Blackboard  Assignments

A learning management system feature for assessment.

What are  Blackboard Assignments?

Blackboard is a Learning Management System (LMS) that is supported for student and instructor use at UAF. You can use Blackboard as a tool in your face-to-face or fully online course to distribute course materials, communicate and facilitate discussion with students, as well as gather and grade assessments. Use Blackboard’s “Assignment” tool to explain an assignment to students and create a space in Blackboard where they can craft and submit the assignment to you.

How can I use Blackboard Assignments in my class?

Using the Assignments feature is the preferred method for student assignment submissions. Instructors pose a problem (and attach additional files if necessary) and then give the students the opportunity to complete the assignment and/or attach a separate file and submit it to the instructor. Instructors can grade the assignment from within the Blackboard Grade Center, post a grade and provide feedback all in one place.
While some may prefer email for collecting student work,  Blackboard Assignments offer a number of benefits that email does not.  For example, submitting assignments through Blackboard adheres to FERPA regulations.  Also, there are no size limits or spam filters that can make  emailed assignments hard to find. The assignment feature also provides convenience for you, the instructor. When you create an assignment, Blackboard  automatically creates a column entry in the Grade Center that is tied to the specific assignment.  For some document types, you can grade in-line with the Grade Center and give feedback to students without the hassle of an emailed back-and-forth. Finally, Blackboard backs up copies of assignments and archives your courses every semester, so you always have a record of student work. Blackboard assignments and Grade Center are some of the strongest and most helpful features of this tool.

How-to Instructions and DIY

Questions & Considerations

Using the Assignment feature in Blackboard can be a useful tool for you and your students.  Keeping track of assignments that are submitted, that need grading, that need revising can all be handled using Assignments and the Grade Center. Having a secure system to assign grades and give student feedback is a big plus.
In addition to using the Grade Center inside of the UA Blackboard Learn system, you can use the Blackboard Grader App on your iOS device. The grader app lets you grade and give feedback — including audio, video, and rubrics — from anywhere.

Research Foundations

Bridge, P., & Appleyard, R. (2008). A comparison of electronic and paper’based assignment submission and feedback.  British Journal of Educational Technology,  39(4), 644-650.


Blackboard 101, a production of UAF’s Office of Information Technology. This brief video gives an overview of the assignment feature.

Blackboard Assignments: Further Resources