Student Guidance for Online Assessment

If you experience any issues during an online timed assessment, please see What to do if something goes wrong.

August Reassessment formal examinations are expected to be conducted mostly online, or in alternative assessment formats. In most cases exams are being replaced in the following ways:

  • An assignment (without Turnitin)
  • An assignment (with Turnitin)
  • A Blackboard test (Quiz)
  • Submitting handwritten work through Blackboard or Crowdmark Assignments
  • Media submission through Blackboard Assignments

Your academic department will let you know which types of assessments will be used. You can try out different assessment formats before the real thing - see the Try out submitting online section below.

It's a good idea to complete assessments sooner rather than later, to give you time to seek help if you encounter any problems.


How to submit work in Blackboard




How to submit work to Blackboard (full guidance)

How to submit work to Turnitin in Blackboard




How to submit work to Turnitin (full guidance)







How to submit work in Crowdmark




How to submit work to Crowdmark (full guidance)







How to submit a media assignment




How to submit a media assignment (full guidance)



Try out submitting online

You can access a practice course on Blackboard to try out the process of submitting different assessment types online.

First please log into Blackboard and then click this link: Online Assessment Practice Course

You will be asked to self-enrol on the course when you first access it. After this the course (Online Assessment Practice Course) will appear in your course list on Blackboard, alongside your existing modules.

If your tutor is using Crowdmark, they will be in touch to give more details about trying out submitting in this way. This will either be on your existing course or a separate course specifically to try out this approach.

Check your IT setup in advance
  • Visit the Blackboard Browser Checker in advance of the assessment period to check your browser and operating system are compatible and up to date.
  • Check your WiFi / use a network cable where possible.
  • Minimise other internet usage and avoid using streaming services when trying to submit work or taking an online test.
  • Manage your Windows Updates to ensure your PC does not try to restart itself whilst you are taking a test.
  • If you’re using a laptop, check the power supply is plugged in to the mains and turned on.

Digital Learning Troubleshooting & support

301 support for online assessment

301: Academic Skills Centre have developed resources to help you tackle the range of assessments you may be undertaking remotely, as well as tips and techniques on creating a good working environment to help you stay on top of your workload.

301: Guide to Alternative Assessment

301: Remote Study Strategies

Extra support for students

The Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS) have information on how disabled students' exam support requirements will be accommodated with the move to online assessment.

DDSS also has guidance on how to take part in the University's yellow sticker scheme indicating you have a documented disability which affects your written communication when submitting assessments electronically via Blackboard Assignments or Turnitin.

DDSS: Exam arrangements

DDSS: Yellow Stickers 

Submitting handwritten assignments

Your course may require you to submit handwritten work with equations or drawings through a Blackboard or Crowdmark assignment. This should be done as a PDF for Blackboard assignments. Crowdmark asssignments can accept images in JPG or PNG format as well as PDF. You should always check in the assignment information if a particular format is preferred.

Scanning handwritten assignments to PDF

If your tutor has specified that your work needs to be handwritten, you will need to convert it into a digital format in order to submit it.

Some home printers will have a scanning function or the Microsoft Office Lens app can be used to create PDFs with a smartphone as shown below.

It is also possible to use a note taking app on a tablet or touch screen device as long as it can export to either JPG, PNG (up to 12MB) or PDF (up to 25MB).

Please make sure that this is appropriate by checking with your tutor, and follow the same guidelines for completing your work to ensure that it is set out correctly.

If you are unable to use any of these methods please email digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk copying in your course administrator or module leader. For issues with the MS Office Lens app, Microsoft provide online chat support.








Submitting handwritten work: full guidance

What to do if something goes wrong

The Student Examinations Team provide an incident reporting form where students can report any issues that arise during an online timed assessment. 

If you have any problems that impact your performance or ability to complete an assessment within the time allowed, you should complete the form linked below. You do not need to submit the form during the assessment, but must do so as soon as possible afterwards. 

 Online Assessment Report Form for Assessment 2020/21

The information you include on the form will be monitored by the Student Examinations Team. Key information will be verified and reported, as required, to the appropriate academic or professional services department. You will be contacted if any further action is required, so please check your email regularly.





Contacting your department

You may be able to rectify some issues yourself within the assessment deadline. For example, if you have submitted your assessment too early by accident and wish to be given an opportunity to resubmit within the agreed terms. In these instances, please contact your academic department for assistance.