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Anonymous Blackboard assignments

When creating a Blackboard assignment, on the Settings panel you have the option to ‘Hide student names’.

Screenshot of the assessment Settings option to Hide student names

What are the implications of enabling anonymous marking?

Submissions are anonymous

When you tick the ‘Hide student names’ box, Blackboard does exactly that – all student submissions become anonymous, both to staff enrolled on the course and to Blackboard system administrators. Student submissions are assigned an Anonymous Student ID which shows instead of their name in the Gradebook.

Anonymous student submission in the Gradebook

Names are only revealed when you Post Marks.

Some assignment features are not available

It is not currently possible to use anonymous marking with

  • Group assignments
  • Peer Review.

When anonymous marking is enabled on an assignment

Marking with anonymity switched on

You can access submissions via the Gradebook – click on the ‘[n] to mark’ message in the ‘Marking Status’ column:

Screenshot showing how to access anonymous submissions from the Gradebook.

You can also access student submissions directly from the ‘Submissions’ tab of the assignment – click on any submission to begin marking:

Screenshot showing how to access an anonymous submission to mark

This opens the submission and, apart from the fact that can’t see the student’s name, everything is exactly the same as when marking without anonymity enabled.

Screenshot of the marking interface for an anonymous Assignment submission

Please note: Anonymous Student IDs disappear when you Post Marks for the assignment.

If you need to make a note of a specific submission in order that you or a colleague can refer to it later – including once anonymity has been lifted – use the Submission ID, not the Anonymous Student ID.

Sending non-submission reminders

When anonymity is enabled, you are not able to see which students have submitted to an assignment, but are still able to send a non-submisison reminder. Blackboard will send the default non-submission reminder as a Message; you cannot email out a customised message for anonymous assignments.

You can send a reminder from the Gradebook – click on the 3 dots on the far right and choose Send Reminder

Anonymous assignment - send reminder from Gradebook

And also when inside the assignment – click on Send Reminder

Anonymous assignment - send reminder

In either case you will see a confirmation message – press Send.

Send reminder confirmation message

The message contains the following text: [Assignment name] has not been received. Due date: [dd/mm/yyyy]

What do students see?

Students are alerted when submitting that their work will be marked anonymously.

Anonymous assignment - student message on submission page

In all other respects, students’ view of an anonymous assignment is the same as any other assignment.

Guide last updated on January 26, 2024

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