How do I create a place in Moodle to accept homework assignments (i.e., an Assignment Activity)?

Students can turn in files to you through Moodle. You can then provide a grade, comments, and even upload a corrected file for them. An Assignment Activity is the best choice to accept files online. To set up an Assignment Activity, follow these steps below.

  1. Login to Moodle and click on the course to which you wish to add the syllabus.
  2. On the main page for your course, click on the ‘Edit’ gear in the upper right, just to the right of the title of course to bring down an administration drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the second item down, the “Turn editing on” link to turn on your editing capabilities.
  4. When the editing is on, locate the week/topic to which you wish to add the activity. Click on the ‘+Add an activity or resource’ link in the bottom right corner of that week/topic.
  5. Select ‘Assignment’ under the ‘Activities’ list, and click the ‘Add’ button at the bottom of the pop-up box.
  6. If you need more space, you can collapse the left column by clicking on the menu icon in the upper left corner.
  7. Complete the name for the assignment.
  8. Enter a description of the assignment, as necessary. If you are looking for additional formatting icons in the HTML editor, you can click on the first icon on top row on the left. This will bring up a second row of icons.
    You can also check the box underneath to display the description on the main course page.
  9. Upload any additional files as desired.
  10. Under availability, complete the date/times. REMEMBER: In 24-hour time, midnight [00:00] BEGINS the day; it does not end it. You must check the box next to ‘Enable’ to adjust the date and time for any of these settings. 
    1. ‘Allow submissions from’ is the date/time the assignment will open up to start accepting submissions.
    2. ‘Due date’ is the date/time by which the assignment should be submitted.
    3. ‘Cut-off date’ is the date/time by which the students can no longer submit online. If you enable a cut-off date that is later than the ‘Due date,’ students will have that window of time to submit online, where the system will indicate that the assignment is late, but Moodle will not prevent the assignment from being submitted.
    4. ‘Remind me to grade by’ is pretty straight-forward.
  11. Through an Assignment Activity, you can accept both files and text typed directly into the browser. Under ‘Submission types,’ you get to choose what you will accept.
    Check the box next to “Online text” to allow them to type directly into the browser. NOTE: Moodle times out after 3 hours of staying on the same page. Unless the student has move between pages, their work will be lost, as the system has never received it.
  12. If your ‘Maximum submission size’ is lower than 100MB, you can increase your course’s file size limit. Then when you come back to the assignment, you will be able to increase your submission size limit here as well.
  13. The next section to review is ‘Feedback types.’ If you wish to give the students a file with feedback (a tracked changes version of their paper, for instance), make sure you check the box next ‘Feedback files,’ in this section.
  14. You can require the students to click a ‘Submit’ to finalized their submission. You can also require that students accept a submission statement, stating that the work is all their own, except where cited.
  15. You also have the ability to have students submit to the assignment in groups, but to do this, you must make sure that you have groups set-up in the course with all students assigned to groups.
  16. In the ‘Notifications’ section, you can have the system email you every time a student submits (or every time a student submits late).
  17. In the ‘Grade’ section, you can change the number in the ‘Maximum points’ setting, if your assignment is worth something other than 100 points.
    NOTE: If you wish to collect files, but do not want the assignment to be graded, change the first setting under the ‘Grade’ section, ‘Grade Type’ from ‘Point’ to ‘None.’
  18. You can adjust the common module settings, including whether the assignment is visible to students immediately. You can also add additional restrictions, should you wish.
  19. Scroll down and click the ‘Save and return to your course’ button.
  20. You will now see an Assignment Activity. TIP: Whenever you see the icon that is a hand holding a piece of paper in front of an activity in Moodle, this means that it is an Assignment Activity.

If you created a graded assignment, you can go review your gradebook. You will see that there is now a column for the graded assignment shown. When you grade the assignments from within the ‘Assignment Activity,’ these grades will also automatically be populated into your gradebook.

Related FAQ: How do I grade a student’s submission to an assignment activity?