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Keywords: assessment, submission, feedback, grading, marking.

Please refer to guide M09 - Digital Assessment - an Overview for the different phases of digital assessment at UCL.


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.

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

Why use it?

Students can:

  • Upload any file type the marker can view and receive a submission receipt by email without needing to travel
  • Receive any marks and feedback given.
  • See their feedback across modules in their My Feedback page.

In terms of running assignments it allows you to:

  • Collect anonymised submissions.
  • Display clear instructions and key dates for students.
  • Collect uploaded work (it also enables assignments without file submissions).
  • Select some or all assignments to download and mark offline. 
  • Manage and monitor multiple marker processes.
  • Allow students to submit as a group, and give marks and feedback as a group.
  • Keep marks and feedback hidden from students until ready for release.
  • Follow up on non-submissions (even where the submissions are anonymous).

Moodle Assignment offers a sophisticated marking environment with:

  • Online marking on a single screen, including feedback comments and other annotations.
  • The option to bulk-download, mark offline, and bulk-upload again.
  • Marking grids and rubrics (can be feedback only or numerically weighted).
  • Any kind of file accepted.

Who can use it?

Staff can set up assessments, set up criteria as grids or guides, give marks and feedback either online or offline, download submissions, and export marks and summary feedback.

Students can see key dates, submit work (if applicable), view and interact with feedback, download their marked work. What students can do, and when, depends on settings chosen by staff.

Before I start...

  • As with any activity, set up some Test Student Accounts so that you can try out your assignment from a student point of view and check that your instructions communicate as you intend.
  • If using a marking grid, finalise it and have it to hand.
  • Have the agreed dates for deadlines and release of marks to hand.
  • Think about the instructions students will need, including about engaging with their feedback.
  • Organise to show other assessors how to use the assignment you set up (students are sensitive to inconsistencies of marking approach).
  • If you are marking anonymously and need to keep copies of still-anonymous submissions for External Examiner use later, then write a calendar reminder to download these before anonymity is lifted when marks are released.

Meeting the Baseline

The UCL E-Learning Baseline suggests the following for Assessment:

  • 4.1 Provide an assessment outline  with a clear description of the module assessment, including schedule, criteria and submission details. To avoid duplication this might include a link to a module webpage.

How do I set one up?

Here's a summary of the guidance on Assignment settings available from moodledocs.

  1. To add a Moodle Assignment to your space, Turn editing on, then click on the 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 - a Template is provided below).
  4. Some settings we'd particularly like to flag up:
    • Anonymous marking - student names will be anonymised until after marking (you can mark anonymised submissions offline).
    • Marking workflow - enable this to allow all marks and feedback to be released at the same time. It can also help coordinate multiple markers.

    • Marking allocation - this allows allocation of markers to work after the deadline; however, if you know in advance who will be marking whose work then it's probably easier to use Groups for this. Marking allocation depends on Marking workflow being enabled.
    • Require students to click submit button - set to yes, this ensures students confirm their submission is final and not a draft. It also locks submissions after the due date for students who have clicked the submit button. Be aware that some students may overlook the submit button and assume that uploading is the same as submitting. Where this occurs, Moodle will flag the status of the submissions as draft. Markers can lock the submission or submit it on behalf of the student. 
    • 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*.
      *IMPORTANT: If you enable group submissions you must tick the 'Require group to make submission' option, as there is currently a bug in Moodle where it will display an unstyled page with 'You can't add comments' written at the top if this is not ticked. When enabled, this setting means that users who are not members of a group will be unable to make submissions. 
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display.
  6. Hide the grades until you're ready to release - see 'Keeping grades hidden until the release date' in the Moodle Assignment guidance.


Further guidance on Assignment is available from moodledocs.

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.

Caution

  • Keeping marks hidden until the intended release date needs active management:
    • To keep marks hidden from students until the marking process is complete, you need to Hide that item in the Grader Report - see moodledocs for guidance on hiding grades. Otherwise by default marks and feedback are revealed to students one by one as you save them. You can also use Marking Workflow but unless you have many markers and/or fluid dates we think it takes more effort.
    • 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 moodledocs.
  • Avoid using 'Hide' for the whole assignment, since students may need to refer back.
  • When marking, remember to click 'Save changes' before navigating to the next submission.
  • Do put your 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, so are liable to miss any separate instructions.
  • Multiple markers - 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 submissions to view offline).
  • Group submissions - if this is set to 'Require all group members submit' this means that each group member needs to be instructed to submit. This is effectively requiring each student's active approval for the submission - good in theory as long as students know they are supposed to do this. There needs to be a process in place which anticipates a few individuals not submitting, for whatever reason (possibly they just forgot). Alternatively, it may be less hassle for everyone not to require this.

Be aware that in assignments set to be anonymous, student identities may be revealed to tutors at any time by clicking on the Reveal student identities link found in the assignments settings block. If this link is clicked prior to any submissions being made the link will disappear from the block giving little indication that although the assignment is set as anonymous it no longer is. If you don't see the Reveal student identities in the settings block the assignment is not anonymous.

Moodle assignment description (Template)

Please submit your [assignment description e.g. “3,000 word final essay”] here by the [due date and time]. Ensure that you submit no later than 2min before this time.

If your work comprises several separate files, e.g. a cover sheet and an essay, merge both parts into one document before you submit.

Resubmissions are permitted until the deadline date. When you re-submit, your previous submission is overwritten by the current one.

Be sure to submit only these file types/formats: ….

Your submission must not exceed 160MB.

Examples and case studies

  • For an overview of electronic management of assessment see Jisc's case studies.
  • Search Moodle for: hands-on with Moodle assignment (don't use speechmarks). In that Moodle space you can adopt both student and assessor roles to experience submitting work and giving and receiving marks and feedback.

Questions & Answers

See the Moodle Assignment - Questions & Answers page.

Further information


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