tool:

  • Assignment Files - allows faculty to attach supplemental information
  • Assignment Availability - allows faculty to create assignments in advance
  • Assignment Submissions (attempts) – allows for multiple or unlimited submissions
  • Date and Time Restrictions - allows faculty to decide when students can access the assignment
  • Individual or Group Assignments – allows faculty to choose who has access to assignment
  • Tracking Statistics - track the number of views and by whom

Use the Assignment Tool to help you set and manage deadlines, unclutter your inbox, and save trees.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available for faculty [PDF].
Step-by-step instructions are available to show students how to submit assignments [Video].
Explore Blackboard's On Demand Learning Center [HTML].
Blackboard How-To documents [HTML]
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

The digital dropbox is not available in Blackboard Learn version 9.1. The digital dropbox was replaced with a more robust Assignment tool. The Assignment tool significantly improves file collection and exchange. Rather than having one large unorganized drop box, the Assignment Tool lets faculty create a secure location for students to submit work for each course assignment. Faculty use the Grade Center to monitor the submission process, to view and/or download submitted work, to compose and send confidential feedback to students, and to grade the assignment. Faculty can download all of a particular assignment’s student submitted files in a single zip file. In the download zip file, each student submitted file will be renamed automatically to include the assignment’s name, the student’s username, as well as the filename the student originally submitted.

Multiple options are available when creating an assignment:

  • Assignment Files - allows faculty to attach supplemental information
  • Assignment Availability - allows faculty to create assignments in advance
  • Date and Time Restrictions - allows faculty to decide when students can access the assignment
  • Individual or Group Assignments – allows faculty to choose who has access to assignment
  • Tracking Statistics - track the number of views and by whom

Want more information?
Getting Started with Assignments - instructors [PDF].
Submitting Assignments - students [Video].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

The Digital Drop Box provides a shared area where students and instructors can store and exchange files. The Assignment feature integrates with the Grade Center and organizes assignments so they are easier to access and grade than those that are submitted via email or the Digital Drop Box.

Faculty should consider using the Digital Drop Box when file exchange is needed between the instructor and one student, a select group of students, or when a project will not be graded. On the other hand, an Assignment may be more effective when a grade will be assigned to student work and the graded project/assignment requires submission of a document.

These scenarios [PDF] present several different examples of how the Digital Drop Box and Assignments may be used separately or together to collect student work.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available for using the
Digital Drop Box [PDF], creating Assignments [PDF],
and viewing/grading Assignments [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional Blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

You can enter grades directly into cells in the Grade Center (Bb Tip # 19). However, when grading assignment submissions, it is best to use Grade Details to grade assignment submissions. Entering assignment grades directly into the cells will cause the student’s view of the assignment in My Grades to display as needs grading. Additionally, entering grades for assignment submissions directly in the cells rather than going through grade details will lead to incorrect calculations in the assignment’s column statistics.

Follow these steps to do it.
From the [Control Panel] select [Grade Center] which is located under Assessments. Inside the Grade Center, find the assignment column for the assignment submissions you want to view/grade. Move your mouse to the right side of the cell of the assignment you want to view/grade. Point to the down arrow and select [Grade Details] from the drop-down menu. Next, click on the [View Attempt] button in the Grade Details screen. Section 2 of the Grade Assignments screen shows the student’s comments as well as any files the student attached. Click on the hyperlink to view the file the student attached. In section 3, enter the student’s grade, your comments, and attach any files you want to send to the student. In Instructor Notes (section 4), enter your notes and attach files that will only be seen by you.

It is possible to download assignment submissions to view offline. To download assignments, move your mouse to the down arrow on the right side of the column heading for the assignment and select [Assignment File Download] from the drop-down menu. Select the assignments to be downloaded and click [Submit]. A zip file with the assignments is created. Click on the link for this zip (packaged) file and save the file on your computer. Navigate to where you saved the zip file and open the file to view the assignments.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional Blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

Using the Assignment feature is an effective way to collect student assignments electronically rather than in paper form. It streamlines the submission and grading of student files. Instructors can create coursework and then manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. After an assignment is created, students can access the assignment, complete it in a separate file, and send it back to the Instructor. The Instructor responds to each student separately, grading their assignment, providing comments on their individual assignment and attaching files, if necessary.

Note: The assignment has to be created in a content area. By default, courses are created with an “Assignment” content area. If you want to create your course assignments in a content area that does not exist, you will have to create it by modifying the course menu. Refer to Bb Tip #7 for instructions on “Customizing the Course Menu”.

Follow these steps to do it.
Assuming the content area you want to place your assignment in is shown, you should click on the link for that content area in the [Control Panel]. Next select [Assignment] from the drop down menu located on the right side of the toolbar and then click the [Go] button. Enter a name for your assignment in the Name field, choose a color for the name, enter the points possible, due date, and instructions for the assignment. Files that you want to be available for the assignment should be attached in the Assignment Files section. Click the [Browse] button to locate the file on your computer. In the “Name of Link to File” box, enter the name that students will have to click on to access the attached file. Under Options choose the appropriate options for content availability, tracking views and any date/time restrictions. Click the [Submit] button when you are done. A column for this assignment will automatically be added to the Grade Center.

Students access the assignment by clicking on the [View/Complete Assignment] link below the assignment name and instructions. Students can then attach their files and click [Submit] to complete the assignment. The completed assignment submissions are then accessed by the Instructor through the Grade Center.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions for creating assignments are available [PDF].
Instructions on how students submit assignments are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional Blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418