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Creating a Handwritten Assignment

Assignment Settings

Creating a new assignment

On the Settings page, you'll enter preliminary assignment settings and grading settings..

  1. Choose the Handwritten work assignment from the Assignments page. The new assignment opens.
  2. Enter an Assignment Title.
  3. For the Grade by Question setting, choose a grading method for reviewing and grading student responses:
    • Combination - allows you to choose which grading method, either answer groups or individual answers, to use for each question. This is best for assignments that have a variety of question types where you need flexible grading. For example, question #1 is a multiple choice question and has answers that can be grouped easily for grading and is best for answer group grading. While question #2 is an open response question and has answers that will need to be reviewed one-at-a-time and is best for individual grading.
    • Grade answer groups - allows you to grade a group of similar student answers at once. This is best for assignments that have multiple choice or fill in the blank questions types. Note: Similar student answers will either be automatically grouped together by Paper to Digital’s AI or you can manually group similar answers together making an answer group for faster grading. This allows you to grade multiple answers at one time.
    • Grade individual answers - allows you to grade each student answer one-by-one. This is best for assignments with an open response question type.
  4. Choose your Grading List Visibility Setting for what scoring criteria students can view when they review their graded submission:
    • Show only applied scoring criteria - Allows students to only view the scoring criteria that were applied to their graded submission for each question, regardless of the scoring type (positive/negative) set for that question.
    • Show all scoring criteria - Allows students to view all scoring criteria used for grading, regardless of the scoring type (positive/negative) or whether or not a scoring item was applied to the student's graded submission.
    • None - Doesn't allow students to view any scoring criteria used for grading.
  5. Select Create Assignment, or, if you’re creating this assignment from within your LMS, select Continue from the confirmation modal.


Uploading the assignment template

On the Template page, you’ll upload a blank copy of the assignment that you are handing out to students. For assignment formatting best practices, check out our Formatting the Assignment Template article.

  1. To upload the assignment template, select Upload PDF or drag the PDF file onto the page. 
  2. To preview the uploaded assignment, use the page navigator and make sure every page is there and the template uploaded correctly. 
  3. To delete the template and no longer use it for the assignment, select Delete Template.

Why can’t I delete my assignment template? An assignment template can not be deleted if student submissions have been uploaded. If, for example, the assignment template does not match the assignment submissions that are used in the Scans and Submissions steps, we recommend creating a new assignment.

  1. Go to Questions.


Questions Editor

In the Questions step, you’ll digitally add the questions and their student answer regions (areas) of the assignment. Adding questions and regions is required for detecting each question for grading later on. For more information, check out our Region Formatting tips article.

  1. In the Questions step, the uploaded assignment template displays on the left and the questions editor on the right (via the side panel).
  2. To add the student name, select Add Name Region or draw a region directly on the assignment page over the designated area. 
  3. (Optional) To add the student ID, select Add ID Region or draw an ID region directly on the assignment page over the designated area.

For the best results in the Scans and Submissions steps, students’ should write in their names and IDs exactly as they are recorded in the course roster. 

  1. To edit the name or ID region, select Edit Name Region or Edit ID Region or resize the region directly on the page. Just like manipulating a question box, you can drag and resize the name and ID boxes over the desired area of the page.

For better submission and roster matching accuracy, make sure the name and ID regions do not overlap. See an example below of the recommended region sizing for the student name and ID (if you want to include the ID).


  1. For questions, use the side panel or draw a question region directly on the page:
    1. To add a question from the side panel, select + add question
    2. To draw a question region directly on the page, place your cursor on the area and drag to draw the size over the question and include where you expect students to write in their answers.

      When grading each question, the document viewer will use regions to detect student answers and will highlight them for focused grading. We recommend creating the question region to include enough room for the student to write in their answers and making it slightly larger than the actual area you expect students to use. See the example below for the recommend region sizing for each question.

    3. For Title, enter a question title.
    4. For Points, enter the number of total points possible for the question.

      As you add questions and their points to the editor, the Total Points for the assignment are calculated automatically at the top of the side panel.

    5. To grade answer groups for a question, keep the the Grade answer groups checkbox selected and then select the question Type.

      The following question types currently support answer group grading: Multiple Choice, Math Fill-in-the-blank, and Text Fill-in-the-blank. For more information, go to the Question Types section below.

    6. If you don’t want to grade answer groups for a question, uncheck the Grade answer groups check box. 
  2. To create a subquestion, select the teal plus sign icon (to the right of the red “x” delete icon), or drag a question into another one. You can also drag a subquestion outward with the drag icon to transform it into a question.
  3. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add as many questions as needed. 
  4. To reorder the questions in the side panel, drag any question or subquestion to the place you want it with the drag icon.
  5. To delete a question or subquestion, select delete or the red x icon.
  6. To collapse or expand the Questions Editor side panel as needed, select the expand and collapse arrow icon.
  7. All work done in this step is automatically saved for you. 
  8. Go to Scans.

Question Types

Multiple Choice

The multiple choice question type is for questions where students fill in bubbles or check squares. We do not currently support questions of circle-the-right-choice variety. There must be clear marking areas, and they must be clearly selected by the student (no half-filled bubbles). Students should use an ink pen to select the mark areas for maximum clarity.

Your uploaded assignment template must be completely blank; do not upload an answer key as your template. When drawing question region boxes for the questions setup, make sure that each box only covers one question’s mark areas. The size of the question region boxes will not affect the AI’s accuracy.

Math Fill-in-the-blank and Text Fill-in-the-blank

The math and text fill-in-the-blank question types are for questions that will have answers with English-language text and of math notation. Paper to Digital’s AI is able to read student handwriting of English-language text and of math notation (including fractions, equations, integral signs, etc.). The main constraint is for the student answer to be on just one line, which is most easily enforced by providing a clear box or underscored area in the assignment template.


The Other question type is for questions that you want to grade the answers one by one, manually group yourself for grading, or that Paper to Digital’s technology would not be able to automatically group into answer groups. For example for questions or answers that contain open responses, diagrams, chemical equations and structures, and maps. Also, question type is is best for student answers that will take up more than one line for the answer i.e. multi-line or a paragraph amount of text. 


Uploading Scans

In the Scans step, you’ll upload all the scanned paper copies of student submissions. During the upload, Paper to Digital will automatically create submissions by splitting all the uploaded pages into single submissions using on the assignment template as a guide from the Template step.

  1. Scan all paper copies of student submissions save it as PDF file. A PDF file can contain one submission or multiple submissions. For more information on optimizing the scanning process, check out our Scanning Tips.

When you are scanning student submissions, make sure that the first page of every submission is the exact same as the first page of the assignment template file so that Paper to Digital can automatically and more confidently split the submissions.

  1. Once you have your PDF file(s) ready to upload, select Upload PDF, or drag and drop the files directly onto the Manage Scans page. 
  2. Select your files and they will begin uploading. 

While you can upload a PDF for each student submission, it's recommended that you upload PDFs that contain multiple student submissions for faster processing.

  1. If Paper to Digital was able to split up the entire PDF into single submissions, you’ll see a message stating how many submissions were created automatically. 
  2. To delete a PDF file, select delete or the trash icon.
  3. To delete one or more PDF files, select the checkbox next to each file name, and then select Delete PDF. What happens after I upload the submissions? As soon as submissions are uploaded and created on the Scans page, Paper to Digital will automatically attempt to pair and assign each submission to a student in your roster, using the Name and ID regions that you set up in the Questions step. While we can attempt to match with only the student name region, using both Name and ID regions will achieve the best results. 
  4. Go to Submissions.


Reviewing Submissions

In the Review Submissions step, you’ll review each uploaded submission to make sure the assignment pages have been correctly uploaded and accurately assigned to the right student (if Paper to Digital was able to automatically assign submissions). If needed, you can manually assign submissions and reorder or reassign pages for any uploaded submission.

  1. If there are automatically assigned submissions, review each one to make sure it is assigned to the correct student.
  2. If there are unassigned submissions, select assign. Then select a student from the course roster list that appears or enter in the student name.

    If a student isn’t listed, check your course roster or the spelling of the student name and try again.

  3. To reassign a page or an entire submission to another student:
    1. Expand the submission.
    2. Select Edit or the pencil icon.
    3. Select the page or pages of the submission you want to reassign.
    4. In the Change Student field, enter a student or select one from the roster list.
    5. Select Reassign.
  4. To view the pages of a submission, select one more submissions and turn on Show scans.

    Use Show scans to double-check that everything was split correctly.

  5. To reorder the pages of a submission:
    1. Expand the submission.
    2. Drag the page to the place you want it with the drag icon.
  6. To rotate the pages of an entire submission, select the checkbox next to one or multiple submissions, and then select Rotate.
  7.  To delete a student submission, select the checkbox next to one or more multiple submissions and then select Delete.
  8. To undo any changes made to submission pages, select the checkbox next to one or more multiple submissions and then select Reset.
  9. To view and edit a single student submission, expand the submission and then select any of the pages. The Edit Submission modal opens and you can do any of the following: 
    1. Zoom In - Zoom in on any part of the submission page and make it appear larger.
    2. Zoom Out - Zoom out on any part of the submission page and make it appear smaller. 
    3. Rotate - Rotate the submission page by 90 degrees.
    4. Use the page navigation arrows to switch between all the pages of the submission.
    5. Make sure to Save Changes.
    6. Select the X or Cancel to exit out of the modal.
  10. Go to Grading.


Understanding the submission summary information 

On the Review Submissions page there are two pieces of information that you can use to help you review and/or assign uploaded submissions. 

X out of X submissions assigned to a student

  • The number of uploaded submissions that are currently assigned or paired to a student (out of the total number of uploaded submissions).
  • A submission is an individual assignment that has been successfully scanned and uploaded. 

X out of X students with submissions

  • The number of students that are assigned to an uploaded submission (out of the total number of students on the course roster).
  • Click the link to view the Roster List and see which students have or have not been assigned to an uploaded submission.
  • A student may not be assigned to a submission for a few reasons: there is no submission uploaded for the student, their submission is incorrectly assigned or merged to another student’s submission, or they need to be manually assigned to an uploaded submission.


Understanding the submission status

On the Review Submissions page, in the Submission Status column, there are various statuses that indicate the state of a submission after it has been successfully uploaded.

  • Unassigned - The uploaded submission couldn’t be automatically assigned to a student from the course roster. This could be because the student’s handwriting wasn’t legible or there isn’t a match for the student name in the course roster. We recommend that you manually assign this submission to the correct student before grading.
  • Extra Pages - The uploaded submission could contain some additional pages because the total number of pages doesn’t match the total number of pages of the assignment template. We recommend that you review this submission and determine if the extra pages should be included, deleted, or reassigned (e.g. they belong to another student’s submission). 
  • Missing Pages - The uploaded submission could be missing some pages because the total number of pages doesn’t match the total number of pages of the assignment template. We recommend that you review this submission and determine if pages are missing. This could indicate that the student submission is incomplete and needs to be re-uploaded. 
  • Manually Assigned - The uploaded submission has been assigned to a student by an instructor, grader, or TA. 
  • Auto Assigned - The uploaded submission has been automatically assigned to a student from the course roster by Paper to Digital. We recommend that you review this submission before moving on to grading. 
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