Tips on submitting assessed work online
If you have been asked to submit assessed work online/take part in an online test, here are some tips to help you successfully submit your work. We've also included some trouble-shooting steps for you to try if you're having difficulty.
In this guide
- General tips
- Additional tips/troubleshooting for online time limited assessments
- Additional tips/troubleshooting for Blackboard Tests/Assignments
- Additional tips/troubleshooting for Turnitin assignments
- Additional tips/troubleshooting for Gradescope assignments
Apart from the General tips, if you are not sure which additional tips/troubleshooting section to read, check the assessment information you have been given by your tutor. The assessment system/tool you will use is dependant on your course, and method of assessment chosen by your tutor, details of this should be included in the assessment information.
Leave yourself enough time - Tempting as it is, don’t leave submissions until the last minute—you don’t want to miss the deadline and you’ll need to complete your upload/work before the deadline.
During assessment submission week it is likely that multiple modules taught across the University will have the same submission deadline. During busy times it may take longer than usual to load the necessary web pages and upload your documents. Please ensure that you give yourself enough time to navigate the correct submission area, upload, check and submit your work.
If your internet connection is slow it could take longer than you think to navigate to the relevant page online and to upload any work, especially on your home internet connection.
We strongly advise that you submit as early as possible - if you have an issue, you'll have time to get technical help.
Make sure the clock and time zone on your device is correct - Check your computer/laptop time before you start – it should show the accurate time, date and time zone (for whatever country you are in at the time).
In some cases, a student's computer clock can get out of sync with its time zone by a few minutes or hours. This phenomenon is known as "clock drift" and is most likely to occur when a student travels between time zones with their computer. Not having the correct time on your device may trigger warnings or lock you out of an assessment. Make sure you check and correct the clock and time zone if it is incorrect. If you are not sure on how to do this, see, set time, time zone and date for further guidance.
Stop Clicking! - Double clicking or repeated clicking doesn’t help. Click once and wait for the page to load. Clicking twice won’t speed things up and may cause problems.
Use a wired connection - Try to use a wired connection—it’s faster and there’s no competition for a wireless connection. If you must use wireless, ensure your submission is complete before walking away.
If you are accessing your assessment through Minerva use a browser -We do not recommend accessing Minerva via the UniLeeds App as you may have technical issues. Use a browser and go to minerva.leeds.ac.uk to access Minerva. Examples of when you would login to Minerva to complete an assessment include: to access a Test, Assignment, Gradescope or Turnitin submission.
Which browser should I use? - If you are using on campus PCs you can use any of the available browsers. If you are using your own computer see, recommended browsers for Minerva. We do not recommend accessing Minerva via the UniLeeds App as you may have technical issues.
If you are accessing your assessment through Minerva, (you might do this to access a Test, Assignment, Gradescope or Tunitin submission) we do not recommend accessing Minerva via the UniLeeds App as you may have technical issues. Use a browser and go to minerva.leeds.ac.uk to access Minerva.
Where can I get guidance about copyright? - In using the resources made available to you in Minerva you must adhere to the University’s policies and guidance. Specifically you should ensure that you use any copyright material only in accordance with the terms and conditions of use of the item concerned.
This usually means that you can print out one copy of any text based material made available for your module for your own educational purposes but you cannot download, store, publish, sell or transmit copies to other individuals in any format. Images, audio files, films etc are also protected by copyright: you can view or listen to such files in Minerva but you will need to check the terms and conditions of use of each item to establish the extent to which you may make copies or transmit the item. For further information on copyright and copyright exemptions, please see Copyright explained on the Library website.
Additional tips/troubleshooting for online time limited assessments
If you are asked to participate in online time limited assessments (OTLA), here are some additional tips. The most common tools used by tutors for OTLA's are currently Top Hat or Blackboard Test:
Use a PC or laptop - we do not recommend using a mobile or tablet device for online time limited assessments.
Check your device time - we've mentioned this in the general tips, but this is critical for online time limited assessments, so we're mentioning it again. Check your computer/laptop time before you start – it should show the accurate time, date and time zone (for whatever country you are in at the time).
In some cases, a student's computer clock can get out of sync with its time zone by a few minutes or hours. This phenomenon is known as "clock drift" and is most likely to occur when a student travels between time zones with their computer. Not having the correct time on your device may trigger warnings or lock you out of the assessment.
Make sure you check and correct the clock and time zone if it is incorrect. If you are not sure on how to do this, see, set time, time zone and date for further guidance.
Check your device settings - ensure your PC or laptop is not set to go to sleep during the test.
Timers continue to count down once you start - If your tutor has set up a Blackboard Test/Assignment or Top Hat test so that you have a defined period of time in which to complete the test, (for example, 60 minutes in a 24 hour time frame), the timer will continue to count down, even if you leave the Test/Assignment or Top Hat test mid-way.
Additional tips/troubleshooting for Blackboard Tests/Assignments
If you want to leave a Blackboard Test/Assignment mid-way and resume later, make sure you click Save and Close, not Submit.
If your tutor has set up a Blackboard Test/Assignment so that you have a defined period of time in which to complete the test, (for example, 60 minutes in a 24 hour time frame), the timer will continue to count down, even if you leave the Test/Assignment mid-way.
Additional tips/troubleshooting for Turnitin assessments
Check the size of your file - The file size limit per assignment is 100MB (2MB for plain text files), and no greater than 800 pages in length. If your file is larger than this, it is usually because you have large image files embedded which need to be compressed. see the guide on reducing file size/compressing.
Check the file type - In general, PDF is recommended.
Turnitin will not accept PDF files that do not contain highlightable text (e.g. a scanned file – usually an image) or documents containing multiple files. PDFs created using Adobe Acrobat® are officially supported. Web-based PDF creators should be avoided.
Turnitin will also accept the following file types (though if you have not been told to submit any particular format the best choice is PDF):
|Supported file formats
|MS Word (.doc/.docx)
|MS Excel (.xls/.xlsx)
The submitted version of an Excel file will display in Turnitin as if it had been saved as a PDF from Excel. Pay attention to the preview shown during the submission process to make sure the file appears as intended. The appearance of the file can be controlled by editing the page setup and print area settings for the file prior to saving it in Excel.
|Rich Text Format (.rtf)
Turnitin will not accept .odt files created and downloaded from Google Docs online, or “.doc” files created using OpenOffice. You should save your file as a PDF.
|Plain text (.txt)
|Google Docs, Slides and Sheets via Google Drive
If using Google Drive to submit, third party cookies must be allowed in your browser. See the links below for guidance on specific browsers:
Chrome guidance on Google's website
Firefox guidance on Mozilla's website
Safari guidance on Apple's website
|Adobe PDF (.pdf)
|Hangul Word Processor (.hwp)
|MS PowerPoint (.pptx/ .ppt/ .ppsx/ .pps)
Turnitin converts PowerPoint documents into static PDFs. Dynamic elements (embedded audio/video, animations, etc) are not included in the conversion. Any visual effects for text, such as shadows and 3D, should also be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.
If you are using an unsupported word processor, you may need to save your plain text as a .txt or .rtf in order to upload to Turnitin
When converting to a new file format, you should use a different name to rename your file than that of the original to prevent your original formatting being overwritten
Check the file name - you cannot use < > characters in the file name. Please also see the filename guidelines for characters which should not be included in the name of files.
Check the number of files - You can only submit one file per assignment. You need to make sure all your work is saved under the one file name before submission.
Coursework Coversheet - Use a coversheet as directed by your teaching school. Your teaching school is the school offering the module. For example, if you are a Business School student studying an English module, for the English module, if you were asked to submit to Turnitin, you would use the coversheet directed by the School of English. For your LUBS module, you would use the coversheet directed by the Business School and so on.
Check your choice of internet browser - In a small number of cases, corrupt caching settings within the Safari browser has caused the session to hang and submissions to fail. If this occurs then users should take the following steps:
- Go to the Safari Preferences > Privacy tab > Manage Website Data.
- Look for and remove the three cached websites below: (All three may not be present)
– turnitinuk.com or turnitin.com
- Close and reopen Safari.
- Try submitting again.
Alternatively, you can submit using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Check your files - Turnitin needs at least 20 words. Files must be smaller than 100MB. If your file is larger than 100MB, see the guide on reducing file size/compressing.
Be methodical on submission day
Don't attempt to submit multiple assessments at the same time by opening more than one tab in your browser. You can end up submitting to the wrong assignment! Wait until your first assessment has uploaded … then navigate to the other submission area and upload the next paper. Turnitin does not support opening multiple assignments in browser tabs.
Double-check that the correct file has been uploaded by checking the preview that is shown on screen before confirming.
You may find the video guide explaining how to submit a Turnitin assignment (will open in Mediasite) helpful.
Next in this series of guides
- We recommend you check you have submitted your work correctly, see How to check you have submitted your work online.
- If things haven't gone as you expected and you need help, see Having trouble submitting my work - what should I do, how do I get help?