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Wiki Pages: SafeAssign_students

***Updated for Spring/Summer 2013***

Using SafeAssign in Blackboard

SafeAssign is a tool within Blackboard that some Instructors will utilize to receive assignments from students. SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between submitted assignments and existing works. SafeAssign is used to prevent plagiarism and to help students improve citation and paraphrasing techniques.

How do you know when it is a SafeAssignment?

Typically the Instructor of the course will notify students if they must submit an assignment through SafeAssign. A green icon with a check mark will accompany any SafeAssignment.

What is different about submitting a SafeAssignment?

When students submit a SafeAssignment, the content cannot be created within Blackboard. SafeAssign requires an uploaded document.

  • SafeAssign accepts files in .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, and .html file formats only. Do not upload files in any other formats.

  • .doc, and .docx are the preferred formats.

  • Do not include special characters, such as !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, (, ) within the file name.  SafeAssign will not upload the file, or will not allow the Instructor to access the file, if you do.

  • There is a 10mb size limit for documents loaded into the SafeAssign system. If your document contains a lot of images, you may need to compress the images in Microsoft Word before attempting to upload it.

1.) To open a SafeAssignment click on the View/Complete link under the assignment's name.

2.) A new page will open, allowing you to attach a document.

3.) Click on Browse to search for a document on your computer.

4.) Click the radio button under Global Reference Database if you would like your work to be checked across institutions. This also allows deters the possibility of future plagiarism with your own creative work.

5.) When done, click on Submit to complete the submission process.

Note: Do not Reload or click Back on your browser while the document is uploading.

6.) If the upload was successful, a green banner will indicate the process has completed.

7.) You will be returned to the Content Area of the course. Click on View/Complete again to check the status of your assignment, and view details.

8.) Note that if you do this immediately after submitting the document, it will not be graded, and the SA Report has not been created.

Accessing and Interpreting the SafeAssign Report

Depending upon the traffic of the SafeAssign tool, it may take up to 24 hours for a SA Report to be developed (normally it takes 10-15 minutes). This report details the originality of the submitted paper, compared against existing sources. It also shows the suspected matching sources of each section. The overall score is an indicator of what percentage a submitted paper matches existing sources. Below are the scoring ranges used by SafeAssign:

  • Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.

  • Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to determine if the matching content is properly attributed.

  • Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for plagiarism.

1.) Access the submission by clicking on the View/Complete link under the assignment -OR- by going to My Grades and clicking the link for the SafeAssignment.

2.) Notice, that the SA Report has been processed, and the instructor has graded the submission.

3.) When reviewing the SA Report, note the suspected sources sources, and scrolling through the paper text any highlighted text contains possible plagiarism. Clicking on the highlighted text produces details about the text.

The information contained in the SA Report can assist students with correct and improved citation. You may download the SA Report if you anticipate the need to access the information later. Click the Print Version, or Direct Link buttons at the top right.


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