The Moodle assignment activity an interface that allows you to collect and evaluate student work.  Students may submit work as individuals or in groups.

  • Assignments can be configured to accept either online text (entered directly into Moodle by the student) or, more commonly, file submissions. For written assignments the file type should be left as the default PDF unless you specifically require another format for annotating submissions outside of Moodle.
  • It is also possible to use the assignment activity to provide comments and grades to support moderation for work that has taken place outside of Moodle (such as in Teams or Panopto for example). 

A range of grading and feedback mechanisms exist, providing high levels of flexibility.

  • At Bath, student submissions (whether physical or digital) are normally submitted anonymously in order to avoid perceptions of unconscious bias during marking. 

Nb: We strongly recommend that you never re-use pre-existing assignments as this can cause lots of problems when it comes to grading, release of grades and grade transfer. Create fresh submission points for each assignment. 

The video below outlines the steps to create an Assignment activity in your Moodle course, or follow the steps below it:

  • From the relevant course, Turn editing on.
  • Within each topic or week, click on the Add an activity or resource link to display the Activity Chooser (see below)
    Add activity or resource image
  • Select Assignment from the menu that appears and click on Add

Activity chooser image

You can now give your assignment a clear and meaningful title and description, and modify the settings as appropriate.

In order to provide maximum flexibility, there are a large number of settings within the Moodle assignment activity. However, in the majority of cases, the default settings will be sufficient for your needs (though you should adjust the availability and due dates).

  • If you are unsure what a setting does, you can find contextual help within the activity by clicking on the icon that appears next to the setting, however for most assignments, you can complete the assignment settings as outlined in the FAQ below. 


Moodle Assignment Video Screencasts


Moodle Assignment Settings Setup and FAQs

  • The Description box should be used to provide details of the assignment question and/or hand in dates. 
  • Take time to make sure the assignment requirements and parameters are clear for students
  • Do provide clear guidance to students on what they need to do.
  • Do signpost your students to the support resources (e.g. Student Moodle Assignment FAQs, Skills Portal, Mitigating Circumstances, Academic Integrity and online resources).
  • Do not assume students will know what to do, and where they can get support and guidance.
  • If you already have the assignment details in electronic form, or you have a template that you’d like the students to work with, you can attach the file using the Additional files setting:

    Drag and drop your file onto the blue arrow, or click on it to open your file browser to browse for the file. Attaching Additional files

  • Where possible, do create submission points that are open for more than 24 hours.
  • The allow submissions from setting specifies the date from which Moodle will allow students to submit their assignmentallow_submissions_from setting
  • The due date should reflect the assignment deadline
  • Ensure that all due times/dates fall between 9am and 5pm BST during the working week.

Note:  Students will still be able to submit after the due date has passed but these submissions will be clearly labelled as having been submitted late.  If you want to prevent students from submitting after a specific date, you will also need to specify a cut-off date.  Moodle will not accept submissions made after the cut-off date. 

IMPORTANT: If you need to an ensure that an Assignment is only visible to students for a limited time, we recommend that you use the Restrict Access setting (see below).

To add a date/time restriction: 

  • In the Assignment settings, expand Restrict Access.
  • Click Add Restriction
    Add Restriction image
  • Click on the green Date button
  • Enter the date and time that you want your Assignment to become visible to students. (In the example shown below, students will only be able to see the Assignment after 12.00pm on the 6th April 2020).
    Date restriction image
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Save and return to course.
  • REMEMBER to make sure that you then make the Assignment visible using Show/Hide:
    Show_Hide image
  • It is safe to Show the Assignment, as visibility is now controlled by the access restriction: Visibility of assignment image

  • When you have added a restriction to hide your assignment submission point, it is recommended to add a label to your Moodle course page to provide your students with summary information for each assessment before the assessment window opens
  • Turn editing on then select Add an activity or resource at the bottom of the relevant course topic
‘Add and activity or resource’ image
  • Select Add and choose the Label option under Resources

screenshot of example new label with text

  • Enter text into the label to provide summary information 
  • You can highlight sections of the text then choose the Link button in the toolbar to include hyperlinks to additional guidance (e.g. online submission guidance)

screenshot showing text editor with link option

  • Choose Save and return to course. Your label will appear at the bottom of the relevant topic. Select, hold and drag-and-drop the four-square arrow to move the label above your assignment (or click once on the arrow and select the destination to reposition it). Students will now see the label with the summary information above their assignment submission point

screenshot highlighting arrow to move label

  • Once the assignment has been created, clicking on the assignment link then View all Submissions will take you into the Grading Table where you will be able to see an overview of all submissions
  • By default Moodle will accept submissions after the due date up until the (optional) cut off date. (Any submissions received after the due date will be clearly marked as late)



  • Should it be appropriate to grant an extension for a student, locate the student concerned, and in the edit column adjacent to the student’s name, right click and choose grant extension and add the required extra time:

grant extension image

Moodle extensions enable students to submit their assignments after the specified due date (without Moodle highlighting the submission as being overdue).  This also enables users to submit files after any cut-off date that may have been specified in the assignment.  Combining this feature with Moodle’s Group functionality means that staff can apply extensions to select groups of users rather than to individuals – thus retaining the anonymity of the individual.

You should seek to create and populate a group within your Moodle course.  This group should contain those individuals who require an extension and will enable you to differentiate them from the rest of the course participants (whilst still retaining anonymity).

(warning) Important note on retaining anonymity and maintaining student privacy:  It’s important to avoid calling the group ‘Extensions’ as students can see Groups and their members from the Participants page. Instead use a generic Group A or Group 1 name.  Also, do not put student names in the name of the groups as this obviously breaks anonymity.

To apply the Group functionality to the Assignment activity, go to the activity settings, scroll to the section entitled Common module settings and select Separate Groups within the Group Mode field. Once you have done this, remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on one of the Save buttons.

After applying this setting, extensions can be granted to group members as appropriate by visiting the Assignment submission overview screen, then selecting the group name from the top left-hand corner of this interface (as shown below).

Selecting a group in the view all submissions page in a Moodle Assignment.

Once the participants have been filtered in this way, members of the group can then be granted extensions as shown below.

Demonstrating the 'Grant extension' option from the Edit menu of a candidate

Note:  If students have been granted different extensions, you will require more than one group.

Clearly, true anonymity can only take place if more than one student is receiving an extension in this way.

  • This is possible only where students are using online text submission (typing directly into the Moodle interface).  It is strongly advised against using this submission type for substantive pieces of work (as any unexpected connectivity issues could result in loss of work)
  • Instead, we recommend that students manage the word count in their file submission (e.g. using the word count tool in Microsoft Word), before exporting to PDF and uploading the resulting file to Moodle.

  • Yes, use the maximum number of uploaded files setting to specify how many files students can submit.
  • By default this setting allows each student to submit up to 20 individual files.  Whilst there is no requirement to do so, you can of course reduce this number if you wish.

  • No, this is a global setting in Moodle, and increasing this at a site wide level would have significant implications for the service.
  • Typically the only files students may wish to upload, which would exceed the 50mb single file limit, would be video files. These should be uploaded to Panopto which, unlike Moodle, is a dedicated streaming server and equipped to handle large video files. 
  • Please go here for instructions on setting up an assignment folder in Panopto.

  • Although Moodle can accept any file type, we recommend PDF submission (which is the default setting) wherever possible. 
  • Should it be necessary for students to submit in other formats, you can allow this by adjusting the accepted file types setting:

    Under accepted file types click the green Choose button to select from a long list. Then scroll to the bottom of the list and Save changes.

  • Please note that if you are using Ouriginal (formerly Urkund) for originality checking, most word-processed files can be checked by Ouriginal, but some other file types cannot (see:  list of file types supported by Ouriginal (Urkund).)

  • Under the Feedback types setting all options are ticked by default.  We recommend that you leave all options ticked to provide yourself with flexibility at the marking stage.

feedback_options setting

  • Feedback comments provides a small comment box in the Moodle PDF grading window. This is recommended for short summary feedback comments. This comments box is also appears in the Offline Grading Worksheet.
  • Annotate PDF refers to Moodle’s built in grading interface. If a student submits a PDF (which is the default setting), you will be able to read and annotate the file online (without having to download it)
  • Feedback files allows you to upload comments as a separate file. Typically many staff ask students to submit files as PDF documents, which can then be downloaded in a zip file, and annotated offline using Word’s comment/review functions. The files can then be added to a new zip folder and re-uploaded into Moodle (provided that the filenames are not changed).
  • Offline Grading Worksheet (and Bath version). These are typically used where an internet connection is likely to be unavailable or otherwise unreliable.  They provide a downloadable .csv file (which can be opened and edited with Excel) with student names and grading and feedback columns, allowing for entry of grades and feedback whilst offline. It can then be re-uploaded to Moodle when a network connection is next available and this will in turn populate all student Grade columns within Moodle. The Bath version is almost identical to the offline grading worksheet (and works in the same way), and differs only with the inclusion of University of Bath student numbers and the anonymisation of student names, which will be automatically replaced by Moodle with a Participant number unique to the assignment. 

Below is a brief overview and comparison of the different grading methods available for Moodle assignments:

Mark single assignmentAnnotate PDF submissionsMark multiple assignmentsRubricsMarking guides
When could I use this method?For smaller number of submissionsWhen you want to use basic annotating tools

Can be used in conjunction with Mark single assignment, rubrics or marking guides

For larger numbers of submissions

When you want to enter marks and comments in bulk

When you want to use criterion based marking

Good for consistency with multiple markers

When you want to use a marking form

Good for consistency with multiple markers

Marking online or offline?OnlineOnlineOfflineOnlineOnline
What does it look like?Simple grading feedback box.PDF with annotations such as notes added, drawn boxes, highlight sections and stamps.Grading dropdown menu with Download all submissions and Download grading worksheet (Bath) highlightedExample of a rubric with certain levels chosen.Example of Marking guide with criterion, comments and maximum mark.
Advantages Simple to complete

Can work through one assignment at a time

Annotate within grading window: no downloading

Create a comment bank for feedback

Quicker for large cohorts

Useful for transferring marks to SAMIS

Provides quick criteria based marking

Make it visible to help students understand criteria

Provides more personalised criteria based marking

Make it visible to help students understand criteria

Create a comment bank for feedback

Considerations More time-consuming for large cohorts Basic annotation toolsMust not rename files

Need to zip and unzip

For anonymous marking need to match participant ID

Cannot download feedback to share outside of Moodle

Define rubric carefully

Cannot download feedback to share outside of Moodle

Define marking guide carefully

Settings to enable this method Simple Grading selection button Annotated grading button Offline grading buttonRubric grading choiceMarking guide grading choice


For more information and guidance on rubrics and marking guides please see our dedicated page Advanced grading in Moodle Assignment.

We recommend that you do not change these settings, as although they can be useful within particular contexts, they aren’t necessary for the majority of assignments.

  • Require students to click the submit button. Not recommended as students can sometimes ‘forget’ to click it, leaving the submission visible to markers, but still in draft.
  • Require that students accept the submission statement means students must agree to a short statement confirming they are submitting their own work etc.  Students will be required to accept a statement confirming that they are submitting their own work when taking Alternative Assessments.  This will be set as the default, do not change this setting
  • Attempts reopened. Recommended setting is manually which allows you the discretion to allow another attempt for individual students if necessary.

  • For Group submissions, ensure you have first created Groups in Moodle and allocated students. You can add students manually or allow students to allocate themselves with the Group Choice activity.
  • Students submit in groups If enabled students will be divided into Groups based on the default set of Groups or a custom Grouping. (In most instances you will not need to set up custom Groupings).
  • A Group submission will be shared among Group members and all members of the Group will see when one member uploads the submission.

Important: You must set up Groups and allocate students to them before creating a Group assignment.
Creation of a Group assignment where no Groups have been defined in Moodle, will allow students in different groups to see / overwrite each other’s submissions.

  • Require group to make submission. If enabled, students not allocated to a Group cannot submit. 
  • By default a Group submission made by one member of a group will be placed against all members of the group in the Grading Table. Teachers can mark any member of the group. In the grading page for each student is a tick box allowing grades and feedback to be returned to all members of the group.

    apply_grades_to_all_group_members setting

  • Notify graders about submissions. We recommend you set to ‘no’ especially if you have a large cohort.
  • Notify graders about late submissions may be useful to set to ‘yes’
  • Default setting for “Notify students”. If set to ‘yes’ individual students receive a notification as soon as comments are uploaded. We recommend setting to ‘no’ and using Marking Workflow to manage feedback notifications en masse for any assignment already created.

  • Assignments submitted to Moodle can, in turn, be automatically submitted to Ouriginal which until recently was called Urkund.

  • Ouriginal is an online text-matching service which checks electronic, text based submissions against a large database of material (including journal articles, websites and other student submissions) and produces a scored originality report for each piece of work 

  • Originality reports make no judgement regarding plagiarism, they simply highlight matching text fragments, enabling the reviewer to determine whether or not plagiarism has occurred.

  • Once an assignment has been uploaded to Ouriginal, the application will produce two things:
    • Ouriginal Analysis score – This number shows how much of a student’s assignment matches content from Ouriginal’s databases.
    • Ouriginal Analysis report – Alongside a copy of the student’s original work, this report gives further detail on the specific sources of matching text.
  • Ouriginal is enabled by default. For further details please see here.

  • This is the default and simplest option, so we would strongly recommend sticking to it during the Alternative Assessment period.
  • Grading must be done out of 100% if you wish to use Grade Transfer to transfer grades to SAMIS.

  • If Marking Workflow is switched on, it ensures that grades and feedback are not released to students *unless* you set the marking workflow to ‘released’. We recommend that you use it. 
  • Marking Workflow allows individual student submissions to be placed into different stages of the marking process. (These are: not marked; in marking; marking completed; in review; ready for release; released).
  • Marking Workflow may also be a useful tool for keeping track of marking and for managing moderation through Moodle.
  • Please see below for details of how to Release Grades and Feedback using Marking Workflow

Yes, it is possible to set up an assignment in such a way that grades can be transferred into SAMIS by the Unit Convenor (who will have Teacher+ access to the course). Grade Transfer can be setup to take place at a pre-determined time, or alternatively, can be completed with a few clicks once marking and feedback have been released to students in Moodle. 

Full details on setting up Grade Transfer to SAMIS can be found here.

Moodle has a 50MB upload limit to keep the platform working smoothly for everyone. Instead of uploading to Moodle, it is better to create a Panopto Student Assignment Folder.

Please read the guidance on how to setup the Panopto submission point and also student instructions on preparing a presentation.

Moodle has a 50MB upload limit to keep the platform working smoothly for everyone. If you are trying to upload video content (or a Powerpoint with a voice over), then you should instead upload the content to Panopto. It is also possible for staff to share content with students via their University of Bath OneDrive Account. Please contact if these solutions don’t work for you.

We strongly recommend that you never re-use pre-existing assignments as this can cause lots of problems when it comes to grading, release of grades and grade transfer. Create fresh submission points for each assignment. 



Marking Assignments

Before beginning marking it’s important to understand how your assignment has been setup, so that you can ensure that you are not showing marks and feedback to students before you are ready for them to see them. By default Moodle assignments hide grades and feedback from students through the Marking Workflow option. To get started please read the ‘Preparing to Mark’ guidance below. 

When you create an Assignment, the ‘Marking Workflow’ setting will be enabled. This automatically hides any marks and feedback that you upload for students until you take specific steps to release the marks and feedback. This is a ‘safer’ option for the requirements of most Teachers.

Guidance on releasing Marks and Feedback, and sending a notification to students with a few clicks, using marking workflow can be found below.

If you prefer instead to turn off the marking workflow option you can do so within the Assignment’s settings, under the ‘Grade’ settings. Note that doing this will mean that any marks and feedback added to Moodle will be immediately visible to students!

If you have turned off Marking Workflow, but you also don’t want students to see marks and feedback as soon as they are uploaded, you will need to hide the Assignment link and Gradebook item until you are ready to reveal the marks and feedback.

The video below shows how to turn off Marking Workflow (if you wish) and how to hide the Assignment link and Gradebook item:

The guidance steps below also show how to do this: 

  • Find your Assignment and Edit settings:
    Edit Settings
    Assignment interface: edit settings
  • Scroll down to ‘Grade’ settings and expand them
  • Set use marking workflow to no:
    Use marking workflow setting image
    Use marking workflow setting
  • Save changes

Note: Any marks and feedback you add will now be immediately visible to students!

To manually hide marks and feedback from students you will need to hide the Assignment’s Gradebook item and the Assignment link (which is often not impractical where there are late submissions)

To hide the Gradebook item:

  • Go to the Course Settings dropdown menu and choose Gradebook setup:
    Course settings dropdown image
    Go to the course settings dropdown
  • In the row for the Assignment that you wish to hide, in the Actions column, choose Edit then Hide
  • Save Changes
  • The Gradebook item will now appear to be greyed out to show that it is not visible to students:
    Gradebook item greyed out image
    The Gradebook item has now been greyed out

To hide the Assignment link from students: 

  • Navigate to the Assignment and, from it’s Edit menu, choose Hide:
    Image of Assignment link being hidden
    Assignment link is being hidden
  • You can now begin marking
  • When are ready to release marks and feedback to students, don’t forget that you’ll need to make the Gradebook item and Assignment link visible again.

Before you begin marking it’s a good idea to lock submissions. This will prevent students from making any changes to their submissions once marking is underway. 

Moodle has a built-in grading interface that allows you to annotate student assignments, add summary comments and award marks. Student submissions are displayed in PDF form and include a link to the Ouriginal (formerly Urkund) similarity report (where activated). The video below provides an introduction to the grading interface, shows how to annotate student scripts, view Ouriginal reports and award marks. It also details how you can lift anonymity (where anonymous marking is being used) at the end of the marking process.

Where one student has uploaded a file on behalf of their Group, the file will appear against all Group members, and any of these can be marked. On the individual student grading page, an option to ‘apply grade and feedback to all members of group’ will appear. If ticked the grades and feedback will be applied to all group members. 

Image of setting to apply grades and feedback to all members of a group.
Image of setting to apply grades and feedback to all members of a group.

You can use the Marking Allocation feature to assign student submissions to another marker in your course.

  • Marking allocation – this allows allocation of markers to work after the deadline. Marking allocation depends on Marking workflow being enabled.

Marking Workflow and Marking Allocation must be enabled in your assignment settings: 

Marking Allocation Setting Image

Once these have been enabled, to allocate assignments to a marker:

  • Click on your Assignment link
  • Click on View all submissions

Marking Allocation image

  • Tick the box to the left of the student whose assignment you want to allocate, then choose Set allocated marker and click Go (see image above).
  • At the prompt click Ok, then on the next page select your allocate marker from the dropdown and click Save Changes

If you are using Anonymous Marking (blind marking) in Moodle, once you have completed marking, it is necessary to lift anonymity in order to release grades to the Gradebook. Please note that lifting anonymity can only be done once, (you can not return the assignment to an anonymous state once it has been lifted), so ensure that you have completed all marking before going ahead. 

To lift anonymity, please see the short video below, or see the steps underneath:

  • Click on the assignment link, then click on View all submissions
  • From the grading actions menu choose Reveal student identities:

    Lift anonymity image
    Lift anonymity image

Once you have completed marking online, you can release grades and feedback to all students simultaneously, and send students a notification, by using Marking Workflow. The video below outlines how to do this, or follow the steps underneath.  

Click on the link to your assignment, then click View all submissions:

View all submissions image
View all submissions image

Scroll to the bottom of the Grading table and untick Quick Grading (if active) and set Assignments per page to All:

Quick Grading image
Quick Grading image

Return to the top of the Grading Table and select all the students:

Select all students image
Select all students image

Then return to the bottom of the page, and from the With Selected… menu choose Set marking workflow state and click Go. When prompted, click OK:

With selected dropdown box image
With selected dropdown box image

On the next page, set the marking workflow state to Released and, if desired, choose to send a notification to students and Save Changes as shown below:

Marking Workflow status image
Marking Workflow status image

It is possible to download student submissions in order to annotate them offline. Moodle allows all submissions to be downloaded in a single zip file and to be returned after annotation, with any additional files if desired, in the same manner. You can also download the Grading Worksheet, add marks to it, and re-upload to Moodle to award marks to all students. Please see the video below for full details, or follow the steps underneath it:

To download student scripts and the Grading Worksheet:

  • Navigate to your assignment and select it.
  • Click the View all submissions button then 
  • Note the option, (found at the bottom of the page underneath the Grading Table), for download submissions in folders (if the submission is more than a single file, or if you have a feedback form to return to students, tick the box. If the submission is only one file, which you will annotate and return to students, leave unticked).
  • From the Grading action menu at the top choose Download all submissions:
Download all submissions
Download all submissions image
  • A Zip folder will be downloaded to your machine. Right click the folder and choose ‘Extract all’ (or similar), then click ‘Extract’. Files will be extracted.
  • You can now open the files to read and annotate them. Important! When saving annotations DO NOT rename the files.
  • Return to Moodle, and from Grading action menu, choose Download Grading worksheet (Bath version).
  • Save the file, noting that it is a .CSV file, not a standard Excel document.
  • Open the file from your Downloads folder (if using a Mac you may need to right click on it and specify ‘open with Excel’) add grades to the Grade column as desired Important! DO NOT change any column headings.
Grading Worksheet image
Grading Worksheet image
  • You may optionally add short comments for students in the Feedback comments column
  • Save changes ensuring the file type is .CSV

To return summary comments and the completed Grading Worksheet to Moodle:

  • Navigate to your assignment and select it.
  • Click the View all submissions button then
  • From the Grading action menu at the top choose Upload Grading worksheet
  • Select the .CSV file you saved (drag and drop, or ‘choose a file’) click Upload grading worksheet and confirm. Grades and any summary feedback comments that you included will now be shown in the Grading table:
    Grades and summary feedback image
    Grades and summary feedback image

To return annotated scripts to Moodle:

Before returning the annotated scripts as feedback files, you must add them to a .zip folder.

If you downloaded all of the submissions in a single .zip file:

  • Navigate to the folder that you have stored the annotated files in, and open it so that you can see all the file thumbnails. 
  • Select all of the files (CTRL+A on Windows or Command+A on Mac)
  • Right-click and choose Send to…then Compressed (Zip) folder (on Windows) or right-click and choose Compress (on Mac)
  • The new .Zip folder will be automatically named after one of the files, this isn’t a problem, but rename it if you wish (right-click and Rename)
  • Return to the Moodle Assignment, and from the Grading Action dropdown menu (where you downloaded the files from) choose Upload multiple feedback files in a Zip
  • On the next page, Choose a file or drag and drop the .zip file into the file upload area on-screen
  • Click Import feedback file(s), then Confirm and Continue
  • The annotated feedback files will now be displayed in the Feedback files column in the Grading Table (see image below)

If you downloaded the student submissions in folders:

  • Navigate to the folder containing the folders of annotated files (and any additional feedback files you are returning to students), and open it.
  • Select all of the folders (CTRL+A on Windows or Command+A on Mac)
  • Right-click and choose Send to…then Compressed (Zip) folder (on Windows) or right-click and choose Compress (on Mac)
  • The new .Zip folder will be automatically named after one of the folders, this isn’t a problem, but rename it if you wish (right-click and Rename)
  • Return to the Moodle Assignment, and from the Grading Action dropdown menu (where you downloaded the files from) choose Upload multiple feedback files in a Zip
  • On the next page, Choose a file (or drag and drop) to get your .zip file into the file upload area on-screen
  • Click Import feedback file(s), then Confirm and Continue
  • The annotated feedback files will now be displayed in the Feedback files column in the Grading Table (see image below)
Image highlighting Feedback files column
Annotated files now appear in the ‘Feedback files’ column

Useful Links