Blackboard Homework Assignments

Vendor documentation: “Assignments”

Information on this page:

Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several courses areas, such as in a content area or folder.

Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to each student separately through the Grade Center with comments, feedback, and attached files.

Creating an Assignment

  1. Select or create the content area where students will access the assignment.
  2. Click on the Assessments button, then select Assignment
  3. Enter a Title/Name for the Assignment
  4. Enter value in the “Points Possible” field in the Grading section. (For a non-graded assignment, enter 0.)
  5. Click Submit

For Advanced options and related instructions when creating a Blackboard Assignment, click here.

Submitting an Assignment (the Student Perspective)

  1. To submit an assignment, students will need to click on the View/Complete Assignment… link in the course Content area.
    Please note that if the student has the “What’s New” module to receive course notifications, they can click on Assignments and the Title of an Assignment to go directly to it.

  2. Once the student is viewing the assignment, they can click on the title of the Assignment to begin the submission process.
  3. On the Upload Assignment page, students can see all of the Assignment Information in one place.
  1. Students have the option to writing or copy/paste their assignment or to upload a file. To submit text, they would click on Write Submission button to display text editor. To attach a file, they can either click Browse My Computer and select a file to upload or drag the file from their computer onto the Attach Files section.Students also have an option to add comments to their submission. Note: copying / pasting from Microsoft Word results in unwanted formatting tags that may cause display issues in the browser. Students should be advised to save their file as plain text first before pasting it into the text box in Blackboard.
  2. To complete the assignment student must click the Submit button.
    When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page will display information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission.

If a student clicks the Save as Draft button, they can come back to finish the assignment later; when the student clicks the Submit button, their comments and files will be uploaded and available to the Instructor.

Note: If a student clicks the Submit button prematurely, you will need to clear the attempt in order to let the student try again. You can do this by viewing the individual assignment details in the Grade Center.

Viewing Submitted Assignments

  1. Find the appropriate Grade Center column for the assignment – it will match the name you gave the assignment.
  2. Click on the down arrow after the name for that grade center item (on the student’s row), and then choose the Attempt Date menu item to view the submission details.


Inline Grading

View submissions inline using the Box View grading screen. Over 100 file types are supported (supported file types). Graders can add point-based comments and highlighting.

Note: Assignment submissions created with the content editor will not appear in the document viewer. Submissions of this type show in the window, but annotation features are unavailable.


  • INLINE ANNOTATION: Click the comment icon to begin adding inline comments. Click and select text to highlight.
  • DOWNLOAD FILE: Click the download link to save student’s file to your computer. Annotations are not saved with the file.
  • INLINE COMMENT: Type comments inline and click Post. Once a comment is saved, students can view it by clicking on the blue comment icon in the document viewer. 

Assign grades and view assignment details, the grading rubric, and each attempt using the Grading Sidebar.

  1. GRADE ATTEMPT: Enter a grade; this could be a score or letter grade.
  2. GRADE BY RUBRIC: Open a rubric if one is associated with the assignment.
  3. FEEDBACK TO LEARNER: Format your comments, attach a file, and check your spelling using the Content Editor.
  4. ADD NOTES: Privatize your notes to keep track of students’ progress during the revision process and refer to your notes when assigning the final grade.
  5. SUBMISSION: Download the student’s original file.

How to Grade Assignments Anonymously

You can grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.

What is the difference between Grading Anonymously and Anonymous Grading option? When the Anonymous Grading is enabled in the Assignment’s Grading Options student names are automatically hidden from graders.

To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:

  1. Access an assignment attempt’s contextual menu.
  2. Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:

  1. Access an assignment column’s contextual menu.
  2. Click Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:

  1. On the action bar, click Hide User Names.
  2. Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the action. If grading was in progress, any unsaved changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Assignment page refreshes and all identifying information is hidden.

How to Allow Additional Attempts

If a student has submitted the maximum number of attempts for an assignment, you can allow an additional attempt:

  1. Locate the cell for a student’s assignment containing an exclamation mark.
  2. Access the cell’s contextual menu and click View Grade Details.
  3. On the Grade Details page, click Allow Additional Attempt and confirm.The Allow Additional Attempt function only appears if a student has already submitted the maximum number of attempts allowed for that assignment. You can continue to offer opportunities to resubmit attempts each time a student reaches that maximum number. You do not have to grade previous attempts to allow a student to submit again.Alternatively, click Ignore Attempt to ignore the attempt’s score in grade calculations and not count it against the maximum number of attempts.

Downloading Files in a Batch

You can download assignment submissions to review them offline instead of reviewing them online. Choose to download all or only selected submissions as a single ZIP file. Unzip or expand the file to view the contents. Each submission is saved as a separate file.

  1. Under your course’s Control Panel, click on the Grade Center link, and then the Assignments link. Click on the option Chevron  under the column title for the assignment you wish to download all submissions.
  2. Click on the Assignment File Download menu item.

  1. Use the check boxes to choose specific students, or click the Check All box (to the left of the Name column heading) to select all the students who’ve submitted work.
  1. Click the Submit button. You’ll see a message confirming that the files have been exported. Click the Download assignments now link.
  2. Click the Save button and navigate to the place on your disk or hard drive where you’d like to save the files.
  3. The files will be saved to your computer as a Zip archive (.zip). You’ll need to double-click on the zip file to view and open the individual files. You’ll notice that Blackboard includes the students’ usernames (most likely their NetIDs) in the filenames, so they’re easier to identify.

Creating Assignments

Assignments are created in Content Areas, but can also be added to Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders. Any instructions and file attachments that students need to complete the assignment are provided at the time of creation. You can deliver assignments to each student individually or as collaborative work for groups of students.

As assignments are created, you will work in Edit Mode ON. Edit Mode ON allows you to view all of the instructor functions.

The easiest way to collect assignments, papers, or files from your students is to create an Assignment in Blackboard.

  1. In Edit Mode ON click the Assignments link on your course’s homepage.
  2. Click on Assessments.
  3. On the drop-down list, click Assignment.
  4. On the Create Assignment page, enter a Name for your assignment.  This is required.
  5. In the Instructions box, add the instructions for the assignment–if desired. This is optional.
  6. You can also browse and attach a file from your local computer if you wish. While this is completely optional, some instructors attach a journal article to their assignments, others attach an exemplar of what an exceptional student submission should look like. Again, this is optional. But, this process is similar to the process of attaching a file to an email message.
  7. Scroll down and enter the Points Possible.
  8. Select the checkbox to Make the Assignment Available. This makes your Assignment available to students, although you can choose the date and time that students can see or not see this Assignment under Limit Availability.
  9. For Number of Attempts, we strongly recommend that you either allow unlimited attempts or allow a certain number of attempts rather than allowing just a single attempt.  Experience shows that at least one of your students will accidentally submit the wrong file or accidentally submit an assignment with no file attached.  If you set Number of Attempts to Allow Single attempt, that student will be locked out of the assignment and you will need to manually clear his or her assignment attempt in your Grade Center before the student will be able to submit the correct file.  However, choosing to allow 2 attempts gives your students one “do-over” if they need it and it and won’t impact your grading at all because, by default, Blackboard shows you the student’s most recent submission (although there is an option to view and download a student’s previous submissions.)
  10. Select and set Display After for the date and time you will start accepting student submissions and select and set Display Until for the date and time the assignment is due.  This prevents students from submitting assignments after the deadline.
  11. If you are going to accept late submissions, select and set the Due Date and time.  If you are not going to accept late submissions, leave this section blank.
  12. Finally, choose if this assignment will be available to all of your students or to select groups of students.
  13. Then, click Submit.

Blackboard will display a green success box telling you that you assignment has been successfully created.  To see what your assignment looks like from a student’s point of view, turn Edit Mode off.

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