Assignment settings

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.7. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Assignment settings.


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

The following configuration options are available when creating or editing/updating any Assignment activity. Only General,Availability and Submission types are open by default;the others are collapsed. To expand everything, click the "Expand all" link top right. Click on any screenshot to see it full size.


General

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

General settings for an assignment

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

Provide instructions for your students here so they are clear what they have to do. Click the icon on the left to expand the toolbar and drag the bottom right of the text box out to expand it.

You can also provide information or resources related to the assignment, such as a video clip, an image, or a link to a webpage.

Display description on course page

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

Availability

Availability settings for an assignment


Allow submissions from

The Allow submissions from setting prevents students from submitting their assignment before the shown date. A teacher can 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.

This setting is enabled (ticked/checked) by default and is set at the day and time you added the assignment. To disable this, remove the tick/check.

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. For more information on using the Due Date see Assignment FAQ

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

Cut-off date

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

Always show description

If the 'Always show description' checkbox is ticked, the assignment description is always shown. If the checkbox is not ticked, the assignment description will be hidden until the 'Allow submissions from' date.

Assignment description hidden until the 'Allow submissions from' date.

If 'Allow submissions from' is disabled, then this setting has no meaning: the assignment description will always be visible to students.

Submission types

Select the type of submission here

Here you can decide how you wish students to submit their work to you.

Note that if Submission comments are enabled in Administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment>Submission plugins then students will be able to add a note to their teacher on submitting work. If Blind marking is enabled, student comments display as from "Participant 01 etc" to avoid revealing identities. These comments will appear in the grading table in the Submission comments column.

Online text

Learners can type their response directly in Moodle using the text editor.

New feature
in Moodle 2.7!
It's possible to set a word limit on an online text assignment. Students get a warning if they try to exceed the word limit:

onlinetextwordlimit.png

Note: Numbers (such as in addresses) are counted as words; structures such as I'm where an apostrophe replaces a part of a word are only counted as one word.

File submissions

Learners can upload and edit one or more files of any type the teacher can open.

If the student uploads a pdf file, the teacher can annotate it within the browser, and on saving, the annotated file is made available to the student. See section 5.4.1 Annotating pdfs in Using Assignment#Annotating_PDF_files

Note: This requires Ghostscript to be enabled on the server. This can be checked in Administration>Site administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignments>Feedback plugins>Annotate pdf.

Maximum number of uploaded files

Here you can decide the maximum number of files which may be uploaded by each learner. (It might be helpful to display the number 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.

Submission comments
Maximum file size

Feedback types

(This setting is collapsed by default)

Feedback types

Feedback comments

Setting this to yes means that markers can leave feedback comments for each submission. It enables the Feedback Comments column in the grading table.(To access the grading table, click on the assignment activity and then View/Grade all Submissions). Feedback comments are also accessible by clicking on the green tick in the grade column on the grading table.

The Feedback comments column
Type feedback comments into the box

Offline grading worksheet

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:

(Not working for non English users, yet. See https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-40597)
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.

Feedback files

This allows markers 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. It enables the Feedback Files column in the grading table. (To access the grading table click on the assignment activity and then View/Grade all Submissions)To upload feedback files, click on the green tick in the grade column on the grading table and then upload either with drag and drop or using the File picker.

Feedback is displayed to students on the assignment submission page.

The Feedback files column
Upload files here
Student view with comments and file feedback both enabled

Uploading multiple feedback files

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

  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 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.
Choose from the dropdown menu
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.

Comment inline

New feature
in Moodle 2.7!

If set to Yes, a teacher can comment directly on the text which a student has submitted as an online text type assignment.

Submission settings

(This setting is collapsed by default)

Submission settings

Require students click submit button

Students can upload draft versions of the assignment until such time as they are ready to submit.Once they click the submit button they indicate to the teacher that they have finished working on the assignment. (In earlier versions of Moodle this was called "Send for marking".)

They can then longer edit their submission. If they need to change it, they must ask the teacher who can revert the assignment to draft status.

To revert to the draft stage, click on the assignment activity and then View/Grade all Submissions. Locate the student and click the action icon in the Edit column. Select Revert the submission to draft.

If this setting is No, then students do not have to to click a submit button and are able to make changes to uploaded files at any time.

If this setting is No but the teacher wishes 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.

To do either of these with a number of students, use the With selected menu at the bottom of the grading table.

Reverting to draft
Prevent submission changes
"With selected"..

To do either of these with a number of students, use the With selected menu at the bottom of the grading table.

Require that students accept the Submission statement

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.

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.

Attempts reopened

This setting allows the teacher to decide how submissions are reopened. The default is "Never", in that students may only submit once. However, a teacher can set this to "Manually" and reopen it themselves for the student to resubmit, or to "Automatically until pass". The student must then keep trying and resubmitting until they get a pass grade. Passing grades are set in the Gradebook. (Note that for this you need to set the assignment so that students have to click 'submit for marking'. If not, then, unless you manually lock a student's assignment, then they can continue to edit it for as long as they like.)

Maximum attempts

If a student is allowed to resubmit, this setting will determine how many times they can resubmit before they are no longer allowed to do so. (For example, if a student has to keep trying until they get a pass grade, the teacher might decide that ten attempts is enough even though they have not yet passed!)

Groups submission settings

(This setting is collapsed by default)

Group submission settings

Students submit in groups

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. (Note also that if a student is in more than one group then their submission will be made to the default group.)

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.

Notifications

(This setting is collapsed by default)

Notifications

Notify graders about submissions

Teachers will receive a message (of a type they choose) whenever a student submits an assignment. Please note if you are using the assignment in Groups Mode (eg Separate or Visible Groups), the teacher will need to be a member of the group in order to receive the submission notification.

Notify graders about late submission

Teachers will receive a message (of a type they choose)whenever a student submits a late assignment. Please note if you are using the assignment in Groups Mode (eg Separate or Visible Groups), the teacher will need to be a member of the group in order to receive the submission notification.

Grade

(This setting is collapsed by default)

Grade

Grade

  • Select Points or Scale from the dropdown. If you will not be giving a grade for the assignment, choose No Grade.
  • Then select your points or chosen scale.

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.


Blind marking

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.) This is also the case if student comments have been enabled. 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"

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

Use marking workflow

When set to Yes, teachers will be able to specify the stage they are at in their grading of individual assignments (as in the screenshot below)

Marking workflow state in the individual grading screen
Dropdown to select marking workflow state when quick grading

One advantage of using marking workflow is that the grades can be hidden from students until they are set to 'Released'. The actual list of steps are:

  • Not marked (the marker has not yet started)
  • In marking (the marker has started but not yet finished)
  • Marking completed (the marker has finished but might need to go back for checking/corrections)
  • In review (the marking is now with the teacher in charge for quality checking)
  • Ready for release (the teacher in charge is satisfied with the marking but wait before giving students access to the marking)
  • Released (the student can access the grades/feedback)

Example use cases

One marker, Marker, wants to release all grades at the same time

  • Marker enables "Use marking workflow"
  • Marker marks each submission and transitions the grading to "Marking completed" as each submission is graded.
  • Marker then uses the batch operations to transition all grades to "Released" at the same time.

Multiple markers,

  • Marker enables "Use marking workflow"
  • Marker marks each submission and transitions the grading to "Marking completed" as each submission is graded.
  • Marker then uses the batch operations to transition all grades to "Released" at the same time.

Use marking allocation

If marking workflow (see above) is set to Yes, it is possible to enable marking allocation. This means that teachers can be selected to grade or review the submitted work of specific students. Colleagues can monitor progress through the displayed marking workflow states:

Allocated markers on the grading screen

Common module settings

See Common module settings

Restrict access settings

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

Locally assigned roles

In Administration > 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 Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Assignment.


Assignment settings

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

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


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

Note that since Moodle 2.7.4 it's possible to show submission statements in different languages. See Multi-language content filter for how to do this.

Default assignment settings

The administrator can specify here the default assignment settings which may be set as 'Advanced' (ie, they will appear when clicking 'Show more') or 'Locked' (ie the teacher cannot change them.)

Default, Advanced and Locked checkboxes


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

Submission plugins

Manage assignment submission plugins

Here you can change the order, check the settings or uninstall a particular submission plugin.

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

If Submission comments are enabled in Site administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment>Submission plugins AND comments enabled globally in Site Administration > Advanced features) then students will be able to send a message to their teacher when submitting their assignment. If either of those settings is disabled, then the submission comments link will not appear.

Feedback plugins

Manage assignment feedback plugins

Here you can change the order, check the settings or uninstall a particular feedback plugin.

Feedback comments

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

Annotate pdf

Here you can upload stamps for teachers to use when annotating student pdfs. You can also check the ghostscript path:

Ghostscript not installed or incorrectly installed
Ghostscript correctly installed

If the default stamps are deleted by accident, they can be found in mod/assign/feedback/editpdf/pix and re-uploaded.

File feedback

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

Offline grading worksheet

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

See also

Synergy Learning blog post: Assignment resubmissions