Online assignment submission for students
|Site:||Solent Online Learning|
|Course:||Student Support for Online Learning Technologies|
|Book:||Online assignment submission for students|
|Printed by:||Guest user|
|Date:||Sunday, 23 April 2017, 10:43 PM|
Table of contents
- How to upload your assignment/file
- How to submit your myPortfolio
- How to upload your video/audio assignment
- Accessing grades and feedback
There are different types of online assignment submissions available to Solent University students.
The type of submission and the tool used is determined by your lecturer. For every submission, you can expect an assessment brief giving you clear instructions of what type of assignment is required.
For all online assignments, you will have an Assignment Upload link on your unit (unless instructed otherwise by your lecturer). Your lecturer will set this up depending on the requirements of the assessment and could include a file submission, video submission, myPortfolio submission, etc. If it is not clear what is being asked of you, you must seek advice from your lecturer.
If you are asked to upload an essay, report or dissertation, these text-based assignments are sent through to Turnitin which checks your work to see if it matches previous submissions or is copied from other sources such as the internet or ebooks. You will be given a similarity report (even if your assignment is under 'draft' status) and be able to see where you need to correct any referencing or citations to avoid plagiarism. See 'How to upload your assignment/file'.
UNLESS THE ASSESSMENT IS EXEMPT FROM ANONYMOUS MARKING, your lecturer will set up all online submission links for anonymous marking. This means that your name will be unknown to the marker when they assess your work. This offers advantages as the marking
will be unbiased and your mark is given purely on the quality of the assignment submitted.
Plan your time
Sometimes student life can get really busy and the workload can be pretty intense which means its possible to leave it quite close to the deadline before submitting your assignment. With careful planning, try to submit your assignment at least 24 hours beforehand to eliminate some of the stress.
Make multiple submissions
From the moment your lecturer sets an assessment on Turnitin you can submit drafts of your work and review feedback from the Originality Report. The clever thing about Turnitin is that you can submit more than once. So, if you spot any changes you'd like to make, you can edit your work and then resubmit before the deadline.
A good tip is to write yourself a schedule, noting down when you're going to do each stage of your work. Start at the end - when does your work need to be submitted? Then work backwards planning when you're going to carry out research and write your assignment, upload and review drafts and then formally submit your final version.
Don't forget with Turnitin in particular, it is possible to resubmit drafts as many times as you like to check your originality/similarity report, so work this into your schedule as well.
For example, if you have an assignment deadline of Thursday 31 March. Your schedule might look something like this:
- Wed 2: Plan work schedule (this bit!)
- Thur 3: Frid 11: Research
- Mon 14: Frid 18: Write assignment
- Mon 21: First draft upload to Turnitin, review Originality Report
- Tues 22: Thur 24: Redraft work
- Frid 25: Second draft upload to Turnitin, review Originality Report
- Mon 28: Redraft and proof work
- Tues 29: Final submission (two days spare incase of problems)
- Thur 31: Deadline
Read the university's Extenuating Circumstances Policy below for further guidance on what to do if you are unable to meet your assignment deadline.
Prepare your work
When preparing your work there are a few things you need to check:
- Make sure that you have added only your student ID number and your unit code to your assignment on the first page. This is to ensure your paper is 'anonymous'.
- When decided on a file name, use your student ID number and your unit code again, ie. student ID number and unit code. (A unit code is normally three letters and three numbers, e.g. MKT451). Do not use any special characters in your file name.
- Make sure your file size is less than 40MB for written assignments (e.g. Office docs, Powerpoints, PDFs). Please note Turnitin does not accept Apple pages documents.
- Other files e.g. photoshop, spreadsheets, etc. can be up to 250MB depending on what has been set up by your tutor.
- If you are submitting a video or audio assignment online (via Helix), the maximum file size is raised to 500MB. Again, this is dependent on the set up by your tutor.
Upload your work
Good internet connection - To upload your work, you will need to have a good internet connection. Any Broadband connection over a good network or wifi connection will be fine, but if you don't have access to a fast internet connection, it is possible to go into one of the Learning Resource Centres (LRC) and use the computers in there.
Up-to-date browser - Also make sure that your browser is up-to-date. Please take a look at the information about minimum browser requirements for Solent Online Learning and Turnitin. We recommend Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome but any browser upgraded to the latest version would be fine.
See the following chapters about How to upload your assignment/file.
Check your work
After submitting your work, its an excellent idea to check that your submission has been successful.
Check that you have received an email notification from SOL. This is the confirmation of your submission and it will give proof of a successful submission.
You will also receive an email direct from Turnitin when you upload any text-based document. This is NOT a formal receipt for assessment submission, it is simply an acknowledgement that you have uploaded a file. However, it does provide useful details (such as your Turnitin paper ID) if you ever need to discuss your submission or have to appeal. It is good practice to keep all of your receipts for future reference.If you have problems submitting, contact your tutor immediately or for Student IT Support, contact any of the LRCs (http://portal.solent.ac.uk/it-and-media/student-it-help/learning-resource-centres/learning-resource-centres.aspx). You could also leave a comment in the 'Submission comments' stating what has happened and what action you have taken.
How to upload your assignment/file
Check your work
- Make sure that your file name only includes your unit code and your student ID name.
- Make sure your file size is less than 40MB for written assignments (e.g. Office docs, Powerpoints, PDFs).
- Other files (e.g. photoshop, spreadsheets, etc.) can be up to 250MB if set to that limit by your tutor
- Maximum file uploads can be up to 20 files if set to that limit by your tutor
- For myPortfolio submissions click here
- For video/audio submissions click here
Submit your work
Firstly, go to your unit and find the correct 'Solent Online Learning assignment upload' link.
You will be able to upload your assignments using the Add draft button.
Files can be uploaded by clicking on the 'Add' button or by dragging and dropping the file into the file area (if your browser is up-to-date). It is a required field, so to save this, there must be a file present.
After uploading the file, you must Save Changes.
The submission status shows 'Draft uploaded' but it is 'not submitted for marking' as yet.
If your file is a text-based document and under 40mb, it will go through to Turnitin automatically under 'draft' status. You will see a Turnitin icon saying 'Turnitin status: Pending'. This means that your assignment is being processed. If successful, you will see a Turnitin ID (if you receive an error, see the chapter on Troubleshooting). A percentage icon for your originality report will appear underneath in due course, which you can click on to check your work.
Use this originality report to see where you need to correct any referencing or citations to avoid plagiarism. Click here to find out about Using the originality report in Turnitin. Click here to find out about Referencing.
Whilst your assignment is in 'draft', it is possible to delete and add as many drafts as you like up until the due date, to check your originality report. However, the report will always take a minimum of 24 hours to be returned for each subsequent upload. To delete your assignment, you must have your next version ready to upload in its place. Go back to Edit draft and click on your uploaded file. In the pop-up window, click Delete. Add your new version and click Save.
If your file is a non-text-based document (e.g. an image, image-based PDF or PPT, etc.) and Turnitin has been switched off, then you will not receive a paper ID or an originality report.
The submission status is still under draft so you must click on the Submit assignment button to fully complete the process . It states that once you click on that 'Submit assignment' button, you will not be able to make any more changes. So, click on the Submit assignment button to make your final submission.
You must confirm that this is your own work and you are prompted again to be sure that a final submission should be made. No more changes can be made once the assignment is submitted for grading. Click on the Continue button or 'Cancel' if you want to make more changes.
This shows the final screen that you will see once the process is complete. The submission status clearly states 'Submitted for grading'.
A simple email notification from SOL will be sent to you to confirm that you have submitted an assignment for the 'assessment' in question. Keep this in a safe place for future reference.
Using the originality report in Turnitin
Once you have received your originality report from Turnitin, you should use the report to check your work and find ways to improve it. This page will give you suggestions on how to do the following:
- Retrieve your originality report
- Understand matches in the report
- Use the filters
- Reference any genuine matches
You should then be shown a report on screen which looks something like this:
Understand matches in the report
Matches in your report are places where the text that you have written appears to be the same as text that is held somewhere in the Turnitin database. This database holds enormous amounts of text, from sources such as books, journals, the internet (it has a complete historical record of everything that has been on the web going well back into the 1990s) and also any other piece of student work that has ever been submitted to Turnitin.
Notice that the report shows you your assessment, in the same format you submitted it, but with colour overlaid. These blocks of colour indicate places where matches were found. The colour overlaid on the text coincides with the colour of one of the sources listed in the right-hand column under 'Primary Source View'.
There are different reasons why matches may be found:
- Quotations will be identified (unless you have set the 'Exclude Quotes' filter - see below) because these are the words of another author. Be sure that you have cited the original author correctly.
- Some or all of your bibliography or reference list will be identified because these may have been used in other students' papers.
- Small numbers of words, perhaps 3 or 4 words together, may be identified because they are either common phrases or they are genuine coincidences of language use.
All of these examples listed above are not a plagiarism risk. Learn to identify these and it will help you to recognise that part of your percentage of similarity is acceptable. However, the following are matches that suggest a plagiarism risk:
- There is a genuine match to another source that is not referenced within your paper.
- You have paraphrased but not changed the words sufficiently.
These two instances, and particularly the case of genuine matches, do present a plagiarism risk. For poorly written paraphrasing, the strategy is clearly to rewrite the original author's words further (and
make sure you reference the source correctly).
Use the filters
Notice that on the bottom-right of the page, there is a toolbar that includes the funnel-shaped filter icon:
If you click on the filter icon, you will get some options:
Notice that this provides you with different ways to filter the information in your report. Try ticking the boxes for 'Exclude Quotes' and 'Exclude Bibliography' and see how much your percentage will go down (if you have quoted and written your bibliography correctly):
Doing this means that Turnitin will recognise text in your paper that has been properly quoted and will not include this text in your percentage of similarity (because if it is quoted, it is not plagiarised). It's important to note that only quotes given in double quotation marks (" "), or indented quotes are recognised by Turnitin. Single quotation marks (' ') are not recognised.
Turnitin ideintifies text that comes after the heading Bibliography or alternately Reference list as the bibliography for your paper and will also exclude this when you select that filter.
If you need to know about quotation and writing a bibliography or reference list, then you can visit Referencing and academic integrity.
You may also choose to use the filters based on number of words or % of match. For instance if you choose to filter out any matches that are 3 words or less, then you will omit lots of instances of coincidental matches.
Reference any genuine matches
If you find that you have any text matches that are more than just a few coincidental words, then you need to do something about it. If you don't use correct quotation and referencing for text matches then you are commiting plagiarism, which is counted as academic misconduct and you will lose points for your paper.
What you need to do is:
Use Turnitin to identify the source of the original text
Write a full citation for that source in your reference list or bibliography
Put the matching text into double quotation marks and quote it correctly, e.g.
Smith (2008, p.9) tells us that, "quotation shows us the exact words of the original author"
Or paraphrase the original author's words, e.g.
Smith (2008, p.10) explains that paraphrasing is the act of reporting another person's ideas but giving them in your own words.
Make sure you leave yourself enough time to receive your report, make these changes and upload your work again before the assessment deadline and before clicking the final submit button.
Compressing files and images
For compressing files such as Word, PowerPoint and PDF, there are options within the programmes that allow you to reduce the size of the file.
Compressing pictures in Word and PowerPoint
This involves the same tool. You will find the same menu on both.
Step 1: Click on any picture that you want to compress.
Step 2: In the menu, under Picture Tools, click on the Format tab and click Compress Pictures.
Step 3: A pop-up window will show different options for compression. Deselect the option ‘Apply only to this picture’ so that the changes will apply to all pictures within the document. The ‘E-mail’ option will produce the smallest file but try
different options if you need to preserve some quality of picture.
Compressing PDF files in Adobe programs
When you save a document as a PDF there is an option that allows you to compress the file.
Step 1: Save your Document as a PDF.
Step 2: Once you select save as a PDF a window will appear and you need to select the option compression.
Step 3: Once you click on compression change the option for (Average Down sampling to) and then click Save PDF.
For help, please contact Student IT Support in any of the LRCs (http://portal.solent.ac.uk/it-and-media/student-it-help/learning-resource-centres/learning-resource-centres.aspx ).
How to submit your myPortfolio
If you have been asked to submit your digital portfolio that you have created in the myPortfolio system, go to the unit in question on Solent Online Learning (SOL) and click on the assignment submission link.
Step 1: Click 'Add draft'.
Step 2: Select/check the circle next to the page/collection that you wish to submit (click on the name of the portfolio if you wish to check you are submitting the correct item).
Step 3: Until the 'Submit assignment' button has been clicked, the submission status will be 'draft' meaning you can edit your submission.
Step 4: As soon as you press 'Submit assignment' your submitted portfolio page/collection will be locked and you can no longer edit it!
You should receive an email when you have submitted your work and an email when your tutor has released grading /feedback.
How to upload your video/audio assignment
Prepare your work:
- Make sure your file name only includes your unit code and your student ID
- Make sure your file type/format is one of the following: mp4, m4v, avi, mov, mpeg, wmv (for video) mp3, wma, wav (for audio)
- Make sure your file size is under the maximum of 500 MB
Firstly find the relevant Video/Audio Assignment upload link on your Solent Online Learning page and click on it (example below).
Submit your work:
There are two ways you might be asked to submit your video or audio assignment file. Both have a limit of 500MB.
One of them is explained above in the Solent Online Learning submission file upload and the second is described below.
On the next screen you will be able to start the process of attaching your video or audio assignment file. Click on the green Browse/Upload button to upload your video or audio assignment. Remember the maximum size for your video/audio file is 500 MB.
- The first 'details' tab requires you to add your assignment details.
- For the title use your student ID followed by the Unit Code (1) - remember not to put your name. You can leave the Category as 'Personal'
- (2). You must add a short description to your assignment submission
- (3) and your email address so that you can be notified when your assignment submission is successful
- (4). Adding tags to your submission
- (5) is optional. Finally, click on 'Next' (6).
On the next tab you can add a thumbnail to your video submission. Click on one of the suggested thumbnails and it will be highlighted in green (you can aslo add a custom thumbnail if you wish). Click NEXT.
You are prompted again to ensure a final submission should be made. Tick the box to indicate the assignment is your own work then click on Continue. No more changes can be made once the assignment has been submitted for grading.
Below is the final screen you will see when the submission process is complete. The Submission status clearly states 'Submitted for grading.'
An automated email will be sent to you to confirm that you have successfully submitted your video/audio assignment. Depending on your email software it will look similar to the example below (please do not reply to it!).
Please be advised that large multimedia files may take a significant amount of time to be uploaded depending on your upload speed.
You are strongly advised to upload and submit large assignment files from the University's networked computers or wi-fi. It is your responsibility to allow for sufficient time when uploading large assignment files.
If you chose to upload your assignment file(s) from home please be aware that they are likely to take considerably longer than if you were to upload from the University's network. The table below shows a range of estimated upload times based on upload speed and location:
If you want to test your network speed try http://www.broadband.co.uk/broadband-speed-test/ but please remember it is the upload speed that you are monitoring.
Compressing a video file using Movie Maker (PC)
Before you upload your video you need to make sure that your file is less than 500MB.
To compress you video file using Movie Maker, you need to do the following:
1) Open Movie Maker on your PC or laptop.
2) Click on the right hand side to open your video (Click here to browse for videos and photos) and bvrowse to find the video you want to compress, select it and click 'Open'.
3) The video will appear in the Movie Maker software. From the top right, click on the 'Save movie' drop down menu and select the option 'For email'.
4) Your video file will then be saved in a more compact version. In this example the video was reduced from 950MB to 70MB. Please allow yourself enough time as this process may take several minutes.
5) Once the process is completed you will be asked to save your compressed file with a new name. You can save it, check that the file size has been reduced to less than 500MB and then upload it to Solent Online Learning.
Windows Movie Maker is a simple, free video editing software for Windows and is included in Windows Essentials 2012
Compressing a video file using Apple iMovie (MAC)
Please note: These instructions are for the latest version of iMovie on a Mac (version 10). To check which version you have installed go to iMovie - About iMovie.
Step 1: Edit your movie as usual
Edit your movie in iMovie as usual - when you are happy with the finished movie and ready to export move on to step 2. For help with editing your video in iMovie see http://help.apple.com/imovie/mac/10.1/
Step 2. Share your movie using the 'File' option
Click on the 'Share' icon (1) and you will see a window with a number of export pre-set options. Choose the one that says 'File'. (2)
Step 3. Look at the options for changing the Resolution and Quality of your movie
In iMovie 10 Apple removed the capability to alter the video compression settings using Quicktime but you can still reduce the file size to ensure it is under 500 MB. The screenshot below shows the original file size of the video which is 3.38 GB (1) - far too big to upload as your assignment. In order to reduce this to under 500 MB you need to adjust the Resolution and Quality (2).
Step 4. Tweak the Resolution and Quality until the file size is less than 500 MB
In this example I have set the Resolution to 960 x 540 via the drop-down arrows and the Quality to High (1). This has brought the file size down to 198 MB which is below the 500 MB limit. Click on 'Next' to proceed (3).
Step 5. Save the exported file to an appropriate place
In this example I have named the file 'Test Movie' and set the save location to the desktop. Click on 'Save'.
Step 6. Wait for the export process to complete
There is a little progress icon towards the top right of the window - when your video is finished exporting you should get a message saying 'Share successful.' If you click on 'Show' you will be taken to your exported video ready for uploading to Solent Online Learning.
Step 7. Finally - Check the file size
One last step - just make sure the file size of your exported video is under 500 MB. Select the file in the finder and in column view (1) you can see the exact size of the file (2).
Compressing a video using Adobe Media Encoder
Compressing a video using Adobe Media Encoder
The majority of computers on campus here at Solent will have Adobe Media Encoder CC installed which is part of their creative suite package. To use Media Encoder to compress a video file for online submission please follow these simple steps.
1. First of all open up Media Encoder and click FILE then ADD SOURCE
2. Select the file you want to compress for online submission (alternatively you can drag and drop the file into the left hand window).
3. On the right hand side of the window, scroll down and select from the PRESETS menu, H.264 HD 720p 25. Drag and drop this preset on top of the file name over in the left hand side of the window.
4. Click on the file, below where it says OUTPUT FILE to rename the file if needed and also chose where to save the file to. Once thats done click SAVE.
5. Right click on the file name and click on the option, EXPORT SETTINGS.
6. To check that the compressed file will be under the 500MB look down at the bottom of the pop up window where it says ESTIMATED FILE SIZE. If it is larger than 500MB, move the slider under where it says TARGET BITRATE until the estimated file says it is under 500MB, then click OK.
7. Click the green triangle at the top of the main window and your video will start compressing
8. Media Encoder will show you its progress and will also give an estimated time for compression to complete by
Compressing a video file using Handbrake
Handbrake is free, open-source and cross-platform software (works on Windows, Mac and Linux) that enables the straight-forward compression of video files. This guide will take you through compressing a 5 min (4.3 GB) video down to less than 500 MB. You can download HandBrake for free at https://handbrake.fr
Please note: screenshots are taken from the Mac version of Handbrake (v0.10.2)
Step 1: Launch HandBrake and find the video file you want to compress
Launch HandBrake - it will open a window asking you to locate your source video. Find it on your computer and select this file.
Step 2: Check your settings are correct then Start the compression
Take note of where the compressed video will be saved (1). Ensure the format is an MP4 File (2) and tick the Web optimized checkbox (3). Click the Start button (4) to begin the compression.
Step 3: Wait for the compression to finish
At the bottom left of the window you can see a progress bar detailing the percentage completion. When compression has finished you should receive a notification. Locate the compressed file and just check that your video file is now less than 500 MB (in the example above using these settings a 4.3 GB video was compressed to 216 MB).
If you are having problems uploading your assignment:
Before the due date: Go to the 'Student IT Helpdesk' in the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) in the library, Andrews or Matthews buildings, to see if they can help you with any technical difficulties.
They can advise on how to compress images in a document, convert word to a text-based PDF to further compress a file and give advice on known PC/MAC issues.
Or contact your tutor who can also advise.
After the due date: If you have any issues after the due date, you need to contact your tutor immediately to find out what course of action is open to you if any.
If the University systems are offline or there is a technical fault and if the deadline is close, you may be granted an extension to the deadline, subject to an agreement with the Assessments office. If this happens, you will be alerted via SOL and email. Your tutors will also be made aware.
Here are some of the most common error messages shown to students
Alert and error messages you may see
If you see an error like this...
...it may simply mean that your tutor has left Turnitin switched on and asked for a file that is not accepted by Turnitin (e.g. images, audio, video, etc.). You will see this error message whilst in draft mode. You can ignore this error message if you are sure you have uploaded a file that is expected of you according to your assignment brief.
However, if you are asked to upload a text-based document, that should go through to Turnitin, you need to check the following:
- If you are using a MAC, ensure that you do not hide the file extension on your documents. Turnitin will reject it as it is unable to read the file and the error message above will appear. Your tutor may also not be able to open the file on a PC. If it is before the due date, contact the LRC for help.
- Apple Pages (.pages) and some other file types are not accepted by Turnitin (see information on the Turnitin website about acceptable file types). If you need help to convert these file types into an acceptable file for Turnitin, contact the LRC.
If you see an error like this...
This is usually a problem with the file itself and Turnitin has not accepted it. This could be a number of things: a corrupt file, the file does not contain valid text (a blank document) or the file contains purely images. PPT and PDF files that only contain images are not accepted as Turnitin needs 20 words or more as it has nothing to match against.
If you see an error like this...
Speak to your tutor and ask if Turnitin is a requirement as they have allowed for a larger file to be uploaded than Turnitin will accept.
If you see an error like this...
Simply click on the link to accept the End User Licence Agreement (EULA). This will not take you away from your submission as a new pop up window will appear showing the TurnitinUK User Agreement. Click I agree.
Contact your tutor to discuss any of these errors or go into the 'Student IT Helpdesk' in the Learning Resources Centres (LRCs) if it is before the due date. LT can support your tutor or the LRCs if required.
Accessing grades and feedback
Approximately four weeks after your deadline, your lecturer will release an indicative grade and feedback. They can do this in a variety of ways so speak with your tutor about how this will be done for you. They may choose to provide feedback via the 'Assignment upload' submission point, through Turnitin via this same link, or perhaps face-to-face or via email.
Assignment upload submission point
To see this information, simply need to return back to the unit in question on Solent Online Learning and back to your specific assignment. You will see something like the following:
Assignment upload submission point using Turnitin
Again, simply need to return back to the unit in question on Solent Online Learning and back to your specific assignment. Click on the blue pencil icon next to your Similarity report percentage. You will see something like the following:
If it is not clear, speak with your lecturer direct to gain your results and feedback.
Understanding the grademarking scale
General points regarding grade marking
- assessments will be awarded a grade (e.g. B2) rather than a number (e.g. 65)
- exams and some assignments that have clear right or wrong answers are marked using numbers.
- grades match with the Generic Grading Criteria that you use in your assessments. If you get a B2 in one assignment, you can use the grading criteria to show you what you need to improve on to get a B1 or an A4 in your next assignment.
- results of your units will come back as a number, and your final degree award will be calculated from numbers.
How do the grades for each element get combined to give a unit mark? - Each grade corresponds to a numerical equivalent. The numerical equivalent for each assessed element will be given its due weighting and combined to give an overall mark for the unit.
What if I get a mark which doesn’t exist on the grade marking scale? - You will get an overall unit mark which will be made up of the combined scores from each piece of assessment within a unit. This overall unit mark will be recorded as such.
Will marks for those assessments which require the full numerical scale e.g. in multiple choice tests where answers are either right or wrong, be converted to a grade, and then to its numerical equivalent? - No, these will be recorded as the true mark achieved.
How do marks from grade marking and the full numerical scale get combined? - The numbers from both scales (with due weighting for each element) are added together to produce an overall mark.
Southampton Solent Grade Marking Scale
|Generic Grading Criteria Marking Band||Grade Mark||Numeric Equivalent|
|Exceptional in most / all aspects, substantially exceeding expectations for this level||A1||100|
|Excellent quality, exceeding expectations for this level in many aspects||A3||83|
|Meets all the intended learning outcomes and exceeds the threshold expectations
for this level in several of them
|Meets all the intended learning outcomes and exceeds the threshold expectations
for this level in some of them
|Meets all the intended learning outcomes, but rarely exceeding the threshold expectations for this level||D1||48|
|Fails to meet all of the intended learning outcomes and is marginally inadequate for this level||F1||35|
|Fails to meet all of the intended learning outcomes and is inadequate for this level||F2||20|
For the Generic Grading Descriptors broken down by level and skill see this document on Grade Criteria.
Where do I go for further information?
Ask your lecturers or the Student Hub.