Skip navigation

Add an Assignment Activity in Moodle

The Assignment activity lets you 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 the text editor. An Assignment can also be used to remind students of 'real-world' 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 course Gradebook.

Notes:

  • If you used Moodle before Spring 2013 (Moodle 2.2 and prior), you will see that there is now only one assignment type (there used to be four). Pick and choose options on the Settings page to design comparable assignments to Offline Activity, Online text, Upload single file or Advanced upload of files. If you are reusing a course from a previous semester, assignments were converted to the new single assignment type during the Moodle 2.3 upgrade.
  • 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 (at top right).
  2. In the Section where you would like to add an assignment, click + Add an activity or resource (at bottom-right of section). The Activity chooser opens.
  3. In the Activity Chooser, select Assignment. A description of the Assignment activity appears at right with links to help.
  4. At the bottom of the Activity Chooser, click Add. The Adding a new Assignment screen will open.
  5. Configure settings for the assignment. For more information on these options, see Configure Assignment Options for Moodle (below).
    Note: All assignments must have a name and a description. The description sill show when a student opens the assignment activity and can include instructions.
  6. Once you are done setting up your assignment options, 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 are optional. This section describes each setting.

General

  • Assignment name (required)
    A name of the assignment is used in the assignment Link on your course page. Consider using something unique that clearly identifies this assignment from other course assignments you have created or will create. It is best to keep the name short, but some instructors find it useful to include the due date or other identifying information in the name.  
  • Description (required)
    Enter a summary of the assignment and instructions. The Description will be visible to students when they click the assignment link (for conditions, see the Always show description option, below).
  • Display description on course page
    Select this option to display the description on your course page. (This works best if the description is very concise).

Assignment Settings

  • 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 any 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
    Set this to No if you want the assignment description to become visible to students only at the Allow submissions from date.
  • 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.
  • Notify graders about submissions
    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
    Instructors and TAs will receive an email alert whenever a submission is made after the due date.
  • 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.
  • Blind marking
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will not see student names when grading submissions. For more, see Blind Marking for Moodle Assignment Submissions.
     

Submission Settings

You can mix and match these settings to design your assignment.  For example, you can allow both text submissions and file uploads.

  • Online text
    If enabled, students can enter text directly into an editor.  Submissions can contain embedded media and links.
  • File submissions
    If enabled, students can upload one or more files as their submission.
  • Note: To create an 'offline' assignment where students will submit or perform work outside Moodle, set both Online text and File submissions to No. 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.)
  • Submission comments
    Graders and individual students can exchange comments about a student's submissions. These comments are seen by students on the assignments page and are separate from written feedback provided through the Feedback option (see below) or in the Gradebook Submission comments are most useful for communicating assignment logistics, but could also be used to provide feedback on work in progress.
    Note: Unless you visit the assignment grading screen for a particular student, you will not be alerted that comments have been left. This may make exchanging comments unmanageable for larger classes.

Feedback settings

Graders can deliver written feedback to individual students which they will see when they open the assignment after it is graded.

  • 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 graders and students, see above). Feedback comments show in the assignment, and also in the Grade report for the activity.
  • Feedback files
    If enabled, graders can upload files containing feedback when marking assignments. For example, you can return marked up student submissions, or upload 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.
     

Grade

  • Grade
    Select a value from the drop-down menu for the maximum possible score for the assignment. You can also set the assignment to No grade or to a custom scale (see Custom Grading Scales in Moodle).
  • Grading method
    Choose between Simple direct grading, Rubric or a Marking guide to grade the assignment. (See Grade with Rubrics in Moodle, or Marking Guide (at Moodle.org) to learn about using the Advanced 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.

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

Click Show Advanced to view all options.

  • Group mode, Grouping, Available for group members only
    These options let you restrict the assignment to particular groups of students you have already created in Moodle. For more information, see Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle.
  • 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, and 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 recipients when you are 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 screen will open.
  2. The Updating Assignment screen shows you the same options available on the Adding a new Assignment screen. 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.