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Digital Assessment Skills

By Megan 14 Nov 2019

If submitting an assessment via Hub you will be doing so via a tool called Turnitin. There are a few rules that your paper will need to follow in order to be accepted, and this guide will help you make sure you have no unexpected surprises when your deadline arrives.

File Sizes

If your file size is larger than 40MB the chances are that your document contains a number of images. Images are often added to documents at their full resolution and can quickly increase the size of your document. Consider compressing your image quality, or only adding images of a lower resolution to your document.

(Scaling or Cropping your image in the document will not reduce the original quality of the image, therefore will not reduce the image size).

Files submitted to Turnitin need to be under 40MB, and less than 400 pages.  You can quickly check your file size from within the file explorer on your computer.  Usually hovering on your file icon will display the file size for you, alternatively you can right-click and get further information from "Properties" (PC), or "Get Info" (Mac).

Compressing / Resizing Images

Compressing Images (Office 365)

If you are writing your document using Office 365 Word or PowerPoint there is a built in image compression tool which you can quickly use to reduce the image quality of your images across the entire document to help reduce the image size.

You might want to make a backup of the original file with large image sizes in case you don't like the results.

Office 365 - Reducing Sizes of Images

Resizing Images

You might want to get into a habit of resizing your images at the point you add them to your document to make sure you have the correct image dimensions and quality at the point of creation.

If downloading an image from a trusted source you may have the option to choose the dimensions that you would like to download the file as.  Consider using images no larger than 1024 pixels in width.

If you have a high quality image you can use GIMP image editing software available on your QMU desktops, or one of the following online tools:

GIMP Image Editor (Available on QMU machines):

Online Image Editors (Free):

Creating PDF files

In most modules you will be requested to submit your assignment as a PDF.  There are export and save tools built into Office 365 tools to create your PDF files, the below link provides a quick guide and summary.

Save or Convert to PDF using Office 365

Remember to save your file using the instructions provided by your module organiser.  You will often be requested to save your file using your matriculation number in the filename. I.e. 20345123.pdf

Please do not password protect your PDF that you plan to submit as this will not be accepted.

Browser Issues

We recommend the use of Google Chrome as your browser for uploading your assignment.  Although all major modern browsers are supported by Turnitin we have seen a number of students reporting issues with other browsers.

If you do experience any difficulties try switching your browser.  You can also contact Assist so that we can investigate any issues further.

Taking Backups and Version Control

There are many good reasons for following good file management and backup approaches.  You may make significant changes to a document which you wish to abandon and return to an earlier version, you create a draft and want to apply a variety of formatting styles to it, or you wish to keep a backup in case you lose the file somehow.

Here are some basic tips you can adopt:

  • Use your OneDrive space for peace of mind
  • You have 1TB of available storage (that’s loads!)
  • Files are available across all of your devices
  • Backed up in the cloud
  • Has built in version control

Do not rely on USB drives as these are easily lost and corrupted

Name your files in a sensible way so you know which is the working copy, and which is an archive copy. Use dates and times in the title to make it more specific.

Manage Your Time

Time flies when you're doing assignments!  Some simple tips can help you keep in control when your assignment deadline arrives.

  • Add your deadline to your calendar as soon as you know the date and time
  • Look at your calendar to see how best to manage your time as you might have multiple assignments due in a similar timeframe
  • Set reminders on your phone
  • Plan to submit at least a few hours ahead of the deadline in case you encounter any unforeseen issues
  • Make sure you check you get your submission receipt from Turnitin after you have submitted - it will be sent to your QMU email address

Having Technical Issues?

If you do encounter any technical issues with your assignment submission you can contact Assist who will be happy to provide support.  It is important that we know the following information to help you with your issue quickly:

  • Student ID
  • Module Name or Module ID
  • Assessment Title
  • Deadline Date and Time
  • Detailed description of the issue you are having, and any error messages you have received (the more detail the better)

Please remember to let your module organiser know that you have experienced any technical issues and let them know that you have logged this with Assist - you can include your Assist Incident Number for completeness.

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