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Blackboard assignment submission guide

Please see the below guidance for submitting assignments to Blackboard. We strongly recommend students ideally submit work from a Hull York Medical School computer, with a good internet connection. Please do not submit work from a mobile device. 

Please do not submit work from Internet Explorer. This browser is no longer supported by Blackboard and use of this can result in many issues with submitting work. Please see our guidance regarding Internet Explorer: blackboard and internet explorer 11 general guidance and troubleshooting

Never submit your work from the Blackboard Student App. Content will not submit correctly.

We strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with this Blackboard submission guide well in advance of your assignment deadlines. 

It is your responsibility before a deadline to check your submission has uploaded as expected. When submitting your work, please make sure the file you are uploading is closed on your device before you try and upload (as this can cause issues). Also, once you have submitted your work, ensure to navigate back to the submission point to check your work is visible / downloadable on screen as expected. In addition, make sure you check back on the submission receipt that the file size is not 0 bytes, as this indicates a blank file. 

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to check that documents have uploaded properly on Blackboard, otherwise penalties for late submission will apply.

Submitting an assignment

  1. Log in to HYMS Blackboard.
  2. Select the relevant Blackboard course.
  3. From the left-hand navigation panel, navigate to where in the course the submission point is located (please familiarise yourself with this prior to submission). This is often in a folder within a course area named assessments or evaluations.
  4. Click on the submission point link.
  5. Click on browse my computer and navigate to where your document is on your computer. Select the document and attach. *You can also now drag and drop documents to attach them. Select your document and drag and drop it within the dotted lines in the attach files field.                                           

    As mentioned, ensure the file is not still open on your device when you upload. This can result in issues with uploading correctly.

  6. Your document will be listed as an attached file.listed attached file on Blackboard submission point upload
  7. submit button on Blackboard submission upload pageClick the submit button at the bottom of the page to complete the process.
  8. A ‘success’ message will appear at the top of the page to indicate successful upload. Blackboard success message for assignment upload
  9. Now ensure that any uploaded content appears as expected. Please see the below screenshot of an example standard Word document upload. Click on the image to enlarge it.example submission
  10. You can also check any content downloads as expected. Please see the link to any uploaded content under attempt, to the right of the page.uploaded submission link
  11. Upon successful submission, an email receipt is generated and will be sent to your HYMS email account. Emails will be queued by Blackboard and could take several minutes before they are received. Please view the below example screenshot and click on the image to enlarge it.Blackboard submission receipt
  12. As explained above, if you have uploaded content, please ensure you check details such as the file name and the file size of the upload – that this is as expected. In particular, that there has been no error during upload resulting in an issue such as an empty document upload (the file size would say ‘0 bytes’ if this had occurred). Please see the below example screenshot of where to find this information on the receipt.

    *This is not to be confused with ‘size of written submission’ which refers to content written directly in the text box on the upload page (writing in the text box on the upload page is not standard practice at HYMS).Blackboard submission receipt
  13. These receipts are also visible in My Grades, in submitted work. Please view our help page for My Grades. Please see the example screenshot below from the My Grades view. Click on the image to enlarge it.Blackboard submission receipt

Additional guidance

File formats

The Blackboard assignment tool accepts most file types, but only Word (.doc and .docx) and Acrobat (.pdf) file formats should be used for text based assignments (essays etc.).

If you are not using Microsoft Word to create your document then you may need to ‘save as’ and select either the .doc, .docx or .pdf file format as the file type for your document to be saved as.

Alternatively you can print to PDF.  Select print. In the print options where you select which printer to print to, there may be an option to select PDF file as the print output.

File names

When creating your files, it is good practice to use a concise naming convention for your documents. Word will usually just select the document’s title or first line of text as the file name, which will usually be quite long.

Keep file names as concise as possible while still being meaningful (there is a maximum limit to file names in Blackboard).

Only use dashes (-) or underscores (_) for punctuation. Characters such as ampersands (&) will cause problems when uploaded, usually resulting in an error.

Note: instead of punctuation, you could capitalise the first letter of each individual word in the file name, this makes file names without spaces easy to read e.g., ThisIsMyFile.doc.

Examples of good file names:




File size

There are limits to the size of files that can be uploaded to Blackboard, so it is good practice to keep your files as lean as possible (max 20mb). There are a number of ways that you can do this.

Crop and resize all images before embedding them into windows. Resizing an image in Word or PowerPoint once inserted just alters its display size not the actual file size (max 600 pixels on its longest edge). Here are links to some quick guides on how to do this, using several common applications.

Resize using Photoshop

Resize using Microsoft Paint

Resize using GIMP (free software)

Resize using Sumo (free online app)

If you already have a file with lots of uncropped or large images in, Microsoft Word has a compress feature. This will optimise the file and its inserted images.

Compress pictures in Word

Note: even if you have already cropped/resized your images, performing this could further reduce your final file size.

How to reduce PDF file size

Additional information

If you ever need to anonymise your file prior to a submission, this guide shows you how:

Ensuring your work is anonymised

Updated on 03/01/2021

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