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Add a workshop activity

Workshop is a powerful peer (and self) assessment activity. Students submit their own work and then receive a number of submissions from other students which they must assess according to the teacher's specifications. (They can also assess their own work if you add this setting). Content may be typed directly into Moodle or files of any type may be uploaded (as long as others have the software to view them). Students receive two grades: one for their own work submitted and assessed by their peers and one for their own assessment of another student’s work. These will both appear in the gradebook.

The workshop is complex to setup, with more settings than we can cover in detail in this introduction. They include:

  • General settings - Grading, submission, assessment, feedback and conclusion settings; example settings; availability settings; common module, restricted access and activity completion settings.
  • Phase settings - Assessment form; example submissions; scheduled allocation; mark calculation.

These are added during creation and after the workshop has been added to the course but before it can be made available to students.

How does it work?

The work flow for the Workshop module can be viewed as having five phases following a straight path through (1) Setup, (2) Submission, (3) Assessment, (4) Grading / Evaluation, and ending with (5) Closed phase. You switch manually between phases by clicking on the 'Switch to the * phase' link (in blue as indicated by the arrow).

5 stages of a workshop

The typical workshop activity can cover days or even weeks and, importantly, the course leader / teacher switches the activity from one phase to another, manually.

Setting up a workshop activity

Turn editing on, and select 'Workshop' from the Activity Chooser.

  1. Give the workshop a name and a description telling students what the workshop is about.
    Workshop name and description

  2. If you're not sure about the Grading settings, leave them as default. Students get two grades - one for the work they submit and one for the quality of their peer assessments. You can change the default 80% and 20% if you wish and you can also set passing grades for both scores. It is usually only the students who do the assessing, although you can assess and also change individual student grades later on if necessary.
    Workshop grading settings

    For more detailed information, see Workshop grading strategies.

    When filling out the assessment settings for a Number of Errors strategy, you must fill in the Grade Mapping Table e.g. if there are 5 assertions, you should fill in the boxes as 80, 60, 40, 20, 0% so that 1 error means 80% score (or 4 out 5), and 3 errors means 40% score (or 2 out of 5) etc. If you do not then these will be given full marks regardless of errors found.
  3. The Submission settings is where you tell students what they must do for this task. They can type directly into Moodle or upload one or more files. You can let them submit late if you wish and you can specify which file types they are allowed to upload.
    Workshop submission settings

  4. The Assessment settings is where you tell students what they are looking for when assessing the work of their peers. Don't give detailed instructions because this will be done later. Check the box under the description to all student to assess their own work.
    Workshop assessment settings

  5. Feedback will give the students the option of typing in some free text comments when they peer assess. You can make this optional, required or turn it off. They may also upload files as feedback, and you can specify which file types they may add. You can also add a conclusion to the workshop which will display when it is over.
    Workshop feedback settings

  6. You might find it useful to give your students one or more example submissions to practise on first. If you do, you can make them optional or required. You can force them to practise on any example submissions before they upload their own or afterwards before they do the peer-assessments.
    Workshop example submission settings

  7. Use the availability section to decide if you want the students to be given submissions to assess automatically once the submission deadline is over.
    • Set the opening date and time for the submission phase and then set the (optional) deadline for submissions. If not set, the activity will remain open and be ongoing.
    • Tick the check box if you wish the workshop to switch to the assessment phase automatically. Note: If you enable this feature, it is recommended to set up the scheduled allocation method as well. If the submissions are not allocated, no assessment can be done even if the workshop itself is in the assessment phase.
    • Tick the Enable check box and then set the open date and time for the assessment phase.
    • Tick the Enable check box and then set the deadline for the assessment phase.

Workshop availability settings

Workshop phases

Click on the links in each phase to set further options once the workshop has been added to the course. Green ticks indicate that these sections have been completed in previous steps, grey-striped ticks are currently selected options that need more information added, and red X indicates an option that is not currently in use (but can be setup).

Workshop phases settings


This is when you setup the Workshop activity including the grading strategy, availability of phases and the assessment settings (1). The criteria for an assignment are added via an assessment form during the setup phase. The specific fields available will vary slightly depending on the grading strategy chosen during creation of the workshop. Students can view this form during both submission and assessment phases to help focus on key requirements.

  1. Enter the criteria for the assessment
  2. Set the method of scoring and set a maximum grade or mark.
  3. Select the weighting for this aspect - leave this at 1 for all aspects if they are equally important.
    NB the influence of a particular aspect is determined by its weight only, not the grade type or range used.
  4. Add additional aspects / critera and when finished, click on 'save and close'.

Workshop assessment form


During this phase, students submit their work electronically. You can set a submission start date and time and a submission end date. If you have set up automatic allocation of submissions (see 7. above) click on 'Set up scheduled allocation' to enable this process to take place at the end of the submission phase (2). Alternatively,you must manually allocate submissions to students by clicking on 'Allocate submissions' (3).

Allocation settings

It is worth noting that there are 3 methods to allocate submissions to students for peer assessment.

  1. Manually by the course leader / teacher. This is the most time consuming but lets the teacher control which and how many items are allocated to each student.
  2. Randomly. Submissions are randomly allocated to students according to the 'number of reviews' required (4). Students can be allowed to review if they have not yet submitted (5). These settings also appear in 3.
  3. Scheduled allocation. Submissions are automatically allocated to students at the end of the submission phase.

Setup allocation - manual, random, scheduled

Note that group mode can be enabled for the workshop to further delimit work.


During the assessment phase, students access and mark the submissions allocated to them for the peer review.

Grading / Evaluation

This phase calculates the final grades for the submitted work (4) and the assessments (5). Participants get two grades which are calculated during the Grading evaluation phase and you can manually override these and provide the students with feedback on the work they submitted and the grading they did. The grades for a Workshop activity are obtained gradually over several stages before being finalised and will not go to the gradebook until the workshop is closed in the final phase.


When you close the workshop, this ends the peer assessment process and releases grades.

Note: Setting up a workshop is complicated but this is an excellent pedagogic tool. If you would like help in designing and setting up a workshop, please contact Extended Classroom Support moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk.

For more guidance on the workshop, see:

The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.4 and was last updated October 2018.


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