Using the Assignment Tool (Moodle icon = )
The Assignment tool contains a task which you have to carry out. Often you will be required to upload and submit your work via the computer, but assignments can also involve writing a text online, or off-line tasks.
Assignments normally have a deadline that has to be observed. When the due date and time have passed, you normally cannot hand in your work anymore. It is therefore important to use proper time management when working on a web course. Note that due times are listed as course events in the Calendar and appear in the Upcoming Events block.
There are four assignment types available (listed in order of popularity):
When you look at an assignment that requires you to upload a file, you see something like this:
Clicking the Browse button brings up a window, with which you can locate files in your PC. Select the drive and folder, in which you saved your work.
Unless otherwise specified by the teacher, the format of your uploaded file ought to be one that can be opened by MS Office programs, since most teachers use those (in general, when uploading files, you should use common formats and avoid the uncommon formats of MS Works (.wps) or Open Office (.swx), because many teachers will have difficulties opening those). In other words, for text files choose .doc (MS Word) or .rtf (Rich Text Format) as file type, for presentations .ppt and for spreadsheets .xls or .xml. If you try to upload a file that is bigger than the maximum file upload size set by the teacher, you will receive an error message.
Once you have handed in your work (as one file), you can see the file on the assignment page and check it. If by any chance you should have submitted the wrong (version of the) file, you can upload the correct file and it will replace the one that was uploaded earlier.
When you have submitted, the teacher can access your file and give feedback/comments (Normally, after the deadline although a teacher may give you intermittent feedback on an ongoing task as well). Usually, you will also be given a grade. You will be notified of this automatically by email. To see the feedback you should return to the assignment and it is strongly recommended that your do so. The feedback is also displayed on your Grades page (User report):
An advanced version of this assignment type lets you upload a specified number of files (for example a first draft, a second draft and a final version of a document).
Note, that in some assignments the teacher can also upload a file. For example, to hand you in advance a file with which you need to work, or to return to you a corrected version of the file you uploaded. This teacher file is called a response file (See the part about the advanced uploading of files assignment further down on this page).
When you open an on-line text writing assignment, you see the following view:
The Moodle editor is a good tool for writing online, but note that it only works with the Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers. Also keep in mind that you should always avoid copying and pasting text from elsewhere to the editor (especially from MS Word), because you could be copying along hidden codes that may mess up your text and stop you from editing it! If you want to use MS Word, for example, to check the spelling of your text, copy and paste the text from the editor to MS Word, run the spelling checker and make the corrections manually in the editor.
Your text will remain editable until the deadline. That implies that you can write your text over several sessions. Once you have completed and saved your assignment the teacher can comment on your work and give a grade (which of course will be displayed in your gradebook). Often you receive an email notice that you have received feedback on your assignment, but sometimes you also have to improve your work before a final grade is given for the assignment. In the latter case the teacher will have set the assignment to be resubmittable, so the editing button remains active even after the teacher has given feedback.
The offline activity assignment type does not normally refer to activities online in Moodle (although it could be used, for instance, to grade activities in a wiki). Typically, the Offline assignment type is used to supply a deadline and a commenting/grading facility for a task that is carried out outside of Moodle, such as a presentation in the online classroom LearnLinc, or a group discussion in class, or field work outside the school.
The view of an offline activity assignment is limited to the task description and optionally the start date and the due date. Once the assignment has been graded or commented upon you seen the same layout of feedback as in the Upload a single file assignment type (i.e. teacher comment and a grade, if required).
This assignment type allows teachers and students to upload more than one file. The type can be used, for example, to supply you with a file that the teacher wants you to work with, after which you can upload your version. Another use could be that the teacher wants you to upload one or more draft versions of a file before you upload the final version. All this can be accompanied by an online text box like the one in the online text assignment.
An advanced uploading of files assignment with all options enabled might look something like this:
Once this assignment is underway it can look something like this:
As stated above, when you have finished with the work on the assignment, you can send it for marking, but do notice that that will block you from making any further changes (i.e. you cannot delete or upload any more files and you cannot add more comments). The page will display this message at the bottom:
In other words, do not click the Send for marking button unless you have completed the assignment task. If you should have submitted the assignment for marking by mistake, you can ask your teacher to revert your submission to draft status (This will open the assignment to your again, provided that the deadline has not passed).