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Add an Assignment Activity in Moodle

The Assignment activity lets instructors communicate tasks, collect work, set due dates, and provide feedback and grades.

Students may submit digital files (such as word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, or audio and video clips), or type text directly into a text submission box. Assignment activities can also be used to describe and grade work students will complete offline, such as art work, performances, or classroom presentations.

When reviewing assignment submissions, instructors can leave feedback comments or upload files such as marked-up student submissions, documents with comments, or spoken audio feedback. Assignments can be graded using a numerical or custom scale, or an advanced grading method such as a rubric or marking form. Grades entered on the Assignment grading page are added to the Moodle Gradebook.

Note: You can also create a Turnitin assignment (a separate option in the Activity Chooser). With Turnitin assignments, students upload papers to a separate inbox on the Turnitin server where they can be evaluated for originality.

Add an Assignment

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section where you want to add the assignment. (If you are using the collapsed topics format, open the Section.)
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity Chooser will open.
  4. In the Activity Chooser, select Assignment and click Add. The Adding a new Assignment page will open.
  5. Configure settings for the assignment. For more information on these options, see Configure Assignment Options for Moodle (below).
  6. Click Save and return to course to return to your main course page, or Save and display to view the assignment page.

Configure Assignment Options

When you add an Assignment activity to a Moodle course, you can choose from a number of settings. The first setting Assignment name is required but the Description and the remaining settings are optional. Click particular headings to view settings or click Expand all (top right) to view all settings. This section describes each setting.


  • Assignment name (required)
    This name displays as a link on your course page. Use something unique that clearly identifies this assignment from other course activities. We also recommend keeping the name short.
  • Description (optional)
    Enter a summary of the assignment and instructions. The Description will be visible to students when they click the assignment link.
  • Display description on course page
    Select this option to display the description underneath the assignment link on your course page. (This works best if the description is very concise).
  • Additional files
    You may drag and drop files into the upload field. This will append the file to the assignment Description.


  • Allow submissions from
    Determine when students can begin to submit to the assignment. Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Due date
    Determine when the assignment will be due. The due date will show in the course Calendar and within the Activities Block. Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Cut-off date
    Determine when the assignment will no longer accept submissions. (You can manually grant extensions to specific students if they need to submit beyond the cut-off date.) Select the Enable checkbox to set a date and time.
  • Always show description
    Uncheck this box if you want the assignment description to become visible to students only at the Allow submissions from date.

Submission Types

  • Submission types
    With Online text, students can enter text directly into an editor.  If File submissions are enabled, students can upload one or more files. 
    Note: To create an offline assignment where students will submit or perform work outside Moodle, leave both Online text and File submissions unchecked. You can still provide a description, set due dates and have the activity show in the course Calendar and Gradebook.
  • Word limit
    Enable this option to specify a limit to the number of words an Online text submission can contain.
  • Maximum number of uploaded files
    If file submissions are enabled, each student will be able to upload up to the set number of files for their submission.
  • Maximum submission size
    If file submissions are enabled, each upload cannot exceed this file size per upload. (If a student can upload multiple files, and uploads files at different times, the total can exceed the set size.)

Feedback Types

  • Feedback comments
    If enabled, graders can provide written feedback for each submission. These comments are from the grader to the student.
  • Feedback files
    If enabled, graders can upload files containing feedback when marking assignments. For example, you can upload marked up student submissions, documents with comments, or spoken audio feedback.
  • Offline grading worksheet
    If enabled, graders can download a spreadsheet to enter grades without having to be logged in to Moodle. This can be useful if you anticipate grading while disconnected from the Internet. For more, see Offline Grading for Moodle Assignment Submissions.
  • Comment inline
    If enabled, the submission text will be copied into the feedback comment field during grading, making it easier to comment inline or to edit the original text.

Submission Settings

  • Require students click submit button
    If enabled, students will have to click a Submit button to declare their submission as final. Requiring the Submit button allows students to keep a draft version of the submission on the system.
    Note: If this setting is changed from No to Yes after students have made submissions, the submissions will be regarded as final.
  • Require that students accept the submission statement
    If enabled, students will be shown a statement that declares they are submitting their own original work and they will have to accept the statement before their submission is processed.
  • Attempts reopened
    If set to Manually, the student's submission can be reopened by a teacher. If set to Automatically until pass, the student's submission is automatically reopened until the student achieves a passing grade.
  • Maximum attempts
    The maximum number of submission attempts that can be made by a student. After this number of attempts has been made, the student's submission will not be able to be reopened.

Group Submission Settings

  • Students submit in groups
    If enabled, students can submit work together in groups rather than individually. For example, a group of students can submit one file that contains the joint work of the group. See Configure & Grade Group Assignments in Moodle.
  • Require all group members submit
    If enabled, all students in a group must individually click the Submit button in order to acknowledge that they are signing off on their group's joint submission.
    Note: This option is available only if both Students submit in groups and Require students click submit button are enabled.
  • Grouping for student groups
    If Students submit in groups is enabled, this option shows which Grouping has been selected in the common module settings (see below).


  • Notify graders about submissions
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will receive an email alert whenever a student makes a submission. (This may not be manageable in a class with a large number of students.)
  • Notify graders about late submissions
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will receive an email alert whenever a submission is made after the due date.
  • Default setting for "Notify students"
    If enabled, the default setting for notifying students when grades are released will be set in the assignment grading interface. This can be changed manually during grading. For more information, see Advanced Grading Workflow and Allocation for Moodle Assignments.


  • Grade
    First select the Grade Type. Select None to set the assignment to be ungraded and worth no points. Select Point to set the Assignment to be graded out of a simple number of maximum points. Enter the maximum possible score for the assignment in the Maximum points field. Select Scale to set assignment to be graded using one of several scales. The scale type can be selected from the Scale dropdown menu.
  • Grading method
    Choose Simple direct grading, Rubric or Grading guide to grade the assignment. See Grade with Rubrics in Moodle, or Grading Guide (at to learn about using these grading methods.
  • Grade category
    Select a Category in your gradebook under which you would like the assignment grade to be placed. See Create Grade Categories in Moodle for instructions on how to create a category in your gradebook.
  • Blind grading
    If enabled, instructors and TAs will not see student names when grading submissions. For more, see Blind Grading for Moodle Assignment Submissions.
    For instructions on how to download all submissions within an assignment, see  Download All Student Submissions in a Moodle Assignment. For more information on grading, see Grade Assignments in Moodle.
  • Use grading workflow
    When enabled, grading an assignment goes through a series of workflow stages: Not graded, In grading, Grading completed, In review, Ready for release, and Released. For more information, see Advanced Grading Workflow and Allocation for Moodle Assignments.
  • Use grading allocation
    When both Use grading workflow and Use grading allocation are enabled, instructors can assign specific graders to grade specific students. For more information, see Advanced Grading Workflow and Allocation for Moodle Assignments.

Common Module Settings

  • Visibility to students
    Set whether or not an assignment is visible to students. By default, new assignments are set to Show. (This is comparable to using the Hide/show icon for the activity on your course page.)
  • ID number
    Setting an ID number identifies the activity for grade calculation purposes. See Using the Calculator Tool in the Moodle Gradebook.

Restrict Access

To add restrictions on accessing the activity, click Add restriction... The Add restriction window will open, containing the following options:

  • Date. Prevent access until (or from) a specified date and time.
  • Grade. Require students to achieve a specified grade.
  • User profile. Control access based on fields within the student’s profile.
  • Restriction set. Add a set of nested restrictions to apply complex logic.

If you have groups in your course, you will see the following additional options:

  • Group. Allow only students who belong to a specified group, or all groups.
  • Grouping. Allow only students who belong to a group within a specified grouping.

For more on controlling access to activities see Control Access to Resources and Activities in Moodle.

Edit an Assignment

While it is possible to edit the content or setup options for an existing assignment, proceed with caution if the assignment has already been released to students -- especially if students have already submitted work. Changing some options, such as changing participants when working with groups, may result in student confusion and the loss of work that has already been submitted.

To change the content or options for an assignment you have already created:

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the assignment you want to configure and click Edit (at right). The Edit drop-down menu will open.
  3. From the Edit drop-down menu, click Edit settings. The assignment's settings page will open.
  4. The Updating Assignment page shows you the same options available on the Adding a new Assignment page. Here you may change your assignment options as needed, including changing the due date, grading information, and availability of the assignment. For more information, see Configure Assignment Options.
  5. Once you have finished making the necessary changes, click Save and return to course at the bottom of the page.