M09a - Moodle Assignment

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

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


For a practical dive into creating, marking and providing feedback to students using the Moodle assignment activity, enrol on UCL's Hands on with Moodle assignment training course.

Video assignments need specific setup

Moodle Assignments must be set up specifically for video submissions. It is not appropriate to instruct students to upload videos directly to Moodle as this can cause issues with UCL Moodle's load time and functionality. For guidance on setting up video assignment submissions see the Video Assignment guidance.

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 drawings. 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
  • R eceive a submission receipt by email.
  • Receive any marks and feedback given.
  • See their feedback across modules in their MyFeedback 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.
  • Display, or hide the Grader's name from students.
  • 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).
  • The option to combine audio, video and text based feedback.
  • 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 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 Connected 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 Moodle Docs .

  1. To add a Moodle Assignment to your space and use the  toggle switch to turn 'Edit mode' on.    
  2. Hover your mouse over the area of the course that you would like to add the assignment (or click on the Add an activity or resource link) and select Assignment.
  3. To see all settings click the Expand all link.
  4. Enter an Assignment Name and Description (displays at the top of the Assignment page).
  5. Some settings of particular interest:
      • Anonymous marking - student names will be hidden until after marking (you can also mark anonymised submissions offline).
      • Marking workflow - enable this to allow marks and feedback release to be staggered, or all released at the same time.  It can also help coordinate multiple markers.

      • Marking allocation - this allows allocation of markers to particular students; 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 - 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. Students can still edit submissions after the due date, although this is rare as Moodle will flag the submission as late if they do. The marker can prevent student's from editing submissions by locking submissions from the view all submission page.
      • Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings  - you can enable Turnitin to run within the Moodle Assignment. This allows marking to be done with Moodle assignment's marking tools and text-match checking to be done with Turnitin. If you wish to enable this setting, please read the  Moodle Assignment with Turnitin integration guidance.  
      • Hide grader identity from students  - enable this to hide grader name to 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.

         Group and individual student submission statement

        IMPORTANT:  Students will be required to confirm the following submission statement: 

        'By submitting this assessment, I confirm that all the work is my own unless collaboration has been specifically authorised.'

  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 datein the Moodle Assignment guidance

Further guidance on the Moodle Assignment activity is available from Moodle Docs..

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.


    • 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 go to the Grader Report and hide the corresponding item. - see Moodle Docs 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, this 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 Moodle Docs..
    • Avoid hiding 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. Adding instructions there is important because students can get straight into an Assignment from their homepage without going via your Moodle course area, 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 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.  Alternatively, it may be less hassle for everyone, to not require that all group members submit.

Be aware that in assignments which have been set to be anonymous, student identities may be revealed to tutors at any time by clicking on the Reveal student identities option found in the Grading Action drop down menu on the assignment. If this option is selected prior to any submissions being made, it will disappear from the menu 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 Grading Action drop down menu, 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 principles of good assessment and feedback see Jisc's case studies.
    • See the self-paced Hands-on with Moodle assignment training.  Here 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