Online text assignment
This assignment type asks students to submit text, using the normal Moodle editing tools.
Teachers can grade them online, and even add inline comments or changes. Online text assignments, together with Blogs, have replaced the non-standard Journal module.
By default, students cannot resubmit assignments once the teacher has graded them. I
Email alerts to teachers
If enabled, then teachers are alerted with a short email whenever students add or update an assignment submission.
As reflective learning and formative assessment have a greater presence in education today, the online text assignment proves a useful way for students to record their thoughts and feelings about a particular topic or theme within the Moodle environment itself. Tutors can set up online text activities that ask students to reflect on both rhetorical or assigned questions depending on the learning outcome or goal.
Online text assignments can also be free spaces set up by the course tutor for students to reflect at moments of their own choosing within a course. It is perfectly acceptable to make use of the online text assignment as a private space for personal learning and reflection in some instances (ie. no tutor feedback) and as a collaborative space between tutor and student in others (ie. tutor feedback, comments and/or short discussions). Pedagogically, both methods of using the activity are good learning models for the former allows students a reflective space of their own to develop their ideas, whilst the latter gives them a space of private support with you that provides them with reliable feedback.
How you decide to monitor online text activities is, of course, up to you. The most significant element of monitoring is to provide students with clear guidance of when and how this will take place. For instance, if you do not plan to monitor the activity at all, be sure to inform the students that this is a private space for their own personal use (although tutors will be able to read entries) and be clear that no feedback will be provided. Alternatively, if you wish to make contributions in the form of feedback, be sure to inform the student that, for example, they can expect feedback and comments from you once a week or every two weeks. In terms of feedback and expectation levels, keeping communications between you and students very clear will ensure a level of trust necessary to build and maintain a community in your e-learning environment.