What do I need to consider when batch uploading feedback file attachments to the Grade Centre for assignments submitted online?

The Blackboard Marks and Feedback (‘Batch Upload’) tool enables the bulk upload of feedback file attachments and marks generated electronically outside of Blackboard into the Grade Centre for an assignment submitted online. There are a series of considerations and possible risks associated with the Marks and Feedback tool that you should familiarise yourself with before undertaking the actual process.

When using this tool you should consider:

  • Seeking expert advise
    Before you start, schedule a meeting with a colleague from your faculty TEL team. 
  • Testing a sample
    Consider testing the batch upload process on five students to give you a feel for the functionality. 
  • The naming of your feedback files
    All feedback files created MUST be in the format fb_studentID e.g. fb_12345678 or fb_student01
  • The naming of the marks spreadsheet
    You MUST NOT change the name of the marks spreadsheet. If its name is changed, the upload process will fail.
  • The save location of your feedback files
    The location where the files are saved should be as clear as possible from other files to avoid confusion. The safest location to save your files is your HomeDrive (F:). This is your personal network space for your work and can only be accessed via your login.  If your HomeDrive is full, refer to guidance on other storage options
  • If you are wanting to annotate
    It is considered more efficient to use inline marking via Crocodoc for text-based submissions than providing annotations offline as the mark and feedback is saved and transferred to Grade Centre electronically without the need to download and upload files. 
  • If you are using Print to Mark
    In addition to having your hard copy, you would still need to download the assignments from Blackboard and provide electronic feedback before uploading back to Blackboard. It may not be time efficient to use this method with Print to Mark. 
  • Zip file size
    The Marks and Feedback tool supports a maximum zip file size limit upload of 250MB. If you need to upload feedback files that together add up to more than 250MB you will need to upload the feedback in a series of separate batches. 
  • Multiple feedback files and different file types
    You can upload several feedback files for each student, and a wide range of file types are supported, including .doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt, etc.
  • Compatibility with other feedback tools
    The HWB Feedback Spreadsheet generates individual feedback grids for each student. Each file generated is correctly named ready for upload to the Blackboard Grade Centre using the Batch Upload process.

Possible risks when using this tool:

  • If you name a feedback file incorrectly it will not pull through to the Grade Centre. You will not be aware of this unless you check in the individual students’ attempts and find that the feedback file is missing. 
  • If you rename the marks spreadsheet file, the upload process will fail. 
  • Take care when entering marks into the Excel spreadsheet ensuring that these are the same as the marks in the student feedback files. You will not be aware of any errors until you check through Grade Centre and find an incorrect mark.  
  • The batch upload process cannot be undone or repeated once completed. If there are any errors (e.g. feedback files that have not uploaded due to being incorrectly named, files missing due to not being included in the packaged zip file, or feedback files not attached to the correct student), these will have to be corrected manually by accessing each students’ attempt in the Grade Centre.  
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