SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool. When you choose this option, SafeAssign will check students’ assignments for plagiarism by comparing the content against a number of databases. It will NOT check against the RDC Library Article Databases.

As an instructor, you can set up a SafeAssignment in your Blackboard course, which will provide your students with a place to upload their assignment and check for plagiarism.


The Difference

Below is a chart showing the options that are available to SafeAssignment and a regular assignment.


Plagiarism Databases

Once the student has submitted their assignment SafeAssignment will check the student’s work for plagiarism, comparing it against the following databases:

  • Internet (checks against documents available for public access)
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform Database (1,100+ publications from ’90s to present)
  • Institutional Database (contains all RDC assignments submitted to SafeAssign)
  • Global Reference Database (contains papers volunteered by students from Blackboard institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism).

SafeAssign will NOT check against RDC Library Article Databases.

Student Consent

As per the RDC Course Outline Policy (section 4s), instructors are required to include a statement informing students that “A plagiarism detection tool is used in this course.”
All SafeAssignments in Blackboard will have the following icon:


Creating a SafeAssignment

To use SafeAssign, be sure Edit Mode is “on.” Locate the module or folder where you would like to place the assignment. Open “Assessments” and select “SafeAssignment.”

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Complete the Information section using the following table:SafeAssign2

Note: Selecting “Drafts” allows students to test for plagiarism prior to final submission.

Once created the SafeAssignment will be added to your course content.

Note: Two SafeAssignments need to be created if you wish to have the students submit a draft to Blackboard and then the final work.

Student Submitting Assignments

Students will submit assignments directly through the SafeAssignment set-up in Blackboard. When students submit their work there is an option to add their work to the Global Reference Database. If they do not agree then their assignment is only added to RDC’s Institutional Database.


In case the assignment was submitted to the instructor outside of SafeAssignment the Instructor can manually add assignments via Direct Submit. Direct Submit is found in the Control Panel under “Course Tools -> SafeAssign”. Please note: If an assignment is submitted using Direct Submit then the assignment is only added to RDC’s Institutional Database.

SafeAssignment Reports

To see the reports of students work is found in Control Panel under “Course Tools -> SafeAssign”.  When you select “SafeAssignments” you are shown all the assignments created with this tool for the course. Click on the chevron to the right of the assignment you wish to see. Below is an image of what is seen after you have selected “View Submissions”.

Click on image below to expand.


From the image you have the option to Download all submissions or each student individually. Downloading is a must as you can’t use Inline Grading for SafeAssignment. You can see how much of the assignment matched the databases Blackboard uses. From here you can view the report of the student. Below is an image of a report.

Note: The blue arrows represent text of the document removed.

Click on image to expand.

The first green box is a summary. It shows a percentage of the document that may have been plagiarized and the citations by colour. The red box is the document itself.  Within the document the questionable text (second and third green boxes) is hi-lighted and clickable. In the image above the second hi-lighted text (third green box) has been clicked.

Note: The formatting of this view may not be consistent with the students.

More Information

 At Blackboard’s Website: SafeAssign

 Blackboard YouTube Video

 Version Bb 9.1 SP13: 2014.07.15

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