SafeAssign – Options and Opportunities

In our Blackboard system, SafeAssign is incorporated in the Assignment tool and no longer stands on it own. This makes it easy to convert an assignment for automatic plagiarism detection, but can also be a little confusing!

Setting Up a SafeAssignment

SafeAssign is no longer a separate tool. Now, you set up all assignments the same way, using the same tool. Once you create a new assignment, you can adjust the options to make it check the submissions for plagiarism.

Screen showing the location of SafeAssign options under Assignment tool.

To locate the SafeAssign options under any assignment’s options, click on Submission Details to expand the section.

All SafeAssign options are located under Submission Details in the Assignment Options. Click on the Submission Details link to expand the section and see all of your SafeAssign options. They are the same as they were previously, but the Blackboard Help link can provide you more information, if needed.

Once you’ve created an assignment with SafeAssign enabled and your students have submitted work, all of their submitted work will appear in the Needs Grading section. You can find more information about the new grading workflow here. The SafeAssign information will be located right on the grading page, as shown below.

Location of SafeAssign results in InLine Grading page

Finding the SafeAssign results when grading an assignment is easy. If you don’t see the Originality Report, click on SafeAssign to expand the section.

On the left panel in your grading screen, you’ll see a link for SafeAssign and the percentage total match found in the scan. If you click on those, it will expand so that you can view the Originality Report and see the details of the screening.

For more information on SafeAssign and plagiarism, see our blog post Plagiarism, Now What?


Direct Submit

The Direct Submit feature of SafeAssign is also still available via the Tools menu.  If you’ve never used DirectSubmit, it is a tool that allows you to manually submit materials for plagiarism. This is useful if there is student work you are concerned about in a tool that doesn’t incorporate SafeAssign, such as blogs, wikis and discussions.

To access DirectSubmit, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > SafeAssign.


Location of the DirectSubmit Link under Tools > SafeAssign

The DirectSubmit functionality is still available under the SafeAssign tool.

As previously, you can access your SafeAssign items with the first option, for for now, we’re going to look at the DirectSubmit tool. Click on the link to enter the screen.


Location of option under DirectSubmit

Click on the Submit A Paper link to submit any work for plagiarism checking.


The DirectSubmit tool saves all your submissions from across classes, which can be accessed from this page. In this case, we’re going to click on Submit A Paper to submit a new piece of work to have checked.


Options for DirectSubmit

There are many options for submitting a paper under Direct Submit. Choose those that best fit the circumstances.


On the submission page, you have an array of options for your submission. The Submission Options allow you to submit the paper as a draft, in case this is an early draft of a student paper that will be submitted later to SafeAssign. Papers submitted as draft do not go into the database, so when the complete paper is submitted, it is not flagged as plagiarized. This is the same as the “Exclude Submissions from the Institutional and Global Reference Databases” option when creating an assignment.

From here, you can either upload a file in the formats listed, or copy and paste the text into the box, and click Submit. This will submit the content for checking. Please note that this isn’t an instant process- the text is being searched from many, many sources, so you may have to wait some time before receiving the plagiarism score and report. When this process is completed, you’ll find the results on the original DirectSubmit page, shown above.


SafeAssign and DirectSubmit are handy tools in checking student work and providing teachable moments for students who may not understand plagiarism. If you need any assistance with these tools, feel free to contact us!