Using Blackboard rubrics with Turnitin assessment

Although Turnitin assignments include their own rubric tool, this does not support a percentage range rubric type. This article outlines how to use a Blackboard rubric instead to grade a Turnitin assignment, and how score calculations can be hidden from students where required.


The guidance provided in this article has been superseded by the Recommendations and guidance for writing rubrics approved by the TAC in May 2023. This guidance provides rubric designs that support the use of Turnitin for grading and adhere to SCU assessment policy. You are strongly encouraged to use Turnitin Rubrics instead of using Bb percentage range rubrics, and should not hide score calculations from students.

What does this approach look like in practice?

This process involves the creation of two Grade Centre columns: one for student submission, and another for Grade centre Calculations and feedback. In the Blackboard Grade centre, this will look similar to the image below:

Column 1: ASSIGNMENT 1 PORTFOLIO will display the yellow exclamation mark to indicate that a student has submitted their assignment. Note: This column is hidden from the student.

Column 2: ASSIGNMENT 1 PORTFOLIO FEEDBACK is where the score/grades and feedback to students is entered. Note: This column will be visible to students.

Main steps

  1. Create your Turnitin Assignment following the procedure outlined in the article: How to set up Turnitin Assignments.

    Turnitin settings

    When setting the Point Value ensure it is set to zero (0) so that it won't be a scored column.

  2. Once the assignment has been created, open the Full Grade Centre. Click on the Chevron arrow for the Turnitin Assignment column and select Hide from students (on/off) from the drop-down options.

    Columns in the grade centre that are hidden from students display a dark grey circle with a red line through it.

    Ensure that the Turnitin Assignment column is hidden before you continue.

  3. Click on Create Column in the Grade Centre. This column will be used for entering the assignment grades and uploading feedback, so name it clearly to avoid any confusion (e.g. ASSIGNMENT 1 FEEDBACK).
  4. Set the Primary Display and Secondary Display for the assessment. Consult with your Course Coordinator if you are unsure which display options to use within your faculty.

  5. Make the Point Possible the percentage weighting of the assessment. (It's good practice to verify this against the UCMS or unit profile.) Add the Blackboard Rubric.

    Ensure you leave DATES blank

    DO NOT set a due date for this column, as students will not be submitting anything to this column, so leave this blank. If a due date is set, students will receive a late assessment notification after the due date which will confuse them. The due date should be set on the corresponding Turnitin column instead. 

  6. Under OPTIONS, tick Include this column in Grade Centre calculations to ensure that this column will count towards the running total. You can make the column available to students once marking and feedback are completed as you did above by toggling the Hide from students (on/off).

Video walkthrough

The following video goes through the process of setting up and grading a Turnitin assignment using a Blackboard rubric.

Hiding student scores

Both Turnitin and Blackboard scored rubrics by default will display the rubric with comments, including a breakdown of the grade calculation using the digital rubric. This is by design and ensures transparency around grading calculations. In Turnitin it is not possible to provide students with standard or custom rubric types and hide the grade calculations from students. In Blackboard there are two options: show the rubric scores and feedback, or hide the rubric scores and feedback when using Points, Point Range, Percent, or Percent Range scored rubric types.

Qualitative Turnitin or No Points Blackboard rubrics do not involve scored calculations, so students will not be able to see how the grade was calculated. However, Turnitin will still display an overall numerical score out of 100 at the top right of the screen when a student loads the Turnitin report. 

A Blackboard rubric is the best option where there is a demonstrated requirement to prevent students from viewing an overall score or the rubric grade calculations. To make the rubric feedback unavailable for students when adding the rubric to the Grade Centre column 2, ensure that you select either Yes (without rubric scores) or No

In addition, make sure you have selected one of the SCU Letter Grade display options as the Primary Display for the Grade Centre column 2. This will ensure that students can only see an SCU grade, rather than a numerical score.

Test in Student View

You are strongly encouraged to test out how your Grade Centre is viewed by students by using the Student View button in Blackboard. You can submit test files as a student and also view how the marking and feedback will appear to students. For more on the Student View of grades, see our Grade Centre article on My Grades.

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)