Assignment settings

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.4. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Assignment settings.

Note: This page describes settings for the new Assignment module in Moodle 2.3 onwards. For documentation on Assignments (2.2) settings, see Assignment settings in the 2.2 docs.

Contents

Adding and editing an Assignment activity

To add a new Assignment activity to your course login with the appropriate access rights (e.g.editing teacher, course creator or administrator) and Turn Editing On. Within the required Week or Topic Block click Add and Activity or Resource link.

add activity.jpg

In the Add an activity or resource dialogue box that appears, select Assignment and click Add.

add assignment activity.jpg

To edit an existing Assignment activity, login to your course with the appropriate access rights (e.g. editing teacher, course creator or administrator) and Turn Editing On. Select the Update icon against the relevant Assignment item.

update icon.jpg

Alternatively, after logging into your course simply click on the name of the Assignment activity you wish to edit and then click the Edit Settings link under Assignment administration within the Settings block.

edit settings.jpg

The following configuration options are available when creating or editing/updating any 2.3 Assignment activity.

General settings

The General section allows you to give your assignment a name and description.

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Assignment name

Give your Assignment a name (e.g. “Report on Topic 1 Content”). The title entered here will be the name that learners see in the course content area. Learners will click on this name to view the details of the assignment and, if applicable, submit their work.

Description

The description of the assignment, which should include precise instructions for students regarding the subject of the assignment, the form, in which it should be submitted, the grading criteria etc.

Use this area to describe the assignment and explain what learners are expected to do to complete this task. The assignment description can be as brief or as detailed as you feel is necessary to meet the needs of your learners. However, it is to your benefit to provide as much detail and information as possible, especially at the start of the course while you are still establishing procedures. Generally, the more information you are able to provide here the fewer questions and problems your learners will have completing the task.

The assignment description field can also be used to provide information or resources related to the assignment. An instructor, for example, could provide some literature, a video clip, an image, or a link to a webpage, and then ask the learners to use these materials in completing the task.

Display description on course page

Enabling this will display the description on the course page just below the link to the assignment activity.

Assignment settings

The Assignment settings section allows you to determine the assignment characteristics, due dates, when students will be able to submit etc.

Click to see the Settings screen enlarged

Allow submissions from

The Allow submissions from setting prevents students from submitting their assignment before the shown date. This option allows an teacher to set a day, month, year and time (24 hour clock) from which learners can begin to submit their assignments. Please note that this setting does not hide the activity from the learners. Instead, the learner will see the activity, be able to view the instructions and use any materials you have included in the description, but the learner will not be able to submit or complete the assignment until the Allow submissions from date.

If you also wish to hide the assignment description from students until a set date, you can use the Always show description setting (see below).

By default the Allow submissions from date is Enabled (ticked) and is set at the day and time you selected Add Assignment. To Disable this feature simply ensure the Enable checkbox is not marked.

Due date

The Due date setting establishes when the assignment is due. Submissions will still be allowed after this date, but any assignments submitted after this date are marked as late.

This option allows an teacher to set a day, month, year and time (24 hour clock) before which learners must submit their assignment.

By default the Due date is Enabled (ticked) and is set at 7 days ahead of the day and time you selected Add Assignment. To disable this feature, simply ensure the Enable checkbox is not marked.

Notes on Date Settings

The Due date is displayed for learners in the assignment details, and is also marked in the course Calendar as a visible reminder for participants and provides a link to the activity.

Your use of the Allow submissions from and Due date settings will probably be dependent on the overall structure of your course. If you are facilitating an open ended course or a course with rolling enrolment, then you might find it easier to not apply the Allow submissions from and Due date settings. This arrangement will allow the learners to access the assignment according to their own schedule and progress within the course.

Alternatively, if you are working within a more structured format or adhering to a timeline, the Allow submissions from and Due date settings are useful for keeping learners on schedule. Using the Allow submissions from setting will make it possible for learners to preview upcoming activities, while at the same time, prevent them from finishing the course in the first week and not returning for additional activities or information. Likewise, the Due dates help keep the learners from lagging too far behind and decrease the likelihood that the learner will become overwhelmed by having to complete several weeks worth of work at once.

Note: Assignments without a Due date will appear on the My home page with “No Due date” displayed.

Cut-off date

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!


The Cut-off date is the date beyond which students will not be able to send in their assignment as the button for doing so will no longer be displayed. After that date (or time) a teacher may, on request, grant an extension by going to the class assignment grading screen, clicking the "Edit" column and choosing "grant extension" for the relevant student.

For more details, see this Youtube screencast Assignment Extensions Moodle 2.4

Always show description

This setting is used in conjunction with the Allow submissions from setting. If it is set to Yes, the assignment Description will be visible to students before the Allow submissions from date. If it is set to No, the assignment Description will be hidden from students until the Allow submissions from date, only the assignment Name will be displayed (as shown below).

always show description.jpg

If Allow submissions from is disabled then the Always show description setting has no meaning, ie. the assignment description will always be visible to students.

Require students click submit button

In previous Moodle versions this setting was known as “Enable Send for Marking button”.

The submit button allows students to upload draft versions of the assignment until such time as they are ready to submit. It allows students to keep a draft version of their assignment on the system until submission. Once they click the submit button they indicate to the teacher that they have finished working on the assignment.

Note: this means that the learner can no longer edit their submission (to do so would risk invalidating any work their assessor had done on their submission). If students regret their decision and wish to edit, they need to request that somebody with course editing access reverts them to Draft Status. Likewise the teacher may choose to revert the assignment to draft status (if it requires further work, for example).

To revert to the draft stage or let a student resubmit, click on the assignment activity, then click on the View/Grade all Submissions button. On the grading table locate the student and click the action icon in the Edit column. Select Revert the submission to draft.

revert to draft.jpg

If this setting is No then students are not required to click the submit button and are able to make changes to uploaded files at any time. This scenario may be applicable to situations where teachers are providing feedback on drafts, or where the assignment is iterative in nature.

If this setting is No and at some point as the teacher you wish to grade students work, then you can stop students from making further changes by using Prevent submission changes. Prevent submission changes can also be used in cases where students have neglected to click the Submit button and grading has commenced.

To prevent submission changes, click on the assignment activity, then click on the View/Grade all submissions button. On the grading table locate the student and click the action icon in the Edit column. Select Prevent submission changes.

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If you wish to either “Revert to draft” or “Prevent submission updates” for a number of students, or the whole class, you can use the With selected menu at the bottom of the grading table. Click on the assignment activity, then click on the View/Grade all Submission link. Using the tick boxes in the Select column, tick relevant students or place a tick in the box at the top of Select column to select all students. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select either Lock Submissions, Unlock Submissions or Revert the submission to draft status and click Submit.

with selected.jpg

Require that students accept the Submission statement

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

An administrator can define a "Submission statement", ie, a statement where students promise the work is their own and which they must agree to before submitting their work. This may be done via Settings>Site administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment.

If preferred, the available default statement which may be used instead: This assignment is my own work, except where I have acknowledged the use of the works of other people

If the administrator has given teachers the option of using a submission statement or not, then it will be available in the assignment settings screen. The section #Submission_Statement explains how an administrator can set this up.

For more details, see this blog post "All my own work"

When this setting is enabled, students will have to check a button before they can submit their assignment:

If the administrator has forced the statement throughout the site, a teacher will not have this option in the settings but a student will see the statement when accessing their assignment.

Notifications to graders

In previous Moodle versions this setting was singular and was known as “Email alerts to teachers”. In Moodle 2.3 onwards, you are able to choose whether graders receive email notifications whenever a student submits an assignment (early, on time and late) or whether graders only receive email notifications whenever a student submits an assignment late. Only teachers who are able to grade the particular assignment are notified. So, for example, if the course uses separate groups, teachers restricted to particular groups will not receive notifications about students in other groups.

See also: Using Moodle forum discussion Make default setting "no" re notifying graders

Students submit in groups

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!
If this box is ticked, then students are able to collaborate on an assignment. This might involve for example, working in the same online text area, or one student uploading an MS Powerpoint which another student downloads, improves and re-uploads to the common assignment area.

When grading, the teacher may choose to give a common grade and feedback to all students in the group or to give individual grades and feedback to each member.

If no groups have been made, then Moodle will make a default group of every student in the course.

For more details see this Youtube video Group Assignment 2.4

Require all group members submit

This setting will only appear if the teacher has ticked the "Require students click submit button" earlier. The assignment will not be classed as "submitted" until all members of the group have made a contribution. When one student has submitted, the other members of the group will be able to see who still has to submit.

Grouping for student groups

If a particular grouping is selected here, then the gradebook will display any other groups and non-grouped students in the "default group", while naming the group(s) that are in the chosen grouping. If "none" is selected, then the gradebook will display the names of all groups and put any non-grouped students in the "default group". See this forum post on grouping for student groups for examples of how this might be used.

Blind marking

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

If this setting is enabled, then a teacher will not see the names of students who have submitted their assignments. Instead, they will see randomly generated Participant numbers. (The student view of the assignment does not change.) Once they have graded the assignment, it is however possible for teachers to see who submitted what by clicking on "Reveal student identities" in the Assignment settings.

Returning Marks to Students

Because of the nature of blind marking, the students cannot see the final grade until all of the students names have been revealed. This is found in Assignment Settings > Reveal Student Names. However, feedback comments will appear.

Note: Beacuse of this, the level of anonymity might not suit the privacy requirements of your establishment. See this tracker entry MDL-35390 - "Blind Marking is not so blind"

Take care duplicating assignments that use blind marking. Once names have been revealed for an assignment, if a duplicate is created then the new assignment will not be able to run in blind marking mode. Duplicating before the reveal stage or creating the blind marking assignment from scratch is recommended.

For more details on this feature, see this Youtube video Blind marking in 2.4.

Submission settings

Submission settings allow you to determine how you would like your students to submit their assignment.

submission settings.jpg

Note: You can now set up an assignment that allows both online text and file upload.

Online text

If set to Yes learners are able to compose and edit text on screen using the standard Moodle HTML Editor.

File submissions

File submissions allows learners to upload and edit one or more files to form their final submission.

Maximum number of uploaded files

If file submissions are enabled, this setting determines the maximum number of files which may be uploaded by each learner. As this figure is not displayed anywhere, it is suggested that it is mentioned in the assignment Description.

Maximum submission size

This setting specifies the maximum size per file of each of the files that the students can upload as part of their submission. This maximum upload size may only be equal to or less than the course limit (which in turn may only be equal to or less than the site limit). The maximum size of each file is displayed to students at the point where they upload files.

maximum file size.jpg

Submission comments

If enabled, students may leave comments into a text area associated with the assignment. Comments can be used for communication with the grading person, assignment progress description, to let students alert the marker about which file is the master file (in case of inter-linked files), or any other type of communication between student and marker.

Submission comments will appear in the grading table (click on the assignment activity, then click on the View/Grade all Submission button), in the Submission comments column. Submission comments allow two-way communication between the student and teacher.

submission comments.jpg

Feedback settings

Feedback settings allow you to determine the type of feedback you will provide to students.

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Note: You can now determine whether you will provide feedback comments or feedback files to students, or a combination of both.

Feedback comments

Setting this to yes means that markers can leave feedback comments for each submission. Essentially what this does is enable the Feedback Comments column in the grading table (to access the grading table click on the assignment activity, then click on the View/Grade all Submission button).

feedback comments.jpg

Feedback comments are also accessible by clicking on the green tick in the grade column on the grading table.

feedback comments 2.jpg

Feedback files

Setting this to yes means that markers will be able to upload files with feedback when marking. These files may be the marked up student assignments, documents with comments, a completed marking guide, or spoken audio feedback. Essentially what this does is enable the Feedback Files column in the grading table (to access grading table click on the assignment activity, then click on the view/Grade all Submissions button).

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To upload feedback files click on the green tick in the grade column on the grading table.

feedback files 2.jpg

To upload a feedback file you can either use drag and drop or click Add to bring up the File picker.

All feedback will be displayed to students on the assignment submission page. The following screen shot demonstrates the view if both feedback comments and file feedback are set to Yes.

feedback view for students.jpg

Uploading multiple feedback files

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

It is also possible to upload multiple feedback files as a zip, from the dropdown above the grading list:

mutiplefeedbackzip.png

To do this:

  1. Download the students' assignments using the "Download all submissions" link from the same dropdown menu;
  2. Extract the folder offline and add your comments to the student's submissions. Keep the file names the same.
  3. Select the students' submissions and zip them into a new folder. Important: Don't just edit them inside their original folder and re-zip this; it will not work. The folder name does not matter as long as the feedback files have the same names as before.
  4. Upload this newly zipped folder.
  5. You will be presented with a confirmation screen displaying your feedback files.
Confirmation screen displaying the feedback files to be uploaded
Screen confirming uploaded feedback

Note:If you zip files on a Mac, you may get a folder included in the zip called _MACOSX_ which needs to be removed otherwise moodle will not recognise the changes in the files.

Offline grading worksheet

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

If set to yes, the teacher will have a link to download the grading list as a spreadsheet. They will then be able to enter grades and feedback comments offline:

The empty gradebook on Moodle
The dropdown to download the list
Editing the grades offline

When the teacher has completed their grading offline, they can then upload the spreadsheet, confirm the changes and the grades and comments will be transferred over into Moodle's gradebook:

Uploading the grading worksheet
Confirming the changes
Grades and feedback transferred into Moodle

See also Offline grading worksheet blog post by Gavin Henrick.

Grade

Specify the maximum grade or Scale to be applied to the assignment. If you will not be giving a grade for the assignment, choose No Grade.

Grading method

There are 3 options:

Grade Category

Any custom Grade Categories that have been created within your site or course will be listed here and will be available for selection. Select the required Grade Category to add this assignment as a Grade item within this Category.

Common module settings

Group mode

When course group mode is turned on, the group mode can be one of three levels: No groups, Separate groups or Visible groups.

No groups - There are no groups and all students submit their assignments in one Assignment area

Separate groups - Students submit their assignments within a separate Group based submission area and teachers/trainers can sort submissions by Group or view All Participants.

Visible groups - All students submits their assignment within a single Assignment area but may choose which Group to associate their submission with before uploading. Teachers/trainers can sort submissions by Group or view All Participants.

Groupings

Groupings is an Advanced setting. A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. If a existing grouping is selected from the dropdown list, students assigned to groups within the grouping will be able to work together within the group mode specified above.

Visible

Choose whether to Show or Hide the assignment from learner view. A hidden assignment will be displayed greyed out on the main course page for those with teacher, creator, manager or admin type roles but invisible to students/learners.

ID number

Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the assignment for grade calculation purposes. If the activity is not included in any grade calculation then the ID number field can be left blank.

The ID number can also be set in the gradebook, though it can only be edited on the activity settings page.

Restrict access settings

The Restrict access area becomes visible in Moodle activities and resource settings if Conditional Activities have been enabled.

Allow access from

The Access from date determines the day, month and year students may first access the activity via the assignment name link on the course page. To activate this option click in the Enable checkbox to add a tick.

Allow access until

The Access until date determines the day, month and year students may last access the activity via the assignment name link on the course page. To activate this option click in the Enable checkbox to add a tick.

Note: The difference between access from/to dates and availability settings for the activity is that outside the set dates the latter allows students to view the activity description, whereas access from/to dates prevent access completely.

Restrict access settings in Assignment

Grade Condition

This setting determines any grade conditions which must be met in order for students to access the activity. Multiple grade conditions may be set using the 'Add 2 grade conditions to form' button. If there are multiples completion conditions applied to an activity, it will only be accessible to learners when all grade conditions are met. See Conditional Activities for more information.

Before activity can be accessed

Before a learner has fulfilled the the Grade Conditions specified above and the activity is still inaccessible to them, you can choose whether to show the activity greyed-out on the course page with the grade conditions listed (restriction information) or to hide the activity from learner view entirely.

Locally assigned roles

In Settings > Assignment administration > Locally assigned roles selected users can be given additional roles in the activity. See the Using Moodle Custom role for 'Course Monitor' forum discussion for an example.

Assignment capabilities

Role permissions for the activity can be changed in Settings > Assignment administration > Permissions.

Site administration settings

The following configuration options are available for an administrator under Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Assignment.


Feedback plugin

The comments that are pushed to the gradebook from the assignment are limited to a single text only comment. An Administrator can specify which of the feedback plugins will be push comments to the gradebook. On a standard Moodle install the choices are "Feedback comments" (default) or "Feedback file" but there may be additional options if your Moodle install contains additional feedback plugins.

Show recent submissions

This option allows everyone to see notifications of submissions in Recent activity reports and the Recent Activity Block, within a course context. Note that the default for this option is No which means students will not be able to see when classmates have submitted or updated any Assignments.

Send submission receipt to students

This switch will enable submission receipts for students. Students will receive a notification every time they successfully submit an assignment.

Submission receipts settings

Submission Statement

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

An administrator can enter text in the box here which will appear when students are about to submit their assignment.

Admin view of Submission statement set up screen - click to enlarge
Student view when about to submit - click to enlarge

Require that students accept the Submission statement

If this is enabled then every assignment on the site will display the statement for students to agree to. The option will not appear in the assignment settings for a teacher.

If it is left as the default "No", then teachers will have the choice within their own assignments to force this or not.



The following configuration options are available for an administrator under Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Assignment plugins. There are two main sections Submission plugins and Feedback plugins.

Submission plugins

File submissions

Enabled by default If set, this submission method will be enabled by default for all new assignments.

Maximum submission size An Administrator can specify the maximum size of any individual file uploaded within the assignment module across all courses on the site. This limit may be equal to or less than course file upload limit.

Online text submissions

Enabled by default If set, this submission method will be enabled by default for all new assignments.

Submission comments

Enabled by default If set, this submission method will be enabled by default for all new assignments.

submission plugin.jpg

Feedback plugins

Feedback comments

Enabled by default If set, this submission method will be enabled by default for all new assignments.

File feedback

Enabled by default If set, this submission method will be enabled by default for all new assignments.

Offline grading worksheet

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

Enabled by default If set, this will be enabled by default for all new assignments


Managing assignment feedback plugins