New feature: exclude cover sheet or other text from Turnitin similarity reports

‘Exclude assignment template’ is a new option for Instructors which allows a template to be attached to a Turnitin assignment, the content of which will automatically be excluded from the Similarity Report. The template could, for example, include standard text or a cover sheet.

How to access this new feature? 

When setting up or editing a Turnitin assignment, ‘Exclude assignment template’ is found under Optional settings:

Figure 1: Exclude assignment template menu.

You have two options:

  1. Create and upload a template file, eg in a Word document.
  2. Click Create Custom Template and add text directly into the interface.

Make sure you check the template requirements:

  • Templates must have at least 20 words of text.
  • Uploaded file templates must be less than 100 MB.
  • Accepted file types for upload: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), and plain text.

When you have added your template, submit the Turnitin settings as usual.

Please note that once a student has made a submission to the assignment the template for that assignment can no longer be edited.

If you have any questions, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

[Open] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments ongoing

Unfortunately, the intermittent bug affecting group submissions to Blackboard assignments is still ongoing. This does not affect individual Blackboard assignments or Turnitin assignments.

When a student submits to a group assignment, the bug means that they may be presented with an error message: ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ Additionally, the submission may not generate any receipt so students will not receive a confirmation email. Despite this, the submission will be successful.

We have reported and further escalated the issue with Blackboard, and they are working on a fix as a matter of priority.

We also wanted to reassure students that their submissions have been made, despite the error message and lack of receipt. Students can check if their submission has been successful as follows:

  • Submit as usual.
  • If you encounter a red banner saying ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ use the left-hand menu to return to the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area.
  • Locate the assignment submission point as before and click on it.
  • You should be presented with a review page displaying the work you submitted.
  • We recommend you take a screenshot of this page for your own records. Be sure to include the submission date and time (under ‘ATTEMPT’ on the right-hand side) in the screenshot.

We apologise for the inconvenience and will blog again as soon as we hear anything further from Blackboard. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in contact with us: digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

[Open] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments reoccuring

We have been informed that an intermittent bug affecting group submissions to Blackboard assignments has reoccurred. This does not affect individual Blackboard assignments or Turnitin assignments.

When a student submits to a group assignment, the bug means that they may be presented with an error message: ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ Additionally, the submission may not generate any receipt so students will not receive a confirmation email. Despite this, the submission will be successful.

We have reported and further escalated the issue with Blackboard, and they are working on a fix as a matter of priority.

We also wanted to reassure students that their submissions have been made, despite the error message and lack of receipt. Students can check if their submission has been successful as follows:

  • Submit as usual.
  • If you encounter a red banner saying ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ use the left-hand menu to return to the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area.
  • Locate the assignment submission point as before and click on it.
  • You should be presented with a review page displaying the work you submitted.
  • We recommend you take a screenshot of this page for your own records. Be sure to include the submission date and time (under ‘ATTEMPT’ on the right-hand side) in the screenshot.

We apologise for the inconvenience and will blog again as soon as we hear anything further from Blackboard. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in contact with us: digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

[Closed] Error accessing Turnitin submissions through the Grade Centre and My Grades

This issue is now resolved.

We are aware of an issue that is currently affecting instructors accessing Turnitin submissions via the Grade Centre, and students accessing their Turnitin submissions via My Grades. Users are seeing an error message when trying to access Turnitin through these routes. We are currently investigating this issue with Turnitin and Blackboard.

In the meantime, it is still possible to access submissions via the ‘Course Management’ menu by expanding ‘Course Tools’ and selecting ‘Turnitin Assignments’. Students are able to view their marks and feedback via the submission point; these will need to be made available if they are not already.

If you have any concerns or questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

[Resolved] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments

We recently reported an issue with Blackboard group submissions which presented students with an error message despite their submission being successful. This bug also meant that group submissions were not generating receipts.

Blackboard have now informed us that this issue has been resolved and our testing confirms this.

If you encounter any further issues, or have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Hiding marks and feedback until ready for release

As coursework submissions start, schools should please ensure that Blackboard Grade Centre columns are hidden from students until marks and feedback are ready to be released. To prevent students from seeing marks too early, you should also ensure Total and Weighted Total columns are hidden. Check a column header for a circle with a red line through it which indicates the column is hidden from students.

Demonstration column

If it is not hidden, and you need to hide it, click the down arrow next to the column header and select Hide from students (on/off).

Hide from students (on/off)

If this option isn’t available, or if the column has a green tick next to it, you will need to hide it in a different way:

Total column

  1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the column name.
  2. Click Edit Column Information.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and set Show this column to students to No.
  4. Click Submit.

For Turnitin users, please be aware that a persistent bug means you must make the submission point unavailable after making any changes to the settings. For more details, please see our previous blog post on Turnitin submission point availability issues.

For more information on administering Electronic Management of Assessment workflows, please see our EMA guidance page.

If you have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Unable to create or edit some Turnitin assignments

We have received several reports of the Submit button not working when creating or editing Turnitin assignments. Through testing, we have determined that this error occurs when the post-date is more than two weeks after the due date. We have contacted Turnitin and have asked them to look into this as a matter of urgency.

The error does not appear to affect certain non-Chromium browsers such as Firefox and Safari. If you have access to these, please use them to set up your Turnitin assignments.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at digital-education@bristol.ac.uk