M09 - Digital Assessment - an Overview


This page signposts you to information about using technologies at each stage of assessment and feedback.

The stages of assessment

The tabs give a summary of each stage and links to further information.


Design a task which will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning. Plan what students will do, how you will collect the submissions, and how assessors will give marks and feedback. Familiarity with the available technologies helps to expand the possibilities at this stage.

 Compare and choose technologies
  • For open ended work e.g. essays, compare platforms at UCL and author the assessment criteria.
  • For tests, familiarise yourself with the Quiz question types, then author the questions and feedback.
  • For multimodal assessment consider MyPortfolio as a site for the work; Moodle Assignment is a good place to collect links to the work, and give feedback and marks.



Set up your assessment.

 Our guides
Please don't put all your department's assignment links in a single Moodle page or space, but instead put them in the spaces for their respective modules. Here are the reasons.

Good practice expectations at UCL include:

 Advance explanation of criteria

Departments ensure that for every module or seminar series, and at least two weeks before the first assignment is due, they have arranged at least one information session whereby the marking criteria for that module are explained in detail to students, where they have an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification if required.  

UCL assessment platforms offer alternatives for this:

To help students understand the criteria, see the UCL Arena Quickguide on guided marking.


Familiarise yourself with how your instructions display to students so that you can anticipate questions and misunderstandings.

 Check your instructions from a student point of view

If students have queries, encourage them to post where fellow students can see your responses. A Moodle forum with student names hidden is one good place for this.

Let students know of the generic guidance we provide around submitting their work. Our student guidance includes Moodle Assignment, Turnitin Assignment and Moodle Quiz.


 To monitor or view submissions
  • Moodle assignments display all submissions which you can filter.  See filtering submissions.  
  • Moodle Workshop displays its Planner showing which students have submitted and marked.
  • Moodle Quiz Results show which students have completed the test; Statistics gives a fine-grained report of achievement.

Where students have not submitted you can contact them (even where anonymous) directly via the assignment (Moodle assignment or Turnitin assignment), or via the Course Participation Report, which gives the opportunity to filter and message students.

 Marking & feedback

Note:  Entering marks and feedback does not mean that students will know how to access and refer to them.  Students may need support and guidance, with accessing and making sense of their feedback.

Good practice expectations at UCL:

A consistent feedback template

Departments are expected to agree on a consistent student feedback template for any given assignment which makes appropriate reference to the marking criteria and explains to students how they can improve their work in future.

UCL assessment platforms offer alternatives for this:

Depending on the technology you are using, there is a range of ways to give feedback.

Ways to give feedback

For essays and opopen-endedork:

For tests:

  • If using a Moodle Quiz, you can specify feedback for each question and/or grade band.


Marks and feedback are recorded in the Moodle Gradebook.  Moodle Assignments can be weighted in the Gradebook, which can calculate a final mark. Entering grades into the Moodle assignment has the advantage that it will send a notification to the student when the grade is submitted to the Gradebook. This will not happen if the grade is entered directly into the Gradebook.

Transferring marks from the Moodle Gradebook into Portico can be a semi-automated process if you use Excel's VLOOKUP formula.

Before each new intake of students, you will need to roll over your Moodle course. You do not need to worry about keeping your own private record of submissions since staff and students will have ongoing access to each course in Moodle. (Older Moodle courses prior to 21/22 are stored in the Moodle snapshot).

How do I get my marks from Moodle to Portico?

Step 1: Finalise your module's Gradebook

You can access the Gradebook setup via the Grade menu in your course. Simply click Grade and Gradebook setup.

Check to make sure your course total is calculated correctly if you wish to use Moodle's calculation. If the course total looks wrong, check your weightings.

Step 2: Export your module's Gradebook

  1. Select the Grade menu, click the Export option and then 'Export as' Excel Spreadsheet.
  2. Select the specific grade item(s) you wish to export. Possible grade items include Turnitin assignments, Moodle assignments, and the course total. At the bottom of the list of grade items, there is an option to select all/none.
  3. Click Download to generate a spreadsheet of the Gradebook.

The main student identifier that Moodle uses is the Portico 'Student Number'. Please note: to ensure the anonymity of student submissions, Moodle does NOT store the student's 'candidate number'.

Step 3: Transfer marks from your Gradebook spreadsheet to a Portico spreadsheet

To quickly move marks from a Moodle Gradebook spreadsheet to a Portico spreadsheet, whilst minimising errors, you may find it useful to use Excel's VLOOKUP formula. This process is explained in the Portico team's importing by module support guide.

The common identifier for students in a Moodle Gradebook spreadsheet and the Portico A26 spreadsheet is the Student Number.

Step 4: Upload the Portico spreadsheet to Portico

Please see the Portico team's guides and training on importing marks into Portico.

 Returning marks

Always notify students when their marks and feedback are released.

Moodle Assignment -  you can release marks and feedback when you're ready. You can enable Marking Workflow in the assignment settings, and set the Marking Workflow state on selected or all submissions within the assignment, as marks are applied.

See a short video on Marking Workflow

See the Moodle Assignment miniguide for information

For further information on Moodle Assignment see Moodle.org

Turnitin Assignment - you set a Post Date in the Turnitin assignment settings when creating the assignment.  Marks and feedback are automatically released at Post Date. (This is also when anonymised student identities will be revealed)

See the Turnitin Assignment miniguide for information

Also, see our related guides:

Quiz - you can either specify when the marks and feedback should be released, or release them when you're ready.

See the Moodle Quiz miniguide for information

For further information on Moodle Quiz see Moodle.org

Moodle Workshop - you can release peer marks and feedback to students when you're ready.

See the Moodle Workshop miniguide for information

For further information on Moodle Workshop see Moodle.org

Why can't students see the grades and feedback I released?

  • Did you Save your changes?

While marking work, you will be prompted to  Save  your changes. Ensure you do this before closing down your browser.

  • If using Marking workflow in a Moodle assignment - is the status set to ‘Released’?

If you have selected Use marking workflow in the Moodle Assignment settings, ensure the status of the workflow is set to 'Released'.

  • Was  Anonymous/Blind marking enabled?

Grades will not feed back to the Moodle gradebook and will not be visible to students unless blind marking has been ‘lifted off’ the assignment and student names have been revealed.   Note:  Once you reveal names you cannot revert to blind marking again. You can do the following to reveal names:  

  1. Navigate to the relevant assignment and click on  View all submissions.
  2. Using the drop down menu at the top of the screen select ‘Reveal student identities’. A prompt will then appear asking you to confirm that you would like to reveal the names as this action CANNOT be undone. Click continue if you wish to proceed.

MyFeedback Report - enables staff and students to see marks and feedback recorded in Moodle, across courses. The report includes Moodle Assignments, Turnitin Assignments, Workshops and Quizzes.

See the Moodle MyFeedback miniguide for information

For further information on MyFeedback see Moodle.org


Moodle MyFeedback brings together each year's marks and feedback in one place. This allows students to look at their own progress and make reflective notes for themselves. It also allows personal tutors and certain staff roles to see an overview of students' progress and encourage them to engage with their feedback. Moodle MyFeedback indicates the most recent date students looked at their feedback, while Turnitin indicates the first date.

In Quiz, consult the Quiz Statistics Report for insights into the relative ease of questions and how discriminating each is.

Reflecting on the assessment process itself, staff may wish to consider whether the task was well conceived and whether instructions were optimal i.e. did they display where needed, and did the most important aspects stand out. Make refinements as needed.

Also see: 

Further information

Digital Education miniguides on assessment technologies:

Educational guidance:

UCL policy and regulations