12 – Marking and Feedback

In the video above, we will:

  • Give you an overview of marking in both Turnitin and Blackboard
  • Show how to release grades
  • Show how to hide marks, in case they are released too early

1 Marking in Turnitin

To mark in Turnitin, find the submission point and open it. This could take a few moments, or longer if it is in a module with a lot of students. Find the student whose paper you want to start marking and click either the paper title which will be a blue link or the blue pencil icon in the “Grade” column. This will open the paper in the Feedback Studio. There are three main things to pay attention to when you are marking in Turnitin: the similarity report, inline comments, and overall feedback and the mark. We’ll work through each of these sequentially, and briefly discuss entering feedback in a Rubric.

1.1 The Similarity Report

Before you start marking, you will want to take a look at the similarity report. You can see details for this in the red menu on the right-hand side. The first item will show any flagged behaviour. Note that the presence or absence of flags doesn’t necessarily mean that academic misconduct has (or has not) taken place, the flag just means that Turnitin has caught some behaviour that requires a deeper look. If you see any flags, be sure to open this section and read any information provided.

Below that, you’ll see the score that Turnitin has created for the similarity. This is a useful guide, as both very high and very low scores may require extra-close attention; however, you should always look at the detailed report. This icon will show the amounts of similarity it detected and where it came from. If you click on any of the sources, you can see the highlighted text in the student paper, and (if possible) the source material so you can compare them. If it is similar to a student paper from another institution, it will not show the other student’s paper, it will only highlight the similar text in the paper your student submitted. However, if it is an “Internet source” or “Publication”, it will show you the source text. It’s important to take a look at the amounts and the highlighted text so you can decide what is acceptable and also take a look at how the student cited the work.

Below this numerical score, you’ll see an icon of a horizontal bar graph with an arrow pointing down. If you click into this, you’ll see similar information as the previous screen, but it will sort the sources. The sources with the highest similarity with the students paper will show at the top. You can click on each item to see where it is similar in the student paper, and use the arrows to see if it shows up in multiple places. You can also use this area to exclude any sources. This may be useful if the student submitted a rough draft in a different submission point, and you want to remove this from showing up in the student’s scores and remove that highlighted text. To do this, click on the button at the bottom of the panel that says “Exclude sources” and use the tick box to select the source or sources you want to exclude.

Below this, you’ll find a filter icon.  If you click on this you can adjust any of the exclusion settings that were in place when you set up the assignment. You can remove exclusions, or add some back in if you want to see how this will impact the report. You can make changes here and see the similarity score adjusted in real-time, and you can adjust back as you would like.

The last icon in this section lists any sources that you excluded, and you can use the tick boxes next to the items to restore them. This puts them back into the similarity report and score.

1.2 Inline feedback

To enter inline feedback in the paper, simply click where you want to add the feedback. This will open a point that will give you three options – a tick box, a speech bubble, and a “T” for text.

The tick box is to add QuickMarks, these are excellent if you have quick feedback that you will give frequently throughout an assignment. Turnitin has built in sets of QuickMarks, and we’ll include a link for information about setting up your own QuickMarks.

Click on this first tick box icon, then use the drop-down or the search box to find common marks. Now you should see two things – where you clicked on the paper there is a now a blue text box that has the title of your QuickMark and your initials. It should also already be open where you can see there is default text explaining what this means. You can add your own notes by clicking into the white area below this text. Do note you cannot edit the QuickMark default text from this screen, we’ll provide a link on how to edit this below. If you click outside of this area, you’ll leave the QuickMark area. If you click on this again, it will open this so you can edit your text again or use the bin icon to remove comment entirely.

Click again in the paper where you want a comment to be and this time select the speech button. Here you can add your text comments directly in the box. The perk of adding just your text here is it does not take up any additional space in the paper beyond your initials and the speech bubble icon.

Your students can click on either the speech bubble or the QuickMark text to open it and read what you have written.

Finally, select another point in the paper and choose the last icon, the text icon. Here you can write text that is directly on the paper rather than in a speech bubble. Keep an eye on how much text you enter this way as it can be difficult to read if it begins to cover text from the student’s paper. If you hover over the text, you’ll see a bin icon if you want to delete it. If you hover directly below the text, you should see an arrow move button. If you click and hold this, you can drag the text around the submission to move it.

You can also highlight student text if you want to be more specific in your inline comments. If you do this, you have the same QuickMark and Speech Bubble icons, but instead of the text you have the option to strike out the student’s text. If you highlight text to add a comment, you will see a yellow square in the top right hand corner of the comment box. You can click on this to adjust what colour the highlight will be. This can be useful if you use highlighting colours for themes (e.g. yellow highlights mean citation issue, green highlight means unclear sentence, etc.).  

1.3 Overall feedback and mark

To enter overall feedback, click on the second icon in the blue menu on the right-hand side. It will look like a pencil writing in a document. This will open an area where you can give overall text feedback. You can also use the voice comment at the top to enter a short (3 minutes or less) recorded comment. You have to record this in one take, and there is no editing this audio comment.

To enter a mark, click into the box that will have two dashes before the overall point total for the assignment. Type in your numeric grade, and then click elsewhere in the page. Be sure that you click elsewhere in the page before you close the window or use the arrows next to this to navigate to the next paper, otherwise your mark won’t be saved!

If you used a rubric, you can use it to mark or add feedback by going into the blue menu to the right of the paper. We won’t cover using rubrics here, but we’ll provide a link to Turnitin’s rubric guide for more information.

2 Marking in Blackboard

Marking in Blackboard isn’t quite as straightforward as marking in Turnitin as it can include SafeAssign (Blackboard’s in-built similarity tool), group assignments and feedback, as well as inline and overall marks for submissions. We won’t cover automatically marked items for tests, but we will cover these other items.

We’ll start with entering inline feedback, overall comments and marks as this interface will be the same whether or not you are using SafeAssign or group marking.

2.1 Entering marks and feedback

The first thing you’ll need to do is find and open your students work. To do this, go into the assignment and use the arrow at the top right to move into the Submissions screen.

In this screen, you can see a list of all of the students, if they have opened, started, or completed an attempted. If you have allowed multiple attempts, you can see how many submissions they have entered, and you can see any entered marks.

To open a submission, click on the student’s name who has at least one attempt. This will open a side panel that has submission information. If the student has multiple attempts, this will list the date/time for each and you can decide which one you want to go into to mark, typically this will be the last one uploaded by the student. Click on the attempt you want to look at, and that will open Blackboard’s grading tool.

At the top, you can see two areas to enter a final grade. The very top line is considered an “override” grade, so you should avoid entering your mark here. Instead, use the marking area that is on the same line as the submission information. To enter marks, click in here, enter the mark, and then click outside of it to save the entered mark. Once you do this, you’ll see that top mark area will be automatically filled in with the mark you entered below. However, it will not say “override”, which it would if you entered your mark at the top only.

Below that is the submission information including the submission receipt number – you’ll need this if there are any technical issues with the submission that you need to report to Help4U.

If the student has uploaded a file that can be viewed, you will see it on the left-hand side. This would include documents, pdfs, and images.

You have a few options in the black bar above the file. The left icon allows you to decide how to view the file, and next to that is information about what page you are viewing.

On the right-hand side are the marking tools. The first allows you to annotate on the page itself. If you click on this, you’ll see a pen icon that will allow you to draw on the submission directly. Clicking on this icon will also open a menu to customise the pen tool, including the colour, background, and thickness of the pen tool.

The next icon allows you to add an image or a stamp – there is a very limited number of pre-set stamps, but you can create your own if there are very short phrases you’ll use frequently as you mark work.  

The second icon that looks like speech bubbles allows you to comments on the page. Simply click on the speech icon then click anywhere on the page where you want your comment to be, and you’ll see a box pop up where you can enter your feedback. Once you click “Save”, you’ll see your timestamped comment along with a bin icon. There is a reply bubble below it so any additional markers can add their comments directly tied to the original one. If you click back on the page, you’ll see the icons in the page of where you left your comment, and your actual comments in the right-hand side of this window. If you want to return to delete one, simply click back into it.

The icon after that lets you enter a text box to enter text that appears on top of the page. Be careful if you add text directly on the page as you want to make sure students or other markers can read this text – so it shouldn’t cover other text or be a colour that restricts accessibility.

The final icon is a line icon that lets you draw shapes on the page.

If you click the back icon at the top left-hand side of this bar, you’ll go back to the original menu icons.

Back in the menu in the black bar, the next icon allows you to print the student’s submission. The icon next to that allows you to download the paper with any comments you have added.

In the side panel to the right of the student’s submission, you’ll see “Feedback for student”. You can use this and the “WSYWIG” editor to enter any overall feedback. You can also use the text editor to add images, maths formula, attachments, etc. For more information on using the WSYWIG editor, see our 101 on adding and reusing content in the section on adding a document.

That is how you enter inline and overall feedback and enter marks for Blackboard assignments. Next up, we’ll highlight any differences for SafeAssign submissions.

2.2 Using SafeAssign

The process for opening and entering marks and feedback for SafeAssign assessments is the same as the “typical” Blackboard assignment. However, once you open a submission you’ll see a tab for “Originality Report” above the “Feedback for Student”. Click on this report to see an overview of the report from Blackboard.

For more detail, click on the report link itself. This will open a new window that shows all of the similar sources it found, how often they’re used in the paper, and if you click on the highlighted text, you can compare the student’s submitted text with the text that was identified.

If you want to remove any source from the report, simply click on the “cancel” icon to the right of the source. This will then appear in a section at the bottom of the right-hand panel for “Excluded Sources”. You can put the source back into the score by clicking on the return button to the right of the source.

2.3 Marking Group Assignments

Marking group assignments is similar, but with a few important differences if you want to add different marks or feed for any individual student.

When you go into the “Submissions” window, you see the list of groups rather than individuals. If you click on the link to show members, you can see a list of the members in the group and their marks, but we’ll come back to this after we look at the marking and feedback interface. You can open the submission the same way you would for an individual submission.

Here you can see that the Feedback panel has a tab for group feedback – this is what all students in the group will see, and a tab for individual. If you click on “Individual”, you can see one student’s name above this tab. You can enter feedback in this box that only the named student will see. Use the arrows next to the student’s name to cycle between students in the group.

The other difference in this page is the drop-down arrow to the right over the overall grade that is one the same line as the submission attempt information. If you click this drop-down arrow, you can see the student names, identify which student uploaded the file, and you can use the icons on the right to see who you have left individual feedback for. You can also click any icon in this right-hand column to go to that student’s individual feedback to add, edit, or delete any feedback for that student.

You can enter an overall grade at the top line and then go back to the main submission page to see how this applies for a group. Click on the link to show the members of the group. You can see that each student was automatically assigned the overall grade you entered on the submission. If you want to change that for a specific student, simply click on the mark next to the student who ought to have a different grade and enter your new mark and then click outside of it. You’ll see that the top mark next to the group now says “multiple”. You can also see that the other students still have the mark you initially entered, and only the student you have just changed has the new mark and there is text next to that says “override”.

That is how you enter customised marks and feedback for students for group assignments. If you don’t want to enter customised marks or feedback, then only use the overall submission attempt mark and only enter feedback in the “Feedback for group” area. Any in-line comments you add to the paper will be seen by all of the students.

3 Releasing marks

As of the time of this recording, Turnitin marks will be released automatically both in Turnitin and in Blackboard’s gradebook once the feedback release date has passed. You can learn more about this setting in our 101 on “Setting up Turnitin”. The key item to note here is that once the feedback date has passed, the feedback and marks are released automatically. The system does allow you to change this date in the settings, but it won’t actually make a difference as the marks have already been released. We’ll talk about a workaround for releasing marks early at the end of this session.

For Blackboard tests and assignments, you will need to go to the Gradebook. In the main/default view, there is a space between the “Status” column and the three dots at the end. If you have any assignments that have submissions and have not yet had marks posted, you will see a button here that says “post marks”. If you click this, it will release all marks for that assignment to all students. Much like the Turnitin release date, once you have selected this button you cannot “unpost” the marks.

If you want to check if you have posted marks, change the view to the grid view and find the item in the assignment column at the top. If marks have been posted, there will be green text that says “posted” next to the marks for the students.

For more information about using the gradebook, see our 101 session on that topic.

4 Hiding marks

If you accidentally release marks early, there is a way to hide the marks until you are ready for students to see their grades. However, note that this method will hide the entire submission point, so you may need to set up an additional submission point if you want to accept any late student submissions.

From the main “Course Content” page, find the assignment that has the marks you want to hide. Each item will have a link below it that explains how it is currently set –to adjust this, click on that link and set it to “Hidden from students”. Students will not see this submission point or it’s entry in the gradebook.

Once you have finished entering marks and feedback and you are ready to release this to students, simply go back to this area and change “Hidden from students” to “Visible to students.”



Turnitin guides:

Give us your feedback!

Please fill out this short form to let us know what you think about this, or any other, 101!

Updated on 09/09/2022

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Further Help
Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Don’t worry we’re here to help!
Contact Support

Leave a Comment