Scanning Tips

In the Scans step, you'll scan your students paper submissions, save them as a PDF, and then upload them. We know that scanning individual pages can be time consuming, check our tips below to help you optimize the scanning process.

Preparing to scan...

Tip 1: Know how many physical pages you will be scanning before starting.
Always know how many physical pages you'll be scanning in each batch. This way once you're finished, you can check the number of scanned pages on your computer or scanning app to make sure you haven't missed any. It rarely happens with modern scanning technology, but in case something goes wrong, it's much easier to re-scan right away than to find out later and have to dig through the assignments and find the one that needs to be re-scanned. An easy way to keep track of how many pages and assignments you have in one batch is to group together assignments with the same number of pages. Keep any assignments with an irregular number of pages separate and scan those last.

Tip 2: Cut off the stapled corners of assignments.
Most multi-page assignments will be stapled and pulling out staples to run students' work through a physical scanner takes forever. We recommend simply cutting the stapled corners off the papers. This can be done easily with scissors or a guillotine-style paper cutter. If the cut corners jam the scanner, scan the papers upside down and either use the scanner’s built-in rotation software, or utilize our rotation setting when the scans are uploaded to handwritten assignments.

Tip 3: Print/copy submissions double-sided.
If you need to print or copy assignments before scanning them, be sure to print or copy each one double-sided. This halves the number of sheets that have to be passed through the scanner and accordingly cuts scanning time in half compared to single-sided assignments.

When you're scanning...

Tip 4: Use these scanner settings for quick, high-quality results

  • 150dpi
  • No page auto-rotation (you can rotate pages if needed)
  • No blank page removal (you can remove blank pages if needed)

Tip 5: Scan multiple assignments in one batch.
When you're ready to start grading, you can upload a PDF containing multiple students' work and Paper to Digital will be able to split the pages into individual student's submissions. This means that you do not need to scan each student's work and save it individually in order to grade it.

Tip 6: Automatically forward scans to a centralized location
Sending your scans to a Google Drive or any convenient centralized location will speed up the process of organizing and uploading your files to the assignment. This will also allow you to optionally grant access to any teaching assistants who may be helping with the process.

Tip 7: Scan assignments double-sided.
Especially if you printed or copied assignments double-sided, we recommend scanning them double-sided too. Students might write something on the back and we want to make sure to have it all captured in our scans.

Tip 8: Teamwork! Multiple team members assist with the process
If you have teaching assistants or anyone able to assist with the process, form a line, and assign roles. One person could cut the stapled corners off, another person puts the papers through the scanner and re-staples the assignments, and a third could check the PDF files for accuracy. Depending on your number of helpers, you could apply these roles to suit your workflow or even use multiple scanners in parallel to speed up the scanning process.

Tip 9: Scanning and uploading via Mobile
While handwritten assignments doesn't support scanning and uploading via a mobile app, you can use 3rd-party apps to take photos of submissions and upload them to your device. Depending on your device, you can use the apps mentioned belowto take a photos of student submissions and then convert them to PDF. Once you take the photo, save the photo as a PDF and upload it to your desired location.

To scan via mobile for iOS devices: 

To scan via mobile for Android devices:

After scanning...

Tip 10: Re-staple assignments after they have been scanned.
If you removed the staples from assignments before scanning, we recommended re-stapling assignments once scanning is done. This is extremely helpful if you'd like to go back through and review the hard copy of the exam.

Tip 11: Color code or number your exam batches.
Once they have been scanned, it may be helpful to differentiate between multiple batches of assignments by placing a piece of colored paper or a number on top of each batch. This will make them easier to refer back to.

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