Group submissions for summative assessment

With a move away from invigilated exams, you may be rethinking the summative assessment for your module. One option may be a group work component. Here are a few things to bear in mind.

  • First, ensure any changes to your module assessment have gone through the proper checks and approval process for your department.
  • Next, consider how the work will be submitted. For group work, one piece of work may be submitted on behalf of a number of students. You can either set up your module to recognise groups and have automatic submission points for them (see Option 1 below), or use a manual grade column (see Option 2). Note that under the usual process for coursework, the system will be expecting a submission from each student. This may be appropriate in some circumstances (see Option 3).
  • When marking a piece of group work, you need to be sure that you have the definitive version and that individual students have not submitted different copies. It is therefore best if there is only one submission per group. You also need to be sure that the work cannot be changed after submission. This means students should not link to a piece of work stored elsewhere (e.g. OneDrive or Padlet). For video recordings, students should submit through Blackboard using the Panopto tool, as this creates a copy of the video to mark that cannot be edited. To set this up, please refer to Using Panopto with online assessment and provide students with a link to the Student guidance on submitting a Panopto recording.
  • Consider also how work will be marked. Do students receive an individual mark, or the same mark for everyone in the group?

Ultimately, all summative assessment marks need to go into Blackboard, to be sent to ISIS. The options for this are described below.

Before you start

Use the Assessment Data Checker to establish if your module assignment is set to:

  • ‘full Blackboard assignment’ or ‘marks and feedback only (grade mapping)’
  • ‘group assignment’ or ‘individual assignment’

(click on ‘view’ next to the particular assessment item to see the full details). Make sure you follow the appropriate process if any changes need to be made – see the Assessment Data Checking guide on the Intranet.

Option 1 – Automatic group submission points

This option requires a little bit of set-up beforehand, but should ensure a smooth process at the point of submission. It enables the automatic creation of submission points where one member can submit on behalf of the group. Marks can be individual or the same for all group members.

For this option, the Assessment Data Checker must show the Blackboard Submission type as ‘full Blackboard assignment’ and ‘group assignment’.

First, you need to use the Groups tool in Blackboard and assign the students to their groups. The Blackboard Help Pages on Groups will explain how to do this if you are not familiar with the process.

Please ensure that group composition is completed / set before submissions start.  Changing group members after submissions have started will cause issues when marking.

Next, follow the process in the Intranet guide for Blackboard Group Submissions. Please read this carefully. The correct procedure must be followed to make sure the submission points appear correctly and the marks are recorded in ISIS.

Option 2 – Grade mapping

With this option, submission points are not created automatically. Be clear with your students exactly how and when their work should be submitted. You will need to use this option if you are using a non-Blackboard submission method such as PebblePad or Dewis, but you can also use it with a manually created Blackboard submission point.

For this option, the Assessment Data Checker must show the Blackboard Submission type as ‘marks and feedback only (grade mapping)’.

A manual Blackboard submission point or a linked tool such as PebblePad will create a column in the Grade Centre. However, you can also just add a column in the Grade Centre where you can manually add students’ marks. Once these are moderated, they can be ‘grade mapped’ to ISIS. Training documents are available from the LDC:

The benefit of this for group work is that you can manage your marks in a spreadsheet in order to work through group by group, and then upload the marks to the grade column.

Option 3 – Everybody submits something

You may want every member of the group to submit something, even if part of the work is a group project. For example, you may ask for an individual reflective piece to accompany the group work. This is often done so that marks can be adjusted to give a fair representation of individual contributions to group work.

Option 3a – single submission on Blackboard

If the individual work is to be submitted through Blackboard, but the group work is not (for example an observed classroom presentation or a group portfolio submitted through PebblePad), you could use the normal method of automatically generated individual submission points. The Assessment Data Checker options would be ‘Full Blackboard assignment’ and ‘individual assignment’.

In this case you would add an individual mark for each student, based on both the group and individual components. To enable group membership to be identified when marking an individual assignment in Blackboard, you can ask students to write their group name or number in the ‘Comments’ field on the assignment submission page.  This will then appear in the online marking tool when you view the submissions.

Option 3b – multiple components on Blackboard

If both the individual and group components are to be submitted through Blackboard, we recommend that you use separate, manually created submission points (one for the group component and one for the individual component) and use grade mapping to produce the final mark.  The Assessment Data Checker must show the Blackboard Submission type as ‘marks and feedback only (grade mapping)’. You can still use Blackboard Groups so that for the group component there is only one submission point for each group.

Further tips

If the submission will require software or tools the students have not used before, it is recommended that you do a mock submission earlier in the course to reduce chances for error and avoid undue stress.

If you are not sure which method is right for you, you can contact to discuss the pros and cons. However, if you have any questions about the process of setting up and marking assignments, it is best to contact UWE Blackboard support ( or your SAT team ( The LIU cannot change assignment types or give training on marking tools.


With thanks to colleagues in IT Services for additional information.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels