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Faculty Teaching Toolbox: Tools for Plagiarism Prevention

The Faculty Teaching Toolbox is a resource for faculty and staff that provides an introduction to some of the many instructional support services offered by Austin Community College.

What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign, one of a suite of tools in ACC's course management system, Blackboard, is available for faculty to use in deterring and detecting plagiarism. 

SafeAssign compares submitted manuscripts against the Internet Archive of over 8 billion documents, scholastic and news databases with over 9 million articles and an intra-institutional archive of previously submitted papers. 

After this comparison, the resource generates convenient and easy-to-read reports, where all unoriginal material is highlighted and linked to its online or database sources.

Blackboard Updates:

  • Please note there is a bug in Blackboard that is removing the designation of Safe Assignments to assignments that have been course copied. If you use the Safe Assignment feature you will need to reassign that status to those assignments. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the Instructional Designer at your campus.

    Steps to designate an Assignment as SafeAssign:

    1. Go to the content area where the assignment has been placed.
    2. Select the grey drop down arrow to the right of the assignment name and select ‘edit’
    3. Under the Grading details of the assignment select “Submission Details”. Once that menu opens check the box next to “Plagiarism Tools’ that states “Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign
    4. Click Submit

How do I access SafeAssign?

  • Log in to your Blackboard account.
  • Select the course for which you wish to create your assignment.  
  • Find the Control Panel on the left sidebar,
  • Click Tools,
  • Select the SafeAssign link.

Need help? Contact your campus Instructional Designer for assistance.

How do I use SafeAssign?

Explore the SafeAssign site for HowTos and FAQs.

Access ACC's Quick Start Guide.

Configure SafeAssign to:   

  • Scan student assignments for plagiarism   
  • Allow students to submit a draft, helping them to avoid unintentional plagiarism   
  • Allow students to submit an unlimited number of drafts before their due date

What do I tell my students?

  • Tell your students that you will be using SafeAssign and that any plagiarism, intentional or not, will be have serious consequences.
  • Stress the serious nature of academic dishonesty and the ACC policies that govern this issue.
  • Remind your students that there are many resources that can help them understand this issue including librarians, a Library Guide on the topic, and a tutorial that helps students avoid accidental and intentional plagiarism. It can also be very helpful for students if you configure SafeAssign to allow them to submit a draft of their paper to help them identify unintentional plagiarism before they turn their paper in to you. Have questions about how to do this? Contact your campus Instructional Designer.

Academic Honesty Tools for your Classroom

Assign the ACC Library Tutorial:

ACC Copyright and Fair Use

The ACC Copyright & Fair Use Web site provides ACC faculty, staff, and students with information to help them understand and comply with the United States copyright laws.

While this site provides information about copyright laws, it should not be intended or construed as legal advice.

We recommend you consult an attorney if you want professional assurance that the information on this site and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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