Anonymous Marking

by Greg Sabatine – September 12, 2019

About Anonymous Marking

Anonymous marking, or blind marking, is the practice of removing unconscious bias in grading by removing the student’s name, attempting to overcome any gender, personal, or racial biases as the instructor grades assignments or exams.

Recently, the University of Saskatchewan’s outgoing vice-president academic affairs of the UofS Students’ Union, Jessica Quan, has been working with colleges across campus to bring attention to blind marking. In the The Sheaf article, Blind grading an attempt to reduce marking bias (Sadika, 2018), Sadika notes that, “The practice of blind grading can significantly decrease the amount of academic appeals made by students, as it circumvents the chance for any racial, personal or gender biases from the instructor, according to Quan. While blind grading can benefit students in many circumstances, there are exceptions depending on the class size and type that can impede this practice.”

And that’s where CourseLink can help…

Anonymous Marking in CourseLink

CourseLink allows anonymous marking in two of the central tools: Dropbox and Quizzes.


Instructors can configure the Dropbox to use anonymous learner names. When the feature is turned on, instructors only see an anonymized learner name on the assignment.

  • Students should be instructed to remove their names and ID numbers from assignments.
  • Instructors can only publish anonymous marking using Publish All Feedback, to prevent identifying learners through selective marking feedback.
  • Instructors can enable anonymous marking for Dropbox folders after they are created, but cannot disable the feature once submissions have been made.
  • Instructors that use Turnitin can only enable Anonymous marking in an existing folder if no submissions have been made.
  • Instructors can publish feedback without completing feedback for all submissions. Clicking Publish All Feedback displays a confirmation dialog indicating that some submissions will be published without feedback.
  • In instances where instructors are required to identify a user, such as academic integrity, they should contact CourseLink Support.
The Dropbox anonymous marking option in CourseLink
Figure: The Dropbox anonymous marking option in CourseLink


Instructors can configure the Quizzes tool to use anonymous learner names when grading individual questions. This feature is only available when grading questions, not individual student attempts.

  • The Quizzes tool uses the term Blind Marking instead of Anonymous Marking.
  • Unlike the Dropbox tool, the blind marking feature in Quizzes only uses anonymous learner names while grading questions. Any feedback or grades can be identified on the individual student attempts.
The Quizzes blind marking option in CourseLink
Figure: The Quizzes blind marking option in CourseLink


If you require assistance or have questions with the anonymous marking or blind marking features in CourseLink, please contact CourseLink Support.

Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 56939
Toll-free: 1-866-275-1478


Sadika, B (2018, March 22). Blind grading an attempt to reduce marking bias. The Sheaf. Retrieved from

Faculty Survey FAQ

OpenEd would like to respond to the various questions that were asked on the Faculty Educational Technology Survey.

Q1. How do I set up notifications for Discussions?
Notifications are an opt-in setting found under the user menu at the top of the screen (same menu as Log Out). The system is flexible and allows you to select how you would like to receive notifications for each tool.

Hint: If you change your notification settings after subscribing to a discussion, you may have to review the subscription settings in discussions to verify the changes have been applied.

Discussion Subscriptions

Please see this page on notification settings:

Q2. How do I upload grades with Excel?
The best way to use Excel to manage your Grades in CourseLink is to set up the grade book the way you want it, then export the grades by going to Enter Grades > Export, then Export to CSV. Using this method ensures that the file is in the proper format when you’re ready to import.

Q3. How do I correct quiz questions and adjust scores in the Quizzes tool?
If you’re using the Question Library, you can adjust questions at any time. The system will ask you if you want to push those changes to the various quizzes that are using the question.

Adjusting question scores can be done by Grading the quiz, selecting the Questions tab and selecting the “Update All Attempts” option.

Update All Attempts

Once you have selected a question, you can give all attempts a specific score, or you can give students that selected the corrected answer a specific score.

Q4. Can PEAR be displayed in CourseLink?
Yes, although it’s still an external tool, it will just display below the navigation bar.

You can set it up to display in the course by creating a custom navigation link and setting the Behaviour option to “Same window”. The student URL for PEAR is

Q5. Is there a sign-up sheet in CourseLink?
No, not a specific tool. We recommend that you use the Groups tool with the “Self Enrolment” group type. You can even specify an expiry date so students can’t add themselves after that date.

Q6. Can I import groups into CourseLink?
No, not at this time. OpenEd has developed a tool that does allow for the import of comma separated (CSV) groups. Save your groups as a CSV file with the following format and send them to

Group Name, Username (or Student ID)

We are working to release a CourseLink Toolbox that will allow instructors to do some extended functions that are not available in CourseLink. We will announce this new tool as part of the monthly updates.

Q7. Can I create groups by section?
Yes, when you create a new Group Category, you can use the
Restrict Enrollments To drop-down to select the section. You will have to create a new category for each section.

As mentioned in Q6, we are working on releasing a CourseLink Toolbox that will allow instructors to automatically create groups by section in one category. We will announce this new tool as part of the monthly updates.

Q8. Can students blog in CourseLink?
Yes, CourseLink has a built in blogging tool that is available under the system navigation links. The tool is considered a system tool, meaning it’s not course specific. Any blog posts submitted by the students can be seen by all users in the system.

OpenEd has also installed a WordPress multisite at Students can automatically create a WordPress site when they login using their central account. They can also create multiple sites if they require course specific websites.

Q9. Can I drop the lowest x number of grade items in Grades?
Absolutely. When you set up your grade book, use a Category to group grade items, e.g. 10 quizzes. When setting up the Category, select Distribute weight evenly across all items and enter the number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user.

Q10. Can I exempt students from grade items in Grades?
Yes, this is a fairly new feature. When you’re grading an assignment in Grades, the Exempt and Unexempt buttons are located at the top of the table. The student’s grades will be adjusted to ignore the exempt grade item.

Exempt students

Q11. Can I add a Twitter feed to my course?
Yes, but things have changed in the last year or so. Twitter removed the ability to add a widget that follows a hashtag, making a conversation Twitter feed a thing of the past. The best you can do now is add a widget that follows a profile or a handle.

You can set up and copy the code for a custom Twitter widget by visiting

Q12. Can students submit video on CourseLink?
Indeed! We recently purchased the premium version of D2L’s Video Assignments and Virtual Classroom tool by Bongo (aka YouSeeU). The links can be added to your navigation bar.

Please see the announcement of these tools in our August 2018 Continuous Delivery updates.

Q13. Can I see all work that a student completed in one place?
There is a tool called View Progress in the Classlist that allows instructors to view all activity that a student completed in one location. You can select any tool and see a comprehensive list of their activity or submissions.

View progress

If you have any questions about the material in this FAQ. Please contact CourseLink Support.

519.824.4120 ext. 56939