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How do I assess an assignment? (grade item, rubric) Activities | Assignments

An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about the assessment of assignments. A written manual about the assessment by using a grade item can be found below the video.

If you want to assess an assignment (grade it) and register the result in Brightspace, you have to attach the assignment to a grade item. This way the given grades on submissions will be registered in the grade book in Brightspace. You can also assess an assignment using a rubric if you have attached a rubric to the assignment.

Marking assignments (flagging)

You can mark (flag) specific submissions within an assignment. For example, if you are assessing submissions on an assignment together with a colleague, you can flag half of the submissions. This way one of you can assess the flagged submissions, and the other can assess the unflagged submissions. Flagging can also be used as an alert for submissions which need further inspection or discussion.

  • Navigate to Activities in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Assignments.
  • Click on the desired assignment. You will land on the Users tab.
  • For each submission you will see a flag icon. Click this icon to flag an assignment (or unflag it). A filled flag means you have flagged the submission. In the example above, the first assignment is flagged and the second one is not.
  • Click on Submissions to be able to filter the submissions with flags.
  • Click Show Search Options.
  1. Under Flag Status, use the drop-down menu to select whether you want to see the flagged assignments (Submissions with flags) or the unflagged assignments (Submissions without flag).
  2. Enter a keyword in the search bar (Search For). Then click Enter on your keyboard or click the magnifying glass-icon in the search bar.

You must enter a keyword in the search bar to be able to search the list of submissions. Filtering for flags only works if you enter a keyword that appears in every submission. Thus it is useful to instruct students to add a specific element to the file name of their submission, for example TITLE-student number (e.g. S1234567). You can now enter S as a keyword, because all submissions will have this S in their name. 

Assessing with a rubric

An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about assessing an assignment by using a rubric. A written manual can be found below the video.

After you have created a rubric and attached it to an assignment, you can use this rubric to assess submissions.

  • Navigate to Activities in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Assignments.
  • Click the assignment to see the submissions you want to assess.

At the bottom of your screen you see the overview of all submissions. You can filter these submissions based on:

  1. student name (use the search bar);
  2. submission specifics. To do this, click the drop-down menu below Submissions and select:
    • Show everyone (all submissions);
    • Users with/without submissions (only those students who have or have not submitted their assignment). If you have filtered on Users with submissions, you can also select whether you want to see:
      • unread submissions only (Only show users with unread submissions);
      • assignments that were handed in during a specific period (you can specify the date and whether you want to see assignments that were handed in before or after that date);
      • submissions that were handed in late only (Late Submissions).
    • Users with preview submissions (for example, to see those assignments you have handed in yourself as a test);
    • Users with graded unpublished submissions (students whose assignments have already been assessed, but the assessment has not yet been published.
    • Furthermore, you can also select for each filter options whether you only want to see those students who are exempt (Users who are exempt).  
  3. Below Feedback you can filter all submissions (Show everyone) or just those with feedback (already assessed) or without feedback (Users with/without feedback).
  • In this tab you can also download files, send an email to your students, mark submissions as read/unread, delete submissions, or publish the feedback you have given. To do so, select one or more students (or click the box at the top left to select everyone) and then click on the desired action. If you select and download several files at one, these files will be put together in a zip-file.
  • Click on the file name of the document to open it for assessment/add feedback.

To assess an assignment using a rubric, the maximum amount of points a student can acquire has to be the same in both the rubric and the assignment (Out of score). To calculate the rubric's maximum score, you have to add up the highest score (belonging to the highest level) of each criterion.

  • Click the rubric on the right side of the screen, below Evaluation and Feedback (in the example above, the rubric is called 'Essay'). The rubric will now open in a new window.
  1. For each criterion, click on the level you want to award it to.
  2. You can add additional feedback for each criterion. Click Add Feedback to do so. A text box will open that allows you to give feedback to a student for each criterion.
  3. On the right side you will see a column named Criterion Score. You will see the score achieved for each criterion. The Total score is the total of each of these scores.
  4. At the bottom of the rubric you can find the total amount of points a student can acquire.
  5. Overall Score shows you the performance level for the amount of points acquired. You can choose to change the automatically assigned performance level by clicking another level.
  6. Click Close to return to the assignment. The feedback will be saved automatically.

Depending on how you set up the score system you will get the possibility to assign a couple of points for each criterion. The total score (Overall Score) will be calculated based on the number of points that have been acquired. In this example 160 or more points means a level 4 score. However, this is not the maximum score! When a student has acquired 170 points, this means a level 4 score (highest level in the example rubric) but this is not the highest score for the final grade. This maximum score of the example rubric is the maximum score of each criterion added up, so in this case (5x30) + (3x10) = 180. A score of 170 would mean a final grade of (170/180)x10=9.4.

When you leave a rubric uncompleted you will receive a warning stating you have not scored all rubric criteria once you try to publish the feedback. You then have the possibility to make changes, or publish the incomplete rubric after all.

  1. Brightspace will enter the score and calculate the grade.
  2. Use Feedback to give general feedback. The feedback you have entered in the rubric will not be transferred to this field.
  3. Click Publish/Update if you want to (re)publish the feedback (and grade) to the student. 
  4. Click on Save Draft/Retract if you want to save the assessment but do not yet want to publish the result to the student.

It is advised to save the given feedback and score until you have finished assessing all submissions. If you are sure you have reviewed all submissions click back to submissions  in the top left corner of your screen, go to the user tab and select all students. Click publish feedback to publish the results to all students at once.

Assessing with a grade item

After you have created a grade item and linked it to an assignment, you can use this grade item to assess assignments.

  • Navigate to Activities in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Assignments.
  • Click on the assignments you want to assess.

At the bottom of your screen you can find an overview of the submissions per student. You can filter these submissions based on:

  1. student name (use the search bar);
  2. the type of submissions. To do this, go to Submissions and select:
    • Show everyone (all submissions);
    • Users with/without submissions (only those students who have or have not handed in the assignments). If you have filtered on Users with submissions, you can also select whether you want to see:
      • unread submissions only (Only show users with unread submissions);
      • assignments that were handed in during a specific period (you can specify the date and whether you want to see assignments that were handed in before or after that date);
      • submissions that were handed in late only (Late Submissions).
    • Users with preview submissions (for example, to see those assignments you have handed in yourself as a test);
    • Users with graded unpublished submissions (students whose assignments have already been assessed, but the assessment has not yet been published.
    • Furthermore, you can also select for each filter options whether you only want to see those students who are exempt (Users who are exempt).  
  3. Use Feedback to choose whether you want to see all submissions (Show everyone) or just those with or without feedback (Users with/without feedback).

Are you assessing an Assignment in Turnitin? We advise you to use Brightspace to switch between each submission. The Turnitin environment does not allow you to see which assignment belongs to what group, so return to Brightspace after each assessed assignment to maintain the overview.

  • You can download files, mail them to students, mark them as read/unread, delete them, or publish the feedback you have given. To do so, select one or more students (or click the box at the top left to select everyone) and then click on the desired action. If you select and download several files at one, these files will be put together in a zip-file.
  • Click on the file name of the document to assess it.
  1. Enter the score manually. When a rubric has been added, Brightspace will calculate the grade automatically.
  2. Use Feedback to give general feedback. The feedback you have entered in the rubric will not be transferred.
  3. Click on Publish/Update if you want to (re)publish the feedback and want to let the student know about their score. Click on Save/Retract if you want to save the assessment but do not yet want to show the student.
  • It is also possible to assess an assignment with the use of a selectbox item. In this case you provide the assignment with a predefined level that fits the student's work.

Assessment for grade items that you publish will automatically be pushed to the Pulse app by Brightspace. When you Retract an assessment, students will no longer be able to see it in Brightspace, but it does still appear in Pulse. If you hide the assessment for a grade item after you have published it, students will not see the most recent assessment in Pulse, and neither will they receive a notification. Thus it is advised to not retract a published grade item, because this can cause confusion for the student. Instead, republish an assessment as soon as you alter it. This way, Brightspace will automatically push the new assessment to Pulse.

Assessing with anonymous marking

When you have turned on anonymous marking while creating an assignment, you can assess the assignments without seeing which student handed in the assignment.

  • While assessing, you will see the submissions by the students as Anonymous User <x>.
  • The submissions are numbered in the order in which they were handed in.
  • You can still assess these assignments like usual, but you cannot grade them. The publish button does not work yet. You can only publish with the button publish all feedback in the assignment. This means that you first have to review all of the assignments of the anonymous student(s) and then return them to all of the students simultaneously.

Assessing video assignments

If students have to hand in both a written component and a video in Kultura for an assignment, they will hand in the written file in an attachment and the video in the commentary field. While assessing you will initially be shown just the attachment, making it difficult to switch between file and video. However, you can put the attachment and commentary below one another in the evaluation screen by going to user submissions.

  • Navigate to Activities in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Assignments.
  • Click on the assignments you want to assess.
  • Click on the name of the student or group (not the file itself) to assess the work.

Here you will see the attachment and the video with commentary below one another. On the right side you can open the rubric, enter a score and give feedback. If you use this screen it is easy to switch between the attachment and the video while simultaneously adding the score and/or feedback.

  • After assessing a student you can easily go to the next student by clicking the arrow on top, or Next Student at the bottom of the page.