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SafeAssign by Blackboard

SafeAssign is the plagiarism detection software available through BbLearn's Assignment Tool. It works by comparing student submitted assignments against a set of existing sources to identify areas of overlap. SafeAssign is best suited for assignments in which a student is to turn in a medium to long paper with the expectation that the paper will be 100% original writing.

Anonymous Grading using SafeAssign
When using anonymous grading, you will not be able to view the SafeAssign reports until the grading period is over. Additionally, once an anonymous paper has been graded, the instructor cannot view it again until the grading period ends.

Turning On SafeAssign
To use SafeAssign, create a BbLearn Assignment and check the appropriate box to turn on plagiarism detection. It's that simple.

Proactive Use

SafeAssign should be used as a proactive tool rather than a policing tool. An originality report is not a measure of student intentions or dishonesty. Please review each case carefully.

Best Practices

Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices
Keep in mind that an assignment may make it more or less susceptible to plagiarism depending on how it is setup. Regardless, students alone choose whether to behave ethically and honestly as learners and are ultimately responsible for their own actions.

While SafeAssign is commonly referred to as plagiarism detection software, it can be used as a valuable teaching tool when instructors choose to share the Originality Report with each student. This can be especially valuable when instructors ask their students to revise their work, correct their citations, and learn how to paraphrase correctly.

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Originality Report

The overall SafeAssign originality score indicates the probability that the submitted paper contains matches to existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only. Review papers to see if the matches are properly attributed.

Originality Score

  • below 15%: The paper typically includes some quotes and few common phrases, and typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of plagiarism.
  • 15% to 40%: The paper includes extensive quoted or paraphrased material review the originality report and student work.
  • over 40%: The paper includes quoted or paraphrased text in excess review the originality report and student work.

Citation Comparison

  • Student work marked with a color is found to match other sources. The originality report displays the list of potential sources and each source is highlighted in a different color.
  • By clicking a highlighted phrase in the text of the work, you are able to view a comparison of it to the original source.

Getting Started (4.23 min)

Watch this short 4.5 minute video covering the basic "how-to" for implementing and using SafeAssign.

Student Agreement Language

The following shows the language each student sees and agrees to when they submit their work to a SafeAssign Assignment:

By submitting this paper, you agree: (1) that you are submitting your paper to be used and stored as part of the SafeAssign services in accordance with the Blackboard Privacy Policy; (2) that your institution may use your paper in accordance with your institution's policies; and (3) that your use of SafeAssign will be without recourse against Blackboard Inc. and its affiliates.

Institution Release Statement
I understand that this assignment will be checked against several databases for original content and will produce an originality report which I and my instructor can view. This report will show how my paper compares to documents available on the Internet, in many print journals, a database of other papers submitted by University of Idaho students, as well as a Global Database of papers submitted by all users of SafeAssign. I understand that my paper will be added to the University of Idaho database for comparison of future papers against my work. I also understand that if I select "I agree" to submit my paper to the Global Reference Database below, I am agreeing to have my paper stored in a Global Database of work so that future work of all students using the SafeAssign system can be compared against my work. I maintain ownership of the original intellectual property created, but I may not retract the paper once submitted. I understand that submitting my paper to the Global Database is completely voluntary.

Students may also voluntarily agree to submit their paper(s) to the Global Reference Database. This database is separate from each institution's internal database. Students voluntarily submit copies of their papers to the Global Reference Database by checking the box provided on the assignment submission page. Students are NOT REQUIRED to check this box to submit their papers.


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