A problem came up in our use of SafeAssign. A faculty member was given a report of 100% plagiarism match and contacted the student. The student denied. We then asked Blackboard for help.
The case was posted on 3/16 02471428. The answer below was provided on 3/24. The problem here is not a technology bug, but how long it takes to figure out the root case and the wrong report given to the instructor. There should have been an alert sent to SafeAssign customers that the service may generate false positives due to infrastructure failures.
The submission times were:
Student paper 13.03.17 23:06:56,234000000
[Instructor's] paper 13.03.17 23:41:02,013000000
During this time, there were intermittent issues with safe assign processing, you can see at the page at status.blackboard.com/ for real time paper processing. What likely happened was due to the fact that there is parallel processing and long queues, the student's paper picked up the shortly earlier submitted instructor's paper as it was processed after the directly submitted paper causing the student's paper to match the instructors. With Safe Assign, we give you papers that may match other papers however, it is only a matching percentage and requires a discussion between the instructors and students. In this case, it's possible that the instructor resubmitted while waiting for results and their paper ended up in a faster queue due to the parallel processing. So the student in this case did submit the paper first, it just took longer to process.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Thank you for your time,
Client Support Engineer