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print Keywords: assessment, feedback, grading, marking, plagiarism, referencing, reference.

What is it?

Moodle Assignment lets you set, receive, mark, and give feedback on students' submitted work in multiple files and different file types. Moodle Assignment allows anonymous submissions. Its marking tools include highlighting, inline and summary comments, separate feedback files, and drawing. You can download original and marked submissions, and this affords offline marking. Group work can be submitted by a single student with all marks and feedback being returned to all the members of the group. Marks and feedback, including for anonymous submissions, can be uploaded back to Moodle. Each submission is private between that student (or group of students), their marker(s), and staff in the Moodle space. Moodle has a brief, illustrated overview of Assignment.

Issue with Group Assignments

Using Turnitin within a Moodle assignment for a similarity check works smoothly. In addition, using Turnitin Feedback Studio to mark individual Moodle assignments is unproblematic.

However, there is a known issue when using Turnitin's Feedback Studio for marking group Moodle assignments: if one group member changes the submission before the deadline, both versions of the submission appear in Feedback Studio including the original Moodle submission that was deleted. They appear under different student numbers, corresponding to who made the submission.  We make the following recommendation:  if you want to mark and give feedback using Turnitin's Feedback Studio on a group assignment, then set up a Turnitin Assignment (instead of a Moodle Assignment) . In other words, if you're using Moodle Assignment for groups, then limit your use of Turnitin's features to just the Similarity Check - give your feedback and marks via Moodle Grader .

Why use it?

Moodle Assignment offers some distinct benefits which are valued by some colleagues but are not available in Turnitin Assignment. These include group submissions, or marking offline and uploading summary feedback and marks, releasing marks and feedback early  while maintaining student anonymity, full compatibility with MyFeedback, and uploading feedback files.

Find out more about the differences between Moodle Assignment and Turnitin at UCL.

Staff running assignments can:

  • Display clear instructions and key dates for students including deadlines.
  • Present criteria to students as a rubrics (can be feedback only or numerically weighted).
  • Collect any kind of file, or link to work hosted elsewhere, or submissions typed directly into Moodle. Note that if you enable Turnitin, Turnitin's file restrictions will apply.
  • Collect uploaded work (it also enables assignments without file submissions).
  • Collect anonymised submissions.
  • Allow students to submit as a group, and give marks and feedback as a group.
  • Follow up on non-submissions (even where the submissions are anonymous).
  • Set extenuating circumstances for individual students.

Students can:

  • Upload any file type the marker can view and r eceive a submission receipt by email without needing to submit in person.
  • Receive marks and feedback.
  • View their summary feedback across modules in their My Feedback page, and navigate to any more detailed feedback.
  • Obtain a Turnitin Similarity Report.

Assessors can:

  • Combine audio, video and text based feedback.
  • Manage and monitor multiple marker processes.
  • Mark on a single screen, including feedback comments and other annotations.
  • Select some or all assignments to download and mark offline.
  • If marking offline, multi-upload marks and feedback, including feedback files.
  • Keep marks and feedback hidden from students until ready for release.
  • Release feedback without lifting anonymity e.g. for quick release of first marker's feedback before a mark has been agreed

Who can use it?

Any staff member enrolled on a Moodle course as a Tutor or Course Administrator can set up a Moodle assignment with the Turnitin plagiarism plugin enabled.

Students can see key dates, submit work (if applicable), view and interact with feedback (this should be entered using the Moodle grading tools), download their marked work. What students can do, and when, depends on settings chosen by staff

Before I start...

Come to an agreement with other assessors about a consistent marking and feedback strategy - this will use Moodle Grader (not Turnitin Feedback Studio for reasons outlined in other sections).

How do I set one up?

  1. To add a Moodle Assignment to your space, toggle Edit mode on, then Add an activity or resource link and select Assignment.
  2. To see all settings click the Expand all link.
  3. Enter an Assignment Name and Description (use for brief instructions - displays at the top of the Assignment page).
  4. Some Assignment settings to flag up (see the Moodle Assignment guidance for full descriptions):
    • Anonymous marking - student names will be anonymised until after marking (you can mark anonymised submissions offline and even multi-upload feedback files while maintaining this anonymity).
    • Marking workflow - see the Caution section. It allows markers to indicate what stage the marking is at, filter by stage, and release grades and feedback.

    • Marking allocation - depends on enabling Marking Workflow; it allows markers to be allocated submissions after the deadline; however, if you know in advance who will be marking which work then it's probably easier to use Groups for this.
    • Require students to click submit button - only use if you have a good reason, since there's a tendency for students to overlook the Submit button and assume that uploading is the same as submitting. When the Due Date passes the submission is locked, so as long as marking begins after the Due Date it is fine to set this to No
    • Students submit in groups - each group submits work in common, and the marks and feedback you give are distributed to all students in that group. 
    • Hide grader identity from students - enable this to hide grader name from student.
  5. Some Turnitin settings to flag up (see the Turnitin instruction manual for Moodle for full descriptions):
    • Originality Report Options > Store Student Papers :

      • Standard Repository: student papers submitted to this assignment are stored in Turnitin and checked against other students' submissions within this assignment, as well as other sources.

      • No repository - (not stored in Turnitin, for drafts/testing): the submission is not stored in Turnitin so student submissions will not be checked against each other, though they will be checked against other sources. Use 'No repository' for testing Turnitin and for drafts, so other (standard repository) submissions won't be matched to it.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display.

  7. Hide the grades until you're ready to release - see 'Keeping grades hidden until the release date' in the Moodle Assignment guidance.

Further help

Further guidance on Moodle Assignment is available from Moodle Docs - use in combination with Turnitin's guidance on the Similarity Report.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


  • In group submissions, Turnitin's Feedback Studio doesn't talk to Moodle Assignment very well. This means we need the following rule of thumb:  if you want to use Turnitin's Feedback Studio for group submissions, then set up a Turnitin Assignment (instead of a Moodle Assignment) . In other words,  if you're using Moodle Assignment, then limit your use of Turnitin's features to just the Similarity Check.
  • When you first create your Moodle assignment with Turnitin integration, a Turnitin class and assignment will be created which you can view on Turnitin UK. However, once the assignment is created, you cannot edit Turnitin settings from within Moodle (e.g. to exclude bibliography or to change whether submissions are stored in the repository). Although the settings will appear editable within Moodle, any changes will not carry over to Turnitin. Hence we recommend you create a new assignment if you need to change any of the Turnitin settings.
  • Do take the necessary steps to keep marks hidden until the intended release date otherwise by default marks and feedback are revealed to students as you save them. This is very easy, though you need to know where to find the settings.
  • The simplest way to keep marks hidden from students is to Hide the item in Moodle's Grader Report - see Moodle Docs for guidance on hiding grades - you can set a 'Hidden Until' date to reveal them automatically, or just do that manually.
  • Don't hide the assignment itself because this doesn't hide the grades (only the link to the assignment) and in any case students may want or need to refer back.
  • We note that Marking Workflow can hide grades, but we think this may be more effort unless you have many markers and/or fluid dates for returning marks and feedback.
  • If you want to limit the period of late submissions, use the 'Cut-off date' and/or 'Grant extension' - see the guidance on granting extensions at Moodle Docs.
  • Do put concise instructions, or signposts to instructions, into the Assignment's Description - these display at the top of that Assignment's page so students are guaranteed to see them. Putting them there is important because students can get straight into an Assignment from their homepage without going via your Moodle space, and therefore may not see any separate instructions.
  • Multiple markers - as usual, do coordinate carefully, especially if one of you is marking downloaded submissions offline with a marksheet. Before uploading those again it's very important to coordinate carefully with any other markers. 
  • Offline marking is not compatible with use of Moodle Rubrics or Marksheets - those need to be completed online (though you can always download the students' submissions to view offline).
  • The feedback students see will includes the name of the last marker to save their marks or feedback.
  • If you enable Turnitin, Turnitin's file restrictions will apply. Whilst student's will still be able to submit to the Moodle assignment, Turnitin will present a warning message to students and will not generate a Text matching report

Turnitin settings:

  • As Turnitin would be the first to say, the percentage match on the Similarity Report cannot be used as any indicator of plagiarism.
  • Turnitin's word count may be different from that of the original word-processed document, and different again from a PDF export of that original.
  • Turnitin won't generate more than one Similarity Report for any student in a given assignment in each 24 hour period; this is to promote engagement with the reports and avoid gaming.
  • Set your Assignment to allow students to generate a Similarity Report on a draft before making their final submission, and support them to interpret the report.
  • Turnitin only recognises quotations within double quotation marks i.e. not inverted commas. This may inflate the percentage match. 
  • If you require peer marking, we suggest using Moodle Workshop - avoid Turnitin Peermark since there are reports of several outstanding issues, but it is no longer being actively developed by Turnitin.

Examples and case studies

None at this time

Questions & Answers

Do students still receive an email notification when they submit?

Yes. Depending on the student's Notification preferences, the students should receive an email from Moodle confirming that they have submitted successfully. They will also receive an email from Turnitin which confirms the submission and provides a digital receipt. 

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