Submitting handwritten work

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.

Guidance for completing handwritten assignments

When setting out your work you should think about how you will capture it. Your tutor may give you guidance about how your work should be set out. A few general points to consider are:

  • Paper should generally not be larger than A4 so your work will be large enough to read on screen
  • Do not include any identifying information unless told to by your tutor
  • Use a dark colour on a light background
  • Use margins as indicated by your tutor
  • Ensure that all working out is clear and in a logical order
  • Label questions clearly with the question number
  • If you have multiple pages, put page numbers at the top of each page so that you will be able to quickly check they are in the correct order
  • Leave space between questions if you will need to take individual pictures or crop them
  • Avoid starting a question at the bottom of a page where you will need to go on to another page

Please note: it is 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.

Scanning handwritten assignments to PDF

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.

Watch the video for a full overview of the process, or follow the written instructions below.

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

  1. Download the app which is available on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

  2. Choose or take a picture and use the cropping tool to select the relevant area.

  3. Click add new in the bottom left hand corner to add more pages.

  4. When you’ve finished scanning all of the pages click on the circle with the number on in the right hand corner. You will be given another chance to edit your work so you should check that everything has been included and that the writing is clear.

  5. Save your work to your phone or tablet gallery. This will then need to be submitted to your course. To do this you can email the file to yourself or save it to your Google Drive so that you are able to access it on the device you use to access Blackboard.

  6. Any work created by this method should be uploaded to a Blackboard Assignment on your course (not Turnitin).

This is a picture of the handwritten work. Black pen will show up best.

A page of mathematical notes viewed through the Microsoft Office Lens app

The app allows you to select the relevant area to remove the background and any irrelevant work.

Using the Microsoft Office Lens app to crop an image of handwritten notes to the relevant area

When you have finished you are able to further edit your work or add additional pages before saving to PDF.

Handwritten notes scanned into the Microsoft Office Lens app with editing tools

Click on the three dots next to the file to share it.

The files page of Microsoft Office Lens showing images of handwritten notes that have been saved

Submitting your work

Once you have created your PDF, either with your scanner or with Office Lens, you can submit it to the assessment platform specified by your tutor.

Visit either of the webpages below for guidance on how to submit to each one.

Submitting work to Crowdmark

Submitting work to Blackboard