Assignments and Assessments

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Table of Contents

Turnitin in the Learning Portal
Portfolio Assignments
Tests, Surveys and Pools




Turnitin in the Learning Portal

Turnitin is a tool that helps students develop their writing skills while fostering academic integrity.  It saves instructors time in investigating the originality of student work, and allows for efficient citation verification.  The tool also allows instructors to see exactly which sources students are using, so that they can evaluate those sources themselves.

With the integration of Turnitin in the Learning Portal, instructors can now use the tool without leaving their Portal course.


Setting up assignments in a Portal course adds tremendous value for instructors and students. It allows instructors to collect completed assignments electronically and (optionally) grade them online. Creating an Assignment in the Portal also allows for faster feedback to students, saving both paper and time.

Completed assignments can be Batch Downloaded or Individually Downloaded. Once students have submitted their assignments through the Blackboard Assignment feature, instructors will be able to view and Grade Submitted Files through the Grade Center. Graded assignments are sent back to students individually.

Another feature that helps build greater efficiency within the grading process is Inline Grading. This feature enables instructors to view, comment, and grade student submissions directly within the browser.


Portfolio Assignments

Portfolios enable instructors and students to collect and organise documents and other files (known as artifacts) to assemble, present, and share information for documenting academic growth. Portfolios can include demonstrations of work, resources, and achievements for the purpose of both personal reflection and the exchange of ideas and feedback.


Tests, Surveys and Pools

Tests and surveys can be used to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students. Surveys differ from Tests in the following ways:

  • Surveys are anonymous
  • Questions on surveys cannot be assigned points
  • Instructors cannot give students feedback
  • Surveys cannot be graded



The Test tool is used to assess the knowledge and skill level of students enrolled in a course.  They can be used for informal self-testing, quizzes, problem sets or other assessment related processes. When Creating a Test, a full range of question types are available, including Multiple Choice, Open Text, Fill in the Blank, File Upload, etc. A specific point value can be assigned to each question.

Instructors can Edit Test Questions and/or Edit Test Options after the Test is creaed. They can also Export a Test and Import it into a different Blackboard course.

When a student completes a test, it is submitted for grading and the results are recorded in the Grade Centre. The Test Access Log tracks student test interactions. This feature allows instructors to verify student activity or lack of activity during a Test. The Item Analysis tool can also be used to access the statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions.



Surveys are useful for polling purposes, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. They function in the same way as Tests and offer most of the same options.Surveys cannot be graded and Survey results are anonymous, but you can see if a student has completed a survey and view aggregate results for each survey question. Surveys results can be viewed under Attempt Statistics in the Grade Center.

Survey Attempt Statistics


After Creating a Survey, instructors can Edit Survey Questions and/or Edit Survey Options. They can also Export Surveys from a course and Import them into a new course.


Pools are collections and groups of questions that can be included and reused in several Tests and Surveys. Creating a Question Pool is almost identical to creating a Test.

When Creating an Assessment (i.e. Test or Survey) from a Question Pool, a search tool is available to use a variety of criteria such as keywords, question type, and category.

Instructors can create a Question Set Test or a Random Block Test to deploy a set number of randomized test questions - selected from a specified Question Pool - to each individual student. A Question Set Test differs from Random Block Test in that it provides more control over the questions students receive.

Question Pools can be exported and imported to a different course. Files within the each zipped pool package cannot be edited or changed in any way before they are imported.

Note: When creating a Question Pool that is intended for use in Surveys (which are not graded), correct answers must be added during question creation. Then, you can use the questions in tests as well as surveys. These answers will be ignored after the question is added to a survey.

The Rubrics tool helps guide the evaluation of student assessments. Rubrics can assist instructors and TAs in providing explanations of their grading to students and can be optionally shown to students to assist in composing their submission. Rubrics can be used in Assignments, Tests, Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Boards.

To use the Rubrics tool, an instructor, grader, or TA must first Create a Rubric. Afterwards, you will be able to assign the rubric when creating a supported assessment or Test question. When grading the assessment, you can view the rubric to assist with your grading. Rubrics can be re-used within a course by making copies.