SafeAssign compares student submissions against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted text and existing works.

SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool. Use SafeAssign to review test submissions for originality and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase.


Supported files

SafeAssign only supports file types that are convertible to plain text, which includes these file types: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files aren't supported.

SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.

SafeAssign counts and displays the total number of attachments in a submission, as well as the number of attachments processed by SafeAssign. SafeAssign only processes and creates Originality Reports for attachments that match the supported file types. For unsupported file types, the SafeAssign Originality Report omits a matching score.


SafeAssign Originality Reports

After a paper is processed, a report is generated detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources. The report shows the suspected sources for each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. You can delete matching sources from the report and process it again if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student.

Read the report carefully and investigate whether each block of text is properly attributed.

More on SafeAssign Originality Reports


Blackboard Learn: Original Course View

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about using SafeAssign in assignments.

You can use SafeAssign plagiarism checking for any of your assignments.

  1. On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details.
  2. Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.
  3. Optionally, select one or both options:
    • Allow students to view the SafeAssign Originality Reports on their submissions.
    • Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the Institutional or Global Reference Databases.
  4. Complete the Create Assignment page.
  5. Select Submit.

When you create an assignment using SafeAssign, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center. When the assignment is ready for grading, the Needs Grading icon appears in the Grade Center cell. Grade assignments from the Grade Center or access them from the Needs Grading page.

Watch a video about SafeAssign

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" video about using SafeAssign in assignments and tests.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Use SafeAssign in Assignments provides the step by steps for using SafeAssign in the Original Course View.


Blackboard Learn: Ultra Course View

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about using SafeAssign.

You can use SafeAssign to check for potential plagiarism in student submissions for both assignments and tests in the Ultra Course View.

  1. Open Assignment Settings or Test Settings in a new or existing assessment.
  2. Under SafeAssign, select Enable Originality Report.
  3. Select Check submissions for plagiarism with SafeAssign.
    • When you enable SafeAssign for the assessment, you can also allow students to view the Originality Report. If you allow multiple attempts, an Originality Report is generated for each attempt a student submits.
    • Choose whether to exclude submissions from the institutional and Global Reference Databases.
  4. Close the layer. Your changes are saved!

When you enable the Originality Report, an Originality column is added to the Submissions page. Scan the list to quickly determine which submissions may include plagiarized material.

You can enable the SafeAssign Originality Report any time, even after students have started their submissions, but submissions are only checked when SafeAssign is enabled. Submissions received before you enable the setting aren't checked with SafeAssign.

SafeAssign results are hidden while anonymous grading is enabled. After you post grades and names are shown, you can view the SafeAssign results and the Originality Reports.

ULTRA: Watch a video about SafeAssign

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" video about using SafeAssign in assignments.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Use SafeAssign in Assignments provides the step by steps for using SafeAssign in the Ultra Course View.


Blackboard Open LMS

At this time, the SafeAssign plugin is only compatible with Moodle's Assignment Activity. To create a SafeAssign assignment, start by creating an assignment. In the assignment settings, choose your SafeAssign settings.

SafeAssign is a paid add-on for Blackboard Open LMS. Please contact your site administrator if you do not see the SafeAssign Plagiarism plugin options in assignment settings.

  • Check submissions for plagiarism: Select this option to check the student submissions with SafeAssign.
  • Allow students to view originality report: Select this option to allow students to view their originality report from the assignment submission. This option provides a link to the report.
  • Exclude submissions from institutional and Global Reference Database: Select this option to allow submissions to still be processed by SafeAssign but not registered in databases. This avoids submission files being marked as plagiarized when teachers allow re-submissions in a specific assignment.

Select Save and return to course or Save and display when finished.

Multiple role assignments

Moodle allows users to have more than one role assigned to them. SafeAssign can't associate multiple users with the same ID as instructors and students, so multirole submissions with SafeAssign don't work. To fix this, the SafeAssign plugin will not analyze a multi-role user submission and will warn them about it.

Users with role assignments set at the system level: Manager, Course creator, etc., are added by default to each SafeAssign course as instructors.


Multiple attachments and attempts

SafeAssign recognizes multiple attempts for an individual test as submitted by the same student for the same test. SafeAssign doesn't check the contents of the current attempt against content from previous submissions. You can view each Originality Report next to the corresponding attempt.

If a student includes more than one attachment with a test, they are listed in the Originality Report section of the SafeAssign panel. Select a file name link to view the file's text in a new window, along with detailed text matching analysis.


About the exclude submissions option

The SafeAssign settings have an option to "exclude submissions" when you create the assignment. This option allows instructors to create assignments that don't include any student submissions in the Institutional or Global Reference Databases. Like other assessment settings, this option will be point-in-time and editable after assignment creation. If you change the option at a later date, new submissions will honor the new state of the setting. An example use case:

An instructor wants a single assignment to allow non-final submissions, then a single "final" submission. Only the final submission should be included by SafeAssign in the Institutional database for reference against later submissions.

You can accomplish this use case with these steps:

  1. Create an assignment with multiple attempts, SafeAssign, and the "exclude submissions" options enabled.
  2. Students submit their "draft" works, and submissions aren't included in the Institutional or Global Databases.
  3. When the final submission is expected, you disable the "exclude submissions" option.
  4. Students submit their final works, and submissions are then included in the Institutional or Global Databases.