Last Update: January 5, 2014 Randolph Langley
You must submit your assignment file correctly according to this handout, on the course Blackboard site, for
it to be graded. No files sent to teaching staff via email will be accepted or considered. No other submissions, of any form other than that described in this handout, will be accepted or considered. You MUST follow all instructions in this handout and verify your own submission yourself, and check it carefully yourself, to make absolutely sure that your correct file was submitted correctly and successfully. If you do not follow these steps, any grade penalties, even a zero score on an assignment, are your responsibility.
Log in to the class Blackboard site at https://campus.fsu.edu/webapps/login.
The name of the file which you must turn in for grading is specified in each assignment write-up. You must use the file name format and file extension specified in the write-up for the file you turn in. Be careful not to use any other file names and in particular do not put any "special" characters in file names, such as blanks, pound signs, percent signs, or extra periods. Special characters may prevent your file from uploading to Blackboard correctly. Be very careful not to include two file name extensions on your file, for example as in "myfile.docx.docx"
Be sure to enter your full name, course number and section number into every MS Office file's document panel.
Blackboard is not compatible with all web browsers. Make sure you use only the current versions of Internet Explorer or Firefox to turn in assignments for this course. In particular do not use Google Chrome or other less-used browsers as many have known problems - even if they appear to be working, they may not be working correctly at all, and you might get a zero on an assignment for that reason. If you see a message telling you that you have an "invalid file," that is typically due to browser incompatibility. If one browser does not work successfully, then you may need to try a different browser or a different version of the same browser.
Immediately after you submit (turn in) your assignment file, you must check for yourself to see if the submission has been received by Blackboard and check the file you turned in to verify that you turned in the right file and that the file uploaded correctly. Instructions for how to do this are provided later in this handout. This is a course requirement and every student's responsibility.
You will see a link to the file you turned in on the Review Submission History screen. You must now verify that the correct and intact file was successfully turned in. To do this, right-click on the file name, choose Save Target As, then download the file to your computer using a different file name than the one you used originally, and then open the downloaded file from there to check it. You need to open the downloaded file using the application that is required for this course in which the file will be graded, to check the file.
Click Ok if you are done. Click Start New Submission if you need to resubmit. With this newest version of Blackboard, you may submit an assignment more than once. If you submit more than once, the course staff will only grade the LATEST time-stamped submission.
You will see a notation that the assignment "needs grading," when an assignment has been submitted but has not been graded yet. Assignments will normally be graded within 14 days of submission.
You can click on the main assignment link at any time to access Review Submission History, either to check for your grade, or to resubmit.
BE SURE YOU TURN IN THE CORRECT FILE. We will grade the file you turn in, and no other files will be considered. Check the file you turned in, as described above, to make sure you turned in the right one.
If you are careful to submit the correct file, check your submission immediately after you submit it, watch deadlines, and follow directions exactly, you will be able to maximize the points you earn on assignments in this course. If you need any help with any part of this process, email the online Help Desk for your course, or come to the in-person Help Desk; see course web sites for details.
When you submit any assignment, Blackboard will TIME STAMP the time of submission. This time is used by the graders to verify that your work was turned in by the deadlines, and if necessary, to determine which submission is the latest time-wise.
You may also view your score on each assignment along with grading comments via the Blackboard site by accessing your assignments under My Grades.
To check your submission status in Blackboard at any time after submission, you can either click on the main assignment link again, or you can click on My Grades.
Using My Grades, you will see a list of assignments with corresponding information.
Check the icon you see for the assignment:
Click on the icon shown for an assignment submission to go to the Review Submission History screen for that assignment. If your file has been submitted successfully, you will see a link to your file on the screen. You must right-click on that link, choose Save Target As, and then download the file to the computer you are using, using a different name to save the file than the name you orginally used for it. Then view the file yourself to check its contents, using the course-required application. If there is something wrong, you can re-submit.
Saved draft files will not be, and cannot be, graded. These are stored on the Blackboard server temporarily, for you to work on. The course teaching staff cannot view saved draft files at all. You must go to the assignment and click on Submit before anything is actually submitted to the course teaching staff for grading.
If you are not done with your assignment but wish to save your work on FSU's server so that you can work on it more later, then you can use the Save as Draft button. To retrieve your saved draft file, just go back to the assignment and click the link to Continue Current Submission to start working on it again from where you left off.
When working on your own PC, you will probably prefer to simply save your file on your own PC. You should not, however, save homework files on PCs that are used by other students, for example at the public FSU computing sites. Remember to maintain multiple backup copies of your files so that you do not lose your work.
In the current Blackboard system, you can submit multiple attempts for an assignment, as discussed above. However, this can cause problems when students start multiple attempts, some of which they never actually complete. We have seen students with as many as 8 submissions and only one is a "real" submission! The problem is that if you do this, your grade on that assignment may not display correctly under My Grades and it may not be stored correctly in the class grade book. It is even possible that your final course grade will be affected, and be incorrect.
To avoid this problem and make sure your grades are recorded in Blackboard correctly, only access an assignment attempt if you are REALLY going to make a true submission, including attaching your assignment file for grading. Do not start attempts and leave them empty and abandoned - this significantly messes up the Blackboard grade records and may cause problems for you.
These incomplete attempts are not simply clogging up the grade book - if you have any - you may NOT see your real score and as far as the grade book is concerned, you may have NO score on that assignment! It is also possible that you will see a valid score, but when your instructor downloads the grade center, the EMPTY attempt score (which is a zero) is the only score to download, giving you a zero on that assignment!
If we cannot rely on students to appropriately manage this attempt issue, we will have to enforce a limit on the number of allowed submissions.
Grader's comments are recorded and provided to you via Blackboard. Click on My Grades, then click on the icon for your assignment as discussed above. After your assignment has been graded, you can simply click on the numeric grade shown on the screen to view grading details.
Note that all files for a particular assignment are graded gradually over a period of about 14 days. There are typically MANY students taking this course, and grading, which is done carefully and "by hand," does take time. Please do not email the course teaching staff to ask if, or why, your program has or has not been graded yet, unless the 14 day period has already passed.
If you have a question about an assignment grade, follow the course syllabus instructions and contact your course administrative TA.