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Add an Assignment Activity in Moodle

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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 points, a custom scale, or a rubric or grading guide. Grades entered on the Assignment grading page are added to the Moodle Gradebook (For details, see Grade Assignments in Moodle).

Note: Alternatively, you can create a Turnitin assignment, a separate option in the Add an activity or resource popup. For more information, see Turnitin in Moodle - an Overview. 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. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon ). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section where you want to add the assignment. (If the section is collapsed, click the Arrow icon above the section name to expand the section.) At the bottom of the section, click +Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open showing a tile for each available item.
    Note: By default, the pop-up opens to All and shows all activities and resources. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To view only activities, at the top of the pop-up, click Activities.
  3. (Optional) On the Assignment tile, you can click the Information icon ("i" for more information) for more information. If you frequently add files, you can click the Star icon ("star" for adding to favorites tab) to add this resource type to the Starred tab.
  4. Select the Assignment icon (assignment) or link. The Adding a new Assignment page will open.
  5. Configure the assignment options. The page opens with General, Availability and Submission types settings in view. Expand topic headings to show additional settings for submission types, grading,  groups, etc., or click Expand all (top right) to view all possible settings. For more information on these options, see Assignment Options (below), or click the help icon (click the "?" icon for tips on option settings) next to any option.
  6. Click Save and return to course to return to your main course page or Save and display to view the assignment page.

Assignment Options


  • 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 recommend keeping the name short.
  • Description (optional)
    Enter a summary of the assignment and instructions. Select Display description on course page to also display the description underneath the assignment link on your course page. (This works best if the description is very concise).
  • Additional files (optional)
    Drag and drop files into the upload field to append the file to the assignment Description.


Select the corresponding Enable check box to set a date and time for

  • Allow submissions from
    Determines when students can begin to submit to the assignment.
  • Due date
    Determines when the assignment is due. The due date will show in the course Calendar and within the Activities block.
  • Cut-off date
    Determine when the assignment will no longer accept submissions. (You can manually Grant Extensions Beyond the Cut-off Date to specific students if they need to submit after the cut-off date.)

Submission types

  • Submission types
    Select one or both of
    • Online text to allow students to enter text directly into an editor
    • File submissions to allow students to 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.
  • 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 size. (If a student can upload multiple files, and uploads files at different times, the total can exceed the set size.)
  • Accepted file types
    To limit submissions to specific file types, click Choose. A pop up window containing a list of file type options will open. Select the allowed file types for submissions by clicking the check box next to each option, then click Save changes.

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 later enter grades without having to be logged in to Moodle. This can be useful if you anticipate grading while disconnected from the Internet. For details, 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 to click submit button
    If enabled, students will have to click a Submit assignment button to declare their submission as final. Requiring that students affirmatively submit this way 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 existing 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. They must 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 (defined under Grade).
  • Maximum attempts
    The maximum number of submissions allower per student. After this number of attempts has been made, the student's submission cannot be reopened.

Group submission settings

  • Students submit in groups
    If enabled, students 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 their Submit assignment button in order to acknowledge that they are signing off on their group's joint submission.
    Note: This option is available only if both the Students submit in groups and Require students select submit button options 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 Grading Workflow and Allocation for Moodle Assignments.

Note: Students always receive an email confirmation after making a successful submission.


Common module settings

  • Availability
    Set whether or not an assignment is visible to students. By default, new assignments are set to Show on course page. (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 Custom Grade Formulas in he Moodle Gradebook.
  • Group mode, Grouping
    These options let you restrict the assignment to particular groups of students you have already created in Moodle. For details, see Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle.

Restrict access

Use Restrict Access settings with care, and check for conflicts with other settings you may have made for the activity. Some settings may prevent students from accessing restricted content, including grades and due dates.

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

  • Date – prevents access until (or from) a specified date and time
  • Grade – requires students achieve a specified grade
  • User profile – controls access based on fields within the student’s profile
  • Restriction set – adds a set of nested restrictions to apply complex logic

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

  • Group – allows or prevents access to students who belong to a specified group, or all groups
  • Grouping – allows or prevents access to 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. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon ). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Next to the Assignment to update, click Edit, then select Edit Settings. The assignment's Updating Assignment page will open.
  3. The Updating Assignment page contains 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.
  4. After you have finished making the necessary changes, click Save and return to course to return to your main course page or Save and display to view the assignment page.