How Does it Work?
SafeAssign is the plagiarism detection tool available through Blackboard. Instructors can set up SafeAssignments in their Blackboard courses and let students submit papers to these assignments, in a similar way to the assignment tool in Blackboard. As students submit papers to a SafeAssignment, they are checked against SafeAssign's comprehensive databases of source material. Once checked the papers are delivered to the instructor in Blackboard along with the originality reports showing the results of the matching process.
Plagiarism detection tools, like SafeAssign, act primarily as a deterrent. When a student submits a document to SafeAssign the document is checked against the following sources:
- Web pages
- Online journals available through ABI Inform/ProQuest
- Institutional database of student work
- Blackboard’s global database of student work
SafeAssign Originality Report
SafeAssign generates an Originality Report that shows how much of a given paper it identifies as matching existing sources, and provides links to the online sources. Below is an example of an originality report for a paper that SafeAssign identifies as 100% matching a source.
Sample of Originality Report
How to Interpret SafeAssign Reports
The overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only and papers should be reviewed to see if the matches are properly attributed. As you review the Originality Scores and Reports, please bear in mind that they require interpretation. For example highlighted text may in fact be cited correctly, therefore a good paper with many appropriately cited quotations may generate a high Originality Score (indicating a high percentage of matching text). Please remember that SafeAssign reports the possibility of Plagiarism, but you will need to investigate each report to determine whether it is plagiarism.
- Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.
- Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to determine if the matching content is properly attributed.
- Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for plagiarism.
SafeAssignments appear in courses as a new content type and can be added to any content area. SafeAssignments work like the existing Assignment tool with the added function of plagiarism detection performed once papers are submitted.
Please note that SafeAssignments are different from Assignments and there is no connection between them. It is not possible to make an existing Assignment a SafeAssignment without starting from the beginning. Like regular Assignments, however, SafeAssignments are integrated with the Grade Centre in the Blackboard.
Create a SafeAssignment
- Click the "Edit View" link in the upper right corner of any content area of the course.
- Choose "SafeAssign" from the drop down
- Click "Go"
Add SafeAssignment Fields
The Add SafeAssignment page includes the following fields.
- Enter a title for the SafeAssignment.
- Points Possible
- Enter the points possible for the SafeAssignment. This value will be shared with the Grade Centre Item created for the Safe Assignment
- Enter instructions for completing the SafeAssignment.*
- Select whether or not the SafeAssignment should be visible to Students.
- Availability Dates
- Use these controls to set the date range when Students can interact with the SafeAssignment. It is possible to set only a Start date or only an End date.
- Allows Students to validate their paper without submitting it to the institutional database. Useful as an instructive tool to help Students learn how to reference papers properly.
- Student Viewable
- Determines whether or not Students can see the report generated when their papers are submitted.
- Urgent Checking
- Sets papers to a high priority in the queue.
- Select Yes to create an Announcement about the SafeAssignment.
- Enter a subject for the Announcement.
- Enter a message for the Announcement.
*PLEASE NOTE - if students may be submitting papers to the SafeAssignment that include images, please inform them that the images must not exceed 2MB or the submission may fail.
Student submissions and the Safe Assign reports associated with submissions are viewed from the SafeAssign link on the Control Panel, found under the Course Tools heading. The SafeAssign area lists the SafeAssignments in the course. Click on a SafeAssignment to view and grade submissions.
Follow these steps to view a Student submission.
- Open the Safe Assign area under Course Tools within the Control Panel.
- Locate the specific SafeAssignment in the list and click View.
- A list of Student submissions will appear.
- The following columns appear for each SafeAssignment:
- Text: Select this option to view the Student's paper and any comments from the Student.
- File: Select this option to download the Student Submission.
- Matching: The percentage listed is the percentage of the paper that matches other sources. Please read the full report to determine if the matching is properly attributed.
- SA Report: Select this option to view the full SafeAssignment report.
- Clear Attempt: Select this option to remove the submission from the database, for example, if the Student uploaded the wrong file.
Grade a Student Submission
SafeAssignments are integrated into the Grade Centre and may be accessed and graded directly from the Grade Centre like other Assignments. SafeAssignments are not automatically graded; like existing manually graded Assignments they will display with an exclamation mark icon indicating action is required by the instructor.
Select the exclamation mark icon and it will change to an edit box for you to enter the grade.