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Add an assignment activity

The assignment activity in Moodle allows students to submit work for grading and feedback. There are multiple submission types that Moodle can accept and students can submit as individuals or as part of a group.

The video below summarises the assignment activity:

In this guide:

Adding an assignment activity

This guide talks through the most important or University of Warwick-specific settings. For guidance on all settings, see the Moodle Docs page on Assignment settings.

Click on the Help icon next to any of the options in Moodle to view explanations of them.

  1. Go to your Moodle space and enable Edit mode .
  2. Click Add an activity or resource in the section where you want to add the assignment.
  3. Select Assignment.
  4. Enter an Assignment name.
  5. Enter a Description (optional). The description will serve as the assignment instructions for your students.
  6. Set the Availability, most importantly the due date.
  7. Choose a Submission type based on what you would like students to submit.
    • Video/Audio Submission - allows students to submit video or audio files via eStream, the University's media streaming service. Files of up to 6GB can be uploaded this way and do not require downloading to view.
    • File submission - allows students to attach one or more files of any type. You can choose the maximum number of files and restrict the file type.
    • Mahara portfolio - allows students to submit Pages or Collections from their Mahara ePortfolios. By default, Pages are locked from editing once they are submitted.
    • Online text - allows students to enter text directly into a text box on the page. They can insert links and multimedia content via the editor but are not able to attach files. You can set a word limit for this type of assignment.
      NB. It is recommended to only use Online text submission for assignments with low word counts, or to ask students to type their answers into a document, and cut and paste them into the Assignment.
  8. Choose a Feedback type according to how you would like to provide students feedback. Choose from:
    • Feedback files - Use this to upload an annotated copy of the student's file, or a completed pro-forma you have used for grading. Note that you can create such grading forms in Moodle. See advanced grading options below.
    • Offline grading worksheet - his allows you to download a single spreadsheet and enter the grades and feedback comments for each student before uploading again. When used in conjunction with downloading all submissions as a .zip file, the whole marking process can be completed offline.
    • Annotate PDF - As long as PDF files are submitted by students, you can annotate the file within the browser. This includes inline text, comment boxes, stamps and highlighting.
      You can restrict submissions to PDF files by entering .pdf into the Accepted file types field under Submission settings.
    • Feedback comments - Enter comments using the standard text editor. You can also record up to 4 minutes of audio or video feedback directly from within the browser. Click on the Record audio or the Record video button to start recording.
    • Comment inline - Only for online text submissions, this copies the submitted text enabling you to make comments within in.
  9. Open the Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings and Enable if you want Turnitin to check for text matches against other sources. NB. Turnitin will only be able to check text files of more than 20 words. See Use Turnitin for an assignment for guidance.
  10. Set the Grade options:
      • Grade types - This is where the type of grade is selected. Some of these open additional grading options.
        • Point - a simple point range, gives additional Maximum grade and Grade to pass options. By default, assignments are graded out of 100 points. See Introduction to assessment and feedbackLink opens in a new window for guidance
        • Scale - opens option to select from pre-set scales or, if set up, a custom scale.
        • None - where a numerical grade is not required.
      • Grading method - This gives you the option to select from standard marking or one of the advanced grading options.
        • Simple direct grading - you provide an overall assignment grade and/or feedback
        • Marking guide - students are assessed on various criteria and you enter a grade and/or feedback per criterion
        • Rubric - you assign an achievement level of each criterion and the grade is calculated automatically

        More information on Marking guides and rubrics is available at Moodle Docs.Link opens in a new window

      • Grade category - This allows allocation of a category for this grade in the gradebook. Categories can be used to organise your gradebook and generate sub-totals for assessments with multiple components, for example.
      • Grade to pass - For use with completion tracking, this also highlights pass and fail grades in the gradebook by colouring green and red respectively
      • Blind marking - Hides the students' names from the marker. Names are replaced by a random participant ID number.
      • Use marking workflow - This allows the marker to specify at which stage of the marking process they are at for each assignment. This is particularly helpful if there are multiple markers. It also ensures that all grades and feedback are kept hidden from students until the workflow state is set to Released.
      • Use marking allocation - When marking workflow is enabled, marking allocation allows you to assign submissions to different markers.

      More information on marking workflow and marking allocation is available at Moodle Docs.Link opens in a new window

    • Scroll down and click Save and return to course.

    Viewing submissions

    Once an assignment is set up you can see a grading summary which shows an overview of the submissions and leads you to the submission inbox.

    1. Click on the activity link, either directly from the Moodle page or from the gradebook. This page will give you a general overview of the submission status.
    2. Click the View all submissions button to see a more detailed overview of each student’s submission. This page will vary slightly depending on the specific assignment settings, but next to the grade button you will see the individual status of that student’s submission.
    3. In the Status column, next to the grade option for each assignment there are three pieces of information that can be displayed here.
      • The submission state:
        • No submission
        • Submitted for grading
      • If overdue, an overdue status will also show.
        This will show the period of time that has expired since the assignment closed, and if the student is permitted to submit late this status will update to show the period that the submission was made after the assignment closed once the student submits.
      • The marking state:
        • Not marked
        • Graded

        Other marking states are possible if Marking workflow has been enabled in the assignment settings.

    Grading and giving feedback on submissions

    There are multiple options for grading and giving feedback and you will choose these in the assignment settings. To start grading:

    1. Click the Grade button on the assignment summary page OR a Grade button in the Grade column for an individual student in the list of submissions.

    The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.11 and was last updated November 2022.


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