Create and Manage Assignments in Moodle


This page presents instructions to help you:

  • create an assignment
  • create a private online space for a student as part of an assignment
  • manage student submission of audio or video assignments via theBox
  • download assignments for offline marking.
These instructions do not apply to Turnitin assignments. For Turnitin assignment instructions, visit our Turnitin Support pages.
The page Mark an assignment using simple direct grading shows you how to mark the assignment. Assignment marking is done within the Assignment activity, not in the Gradebook.



Step by step instructions

Create an assignment

Are you assessing offline? To create a place in the Gradebook where you can mark an assignment that is completed and submitted outside Moodle, see the instructions for creating a manual grade item.
  1. On the Moodle course home page, click Turn editing on at the upper right of the page .
  2. In the relevant page section, click Add an activity or resource and in the resulting pop-up, under ACTIVITIES, select Assignment. Click Add.

  1. On the Adding a new Assignment page, click Expand all at the upper right, and in the General section:
    • Enter an Assignment name.
    • Enter a Description of the assignment. It should contain all the instructions for formatting and submitting the assignment, as well as grading criteria. You may want to add a link to a rubric document. Be as detailed about your expectations as possible, especially early in the semester, to minimise questions, issues and anxiety for your students.
    • Select the Display description check box if you want the text you entered in the Description to display on the course home page below the assignment's link.

  2. Complete the Availability section, selecting Enable and specifying dates and times at which you want to Allow submissions, the Due date and the Cut-off date for the assignment.  If you select No at Always show description, the text in the Description field will only display to students on and after the Allow submissions from date.
    • Task dates display on a student's home page when they first log in, and in the Moodle Calendar, which can be subscribed or imported by other calendar programs.
    • By default, students can submit after the Due date, but not after the Cut-off date. However, Instructors can grant an extension to allow an individual to submit later.
    • The Cut-off date defaults to the Due due meaning no late submissions are enabled by default.  To allow late submissions adjust the Cut-off date.

  3. Complete the Submission types section.
    • At Submission types:
      • Select Media collection if you want to allow students to submit a media collection as their submission. (If you choose to allow File submissions as well, note that these file submissions appear as part of the Moodle assignment and are not linked within the Media collection.)
      • Select Online text to have students submit their assignment by placing text in the Moodle text editor. For essays of any length, advise them to complete their work offline and cut-and-paste it into Moodle, rather than risk losing their work if anything happens to their Moodle connection mid-submission.
      • Select File submissions if you want to allow students to upload an assignment file as their submission. (You can now create an assignment that allows both online text and file submission.)
    • If you chose Media collection, in the Media collection drop-down choose the activity to which the students are submitting work as part of the assessment.
    • Specify the Gallery visibility (Always, Due date, Cut-off date, Never).
    • Specify the Maximum number of uploaded files and the Maximum submission size. (These settings relate to file submissions and to files uploaded to the assignment activity. The maximums for the media collection itself are specified in the media collection activity settings.)
    • If you wish to set a word limit on the online text part of the assignment, Enable the Word limit field and enter the maximum number of words allowed.

  4. Complete the Feedback types section. You can now allow feedback as comments and files, and create an Offline grading worksheet here instead of in the Gradebook. The offline worksheet ensures that marks go into the right activity, and can be used by Tutors without the risk of giving them access to the whole Gradebook. Comments and grades (but not feedback files) can be downloaded as a spreadsheet.
    • Selecting Yes for Comment inline will result in the original submission being copied into the feedback comment field during grading, so that you can add inline comments (e.g. using a different colour) or edit the original text. The student's original submission will be kept intact.

  5. In the Submission settings section:
    • Selecting Yes for Require students click submit button will allow students to keep a draft version of the submission on the system, only submitting it when it is final.
    • At Attempts reopened, click the Help icon to help you decide which option to select.
    • If you select anything other than Never at Attempts reopened, at Maximum attempts select the maximum number of attempts at this assignment that you will allow.

  6. Will this assignment involve group submission?
    • If no, continue to the next step.
    • If yes, under Group submission settings:
      • At Students submit in groups select Yes.
      • At Require group to make submission, select Yes if appropriate (the Require students click submit button under Submissions settings must be selected Yes for this check box to be active).
      • At Require all group members submit, select Yes only if you want to prevent users who are not in a group from submitting an assignment.
      • Select the appropriate Grouping for students groups from the drop-down list.
  7. In the Notifications section:
    • At Notify graders about submissions, select No unless it is particularly important that teachers be notified of each individual submission. Be sure to select No if you will be setting up blind marking for this assignment.
    • If you selected No at Notify graders about submissions, you can also choose whether you want to Notify graders about late submissions.
    • At Default setting for "Notify students", you can set the default value for the Notify students check box on the grading form.  The default setting is No.
    • Select No at Display marker details to students if you want to prevent students seeing the details of the last user who modified their grade or feedback.

  8. Complete the Grade section.
    • At Grade, select the maximum attainable mark (or the appropriate scale) for this assignment from the drop-down list.
    • At Grading method, you can choose to mark the assignment by simply assigning a grade, or using a marking guide or a rubric.
    • At Grade category select the Gradebook category where you want this assignment's marks to be placed (if used).
    • At Grade to pass enter the minimum grade required to pass. This is used in activity and course completion (if activated) and highlights pass/fail marks in the gradebook.
    • Select whether you want Blind marking to be done for this assignment. Once an assignment has been submitted or a mark entered for the assignment, you will not be able to change the blind marking setting.
    • Select No at Use marking workflow if you do not want to set up multiple rounds of marking and manually release marks to students. If you do, leave Yes selected. For further information, see the Use marking workflow instructions on the marking page.
    • Select Yes at Use marking allocation if you want to allocate students to a specific marker to selected students. To complete the allocation once the assignment is created, follow the marking allocation completion instructions on this page.

  9. Complete the remainder of the sections as you would for any other Moodle activity. If this is a group assignment, complete the extra steps below the graphic.
  10. Click Save and return to course.


Complete marking allocation

You can allocate students’ work to specific markers for assessment. You can use this function for marker supervision, or to build up a consensus among markers on the mark a students' work deserves.ßß

If, on the Adding a new Assignment page, in the Grading section, you selected Yes at Use marking allocation, complete the marking allocation by performing the following steps: 

  1. On the course home page, click the assignment's link.

  2. On the assignment page, click View/Grade all submissions.

  3. On the submissions page, select the check box for each student to whom you want to allocate a marker. Then at the bottom of the list, at With selected users, select Set allocated marker from the drop-down list and click Go.

  4. In the confirmation box, click OK.
  5. In the Allocated Marker drop-down, select the relevant marker's name. Note that only Instructors, Teaching Assistants and Grading Tutors can be allocated.
  6. Check the Notify marker radio button to email the assigned marker about being allocated to mark these users.
  7. Click Save changes.


Extra steps for creating a group assignment

On the Adding a new Assignment page, also complete the fields relating to groups in the Common module settings section:

  1. For Group mode, select either Separate groups or Visible groups.
  • Separate groups—Students submit the assignment using their group's own submission area.

  • Visible groups—All students submit the assignment using a single assignment submission area, but they may choose which group to associate their submission with before uploading.

  1. If you select a Grouping, students assigned to different groups within the grouping will be able to work together.
  2. If you select the Available for group members only check box, this assignment will only be available to students assigned to groups within the selected grouping.
  3. Click Add group/grouping access restriction.


Create a private online space for a student

I am using enquiry-based learning for a course. One assessment task requires students to keep a "research notebook". How can students create an online space that is private, in Moodle?

  • Your best option is probably to create individual blogs in the OU blog activity. On the Adding a new OU blog page, at Individual blogs, select Separate individual blogs from the drop-down list. This will grey out the Maximum visibility field. Students will only be able to view or post to their own individual blog.

  • You can also create an assignment in online text format. Students type their journal or notebook entries directly into Moodle and the teacher provides feedback.
  • A discussion forum "displayed in a blog-like format" can also be made private. To make it private, you would have to create a single-member group for each student.

Create forum in a blog-like format.

Set up an assignment with self-selected student groups

You can set up an assignment (including a Turnitin assignment) where students, having selected themselves into groups, are asked to address different questions or topics. You do this by creating a group selection activity, which is all that the students will be able to view in the course home page.

  • Once they have chosen a group, the assignment for that group will display.
  • Once they have submitted their individual assignment, you will be able to filter the submissions by group.

For instructions on how to do this, visit the group activity page.

Manage student submission of audio or video assignments

It is not recommended for students to upload video assignments directly to Moodle. Instructions for Staff and Students are available for managing student submission of video assignments using Media Collections. Audio assignments can also be submitted using theBox.

Download multiple assignments for marking

You can only mark an assignment offline if it is to be marked using Simple direct grading, not if you are going to use a marking guide or rubric.
  1. In the Moodle course home page, click the assignment's link.

  2. On the assignment's home page, in the Settings block, click Download all submissions.

  3. In the Opening... window, select Save File and click OK.

  4. In the Downloads window, Open the download.

  5. In Explorer or Finder, move the files from your Downloads folder to the desired location.


Additional information