Introducing GradeMark as part of DMU’s TurnItIn subscription enabled anonymous marking of assignments submitted through TurnItIn. However, the addition of GradeMark also brings a number of other features such as marking online and the use of rubrics that DMU staff can now take advantage of.

Marking online with GradeMark

The main added functionality is the ability to mark assignments online, within the web browser, that have been submitted through TurnItIn. The process of setting up the TurnItIn submission link and steps that students follow to submit are same as described here.

There are three main ways in which staff can mark assignments online using GradeMark as follows.

Important! Backup and Download Marked Assignments using GradeMark in Turnitin


Adding text comments to the submission

GradeMark enables the teaching staff member electronically annotate the submission with comments. When students view the annotated submission either via the TurnItIn submission link or My Grades in Blackboard, the comments appear. To electronically annotate a submission, follow the steps below.

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

In the right hand side, there is a toolbox, to begin typing a comment click the ‘Comment’ button GradeMark comment button
A new box will appear on the submission, type the feedback comment into the box GradeMark comment box
You will notice that there is a link within the comment box titled ‘Save as new QuickMark’. QuickMarks will be covered later in this guide

Click the ‘Save’ button

Once saved, the comment is represented by a blue speech bubble. It can be edited and dragged around the submission to ensure that it is placed on the relevant part of the assignment

When students view their feedback the comment will open when the student clicks on it

GradeMark comment on a submission
Multiple comments can be placed on the submission by repeating these steps and once finished the submission can be closed

Note – there is no ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’ button within the GradeMark screen. Comments and such are saved as they are generated

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Using QuickMarks

QuickMarks are predetermined, frequently used comments that can be dragged onto the submission to provide quick, generic feedback to the student. GradeMark arrives with a number of QuickMarks built in but staff can save their own comments as a QuickMark as comments are added to a submission. To add QuickMarks to an assignment:

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

In the toolbox that appears to the right of the screen there is a set of blue icons (below the ‘Comment’ button) that represent the QuickMarks that are available The default QuickMark set
The default set of QuickMarks is the ‘Commonly Used’ set, to see other sets of QuickMarks, click the ‘Change QuickMark set’ button and select from the drop down Selecting a different QuickMark set
To add a QuickMark to the submission, drag the desired QuickMark from the right hand side to the relevant place on the assignment

The QuickMark will be represented by a blue annotation and standard text, explaining what the QuickMark means. This is displayed to both staff and student

A QuickMark
Multiple QuickMarks can be placed on the submission by repeating these steps and once finished the submission can be closed

Note – there is no ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’ button within the GradeMark screen. QuickMarks and such are saved as they are generated.

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Adding audio feedback

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GradeMark enables the ability to record one audio feedback file, up to three minutes in length, within the browser. The audio file will be available to the student via a link that appears on their submission once the assignment is marked and and available for students to view. Provided the student has speakers or a headset and an appropriate audio plugin they will be able to hear the feedback that you have recorded. Using this functionality overcomes many of the barriers related to compatibility, storage and dissemination when recording audio files on a local computer for sending to students.

To take advantage of this functionality you will be required to use either an in-built computer microphone or a USB microphone and you must be aware of the risks associated with storing multimedia content in the cloud with regard to data protection, backups and intellectual property as outlined in the OER section here.

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

Toward the bottom right of the screen will be a small toolbar, click on the ‘View/edit a general comment for this entire paper’ button Accessing the audio recorder
A new section will appear at the top of the right hand toolbox, click the ‘Record a voice comment up to 3 minutes long’ button to start the voice recorder Starting the audio recorder
The voice recorder tool will change colour and the recording will begin, once finished click the ‘Stop’ button The voice recorder view whilst recording
Even though the recording is stopped, it need to be saved into the assignment before students can listen to it

Click the ‘Save recording’ button

Save recording button
The recording is now saved and the audio recorder will now display a ‘Play’ button and a Delete button. To listen back to the recording, click the Play button, to delete and re-record, click the delete button and the steps above Listening to and deleting the recording
Note – whilst in this view, the ‘Text comment’ box that appears below the audio recorder can be used to add an overall text comment of up to 5000 characters to the submission too

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Rubrics and grading forms

GradeMark also introduces the ability to add a rubric or grading form (aka marking grid) to the assignment that is to be submitted through TurnItIn.

The steps required to add a rubric or marking grid whilst setting up the TurnItIn assignment link are covered here.

tipA helpful two-part video case study on the use of a Turnitin Grading Form for assessment feedback can be found here. NOTE: this video uses an older version of Turnitin which is slightly different than the current version. However, there are still parts of the video content that remain relevant.

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How to backup and download marked assignments using GradeMark in Turnitin

It is possible to download and save student assignment submissions that you have marked using GradeMark. This can be done in the Blackboard course where you have created the Turnitin assignments.

Blackboard courses in our Blackboard system are archived every two years and are then available in the Blackboard Archive system. It’s important to note here that Turnitin assignments created in these Blackboard courses that are moved to the Blackboard Archive System lose their links to Turnitin therefore student submissions and marked assignments won’t be retrieveable. Therefore the process for backup and downloading outlined below can overcome this issue.

Note that students too are advised to download their own copy of their marked assignment.

This process outlined can be done as a bulk download for all your marked assignments OR for individual assignments.

Please also note that the process outlined will just download the ‘marked’ paper and will not contain the originality report; however if you wish to at some point to view the originality report for a particular student submission, you can make a note of the paper ID which can be found on each student submission (marked paper) and raise a ITMS helpdesk call who will assist you in obtaining the originality paper working with Turnitin.

Steps to download marked papers using Grademark

1. In the Blackboard course where the Turntin assignment is created and all submissions have been marked in GradeMark go to the Control Panel and select Turnitin Assignments

2. Select the Turnitin Assignment that you wish to download from.

3. In this Assignbox Inbox View if you want to download ALL submissions select the top checkbox before the ‘Author Column’


If you want to download an individual or several individual submissions, select the checkbox next to the submission(s)


4. On selecting this checkbox the following message appears


5. Select the Download button, and select ‘Grademark paper‘.


Note selecting original file will allow you to download student original assignment submissions.

The following message appears


6. Select OK to continue with the process. Once the zipped file is ready it will be available to download fom the messages tab. The messages tab is at the to right of the screen.


7. In the Messages screen you should see the Bulk download ready for you to save, select the message link (in blue)  to view the full message.


8. The following message will appear


9. Select the link in the message which begins ‘’

10. Save the file where appropriate