Automatic grading tool for Jupyter Notebook in Blackboard
October 27, 2020

Automatically grading Jupyter Notebooks in BrightSpace

Using a Learning Management System (LMS) as a technological tool at Universities and Colleges to help with administration, documentation, tracking and delivery of educational courses is a common practice today. D2L Brightspace is one such popular LMS used across many educational institutes to engage students with coursework and assignments, making the learning process faster and efficient for both students and teachers. 

The IPython Notebook, now known as Jupyter Notebook, is another tool, an open-source web application, that allows you to create and share documents that comprise live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. It is now a major part of data science workflow at companies across the globe particularly for statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more. Additionally, it is a powerful tool for education as well, by combining written text with code and providing students with an easy environment to work and get direct results in. Because of this, teaching using Jupyter Notebooks has become a common practice in Computer Science and Data Science education. However, using and grading a Jupyter Notebook inside learning management systems like Brightspace is not very straightforward. For instance, since these Notebooks (files ending with the “.ipynb” extension) usually contain a combination of code, text (using Markdown or LaTeX), mathematics, plots and rich media, rendering these in the browser, giving feedback on specific parts or checking them for plagiarism is hard to do. Jupyter Notebooks are a very useful tool in education, but like all aspects of education, are only as helpful to students as the quality of the feedback gotten on them, something hard to achieve right now. Want to learn more about automatically grading Jupyter Notebooks or other Python assignments? Click here to watch our webinar which guides you through setting up an autograder for Python code step by step.

Want to learn more about grading Jupyter Notebooks automatically?

A way to improve the quality and speediness of your feedback on Jupyter Notebooks is using CodeGrade, which is a tool inside Brightspace (or Canvas, Moodle, Brightspace, OpenEdx or Sakai) that makes it possible to efficiently grade Jupyter Notebooks inside Brightspace using the powerful tools that come with CodeGrade. Automatic grading (with customizable rubrics) can be easily configured in CodeGrade without having to follow the traditional painful process of manually downloading the Jupyter Notebooks files, opening them on your local systems and subsequently reviewing them. This automatic grading of Jupyter Notebooks within Brightspace can even be done using nbgrader or any other auto grader. 

In addition to this, CodeGrade is the only tool available in the market which supports Jupyter Notebooks out of the box for plagiarism detection. It also allows teachers to provide inline feedback while rendering the Jupyter Notebook within the platform.

Using CodeGrade to grade Jupyter Notebooks inside Brightspace not only helps increase the teacher’s work efficiency, but also enhances students’ learning experience with continuous feedback. CodeGrade can be easily and seamlessly integrated into Brightspace to efficiently address these issues and effectively enhance the feedback experience for both educators and students. Combining the best of Brightspace and the best of CodeGrade, for your perfect workflow!

To learn more about CodeGrade and its features, check out our tour page, or our YouTube channel with videos explaining how to use CodeGrade. Please feel free to book a demo if you are interested in getting CodeGrade at your institution, or in case you have any further questions.

Devin Hillenius

Devin Hillenius


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