KU's Learning Management System


SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a collection of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign is integrated into regular Blackboard Learn assignments and can be selected on the settings page.

Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a paper and source material. Submissions are compared against several databases:

  • Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the internet.
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
  • Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
  • Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institution plagiarism.

For more information about SafeAssign, select from the following:

Use SafeAssign in Your Assignments

Select SafeAssign plagiarism checking for any of your assignments in Blackboard.

  1. Access a content area, click on the Assessments button and select Assignment
  2. On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details. [View screenshot]
  3. Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign. [View screenshot]
  4. Optionally, select one or both options:
    1. Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.
    2. Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases. This is only applicable if students will submit multiple drafts of one paper and you wish to exclude the earlier draft(s).
  5. Complete the Create Assignment page.
  6. Click Submit.

Note: Even though there is a message on the Create Assignment screen that states that SafeAssign only supports English language submissions, nothing has changed regarding SafeAssign's functionality. It will continue to accept international language submissions, the same as before.

View Submissions
  1. From the Control Panel, under Course Tools, click SafeAssign.
  2. Click SafeAssign Items.
  3. Click the specific assignment name in the list. On this page you can click the Download All Submissions button if you wish to download students' documents to your computer. A list of student submissions appears with the following columns for each student's attempt:
    • User Attempt: Click the underlined student's name to view the student’s paper and all grading options.
    • Average Match: Indicates the amount of text that might match other sources, across all files that were uploaded.
    • Highest Match: The percentage of the document with the highest match with other sources. Read the full report to determine if the matching is properly attributed.
    • SA Report: Click the green checkmark icon to view the full Safe Assignment report.
    • Submitted: shows the date and time the student submitted their document.

Submit Papers through Direct Submit

DirectSubmit generates SafeAssign reports on papers submitted outside of a SafeAssignment. Examples include: student papers that were emailed to the instructor rather than submitted in Blackboard; papers that were submitted to a Blackboard assignment that did not have SafeAssign selected in its settings; text that is copied from a document rather than saved as a separate file. DirectSubmit can also be used to add papers to the institutional database. DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade Center. Instructors are advised to use a Blackboard assignment with SafeAssign selected in the settings to collect submissions whenever possible.

Instructors can submit a single paper using DirectSubmit or submit multiple papers at once in a .ZIP file. Include no more than 100 papers in .ZIP packages. DirectSubmit cannot process more than 300 papers in one session. DirectSubmit cannot process papers that are larger than 10 MB.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click SafeAssign.
  2. Click DirectSubmit. A list of folders and papers appears. This list includes papers already uploaded through DirectSubmit. Blackboard recommends not deleting files from DirectSubmit because this will also delete them from the institutional database of existing materials.
  3. Select the Shared tab to make documents and corresponding reports visible to all co-instructors in the Blackboard course. Select the Private tab to add documents and run SafeAssign reports that will only be visible to you.
  4. Navigate to a folder where you want to upload the paper or ZIP file.
  5. Click Submit a Paper.

    TIP: If you receive an error that you are not logged in, check your browser settings. Your browser settings should allow third party cookies and website data.

  6. Click Upload File and browse for the file. Alternatively, click Copy/Paste Document and add the document text in the box.
  7. Select the optional upload options:
    • Submit as Draft: SafeAssign reports are generated, but the papers are not added to the institutional database and is not used to check other papers.
    • Skip Plagiarism Checking: Adds the papers to the institutional database without checking for content copied from other sources. Use this option to upload papers from an earlier course to ensure that current students are not reusing work.
  8. Click Submit.
  9. DirectSubmit supports the following file types: Microsoft Word document (.doc .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), HTML (.htm or .html). Text (.txt), Zip-compressed multiple files (.ZIP).

Supported File Types

SafeAssign only supports file types that are convertible to plain text. This includes the following file types: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files are not supported.

SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.

Additional Resources from Blackboard:

For more information about SafeAssign, visit Blackboard's Use SafeAssign in Assignments ».

Source: Blackboard Help »

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