Skip navigation

Add an Assignment Activity in Moodle

The Assignment activity lets instructors communicate tasks, collect work, set due dates, and provide feedback and grades.

Students can submit digital files (such as word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, or audio and video clips), or the assignment may require students to type text directly into a text editor. The activity can also be used to remind students of assignments they need to complete offline, such as art work or classroom presentations.

When reviewing assignments, instructors can leave feedback comments or upload files, such as marked-up student submissions, documents with comments or spoken audio feedback. Assignments can be graded using a numerical or custom scale, or an advanced grading method such as a rubric or marking form. Final grades are recorded in the Moodle Gradebook.

Note: You can also create a Turnitin assignment (a separate option in the Activity chooser). With Turnitin assignments, students upload papers to a separate inbox on the Turnitin server where they can be evaluated for originality.

Add an Assignment

  1. On your main course page, click Turn editing on (top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Topic or Weekly Section where you want to add the assignment. (If you are using the Collapsed topics format, open the Section.)
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
  4. In the Activity Chooser, select Assignment and click Add. The Adding a new Assignment page will open.
  5. Configure settings for the assignment. For more information on these options, see Configure Assignment Options for Moodle (below).
  6. Click Save and return to course to return to your main course page.

Configure Assignment Options

When you add an Assignment activity to a Moodle course, you can choose from a number of settings. The first two settings are required; the remaining settings are optional. Click particular headings to view those settings, or Expand all (top right) to view all settings. This section describes each setting.

General

  • Assignment name (required)
    This name displays as a link on your course page. Use something unique that clearly identifies this assignment from other course activities. We also recommend keeping the name short.
  • Description (required)
    Enter a summary of the assignment and instructions. The Description will be visible to students when they click the assignment link.
  • Display description on course page
    Select this option to display the description underneath the assignment link on your course page. (This works best if the description is very concise).

Availability

  • Allow submissions from
    Determine when students can begin to submit to the assignment. Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Due date
    Determine when the assignment will be due. The due date will show in the course Calendar and within the Activities Block. Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Cut-off date
    Determine when the assignment will no longer accept submissions. (You can manually grant extensions to specific students if they need to submit beyond the cut-off date.) Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Always show description
    Uncheck this box if you want the assignment description to become visible to students only at the Allow submissions from date.

Submission Types

  • Submission Types
    With Online text, students can enter text directly into an editor.  If File submissions are enabled, students can upload one or more files. Submission comments allow graders and individual students to exchange comments about the student's submissions that are separate from written feedback provided through the Feedback option (see below) or in the Gradebook.
  • Note: To create an offline assignment where students will submit or perform work outside Moodle, leave both Online text and File submissions unchecked. You can still provide a description, set due dates and have the activity show in the course Calendar and Gradebook.
  • Maximum number of uploaded files
    If file submissions are enabled, each student will be able to upload up to the set number of files for their submission.
  • Maximum submission size
    If file submissions are enabled, each upload cannot exceed this file size. (If a student can upload multiple files, and uploads files at different times, the total can exceed the set size.)

Feedback types

  • Feedback comments
    If enabled, graders can provide written feedback for each submission. These comments are from the grader to the student (unlike Submission comments, which can be exchanged between students and graders).
  • Feedback files
    If enabled, graders can upload files containing feedback when marking assignments. For example, you can upload marked up student submissions, documents with comments, or spoken audio feedback.
  • Offline grading worksheet
    If enabled, graders can download a spreadsheet to enter grades without having to be logged in to Moodle. This can be useful if you anticipate grading while disconnected from the Internet. For more, see Offline Grading for Moodle Assignment Submissions.

Submission Settings

  • Require students click submit button
    If enabled, students will have to click a Submit button to declare their submission as final. Requiring the Submit button allows students to keep a draft version of the submission on the system.
    Note: If this setting is changed from No to Yes after students have made submissions, the submissions will be regarded as final.
  • Require that students accept the submission statement
    If enabled, students will be shown a statement that declares they are submitting their own original work and they will have to accept the statement before their submission is processed.
  • Attempts reopened
    If set to Manually, the student's submission can be reopened by a teacher. If set to Automatically until pass, the student's submission is automatically reopened until the student achieves a passing grade.
  • Maximum attempts
    The maximum number of submission attempts that can be made by a student. After this number of attempts has been made, the student's submission will not be able to be reopened.

Group Submission Settings

  • Students submit in groups
    If enabled, students can submit work together in groups rather than individually. For example, a group of students can submit one file that contains the joint work of the group. See Configure & Grade Group Assignments in Moodle.
  • Require all group members submit
    If enabled, all students in a group must individually click the Submit button in order to acknowledge that they are signing off on their group's joint submission.
    Note: This option is available only if both Students submit in groups and Require students click submit button are enabled.
  • Grouping for student groups
    If Students submit in groups is enabled, this option allows you to pick the Grouping that contains the student Groups that will be submitting their joint work for the assignment.

Notifications

  • Notify graders about submissions
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will receive an email alert whenever a student makes a submission. (This may not be manageable in a class with a large number of students.)
  • Notify graders about late submissions
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will receive an email alert whenever a submission is made after the due date.

Grade

  • Grade
    Select the maximum possible score for the assignment from the drop-down menu. You can also set the assignment to No grade or to a custom scale (see Custom Grading Scales in Moodle).
  • Grading method
    Choose Simple direct grading, Rubric or Marking guide to grade the assignment. See Grade with Rubrics in Moodle, or Marking Guide (at Moodle.org) to learn about using these grading methods.
  • Grade category
    Select a Category in your gradebook under which you would like the assignment grade to be placed. See Create Grade Categories in Moodle for instructions on how to create a category in your gradebook.
  • Blind marking
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will not see student names when grading submissions. For more, see Blind Marking for Moodle Assignment Submissions.

For instructions on how to download all submissions within an assignment, see Download All Student Submissions in a Moodle Assignment.  For more information on grading, see Grade Assignments in Moodle.

Common Module Settings

  • Visible
    Set whether or not an assignment is visible to students. By default, new assignments are set to Show. (This is comparable to using the Hide/show icon for the activity on your course page.)
  • ID number
    Setting an ID number identifies the activity for grade calculation purposes. See Using the Calculator Tool in the Moodle Gradebook.

Restrict Access

You can limit access to an assignment by start or end date, or set conditions that must be met before a particular student can access the assignment (such as a grade earned or completion of a previous activity). During the restricted period, the activity is hidden from students.
Note: Setting an activity to Allow access until makes the link unavailable to students after the end date; it also hides the grade item from students, which can lead to confusion. 
For more on controlling access to activities see Control Access to Resources and Activities in Moodle.

Edit an Assignment

While it is possible to edit the content or setup options of an existing assignment, proceed with caution if the assignment has already been released to students -- especially if students have already submitted work. Changing some options, such as changing participants when working with groups, may result in student confusion and the loss of work that has already been submitted.

To change the content or options for an assignment you have already created:

  1. With editing turned on, click the Update icon beside the assignment you wish to edit.
    Update icon for assignment activity
    The Updating Assignment page will open.
  2. The Updating Assignment page shows you the same options available on the Adding a new Assignment page. Here you may change your assignment options as needed, including changing the due date, grading information, and availability of the assignment. For more information, see Configure Assignment Options.
  3. Once you have finished making the necessary changes, click Save and return to course at the bottom of the page.