Using Turnitin PeerMark within Blackboard

PeerMark assignments allow students to read, review, and score or evaluate one or many papers submitted by their classmates. At the end of the PeerMark assignment, the papers will be distributed so that all the students are able to read the comments left on their work. The PeerMark assignment may be anonymous or attributed, depending on the classroom structure determined by the instructor.

 Step 1: Create a Turnitin assignment

PeerMark is a feature within Turnitin. Therefore, you must first create a Turnitin assignment within Blackboard in order to use PeerMark. Whether you choose to use the Originality reporting or not will be determined by your settings when you create the Turnitin assignment.

Step 2: Synchronize the Blackboard Roster with Turnitin

  1. Under the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Turnitin Assignment.
  2. Click on the linked name for the Turnitin Assignment created in step 1 above.
  3. Click on Roster Sync.

 Step 3: Create a PeerMark Assignment

To create a PeerMark assignment in Blackboard:

  1. Select a content area (e.g. Coursework > Module 1) in the Blackboard course.
  2. With Edit Mode “on,” click on Assessments and select Turnitin Assignment from the drop-down menu.
  3. Once the Turnitin page opens, select the “Assignment Type”: PeerMark Assignment.
  4. Click the Next Step button.
  5. Select the existing Turnitin Assignment created in Step 1 that will become the basis of the PeerMark activity from the drop down box.
  6. Assign a Point value for the PeerMark phase of the assignment. Those are the points that will be given to the student reviewers for their reviews. Optionally, you may click on the box to Award full points if review is written.
  7. Click on the Show more options link. Review the settings and make decisions regarding
  • Assignment title
  • Assignment description and/or instructions
  • Additional Settings
    • Allow students to view author and reviewer names
    • Allow students without a paper to review
  1. Establish the StartDue, and Post dates and times for the PeerMark assignment.
  2. Click on Show more options. Review the settings and make decisions regarding whether to
  • Allow submitters to read all papers after Start date
  • Allow students to read ALL papers and ALL reviews after Post date
  • Specify the last date for papers to be submitted and still be included in the pool of papers to be reviewed.
  1. Click on Save & Continue.
  2. Click on the Edit link on the PeerMark Settings screen to establish how papers will be distributed and then click on the Save button.
  3. Click on the Show more distribution options on the PeerMark Settings screen. Note that you can manually pair and/or exclude students from the PeerMark assignment.
  4. Click on Save and Continue.
  5. Click on the Add Question button and begin to create the criteria your students will use to evaluate their peers’ papers. Note that you can create your own Free Response or Scale questions, or choose items from aSample Library. Add as many questions as you like. When you are finished, click on Save & Finish.
  6. Click the Save and Finish button to finalize the PeerMark assignment.


Educause Quarterly issue on Online Student Retention includes UIS strategies

Sustaining Students: Retention Strategies in an Online Program

by Emily Boles, Barbara Cass, Carrie Levin, Raymond E. Schroeder, and Sharon McCurdy Smith

Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Key Takeaways

  • With students spread across 47 states and a dozen countries, the University of Illinois at Springfield faces a significant challenge in promoting student persistence.
  • Program coordinators who know each student majoring in their online degree program keep in close touch with those students to assure that their learning and academic planning needs are met.
  • Online student peer mentors who model best student practices and serve as a liaison between students and faculty members provide effective support in selected classes.
  • These and other approaches have resulted in an online course completion rate that hovers just two to three percent below the on-campus completion rate, and the degree-completion rate among online students is equally strong.

Read the complete article at:

Examity Quick-Guide for Faculty

Download the UIS Examity Quick Guide for Faculty.

1. Using Examity® with Blackboard

You will access Examity® through Blackboard. All of the data relevant to your exams will be imported automatically daily into Examity®, and Examity® will not change anything about the way you currently use Blackboard.

To use Examity in your class, you must first turn the tool on your course.  To turn the tool on, click on Customization in the Control Panel and select Tool Availability.


On the Tool Available page, you will need to put a checkmark in the box for ExamityUISSSO.


You can then add a link to Examity in your course.  In the content area in which you want the link to appear, click on Tools –> More Tools –> ExamityUISSSO.  Click submit.


This will add a link to the Examity dashboard inside your course. 


To get to your Examity® Dashboard, click on the Examity® link. You will see a screen that says “click here to login”—by clicking that button, you log into Examity® with your Blackboard user infor­mation.examity2

Once you click it, you will be taken directly to your Examity® Instructor Dashboard. You may be prompted to login as an Exam Instructor or Student.  Select Exam Instructor.

Please note: there may be a one-day delay in seeing your dashboard after enabling the Examity tool for your class, as the data link between Blackboard and Examity refreshes once per day.

2. Viewing the Examity® Dashboard

You can get to all four areas of Examity® from your dashboard by clicking on either the links at the top of the navigation bar or the icons you see when you log in.


Clicking on the EXAM STATUS button will enable you to see the status of your students’ exams (scheduled, pending at auditor, approved/rejected by auditor, or cancelled/incomplete). This is the button to click if you want to review videos once they have been approved by our auditing team.

Clicking on STUDENT enables you to search for individual students.  If a student needs special accommodations for an exam, such as double time for the exam, that information may be entered here.

Clicking on the REPORTS button displays all the exams that are associated with you. You can filter by class, or student name, and download Excel and PDF versions of these reports to help you keep track of your students.

Clicking on COURSES/EXAMS takes you to a list of all your classes.

3. Setting Up an Exam & Adding Customized Rules

In COURSES/EXAMS section of the Examity Blackboard, click on the Add Exam icon for a specific course to arrange for an exam with Examity.


This will bring up the Add Exam box.


The first part of the box asks you to fill in several items:

  • Exam Name: Midterm, Quiz 1, etc.
  • FairExam Level: this is the desired level of proctoring service required. Examity offers four levels of service.  As the instructor, you can select which level of service you want for your exam.
    • Level 0 – authenticate & record all tests
    • Level 1 – authenticate & record all tests, review a random sample of tests
    • Level 2 – authenticate & record all tests, review all tests
    • Level 3 – authenticate & record all tests, live proctor monitors & reviews all tests
  • Duration of the Exam: the length of time students get to complete the exam (1 hour)
  • Link to Access the Exam: In most cases, this will be
  • Exam Start Date: the first day in which the student can take the exam
  • Exam End Date: the last day in which the student can take the exam
  • Upload a File: If you need to provide your students with a document for their exam, such as a supplemental case study or a formula sheet, you may upload it here
  • Exam Password: If your Blackboard exam has a password, you may share the password with the proctor here.  He/she will enter the password for the student on Blackboard.
  • Extended Time/Special Accommodations: If you have a student who needs special accommodations for the exam, select Yes.  Please note: after setting up your exam, you will need to select the student(s) who needs special accommodations in the Student section of the Dashboard and enter the details of the student’s accommodation.
  • Student Upload File: If your students need to upload a file when they finish their exam, select yes.

The second part of the box establishes the rules for the exam environment.


Examity provides standard rules, as listed above.  To insert customized rules, such as the test is open book or that students are permitted to use a calculator, you may add them here by clicking the checkbox. Additional rules and special instructions may be inserted in the text box (click save after entering).  Click Save Exam to finalize the exam’s arrangements with Examity.

Once you have added an exam, you can see the arrangements and make changes by clicking on the arrow next to the course in your Courses/Exam section of your Examity Dashboard.


Once an exam has been arranged with Examity, students may begin scheduling their exams directly with Examity.  A sample letter for faculty to send to students about the scheduling their exam with Examity can be found on the COLRS’ website at .

4. Tracking Exam Status

The Exam Status section of the Examity Dashboard allows instructors to view whether students have scheduled their exams and when those exams will take place.  If a student has completed an exam, the status of the exam will indicate what stage the exam is currently in (in progress, pending at auditor, approved by auditor).


If the exam has been approved by the auditor, you will see at least two alert flags.

  • Green flags indicate no violations.  If a student is authenticated and completes the exam with no violations, he/she will have two green alert flags.
  • Yellow flags indicate possible violations.  These suggest that a violation of the rules has occurred, but the student was likely not cheating.  For example, if the students’ young child runs into the room during the exam session, the auditor will flag the violation with a yellow flag.
  • Red flags indicate violation. A violation of the exam rules has occurred. When a student receives a red flag violation, the instructor will also receive an e-mail about the incident.

Instructors can view details of the alerts and watch the exam video by clicking on the View link next to the students’ flag alerts.  Videos will remain available for 30 days, after which it is deleted from the Examity system.


5. Reaching Examity Support

Support is available 24 hours a day.

Call: 1-(855)-392-6489 or 1-(855)-EXAMITY


Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen


Examity Online Video Proctoring – Quick Guide for Students

Download the UIS Examity Quick Guide for Students.

1. Accessing Examity

You can access Examity® through your course on Blackboard. Click on the ExamityUISSSO link within the course.


Click to login to Examity.


This will take you to your Examity dashboard.


From here you can edit your profile, schedule exams, and make changes if you need to cancel or change a test time. Most importantly, this is where you’ll go to start your exams.

2. Getting Started

Setting Up Your Profile: To get started, update your Examity® profile by clicking in the My Profile section of the Dashboard. You will need to upload a picture of your UIS Student ID or a government issued photo ID, select your time zone, and set your security questions.

Please note the importance of selecting the correct time zone.  This will be used in scheduling your test with the proctoring center.  You can confirm your selected time zone by looking at the time in the upper right hand corner.

Once you have set up your profile, you can bypass this step for future exams.


Scheduling Your Exam: When you are ready to schedule an exam, click “Schedule Exam” on your dashboard or on the top navigation bar.


You will see a calendar. If you are scheduling your test more than 24 hours in advance, you can just select the date and time you want. If you are scheduling it less than 24 hours in advance, make sure the on-demand scheduling option is enabled in the top right-hand side of the screen.


Paying for Exam Proctoring:  You will pay for your exam proctoring session at the time you schedule the exam.  Rates for the proctoring session vary based on the length of the exam and the level of proctoring service selected by the instructor.  Additional fees apply if you use on-demand scheduling (exam occurs within 24 hours). 

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Exam: If you need to change or cancel your test appointment, click Reschedule/Cancel, and select the exam you want to change from the menu that appears.

3. Taking Your Exam

To take your exam, make sure you have your webcam and microphone set-up on your computer.  Sign into Blackboard, then your class.  Return to the Examity® Dashboard by clicking on the ExamityUISSSO sign-on link within your class.


Click to login to Examity.


This will take you to your Examity dashboard.


Once on the Examity dashboard, click “Begin Scheduled Exam”, and select your exam. You will then be connected to your proctor. Note: MAKE SURE YOUR POP-UP BLOCKER IS DISABLED otherwise you will not be able to connect with your proctor!

Your proctor will walk you through the test authentication process, which will include verifying your identity, going over the exam rules, scanning your work area and desk, answering your security questions, and agreeing to the User Agreement.




Once you have finished the authentication process, you will see a screen that says “Begin Exam”, and your exam will open. If your test is password protected, your proctor will tell you the password when the prompt to enter it appears.

4.  Reaching Examity Support. 

Support is available 24 hours a day.

  • Call: 1 (855) EXAMITY or 1 (855) 392-6489
  • Email:
  • Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen

Two Examples of Blackboard Rubrics

3 Point Blackboard Discussion Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)


20 Point  Blackboard Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)


Turnitin Browser Settings

For Turnitin to work properly, your browser must allow cookies from

Below are links to instructions on how to manage cookies for common browsers:

Safari | Internet Explorer | Chrome | Firefox

On February 6th, Turnitin released an update that would allow users to complete the submission process without cookie-enablement. They achieved this by appending the user’s session ID into the URLs for the upload process.

While this will allow a user to complete the submission process successfully, Turnitin still requires users to enable cookies from Turnitin in their browsers. This is necessary to ensure a fully-functional experience using Turnitin.


How to Give Select Students Extra Time on a Blackboard Exam

  • Build your test as usual and deploy in a content area.
  • Click the drop down arrow next to the deployed test and select Edit the Test Options.  The test options allow the instructor to set the testing criteria for the entire class.

1-28-2014 2-19-01 PM

  • Part 3 of the Test Options screen is Test Availability Exceptions. Students receiving test exceptions will receive testing criteria that varies from the rest of the class.

1-28-2014 2-22-57 PM

  • In Part 3, Click Add User or Group to bring up a pop-up screen. Select the user or group with the exception and click Submit.

1-28-2014 2-22-17 PM

  • Adjust the options as needed for that user or group. 
    • Attempts may be Single Attempt, Multiple Attempt, or Unlimited Attempt.
    • Timer may be used to set the amount of time the user or group receives.
    • Availability may be used to set the time window for which the user or group may access the exam.
    • Force Completion requires the user or group to complete the exam in one sitting.

1-28-2014 2-21-34 PM

  • Submit the Test Options.

Adding Kaltura Video to Blackboard

Kaltura Media is a media management tool built into Blackboard. Recordings made with Camtasia Relay are automatically published to Kaltura. You may also upload videos you’ve created with other tools to Kaltura.

View the ITS video on accessing the links to Camtasia Relay lectures published to Kaltura. Additional information on managing your Kaltura Media files is available in the ITS handout on Using Camtasia Relay with Kaltura (starts at page 5).


  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. On the “My Blackboard” tab, locate the “Tools” box on the left side of the page and click on “Kaltura Media.”
  3. Enter your search terms (name of the video or any descriptive tags you added to your video) and click “Go.” Also, know that the most recently published videos appear at the top of the list.
  4. Click on the video you wish to add to your course.
  5. Click on the “Share” button. (See image below.)
  6. For “Copy this code to your website or blog,” click on the “Copy to Clipboard” button.
  7. Next, go to your course content area (Weekly Materials, Assignments, Syllabus, etc).
  8. Click on “Build Content,”  and then “Item.”
  9. Enter a descriptive name for the item.
  10. In the text box, be sure your menu is expanded (see image below).
  11. Click on the “HTML” button on the text box menu. This will open a pop-up window. Paste (CTRL + V or Command + V) the code you copied to the clipboard in #6 and click “Update.”
  12. Click Submit.


The thumbnail option adds a preview image to the content area of your Blackboard. When students click on the video, it opens to full size.

  1. Navigate to your course and the content area to which you would like to add the video.
  2. Click on “Tools,” and select “Kaltura Media.”
  3. Enter a descriptive name for the video.
  4. Click on the “Add Media” button.
  5. To select a previously uploaded video, click on the “Video” tab, and then “My Content.”
  6. Enter a search term and click “Go” to locate your video. Leave the search box empty to see all your videos.
  7. Hover your mouse over a video preview to display the name of the video.
  8. Click on the video you wish to add to your course, and click “Next.”
  9. Edit the title and description, if you wish, and click “Next.”
  10. Click “Submit.”


  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. On the “My Blackboard” tab, locate the “Tools” box on the left side of the page and click on “Kaltura Media.”
  3. Enter your search terms (name of the video or any descriptive tags you added to your video) and click “Go.” Also, know that the most recently published videos appear at the top of the list.
  4. Click on the video you wish to add to your course.
  5. Click on the “Share” button. (See image below.)KalturaMedia
  6. For “Email or IM this to your friends,” click on the “Copy to Clipboard” button.
  7. Next, go to your course content area (Weekly Materials, Assignments, Syllabus, etc).
  8. Click on “Build Content,”  and then “Web Link.”
  9. Enter a descriptive Name for the item.
  10. Paste (CTRL + V or Command + V) the code you copied to the clipboard in #6 in the “URL” area.
  11. Under “Web Link Option,” select “yes” to open the video in a new window. If you do not open the video in a new window, students will not be able to view the video.
  12. Click “Submit.”

Add to Course Gallery

The course gallery option allows you to add a link to your course menu that takes students to all videos for your course.

Add a Course Gallery Link to your course menu

  1. Go to your course.
  2. Click on the “+” above your course menu.
  3. Choose “Tool Link”
  4. Enter a name for the link (Media Gallery or Course Videos, perhaps).
  5. Select “Media Gallery” for the Type.
  6. Check the box to make the area available to users.
  7. Click Submit.

Add a video to your course gallery

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. On the “My Blackboard” tab, locate the “Tools” box on the left side of the page and click on “Kaltura Media.”
  3. Enter your search terms (name of the video or any descriptive tags you added to your video) and click “Go.” Also, know that the most recently published videos appear at the top of the list.
  4. Click on the video you wish to add to your course.
  5. Click on the “Add to Course Gallery” button below the video preview (see image below).
  6. Select your course from the list and click “OK.”

Wiki Tool in Blackboard

Wikis are collaboratively edited documents that reside on the web or inside Blackboard. This means that your students can work together on a document while online and in different locations. A central feature of a wiki is versioning. Wikis track which students have made changes to the document. The document history is saved for instructors to review, which is especially useful in grading group work. If a group member is accused of not participating, it is very easy for an instructor to verify.

To learn more about the wiki tool built into Blackboard, see:

How-To Videos:


Viewing Student Journal Entries

The interface has changed slightly.  When instructors click on a specific journal, instructors no longer view all students who have posted journals in the menu to the right. Instead, you will see your own journal (see image below). If you click on the arrow before or after the instructor’s name, you will see the next student journal.



If you click on the instructor’s name, you will see a listing of all students who have posted work in the journal (see image below). You may also check the box next to “Show Empty Journals” to see all your students. The number next to a student name indicates the number of new items in the journal. The images indicate whether the items are journal entries (thumb tack) or comments (thought bubble).