Options for Group Assignment Submissions

Many Assignments submitted to the LMS are created by students working as a group. There are several factors affecting the choice of Turnitin Assignments or Blackboard Assignments for collecting student work and providing feedback. Both assignment types allow online marking of student submissions, but there are some features and limitations that may make one more suitable than the other for different group activities.

Blackboard assignments can be created to allow submission by individuals or groups. If an assignment has been made available to a group, one member of the group can submit on behalf of all members of the group. Marking and feedback provided to one group member will automatically be provided to all members of the group. See Assignments for details.

Turnitin does not associate a submission with other members of a group; the assignment and any feedback are associated with the individual submission, so some workflow planning is needed when wanting to utilise Turnitin Similarity Checking of a group assignment.

Option 1: Blackboard Group Assignment plus Turnitin Assignment

Some staff may create a Blackboard Group Assignment and an additional Turnitin Assignment, requiring  a nominated person from each group to submit twice, once to the Blackboard group assignment and a copy to Turnitin to allow similarity checking.

Staff can read the Turnitin similarity reports, then use the Blackboard Group Assignment to provide feedback and marks to students, with all information automatically flowing through to all group members.

Option 2: Turnitin Assignment with distribution of feedback and marks

A nominated group member could be responsible for submitting to the Turnitin assignment on behalf of the group.

When the assignment is marked using Turnitin Feedback Studio it will only be visible to the student who made the submission, marking and feedback needs to be distributed to other group members.

For small classes and small numbers of groups, manually entering the group mark in Grade Centre to other members of the group is straightforward. In larger classes, it could be useful to create a column recording the group name, then sort the Grade Centre by this column (as shown below), to easily find the other students who need to receive the group mark.


The feedback provided though Turnitin Feedback Studio (text annotations and rubric selections) can be downloaded as a PDF for offline viewing. Students can do this for their individual assignments, or staff can do this in one action, collecting all the feedback files as a zip file. The feedback file could be distributed to group members by the student who made the submission, or distributed by staff, attaching the relevant file to the grade centre entry.

We have LMS workshops focusing on both Turnitin assignments and Blackboard assignments to allow you to explore these tools.

If you would like to discuss these options further and discuss which assignment set up would suit you, please submit a LMS support request.

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Written by
Bronwyn Disseldorp

Learning Environments support centre