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The Dropbox tool replaces the need for users to mail, fax, email, or physically deliver assignments. Users simply submit (upload) electronic versions of their assignments to the appropriate dropbox folder in the learning environment.

You can set up separate dropbox folders for each assignment and restrict access to the folders by date and time, group membership, or special access permissions. Once assignments are submitted, you can download assignments as zip files, sort assignments by users, check submission times, grade assignments, leave feedback, and return submissions with comments, all from within the Dropbox tool.



A Dropbox folder List with categories and folders* Accessing the Dropbox tool

Accessing the Dropbox tool

To access the Dropbox tool, click the Dropbox link on your course navigation bar.

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If you have dropbox folders that are associated with the Grades tool or Groups tool you can also access the Dropbox tool from those areas.


Creating a dropbox category

You can organize your dropbox folders into categories to make it easier for users to navigate the dropbox. For example, you could create separate categories for each course unit or for different types of assignments.

To create a dropbox category

  1. From the Folder List page, click New Folder.
  2. On the New Folder page, click the New Category link beside the Category field.
  3. Enter a Name for the category.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Do one of the following after saving the category:
    • Click the New Category link again to create another category.
    • Fill in the New Folder page to create a new folder inside the category. (See Creating a dropbox folder for instructions on creating a folder.)
    • Click Close to return to the main Dropbox folders page.

Creating a dropbox folder

Dropbox folders are where users submit assignments. You can set up dropbox folders for each of your assignments and set start dates, end dates, and release conditions; set up special access; and associate folders with competency activities.

To create a new folder

  1. From the Folder List page, click New Folder.
  2. Enter a Name for the folder.
  3. Choose a Folder Type:
    • Individual submission folder: Select this option if you want each user to submit their own assignment.
    • Group submission folder: Select this option if you want one assignment submitted per group. You must associate the folder with a Group Category.
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      Group dropbox areas are marked on the Folder List page with the Group Submissions for icon. Any group member can submit and view files for a group dropbox.

  4. Assign the folder to a Category, if desired. Click the New Category link to create a new category.
  5. Associate the folder with a Grade Item if you want submitted assignments to be tied to an item in your grade book. Click the New Grade Item link to create a new grade item for the assignment. (See Grades User Guide, for more information.)
  6. Add any instructions about submitting the assignment in the Custom Instructions text box.
  7. Attach any files that you want to make available to users from the dropbox folder (for example, a sample lab report).
  8. Adjust the Submission Options, if desired (See Adjusting the submission options below).
  9. Click Save.

Adjusting the submission options

A submission is considered one submission of the form for the Dropbox folder. For instance, a submission can contain multiple files if the user uploads and submits them during the same form submission.

If you cannot see the following submission options, click the Show Submission Options link.

The Files allowed per submission option will determine if a submission is a single file, or if it may contain multiple files submitted at once.

  • Unlimited allows users to submit an unlimited number of files per Dropbox submission. Submissions will be grouped by the time and instance the user submitted the Dropbox form. The file(s) will be listed within this submission group.
  • One file per submission allows users to only attach one file to each Dropbox submission.

The Submissions options will determine how submissions are handled, not individual files.

  • Keep all submissions keeps each submission the user has submitted.
  • Overwrite submissions will permanently delete prior submissions.
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    With the "Overwrite submissions" setting, if a student submitted two files in their original submission, and makes another submission of a just one file with corrections, the two original files are deleted.

  • Only one submission allowed permits users to submit to the Dropbox folder only once.

To set the availability dates for a folder

  1. Click the Restrictions tab.
  2. Select the appropriate date options:
    • Only allow submissions after this date Use this option if you do not want users to access a folder before a project is assigned.
    • Only allow submissions before this date Use this option if you want to stop users from submitting assignments after a due date.
  3. Set the appropriate dates and times.
  4. Select Add Event to Schedule if you want the availability dates for a dropbox folder to appear in users' schedules.

To set release conditions for a folder

Release conditions allow you to associate a dropbox folder with other items in the Learning Environment. For example, you can require that users meet some criteria, such as reading a set of lecture notes in the Content tool, before they can submit an assignment to the dropbox folder. Or, you could make submission of material to the dropbox folder the criteria for accessing some other item, like a quiz.

  1. Click the Restrictions tab,
  2. In the Additional Release Conditions section, click either Attach Existing or Create and Attach.

See Release Conditions User Guide for more information.

To add special access permissions

Special access permissions allow you to set different availability dates and times for specific users. For example, you could extend the deadline for users who require remedial help or who are submitting work beyond the original scope of the assignment. You can also add special access after a folder's end date has past for users who have a legitimate excuse for missing the deadline or for users you want to submit additional material, such as planning notes or a bibliography.

  1. On the Restrictions tab, select either:
    • Allow everyone to access this folder, but apply special access dates for users listed below.
    • Only allow access to this folder for users listed below.
  2. Click the Add Users to Special Access button.
  3. Select the Date Availability you want for the special access users.
  4. Use the View By and Search For options to locate the users you want to give special access to.
  5. Select the boxes beside the appropriate users' names in the grid.
  6. Click Add Selected.

Once you have added special access permissions for users they are listed in the Special Access section. You can edit or delete users' special access by clicking the Edit or Delete icons beside their names.

To associate a dropbox folder with an activity

Use the Activities tab to associate a dropbox folder with an activity. By associating a dropbox folder with an activity, you can tie the assignment to a set of learning objectives and a competency you want your users to master. You can also evaluate the assignment using a rubric.

  1. Click the Activities tab.
  2. Click Add Activity.

You can edit an activity by clicking on its name or delete it by selecting the box next to its name and clicking the Delete icon.

To view an illustration of the levels of a rubric, click the View Rubric Levels link beside the name of the rubric.


Editing a dropbox folder or category

To edit a dropbox folder

  1. From the Folder List page, click the Edit icon beside the folder you want to edit.
  2. Update the Properties, Restrictions, or Activities tab, as desired. (See Creating a dropbox folder, p. , for more information.)
  3. Click Save.

To edit multiple dropbox folders

  1. From the Folder List page, select the dropbox folders you want to edit.
  2. Click the Edit icon at the top or bottom of the page.
  3. Update the appropriate fields. (See Creating a dropbox folder, p. , for more information.)
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    Selecting the Add Event to Schedule checkbox adds Submissions After and Submissions Before dates to users' schedules.

  4. Click Save.

To edit a dropbox category

  1. On the Folder List page, click the Edit icon beside the name of the category you want to edit.
  2. Edit the Name of the category.
  3. Click Save.

Re-ordering dropbox folders and categories

  1. From the Folder List page, click Re-Order.
  2. Select the new position for a folder or category using the Sort Order drop-down list beside its name. The positions of other folders or categories adjust accordingly.
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    Items display in ascending order.

  3. Click Save.

Deleting a dropbox folder or category

To delete a folder

  1. From the Folder List page, click Delete on the top tool menu.
  2. Select the folders you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete Selected.

To delete a category

On the Folder List page, click the Delete icon beside the name of the category you want to delete.

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Folders contained in the category are moved to the No Category area.


Viewing submitted files

The Folder List page provides a summary of the Total Files, Unread Files, and Flagged Files within each folder. To view the files, including when they were submitted, use the Folder Submissions page.

To view files using the Folder Submissions page

  1. Do one of the following:
    • From the Folder List page, click the name of the folder you want to view submissions for.
    • Click Folder Submissions on the Edit Folder page.
  2. Select either the Users tab or Files tab depending on whether you want to view and search submissions by user or file name.
  3. Enter search criteria in the Search For field to narrow the list of submissions.

Click Advanced Search Options to refine your search.

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Preview submissions are only included in search results if the Allow this preview submission to be available in the Dropbox checkbox was selected when the assignment was uploaded. (See Using Preview for more information.)

Retrieving (downloading) files

To download a file

  1. From the Folder Submissions page, click on the name of the file you want to open.
  2. Use your browser's save dialog to open or save the file.

To download multiple files at once

  1. Do one of the following:
    • On the Users tab, select the users or groups you want to download assignments for.
    • On the Files tab, select the files you want to download.
  2. Click the Download submissions icon at the bottom of the list.
  3. Click the name of the zip file that is created.
  4. Use your browser's save dialog to save the file to the appropriate location.
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Files are renamed to include the user or groups name and submission time when you download them.
Downloading assignments changes their status to read.

Emailing users about assignments

To email users

  1. From the Folder Submissions page, do one of the following:
    • Click on the name of the user you want to email.
    • Select the users or groups you want to email and click Email selected users/groups on the action bar at the top of the list.
  2. Type your message in the Compose New Message pop-up. (See the Email User and Reference Guide for more information.)
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    The email addresses of the selected users populate automatically in the To field of the message.

  3. Click Send.

To email users who have not submitted an assignment to the dropbox folder

  1. From the Folder Submissions page, click Email Unsubmitted Users or Email Unsubmitted Groups on the action bar.
  2. Type your message in the Compose New Message pop-up. (See the Email User and Reference Guide for more information.)
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    The email addresses of the selected users populate automatically in the To field of the message.

  3. Click Send.
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If any member of a group submits an assignment to a group dropbox folder, no one in that group is emailed when Email Unsubmitted Groups is selected.

Marking assignments as read/unread

Do one of the following:

  • From the Folder Submissions page, click the Read or Unread icon beside the name of the file you want to mark.
  • Select the files you want to mark as read or unread, and click the Display submissions for selected users as unread or Display submissions for selected users as read icons at the top or bottom of the list.
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When a file is opened or downloaded it is automatically marked as read. Refresh your page if you do not at first see this.

Flagging assignments

To flag a submission as significant or in need of further review, click the Flagged or Unflagged icon beside its name on the Folder Submissions page.

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You can use the Files tab to search for flagged submissions.


Leaving feedback and grading dropbox assignments

The Leave Feedback page enables you to evaluate and leave feedback for submitted assignments. You can download dropbox submissions from the Folder Submissions page to work on files offline, or view and grade a document directly on the Leave Feedback page.

The Leave Feedback page contains two main sections: the Submissions List Panel and the Evaluation Panel. From the Submissions List Panel you can download submissions to work with offline or view submissions inline with the document viewer. The Submissions List Panel also displays a user's file submissions ordered by date. Use the Evaluation Panel to grade and provide comments on folder submissions.

The following file formats are compatible with Dropbox's document viewer:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx, .pps)
  • Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
  • Web (.htm, .html)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Images (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png)

You can also annotate users' web and plain text file submissions with the HTML Editor and attach those annotations as part of feedback.

If you use rubrics to assess Dropbox submissions, you can choose to append the overall rubric feedback to the Dropbox submission feedback field. If the rubric uses points, you can also choose to scale and transfer the overall rubric score to the Dropbox assessment score field. Both of these fields transfer to Grades if the folder is associated with a grade item.

Access the Leave Feedback page

On the Folder Submissions page, click the Leave Feedback link beside the name of the user you want to leave feedback for.

View a file submission in the document viewer

In the submission list on the Leave Feedback page, click on the file submission you want to view.

Evaluating and grading submissions

Transfer feedback from an associated rubric

You can assess a user submission with a rubric associated with the dropbox folder. For each associated rubric, you can grade a user based on set criteria, and you can also provide additional feedback in the HTML Editor.

  1. In your associated rubric, click on a criterion's Edit score and feedback icon and enter feedback in the HTML Editor.
  2. Select transfer rubric feedback to general feedback for the assignment.
  3. Click Save & Record to push your rubric assessment score and feedback into the submission's overall score and feedback area. Otherwise, click Save if you want to keep the rubric score separate from the overall score and prevent the transfer of rubric feedback into general feedback.
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You can attach multiple rubrics to a dropbox folder, but you can only push one rubric's assessment score to the submission's overall score.

Grade and leave feedback for a dropbox submission

  1. If you assigned a grade item to the dropbox folder, enter a value in the Score out of field. See Creating dropbox categories and folders to learn about assigning grade items to dropbox folders.
    #Provide comments and suggestions in the General feedback field.
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    By default, rubric feedback transferred to general feedback will appear beneath your manually entered feedback. You can edit transferred rubric feedback in the general feedback HTML Editor, but the rubric will not reflect any changes you save here.

  2. You can Add a File or Record Audio as feedback. Feedback given as an annotated file also appears in your list of added files. See Provide feedback as an annotated file attachment to learn about leaving feedback directly on a copy of a user submission.
  3. Click Save to continue viewing and grading files on the Leave Feedback page.

Provide feedback as an annotated file attachment

Edit submitted .html, .htm, and .txt files directly from the Dropbox tool. This is attached to the submission as an annotated file.

  1. In the submission list on the Leave Feedback page, select the context menu for the file you want to annotate.
  2. Click Edit a Copy.
  3. A copy of the user submission appears in the HTML Editor. You can add feedback and highlight text directly on the copy submission.
  4. Click Attach Change.

Using Preview

The preview option allows you to view the Dropbox tool as a user sees it. You can go through the steps that users go through to submit files, review their submissions, and check for grades and feedback.

You can make a preview submission visible on the Submissions page, but you cannot assign feedback, grades, or rubric scores to it because it is not tied to a real user.

To use the preview option

Click Preview on the Folder List page.

To submit a file as a user would

  1. While in preview, click the name of the folder you want to submit an assignment to.
  2. Click the Add a File button.
  3. Browse for the file you want to submit. You can attach files from your local computer or storage device, or from a personal or group locker.
  4. Click Upload. Click Add a File again to attach additional files.
  5. Enter any Comments you want to submit with the file.
  6. Select the Allow this preview submission to be available in the Dropbox option if you want to search for and view the file on the Folder Submissions page after you leave the Preview area.
  7. Click Upload to submit the file.

To view feedback as a user would

  1. Click the View Feedback icon beside the name of a folder. This option only appears if you have left feedback on the submitted file. The Feedback includes feedback, grades, and rubric achievement.
  2. Click the Download All Files button to download any attachments left for you.

To view the Submission History as a user would

  1. Click the History toolbar option.
  2. Select the Folder you want to review.
  3. A list of files displays, including: submission dates, comments, and read status.

The following icons indicate whether a file has been retrieved:

  • Unread
  • Read (This symbol only indicates that a file was opened or downloaded.)

To exit preview

Click the Exit Preview button at the top of the page.


Dropbox Plagiarism Detection

Plagairism Detection enables you to monitor your Dropbox folders and identify potential cases of plagiarism by automatically comparing submissions to an online database of original content. You can then view Originality Reports which highlight key areas, show a breakdown of matching sources, and provide direct links to the matching content.

You can also take advantage of the integrated Online Markup tool which enables you to add comments, inline text, and highlight sections in file submissions, directly from the Dropbox tool.

Creating a Dropbox Folder that uses Plagiarism Detection 

CAUTION

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You cannot disable Plagiarism Detection once it has been enabled for a Dropbox Folder. 

To enable Plagiarism Detection

  1. While creating or editing a Dropbox Folder, select Enable Plagiarism Detection for this folder.
  2. Click the Restrictions tab and update the start date and end dates to your desired range.  

Using Originality Reports for Dropbox submissions 

When you enable Plagiarism Detection, an options area appears at the bottom of the New/Edit Folder page. Here you can enable detailed Originality Reports for Dropbox submissions, control end user visibility, and set the Originality Reports frequency. 

To enable Originality Reports

Select Generate Originality Reports in the Plagiarism Detection Options area. 

To allow submitters to see Originality Reports

  1. Click Show Advanced Plagiarism Detection Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Select Allow submitters to see Originality Reports.
  3. Click Save

To change the frequency of your Originality Reports

  1. Click Show Advanced Plagiarism Detection Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
  • Automatic Plagiarism Detection on all submissions
  • Identify individual submissions for Plagiarism Detection

    3.  Click Save

To select which files you want to compare the submission against

  1. Click  Show Advanced Plagiarism Detection Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Choose one or more of the following options:
    • a database of other submitted files
    • current and archived internet files
    • periodicals, journals, and publications

   3.  Click Save

To allow your Turnitin submission to be added to the database

  1.  Click  Show Advanced Plagiarism Detection Options to open the advanced options area.
  2.  Check the box to Index Files for Plagiarism Detection.
  3.  Click Save.   

Manually submitting files for Plagiarism Detection

If your Dropbox has Identify individual submissions for Plagiarism Detection then you need to manually submit file submissions for Plagiarism Detection. This is useful for when you don't want to check every file submission for plagiarism, but still want the ability to do so on a case by case basis. Please keep in mind that for each submission, files must be sent off campus to Turnitin and are then returned to us. Because of this, Plagiarism Detection can take approximately 10 or 15 minutes to return a submission. To manually submit files for Plagiarism Detection

  1. Ensure that Identify individual submissions for Plagiarism Detection is enabled in the properties tab on the New/Edit Folder page.
  2. From the Folder Submissions page, click the Submit file for Plagiarism Detection icon. A message displays indicating the file has been submitted for review.
  3. Check the Folder Submissions page to view the status of your Originality Report. 

Viewing Originality Reports

You may view Originality Reports from the Folder Submissions page. When a report is available, the status changes from In Progress to a percentage rating, which indicates the level of matching content.

A lower percentage rating indicates that the content is original and has not been copied; a higher percentage rating indicates the content may not be original and has been copied from another source. The percentage ranges are associated with colors:

  • Blue  is = 0 and < 20%
  • Green is = 20% and < 40%
  • Yellow is = 40% and < 60%
  • Orange is = 60% and < 80%
  • Red is = 80% and = 100%

To view an Originality Report for a submission

Click the colored section beside the percentage rating to view the associated Originality Report. 

The Originality Report is comprised of two panes. The right pane lists all of the matching sources, including the percentage of text that matches and a link to the online content. The left pane displays the submission text using colored highlight to draw attention to the matching content. 

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For more detailed help with Originality Reports, click the Turnitin.com help link in the top-right corner of the report page.

Plagiarism Detection file type Compatibility

The following file types are compatible with Plagiarism Detection:

  • MS Word
  • WordPerfect
  • PostScript
  • HTML
  • RTF
  • Plain Text
  • Acrobat PDF (Only PDF's with selectable text, image-only PDFs cannot evaluated.)

If your file type is incompatible with Plagiarism Detection, the Information icon displays instead of the percentage rating. 

Dropbox Submission options

Submission options give your more control over your Dropbox folders and how they handle file submissions. You can set up your folders to allow only one file or unlimited files per submission. You can also control how subsequent submissions are handled; choose whether to keep all file submissions, to have subsequent submissions overwrite existing submissions, or to restrict submissions to a single event. 

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A submission is considered one submission of the form to the Dropbox folder.

To restrict the number of files allowed per submission

The files allowed per submission option determines if a submission is a single file, or if it may contain multiple files submitted at once.

  1. From the New/Edit Folder page, click  Show Submission Options.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    • Unlimited
    • One file per submission
  3. Click Save

To Change how subsequent file submission are handled

  1. From the New/Edit Folder page, click  Show Submission Options.
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    The Submission option determines how submissions are handled, not the individual files.

  2. Choose one of the following options:
    1. Keep all submissions will keep each individual file or group of files the student submits to the Dropbox folder. Submissions are grouped together by the time they were submitted.
    2. Overwrite submissions will permanently delete prior submissions.
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      With the "Overwrite submissions" setting, if a student submitted two files in their original submission, and makes another submission of a just one file with corrections, the two original files are deleted.

    3. Only one submission allowed permits users to submit to the Dropbox only once.
  3. Once you are finished, click the Save button.