You are now in the main content area

Assignments: View and evaluate assignment submissions

View and evaluate assignment submissions

There are a number of different options for reviewing and evaluating student assignment submissions, as well as options for publishing grades and feedback.

We recommend reviewing these options when creating your assignments, so you can have these strategies in mind. Some of the settings are best completed before the grading has begun.

Assignments can be found in the top navigation, under Assessment. If it isn't there, review how to enable course tools.

 View student submissions

View assignment submissions
  1. On the Assignment Submission Folders page, click on the folder you want to view submissions for or click View Submissions.
View assignment submissions
  1. Use the Users tab or Files tab to view and search submissions by user or file name.

    Searching by User enables you to search by first name, last name, submissions, and feedback.

    Searching by Files enables you to search by file name, submission date, read status, and flagged status.

    Filter the results using the Submissions dropdown menu and the checkboxes below. Here, you can choose to display only the users with submissions, only the users without submissions, users with graded submissions that haven't been published yet, and so on.
  2. Submissions appear at the bottom of the page.
  3. Each assignment's originality score will appear under the Turnitin Similarity column.
View the submission history for the assignment folder.
  1. On the Submissions page for your assignment, click the Evaluate link beside the name of the user you want to view a history of.
View the submission history for the assignment folder.
  1. On the Evaluate Submission page, click Submission Folder History. From there, you will see a list of all submissions for that user.
View assignment submissions
  1. Go to the Assignments tool in your course, and click the arrow to the right of the name of the assignment, and select View Submissions.
View assignment submissions
  1. Using the checkboxes, select the submissions you want to download. By clicking the top checkmark, you can download all submissions on that page. (Note that you can adjust the number of submissions per page).
  2. Click Download.
View assignment submissions
  1. Download the resulting .zip file by clicking on the name of the file in the dialogue box.

If you have students who have yet to submit an assignment to a submission folder, you can email all those students at once.

email-non-submitters
  1. From the appropriate assignment folder, click Email Users Without Submissions.
email-non-submitters
  1. All the users without submission will appear in the BCC field.
  2. Compose your email.
  3. Click Send.

 Evaluate student submissions

This is a useful workflow to apply if you don't want the students to see any of their results (grades, feedback, rubrics) across any of the tools in Brightspace (Grades, Assignments and Progress).

Outline of the required steps:

  1. Hide the grade item
  2. "Save draft" when grading the assignments
  3. Once all submissions are in, hide the assignment
  4. Publish the assignment grades and feedback
  1. The "hide from users" option for a grade item

    Hide the grade item

    This step ensures the students cannot see the grade item in the Grades tool.

    We recommend using this setting when creating all grade items, as it provides you with more control to release grades.

    To hide the grade item:

    1. In the Manage Grades screen of the Grades tool, locate the grade item you would like to hide.
    2. Click the arrow icon to the right of the title.
    3. Click "Hide from users".
    4. Once clicked, you will see an icon appear next to the grade item to indicate that it is now hidden from the students.
  2. The "Save draft" button when grading assignments

    "Save draft" as you grade the assignment

    When grading the assignment, be sure to "Save Draft" as you go.

    The "Publish" step should be saved to the end, when you have graded all of the submissions.

    Proceed to grade all of the submissions. This can happen while students are submitting (if you have allowed some extensions, for example).

  3. The "hide from users" option for an assignment

    After all submissions are in: hide the assignment

    This step can only be completed if all of the students have submitted their assignment, as it will hide the assignment from them completely.

    This ensures the students cannot see the assignment nor the assignment results (grades, feedback) in the Assignments tool nor the Progress tool.

    To hide the assignment:

    1. Go to the Assignments tool and edit the assignment.
    2. In the Restrictions tab, check the box to "Hide from Users".
    3. Save the assignment. 
    4. When viewing the list of assignments in the Assignment tool, you will now see an icon next to the assignment to indicate that it has been hidden.

    Important! This step should only be taken once all of the assignment submissions are in. If there are any students who still need to submit their assignment, this will not work.

  4. The "publish all feedback" button

    After all submissions have been graded: publish all feedback

    Once you have graded all of the submissions, you can publish the assignment grades and feedback.

    Note that this will not display the results to the students, because we have hidden both the grade item and the assignment in the steps above. 

    To publish all feedback:

    1. Go to the Assignments tool and view the assignment submissions.
    2. Click the "Publish All Feedback" button at the top of the page.

    This will push the score and feedback to the gradebook.

    If you are not ready to publish all feedback yet, and want to publish the feedback in batches, please see the section on publishing feedback on this page. 

Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. On the Assignments page, click on the assignment you want to evaluate submissions for, or click on the downward-facing arrow beside the assignment name, and select View Submissions.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Select the student's submission that you wish to evaluate.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. If it doesn't load, click on the file name to load the student's submission in the document viewer.

    Depending on the file type, the submission may appear directly in the browser. The following file types are compatible with the document viewer:
    • MS Word (DOC, DOCX)
    • MS PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, PPS)
    • Adobe Acrobat (PDF, PDFS)
    • Web (HTM, HTML)
    • Plain text (TXT)
    • Images (BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG)

If clicking on the file does not load it in the browser, the file may be in a format that the document viewer does not support. Download it to your computer, and view using the appropriate software.

 

Evaluate a student's assignment submission

4. Enter a score for the submission.

5. Enter written feedback if necessary.

6. If you wish, you can use the annotation toolbar tools to add comments, highlight, or even draw to mark up the student's submission.

NOTE 1: The annotation tool does not autosave. Make sure that you Save as Draft frequently if it is taking you a while to mark up a submission. If you close your browser without saving, or your D2L session times out, you will lose your work. If you try to navigate to another page without saving, you should be prompted to save.

NOTE 2: We do not recommend annotations for use with assistive technology. If you have students using assistive technology, consider providing more fulsome written feedback in the feedback field.

To learn more about the Annotation tool, open the Using the Annotation tool section, located on this page.

7. Select Publish when you're ready to release your feedback. Click Save as Draft if you want to publish at a later date (students won't be able to see grades or feedback until you click Publish). You can bulk publish at a later time from the Submissions page.

To proceed to the next student, click on the right-facing arrow, located in the upper-right corner of the page. To go back to the previous student's submission, click on the left-facing arrow.

Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. On the Assignments page, click on the assignment you want to evaluate submissions for, or click on the downward-facing arrow beside the assignment name, and select View Submissions.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. For the student you wish to evaluate, click on either View Submission, or on the far right, click on Evaluate (both take you to the same place).
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. The submission will load in the left pane of the evaluation screen.

  2. Enter a score for the submission.

  3. Enter written feedback if necessary.

  4. Select Publish when you're ready to release your feedback. Click Save Draft if you want to publish at a later date (students won't be able to see grades or feedback until you click Publish). You can bulk publish at a later time from the Submissions page.

  5. When you are ready to evaluate the next student's submission, click on either the right arrow or Next Student in the upper right or lower right of the page.

Mark assessments as "Complete"

Before you even start grading papers that have been submitted in person or presentations, you may want to quickly mark those students who have submitted or presented as "complete". This will enable you to see at a glance how many students have yet to complete the assignment.

  1. Go to Assessment > Assignment, and click on the assignment name to see the list of students.
  2. To mark those students who have completed the assignment, scroll down the list of student names, and select the checkbox to the left of each student's name.
  3. Click on the Mark as Complete link, located above the list of students.

You can now see the date/time that each of these students was marked as complete.

Email students who have not submitted/presented

You may wish to check in or remind students who have not yet submitted their assignment or presented in class. Once you have marked the students who have completed their assignment as "complete", this is quite easy.

  1. Click on the grey Email Users Marked Incomplete button. 
  2. A message window will open with the students added in the BCC field. Type in a subject line, compose the email message and click on Send. You will receive a copy of this message in your Ryerson email inbox.

Evaluate submissions

1. In your course shell, go to Assessment > Assignments.

2. Click on the assignment name to view the list of students.

3. To evaluate a particular student, to the right of the student's name, click on Evaluate.

4. Scroll down to the Evaluation and Feedback section of the page.
 
5. Type the grade into the Score field.
 
6. If desired, you can type any feedback into the Feedback field. You can also attach a file or record audio feedback, if you wish.
 
7. If you are not ready to publish grades to the gradebook, click on the Save Draft button. If you are done, click on the Publish button.

Before you publish, you may wish to make sure the grade item is hidden, so that you can make sure that all students see their grade at the same time.
 
8. To evaluate the next student, click on the right arrow or Next Student, located in either the upper right or lower right of the page. To return to the list of students, click on the blue Back to Submissions button, found in the upper-left of the page.
 
If you saved evaluations as Draft, make sure you publish grades to the gradebook when you are done grading. Also, when you are ready for students to see their grades, make sure that the grade item is visible.
 

Additional evaluation strategies

Avoid unconscious bias in the grading and feedback process by configuring assignments to anonymize learner names.

When the feature is selected while setting up an assignment, instructors will only see an anonymized learner name on assignment submissions.

NOTE: You must enable anonymous grading before students start to upload assignment submissions. You should also provide students with instructions to omit any identifying information from their document, including the file name.

To ensure the anonymity of submissions, you must grade completely within D2L.

Advise your students to remove their name and all identifying information from the assignment submissions and filenames.

Turnitin should not be used with anonymous grading, as it displays the students' names.

Tips for the effective use of anonymous grading:

  • Publishing of evaluated submissions effectively ends anonymous grading. if you are accepting late submissions, they will not be anonymous.
  • Grading may take place over multiple sessions, but publishing of graded submissions should be done all at once, to maintain anonymity.

Enable anonymous grading in an assignment 

If you want to enable anonymous grading in an assignment, you can do this either when you are creating the assignment, or you can edit the assignment settings before any students submit.

  • On the main (Properties) tab, scroll to the very bottom of the page.
  • Check the box beside Hide student names during assessment.
  • Make sure you click on either Save or Save and Close.

Once you have saved your changes, if you return to Assessments > Assignments, you can see the anonymous grading icon indicated to the right of the assignment name.

Grade 'anonymous' submissions

When you are ready to grade student's submissions, go to Assessments > Assignments, and click on the name of the assignment to see the list of submissions.

Note that instead of seeing student names, you see "Anonymous User 1", "Anonymous User 2", etc.

Also note that you can still see the name of the file the student uploaded, so you will want to instruct students not to include their name or other identifying information anywhere in the file or filename. If you have mentioned to your students that you are grading anonymously, and need them to leave out identifying information, assure them that when they login to D2L Brightspace and upload a file, that file is permanently associated with their profile. There is no concern about losing track of which student uploaded a file.

Click on a file name or the 'Evaluate' link to view and grade the assignment.

Note that grading, providing markup comments and feedback are the same as regular assignments. You just can't see any information that identifies the student.

The only difference is that while grading anonymous submissions, you should save all marked assignments as Draft.

When you are done grading all submissions, and you are ready to publish all grades to the gradebook, and make all feedback available to students, return to the list of submissions, and click on the Publish All Feedback button.

It may take a few minutes to publish, particularly if you have a large class, so please be patient.

If you have not graded all students, you will receive a warning.

IMPORTANT: If you publish grading before you have marked all assignment submissions, you will lose the anonymous functionality. Once grading/feedback have been published, student names will be revealed.

You can now see all student names and their submissions.

Any submissions that have not been evaluated can still be graded in the usual way, and saved as Draft or Published.

If you decide to revisit a previously graded assignment submission after you have published, you will not see an active Draft or Publish button. Just make the changes and then click on "Next Student", and you will be prompted to save. You will then need to Publish All Feedback for the student to see the updated grade or feedback.

If you click on Publish All Feedback again, keep in mind that if you have made any changes to previously entered feedback for any students, it will all be updated at this time.

The annotation tool in D2L Brightspace assignments allows you to mark up a student's submission as a means of providing feedback in-situ.

If you already use Turnitin to mark up documents, you may wish to continue using that tool, as it is very established, and fully-featured.

The annotation tool in D2L Brightspace is relatively new (as of spring 2019), and is likely to change and improve in the future. If you just want to provide simple markup on student submissions, and there is only one person grading any given student's submission, this should meet your needs.

IMPORTANT: We do not recommend annotations for use with assistive technology. If you have students using assistive technology, consider providing more fulsome written feedback in the feedback field.

The "Annotations" feature can be enabled in the assignment editor, on the "Properties" tab page.

When you open a student's submission on the evaluation page, you will notice the annotation toolbar along the top of the document.

The main tools that you will use to mark up a student's document are noted by an orange bar in this screenshot. These include the pen, note, text and line tools.

NOTE 1: The annotation tool does not autosave. Make sure that you Save as Draft frequently if it is taking you a while to mark up a submission. If you close your browser without saving, or your D2L session times out, you will lose your work. If you try to navigate to another page without saving, you should be prompted to save.

Pen
Under the Pen icon, there are three options:

Pen: Use this tool to circle or underline items of note, or draw on the document, such as editorial markup.

Highlighter: Use this tool as you would a physical highlighter, to highlight an area of the document in a freeform manner.

Text Highlighter: Use this tool to highlight specific text.

Choose a tool by clicking on the icon.

 

 

 

 

 

Secondary toolbar

Once you select the tool you wish to use, if that is a tool with more options, you will see a secondary toolbar below the main toolbar, which indicates various options, such as pen colour, pen width, etc. Click on the options to make your choices before using the tool to mark up the document.

Note that at this time, the annotation tool does not always remember these settings, so make sure to visually confirm these settings before adding more markup.

If you create markup that is the wrong colour (or has other attributes that you didn't want), there is no way to change the attribute. You will need to delete the item, and create it again.

If you want to add a note to your markup, which displays an icon, and expands to reveal a longer note:

  1. Click on the Note tool in the main toolbar, and choose colour, font, etc in the secondary toolbar..
  2. Click where you would like to place the note, and type your message. While the text is active, you may notice a red squiggle under any possible spelling errors. Click and type to correct. Once you click out of the note, you will no longer see the spellchecking indication.

If you want to add a small piece of text to your markup:

  1. Click on the Text tool in the main toolbar, and choose colour, font, etc in the secondary toolbar.
  2. Click where you would like to place the text, and type your message. While the text is active, you may notice a red squiggle under any possible spelling errors. Click and type to correct. Once you click out of the text, you will no longer see the spellchecking indication.

NOTE: This tool is intended only for short pieces of text. We recommend using the note tool for longer messages.

Delete a markup item

If you accidentally created a markup item with the wrong attributes, or wish to delete a markup item for some other reason, here's how to remove it:

  1. Click on the hand icon in the main toolbar.
  2. Click on the item you wish to delete.
  3. Click on the trash can, located on the far right of the secondary toolbar.

Erase part or all of a markup item

You can use the eraser tool to remove part or all of certain types of markup items, such as those created using the pen or highlight tools.

 1. Click on the arrow beside the pen icon.

 2. Click on the eraser icon to choose the eraser tool.

 3. Drag the cursor over the markup item you wish to erase.

If the eraser will not erase an item, that means you need to use the method described above this to select and delete that item.

View and mark up document in full screen

If you wish to view a student's document in full screen, you can do this by clicking on the Toggle Fullscreen icon, located on the far right of the main toolbar.

Exit full screen

When you wish to exit full screen mode, and view the document back in D2L (so you can Publish or Save Draft), click on the Toggle Fullscreen icon, located in the far upper-right of the screen.

Rotate page

Depending on the format of a learner submission, documents may appear rotated when initially rendered in the document viewer. Use the Page Rotation tool to quickly reorient the document so it displays as expected.

You can find this tool under the Page Layout icon, which looks like a gear.

What if the student didn't submit their assignment?

While you cannot submit the student's paper on their behalf - and therefore cannot use tools such as anotations - you can still provide the student with an assessment.

 Evaluators can provide the following for students who did not submit their assignment:
  • A score grade
  • A completed rubric (if applicable)
  • Feedback
 Evaluators will not be able to utilize the following tools without the student's submission:
  • Annotations
  • Turnitin
Review search options

First, go into the Assignments tool, locate the assignment you wish to grade, and click its title to view the submissions for that assignment.

By default, you will only be shown a list of the students who did complete a submission. We need to change that, since we are grading a student who did not complete a submsision.

Click the "Show Search Options" link.

Show all students

Scroll down the page to the "Submissions" section and click the dropdown menu there.

Select the option to "Show everyone"

Alternatively, if you only want to view the students who did not make a submission, you can select "Users without submissions".

Next, look to the search field at the top. 

To view a specific student, type the student's last name into the search field.

Click the magnifying glass icon. This will show a list of all students that match the search criteria.

Evaluate assignment submissions

Review the list of students that match the search criteria you set above.

In this example, you will see one student with an assignment submission, and one without.

Click the "Evaluate" button, in either case, to provide the student with an assessment.

Publishing feedback can serve two purposes:

  1. It pushes the grades into the gradebook, if you have connected the assignment to a grade item.
  2. It provides the students with their scores, feedback and rubric evaluations.

If you only want to push the grades into the gradebook, and you do not want the students to see the results, please see the workflow above to hide the assignment results from the students.

The steps below outline two options:

  • Publish all feedback
  • Bulk publish feedback for select students' submissions
The "publish all feedback" button

After all submissions have been graded: publish all feedback

Once you have graded all of the submissions, you can publish the assignment grades and feedback.

Note that this will not display the results to the students, because we have hidden both the grade item and the assignment in the steps above. 

To publish all feedback:

  1. Go to the Assignments tool and view the assignment submissions.
  2. Click the "Publish All Feedback" button at the top of the page.

This will push the score and feedback to the gradebook.

Publish feedback and score
 for selected students

Not ready to publish all of the feedback? Select which ones to publish

The checkboxes can be used to select which students' grades and feedback should be published.

To publish feedback for select students:

  1. Go to the Assignments tool and view the assignment submissions.
  2. At the bottom of the page of submissions, review the number of submissions displayed per page -- raise this to a higher number, if necessary. The maximum will be 200 per page, so you may still have multiple pages of submissions.
  3. Use the checkboxes to select the student submissions to publish.
  4. Click the "Publish Feedback" link at the top of the list of submissions.

This will push the score and feedback to the gradebook.

Instructors may provide feedback directly within a student's submission (e.g. making track changes in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat) and upload the feedback as an attachment. See the tutorial for instructions to download assignment submissions.

Evaluate a student's assignment submission

To upload individual feedback files: 

  1. On the Assignments Submission Folders page, click on the folder you want to evaluate submissions for or click View Submissions.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Select the file you wish to upload feedback for.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Enter a score for the submission.
  2. Click "Add a File" to upload a feedback file (e.g. a Word Doc
  3. Select Publish.

It is possible to upload all feedback files simultaneously, however the naming convention must be accurate so Brightspace can assign the correct file to the correct student.

The instructions outlined below can mostly be applied to both Mac and Windows.

PC Users will follow the steps with the following adjustments:

  • After downloading the files and adding feedback to the documents, save the files and folders with the same names as downloaded. Do not change any of the file/folder names. Zip the folder and proceed to Step 3.
  • When adding the feedback files in Step 5, simply add the zipped folder of all the feedback files.

Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. When downloading the students' submissions, note the naming convention of the files once unzipped. Each student has their own folder and each folder begins with a unique code that identifies the student (e.g. 7627-9289). You will need these codes in order to proceed.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. For each feedback file you wish to upload, copy the corresponding student code (e.g. 7627-9289) to the beginning of the feedback file.
    • For example, if your feedback file is called "JDoe-Assignment1-Feedback.doc", and the student's unique code is 7627-9289, the filename must read "7627-9289 - JDoe-Assignment1-Feedback.doc".
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Upload the feedback files by clicking on the appropriate assignment folder on the Assignments Submission Folders page.
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Click Add Feedback Files
Evaluate a student's assignment submission
  1. Drag and drop all feedback files or click Upload and select the appropriate files. 
  2. Click Add.

Be sure to check if the feedback was correctly assigned! We recommend reviewing the submissions of a couple of students and check that the appropriate feedback file has been uploaded.

To proceed with the rest of the grading, enter a score and select Publish.