E-submission FAQs - Online Submission

Please note that this page is a subsection of the full document E-submission Frequently Asked Questions. The document is also available to download in its entirety: E-submission Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).



Submission online

Will online submission apply to all modules and students?

It is intended that online submission will apply to all students and all relevant modules from September 2014.  All text-based, word-processed assessed work produced by both undergraduates and postgraduates will covered by this policy.  Departments have the opportunity to request exemptions for certain modules or elements of assessment by approaching the Director of UG or PG Studies in their Institute.

Some types of assessments (notebooks, paintings, drawings, sculptures, performances and other physical items) aren’t suitable for online submission and some assessments are already submitted via specialist software. In both cases an alternative process will be operated by the relevant departments.

What will happen with dissertations?

Institutes will be able to decide for themselves whether students submit their dissertations on paper or electronically.

What software will be used?

E-submission will be done through AberLearn Blackboard. Staff will be able to choose between using the Blackboard Assignment tool and Turnitin. Which tool is used will depend on the nature of the assignment. The Blackboard Team can advise on which the most suitable is. You can also look at a comparison chart at http://nexus.aber.ac.uk/xwiki/bin/download/Main/guides+-+Blackboard/esubfeatures2013.pdf

Please note that the SafeAssign tool will be phased out at the end of summer 2014

Are there faqs for using Turnitin?

Yes, there are instructions and videos on using Turnitin available at http://nexus.aber.ac.uk/xwiki/bin/view/Main/turnitin

Is it secure?

Yes, more secure than a paper copy. All work submitted to the Blackboard Assignment tool is stored within the AU Blackboard installation and is backed up along with other materials. Work submitted to Turnitin is backed up externally by Turnitin. It is also possible for departments/Institutes to take a digital backup from Blackboard. In terms of security of data the system uses SSL encryption and complies with EU Safe Harbour regulations.

What about the ethical issues of keeping student work ‘on-line’?

According to the Turnitin website, students retain the copyright of their work even if it is used by Turnitin by identify text matches in other work. If there is a match to a students’ work at other institutions, the student is not personally identifiable and the text of the matching submission is not visible. Both the US District Court and Court of Appeal have ruled that use of Turnitin is legally acceptable. Institutions can choose not to submit the work to the Turnitin database.

Is this a cost-saving exercise by reducing tasks for administrative staff?

No. The cost to the university will not be reduced, because there are costs associated with purchasing equipment, licensing agreements, printing, and training staff to use the system. The aim is to provide students with a professional service to process and mark coursework and provide formative feedback to students in a timely manner. The cost of printing will be transferred from the student to the university.