Assignments: 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.
- On the Assignment Submission Folders page, click on the folder you want to view submissions for, or click View Submissions.
- By default, you should see the full list of students below. If they have submissions, you will see the submission name below the student's name.
You can use the Users tab or Submissions tab to view and search submissions by user or file name.
You should be able to easily find the student submission you wish to grade in the list below. If you have a large classlist, or have trouble finding a particular student, you can use the search options to find what you're looking for.
If you do not see the search options, click on Show Search Options.
Searching by User enables you to search by first name, last name, submissions, and feedback.
Searching by Submissions enables you to search by file name, submission date, read status, and flagged status.
Filter the results using Show Search Options to access the dropdown menu and 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.
Click on the magnifying glass icon in the search box, to update the view.
- Submissions appear at the bottom of the page.
- 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.
- 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).
- Click Download.
- 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.
- From the appropriate assignment folder, click Email Users Without Submissions.
- All the users without submission will appear in the BCC field.
- Compose your email.
- Click Send.
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). You may wish to do this while grading, so you can release all feedback to the class at the same time.
Outline of the required steps:
- Hide the grade item
- "Save draft" when grading the assignments
- Once all submissions are in, hide the assignment
- Publish the assignment grades and feedback
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.
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.
- On the Assignments page, click on the assignment you want to evaluate submissions for, or click on View Submissions.
- Select the student's submission that you wish to evaluate.
- If the document 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.
NOTE: If the student has uploaded a file type that you can't open, you may need to contact the student and ask them to submit in a particular format (ie. DOCX, PDF).
4. If you choose to associate a rubric with this assignment, it will be available when grading. Detailed instructions for grading with the rubric can be accessed on our Rubrics for Assessments page.
5. Enter a score for the submission.
6. Enter written feedback, if desired.
7. Feedback can also be provided as an uploaded file, or as audio or video recorded directly into the platform.
8. If you wish, you can use the annotation toolbar tools to add comments, highlight, or even draw to mark up the student's submission.
To learn more about the Annotation tool, open the Using the Annotation tool section, located on this page.
9. 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 lower-right corner of the page. To go back to the previous student's submission, click on the left-facing arrow.
- 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.
- 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).
- The submission will load in the left pane of the evaluation screen.
- Enter a score for the submission.
- Enter written feedback if necessary.
- 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.
- When you are ready to evaluate the next student's submission, click on the right arrow in the either the upper right or lower right of the page.
The annotation tool in D2L Brightspace assignments allows you to mark up a student's submission as a means of providing feedback in-situ.
IMPORTANT: Annotations are not recommended for use with assistive technology. If your students use assistive technology, consider providing written feedback in the feedback field.
The "Annotations" feature can be enabled in the assignment editor, in the Evaluation & Feedback panel.
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.
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 or View Submissions 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.
- Click on the grey Email Users Marked Incomplete button.
- 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 university email inbox.
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.
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. When you are ready to evaluate the next student's submission, click on the right arrow in either the upper right or lower right of the page. To return to the list of students, click on the 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.
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 a score, completed rubric (if used) and written feedback.
Evaluators can provide the following for students who did not submit their assignment:
- A score grade
- A completed rubric (if applicable)
Evaluators will not be able to utilize the following tools without the student's submission:
Publishing feedback can serve two purposes:
- It pushes the grades into the gradebook, if you have connected the assignment to a grade item.
- 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
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.
To upload individual feedback files:
- On the Assignments Submission Folders page, click on the folder you want to evaluate submissions for or click View Submissions.
- Select the file you wish to upload feedback for, by clicking on either the file name or Evaluate.
- Enter a score for the submission.
- Click the file upload icon to upload a feedback file (e.g. a Word Doc, pdf, etc).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- Upload the feedback files by clicking on the appropriate assignment folder on the Assignments Submission Folders page.
- Click Add Feedback Files
- Drag and drop all feedback files or click Upload and select the appropriate files.
- 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.