Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

SafeAssign: The Plagiarism Prevention Tool


SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that is integrated with myWPI and allows for online assignment submission. It prevents plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. SafeAssign compares submitted papers across the following sources:

SafeAssign creates an originality report for instructors for every submitted paper that details the results of the matching process. Instructors can then decide for themselves whether the flagged text in each paper constitutes plagiarism.

SafeAssign is an alternative to the Assignment Manager. When you use the SafeAssign tool for assignment submission, students see a statement alerting them to the fact that the assignment will be checked for plagiarism and they are provided with a link to WPI's Academic Honesty Policy.

Creating a SafeAssign Assignment

When using SafeAssign, assignments are created within a content area (such as Course Materials) and the submitted files are viewable and downloadable from the Gradebook.

  1. To set up an assignment, go to the Control Panel view or the Edit View of the content area you want to post the assignment in.
  2. In the toolbar, select SafeAssign from the dropdown menu and click Go.
    The Add SafeAssignment page appears with three sections.

Section 1: Enter Information

  1. In the Name field, enter the name of the assignment.
  2. In the Points Possible field, enter the maximum number of points students can earn on the assignment. This is the point value that is used for the Gradebook column.
  3. In the Instructions field, enter instructions or notes for the assignment.
  4. In the Available field, select Yes or No, depending on whether or not you are ready to make the assignment available to students.
  5. If you want to make the assignment available only for specific dates, set the start and end dates for the assignment in the Availability Dates field.
  6. If you want to allow students to validate their paper without submitting it to the institutional database, select Yes in the Draft field. This allows students to submit their paper once and generate a SafeAssign report, without adding it to the database of WPI papers. This feature might be used to help student learn proper citation techniques.
  7. Note

    If you use the draft feature, you must also create an additional SafeAssign assignment for the final version of the paper. The final version should have the Draft field set to No.

  8. In the Student Viewable field, select Yes if you want students to see the report that is generated when their papers are submitted.

Section 2: Optional Announcement

This section can be used to add an announcement about the assignment to the Announcements page. If you want to create an announcement, click Yes in the Create field and add a subject and message.

Section 3: Submit

  1. Click Submit to finish creating the assignment. The completed assignment appears in your course as below.


The SafeAssign tool does not allow the instructor to upload a file when creating the assignment. If you need students to refer to a file when completing the assignment, you must post the file separately in the content area and use the item description to indicate that the file accompanies the assignment.

Grading Assignments

  1. Go to Control Panel > Assessment > Grade Center.
  2. Each submission must be opened individually from the Grade Center. In the appropriate column, click the Action Link next to the exclamation point "!" in his or her row.
  1. Select Grade Details from the dropdown menu.
  2. The Grade Details page will appear in three sections: Current Grade, Attempts, and Grade History.

Current Grade

The Current Grade section provides details on the grade as it is currently entered.

To change the grade or provide comments to your student:

  1. Click the Override button.
  1. The Grade Override screen will appear.
  1. Enter a new grade in the Value box
  2. In the Feedback to User field, type in comments for the student whose grade you are reviewing. The students sees your feedback from the Grade Center.
  3. If you want to submit private notes to yourself, fill the Grading Notes field. If you do not want to include any notes to yourself, leave this section blank.
  4. Click the Save button to save your changes. This will publish the Feedback to User and Grade Value changes to the student in myGrades.


Details of student attempts can be reviewed here. If an assignment allows multiple attempts each attempt will be listed. In order to review student work and the Safe Assign repot click View Attempt. The Modify Grade page appears.

  1. In the Student's Work section of the page, the following information appears.
    • Text: Click the icon to view a student's paper and comments from the student.
    • File: Click the icon to view the actual file submitted by the student.
    • Matching: Indicates the percentage of the paper that matches other sources.
    • SA Report: Click the icon to view the full SafeAssign report. For information on interpreting the report, see SafeAssign Interpret Reports.
    • Submitted: Indicates the date and time the assignment was submitted.
    • Clear Attempt: Click the Clear Attempt button if a student made an error submitting the assignment and needs to submit again.
  2. Note

    Submitted papers are queued for checking in the SafeAssign tool. It may take several minutes for a paper to be checked. If you do not see a Matching score or a SA Report icon, the paper is still queued for checking. Check back later to get the information.

  3. When you are ready to assign a grade, go to the Modify Grade section of the page and enter a grade in the Grade field.
  4. If you want to add comments or a file which will be visible by the student, add them in the Feedback to Student section of the page.
  5. Click Submit to post the grade for the assignment.


If you want to download all student papers at once, you can do so through the SafeAssign tool. However, you cannot download all SafeAssign reports and you will still have to view each report individually online. To download all papers:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > SafeAssign.
  2. Click View for the appropriate assignment.
  3. Click the Download button to download the files in one Zip file.

You can also view the SafeAssign reports and matching scores from this same screen, but you will have to go to the Gradebook to enter the grades.


If a student makes a mistake, and submits the wrong file, or hits the Submit button before he or she was really ready to send in their assignment you can use the Clear Attempt button reset their assignment.

Grade History

The Grade History section provides a log of all changes that have occurred to the selected grade. All changes made to a grade are displayed along with information on what the modification was and who made it.

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Last modified: Mar 18, 2010, 09:52 EDT
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