Skip to main content Skip to navigation

How to create an assignment

Click on the Add an activity or resource link in the appropriate section of your Moodle space and then choose Assignment from the dialogue box that appears; scroll to the bottom of the box and click on the Add button.

In the General section first of all click on the Expand all link at the top right of the screen to open up all of the fields (be warned there are a lot of them!) Then complete the Assignment name and Description fields and put a tick in the Display description on course page checkbox.

Assignment creation interface - name and description

If you have any attachments you want to make available to your students (such as a more detailed assignment brief or marking criteria) attach them by clicking on the Add icon (the page with a plus sign next to it) at the top of the Additional files section.

Assignment creation interface due dates

This will display the File picker menu. You need to click on Upload a file from the left hand menu and then the Browse button to find a file on your PC. Click on the Open and Upload this file buttons to complete the process. You can only attach one file at a time, so if you need to attach more than one, you will need to repeat this step.


Alternatively you can drag and drop files from your desktop into the Additional files section. Be aware that you need to use the latest versions of Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari. Drag and drop will not work with Internet Explorer 9 or earlier, or Safari 5 or earlier.

Then choose the Allow submissions from and Due date dates and times from the Availability section by ticking the relevant Enable checkbox and setting the dates and times from the dropdown menus. At this point you can also choose to prevent late submissions by setting the Cut off date and also set a grading reminder by checking the Remind be to grade by checkbox. The Always show description checkbox should also be ticked.

The Submission types section allows you to control the number, type and size of files that students can submit.

Assignment submission settings interface

The Submission types checkboxes allow you to specify the types of files that Moodle will accept, available options are:

  • Video/Audio Submission - students are able to submit a video or audio file using Planet eStream. If you want your students to submit a video or audio file with a Word document you should use the File submissions option instead. It is also good practice to enable Online text with this option in case students have problems uploading their recordings and need to provide a URL to the recording instead.
  • File submissions - students will be able to submit any file types as long as they are under 100MB in size. This is the most common form of assignment submission.
  • Mahara portfolio - students can submit some or all of their Mahara portfolio. Further instructions are available here.
  • Online text - students will be given a text box to type into (or to copy and paste into).

Maximum number of uploaded files determines how many files you want to allow your students to submit for the assignment.

Maximum submission size is the largest file that can be submitted at any one time. If you choose to allow several files to be submitted each of them will be up to the maximum file size. The individual file upload limit for Moodle is 100MB.

You can limit the types of files you want your students to attach by clicking the Choose button in the Accepted file types section and selecting the appropriate files from the (very long) dialogue box that appears. If you leave this field empty your students will be able to submit any file type (this is recommended).

The Site and Lock submitted pages fields are only applicable to Mahara submissions (see the link above for more details).

The Word limit field will only become active if you tick the Online text checkbox. If you enable this you can limit how many words your students can type, or copy and paste into the online textbox.

In the Feedback types section you can choose the type of feedback you want to be able to give to your students. These are:

  • Feedback comments - the marker can leave feedback comments for each submission.
  • Feedback files - the marker can attach feedback files to each submission (these can be audio, video or text-based files).
  • Offline grading worksheet - the marker downloads and uploads a worksheet containing the student grades usually in the form of a CSV file.
  • Comment inline - the marker will see a copy of the submission text in their comment field; this enables easier use of coloured text comments. It functions in a similar (but more basic way) to the comment feature in Word.

Further information about marking assignments is available here.

Feedback tpes section Moodle assignment

The Submission settings section gives you a number of extra submission settings:

  • Require students click submit... - in almost all cases leave this setting on No as it adds an extra button for the students to click on once they have uploaded their assignment. In my experience this setting leads to problems with students thinking they have submitted their assignment when in fact they have not completed the process. If this is set to No, students can make changes to their submission at any time. If it is set to Yes, students can upload draft versions of their assignment until they are ready to submit (as long as it is before the submission deadline). Clicking the submit button tells the marker the student has finished drafting and that the work is ready to be marked. The student cannot edit their submission and must ask the teacher to revert to draft status if they need to change it again.
  • Require that students accept... - set this to Yes if you intend to use Turnitin with your assignment submissions. It will add the University statement on plagiarism and proof reading to the submission interface; students have to check the box to confirm they have read it before they can submit their assignment.
  • Attempts reopened - this controls whether the student can resubmit their work and links to the Require students click submit... option above. The three options are Never (which is the recommended setting), Manually and Automatically until pass. We do not tend to use any of these options as our marking processes are quite different.
  • Maximum attempts - again this controls how many times students can resubmit their work if the Require students click submit... option has been checked. We do not tend to use any of these options as our marking processes are quite different.

Group submission settings - for the purposes of this guide please ignore this setting as we are only concerned with individual student submissions.

Ensure that each of the dropdown menus in the Notifications section are set to No, otherwise you will end up with lots of email notifications each time a student submits a piece of work.

For the purposes of this guide please ignore the Turnitin section. Further information about Turnitin is available here.

Moodle assignment grades interface

The Grade section allows you to choose a numerical (Point) grade for the assignment (you will need to set the Maximum grade field if using this option), grade it as a pass, merit or distinction or choose an alternative marking Scale. You can also leave the assignment as ungraded.

The Grading method menu allows you to choose what Moodle terms Advanced Grading Methods. The default Simple direct grading relates to the Grade section above but you can also choose to use a Marking Guide or a Rubric. Further information about marking assignments is available here.

If you choose a Grade category this will control the category in which the assignment’s grades are recorded in the Moodle gradebook.

You can set the Grade to pass (which must be less that the Maximum grade setting and decide whether you want to use Blind marking (anonymous marking). This will remove the student name from the submissions.

Further infromation about using the Marking workflow and the Marking allocation settings is available here.

For the purposes of this guide please ignore the rest of the fields and then click on either of the Save buttons to complete the process.