Assignment - create an assignment

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assignment dropbox iconThis entry relates to the Assignment activity.

The Assignment activity has the following default settings that allow individual students to submit files for marking, and offer various options for providing feedback (these and other assignment settings are explained in more detail below):

  • Submission types: File submissions enabled; Maximum number of uploaded files = 20; Maximum submission size = 40MB; Restrict file types for text matching 
  • Feedback types: Feedback comments; Annotate PDF; Feedback files; Offline grading worksheet
  • Submission settings: Require students click submit button; Require that students click the submission statement; Attempts reopened manually (unlimited)
You can change these settings according to the purpose of the assignment. See Assignment – purpose and settings for other options (eg group, video, iterative, take-home exam, offline, online text, anonymous submissions, Mahara ePortfolio).

Create an assignment
(for file submissions)

Add an assignment activity

  1. Turn editing on using the green button available top left of screen on the topic page
      Turn editing on button

  2. Go to the module where you would like the assignment to appear

  3. Click the Add an activity or resource link at the bottom of the module
    Add an activity or resource link

  4. Select Assignment from the Activities tab
    Assignment activity icon

  5. You will be taken to the Adding a new Assignment screen where you can set the parameters (settings) for your assignment (see information below)

General settings

General settings
Setting Description
Assignment name Enter the title of the assignment. This is what the students will see on the topic homepage and will also appear in the gradebook. You should name the assignment according to the wording used in the Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM).
Description Using the HTML editor, enter the assignment description. You can provide links to literature or websites and add images or videos. You can also provide instructions on how you expect students to present their work (eg accepted file types, word limit, font size/type requirements, line spacing).
Display description on topic page If ticked, the above description will be displayed under the assignment link on the topic page. This is not recommended for lengthy descriptions.
Additional files You can provide additional files, such as rubrics. Download links for the files will be displayed on the assignment page under the description.

Availability settings

Availability settings
Setting Description
Allow submissions from

This prevents students from submitting their assignment before the shown date. By default, this is enabled and set at the day and time you create the assignment. You can disable this date by unchecking the Enable box.

Note: If you have this date enabled, students will not see the assignment description unless you tick the Always show description box. 
Due date

This is when the assignment is due. Submissions will still be allowed after this date, but any assignments submitted after this date will be marked as late. Set an assignment cut-off date to prevent submissions after a certain date.


  • Avoid setting the due time to midday (12:00 PM) as students may mistake this as being midnight (12:00 AM)

  • It is recommended the due date is set for a time when:

    • the FLO Student Helpdesk will be available to assist students having difficulties submitting assignments
    • you are available to respond to questions from students and the Helpdesk
    • students are available to submit assignments (eg if your external students are working full-time, they may appreciate being able to submit their assignments later in the day).
Timeline block:
  • The Due date will show to students in the Timeline block, marked as 'due'
  • Dates added using completion tracking show to students in the Timeline block, marked as 'should be completed'
  • User override dates show to students in the Timeline block, marked as 'override' 
  • Group override dates don't currently show to students
Cut-off date

Used to allow late submissions up to a specified date. After the cut-off date, no more submissions can be made unless an individual assignment extension has been granted.

Tip: It is recommended that you set the cut-off date at least 1 week after the due date, to allow for any late submissions.
Remind me to grade by You can assign an expected date that the marking of submissions should be finished by. This date will appear in the Timeline block on your My FLO page.

Submission types settings

Submission types settings
Setting Description
Submission types

Enables the different assignment submission types. Select from the following:

  • File submissions (default)Allows students to upload files. Can be used in conjunction with the 'Restrict file types' setting
  • Online text: Provides students with the HTML editor to type text directly into FLO for their submission. This is not recommended for large amounts of text. You can specify the maximum number of words you will accept for online text (see 'Word limit' below). Note: Online text is required to be enabled for video assignments
  • Word count declaration: If enabled, students must manually enter a word count for their submission in the field provided (see Add a word count field to an assignment submission below).
    Warning: Even if the 'File submissions' and/or 'Online text' submission types are enabled, students can finalise their submission without uploading a file or entering text if they complete the declaration.
  • Mahara portfolio: If enabled, students must select their Mahara page/s for assessment in order to complete their submission. Only allow this setting if students are using Mahara for the assignment (contact your  eLearning support team for further information)
Maximum number of uploaded files

This is the maximum number of files a student may upload (the default is 20).
Maximum submission size

This is the upload limit for a single file (the default is 40MB). Note: Turnitin will only accept files up to 40MB; anything larger will not go through Turnitin.
Restrict file types

You can specify the types of files that you want students to submit. The default setting is 'File types for text matching' (*.doc, *.docx, *.rtf, *.html, *.ps, *.txt, *.pdf, *.ppt, *.pptx, *.ppts, *.hwp, *.wpd)' — these file types are accepted by Turnitin to generate Originality reports.

You can select from the predefined categories (Word documents, PDF, Image, Video, Audio) or specify additional file types using the 'Other' option. With the Other option enabled, additional file type extensions can be entered in the input box – prefixed by an asterisk (*). Multiple file types should be separated by a comma.

If you are planning to mark online, restrict the submission to Word documents and/or PDF. This will ensure that you are able to annotate all file submissions (FLO will convert Word documents to PDF format for online marking).
Word limit If Online text submissions is enabled (see 'Submission types' above), you can set the maximum number of words a student is able to submit directly into FLO. Tick the Enable box to set a word limit.

Add a word count field
to an assignment submission

Under the Submission types section, enable Word count declaration by ticking the check box:

Word count declaration setting

Students must manually enter the word count to finalise their submission. Warning: Students can finalise their submission by entering a word count, without uploading a file (File submissions enabled) or entering text (Online text enabled). If this occurs, revert the submission to draft to allow the student to upload their file / enter text.  

Student view

A compulsory word count field will form part of the submission process for the assignment:

Student view of word count 

Feedback types settings

Feedback types settings
Setting Description
Feedback types All Feedback types are enabled by default: Feedback comments (see below), Annotate PDF, Feedback files (rubric, marking guide) and Offline grading worksheet. You can leave all options ticked (you don’t have to use all of them).
Comment inline
If enabled, this setting allows the submission text (see Submission types > Online text above) to be copied into the Feedback comments field during grading, making it easier to comment inline (using a different colour).
Feedback template
You can upload a Feedback template to be used as the basis for feedback files generated for each student.

Feedback comments

The Feedback comments box enables 'rich' constructive feedback (links, video etc) using the HTML editor, and is great for overall feedback on an assessment item. 

Feedback comments

Submission settings

Submission settings
Setting Description
Require students to click the submit button

If Yes (default setting), students must click the Submit button to finalise their assignment. An assignment will remain in draft (allowing the student to make changes to text or upload new files) until they click the Submit button. Once submitted, they will be unable to modify their assignment without topic coordinator intervention (eg revert an assignment to draft; allow students to resubmit).

If No, students can make changes to their submission at any time.
Require that students accept the submission statement
The default setting is Yes. The submission statement is a declaration that the work the student is submitting is their own unless otherwise acknowledged.
Attempts reopened

This setting determines how student submission attempts are reopened:

  • Never
  • Manually (default setting – submissions can be reopened by a teacher)
  • Automatically until pass
See Allow students to resubmit an assignment for further information.
Maximum attempts You can set the maximum number of submission attempts for the assignment if Manually or Automatically until pass has been selected for Attempts reopened.

Notifications settings

Notifications settings
Setting Description
Notify graders about submissions

If set to Yes, all members of the teaching team will receive an email notification when an assignment is submitted or updated. The next setting will not be available if this is set to Yes.

If the class is small, or you plan to return assignments as quickly as possible, it may be a good idea to choose Yes. However, for large classes this can result in a high volume of notification emails.

Notify graders about late submissions

This option is available if Notify graders about submissions is set to No. If set to Yes, an email notification will only be provided for assignments submitted after the due date.

You may choose to enable this setting to avoid having to constantly check FLO for late submissions.

Default setting for "Notify students"

This field controls when to notify students of changes to their grade or feedback and sets the default value for the Notify students checkbox on the online grading form. The default is No.

The Notify students checkbox is available when grading individual submissions. Choose Yes to notify the student immediately or No to grade without notifying the student. Students will not receive grade notifications if you have hidden the grades.

Note: How staff and students receive notifications depends on their personal preferences .

Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings

Turnitin is integrated with the Assignment activity. It produces Originality reports that provide a summary of matching or similar text found between submitted work and other materials, such as online sources (eg webpages, journal articles and other electronic information).

Most of the Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings cannot be changed, however, you have the option of excluding the following elements of a paper from an Originality report:

Turnitin settings
Setting Description
Exclude Bibliography The default setting is No. If Yes, text appearing in the bibliography, works cited, and references sections are excluded.
Exclude Quoted Material The default setting is No. If Yes, text appearing in the quotes of student papers can be excluded.
Exclude Small Matches The default setting is No. If Yes, matches that are not of sufficient length can be excluded (the options available are Words or Percent – either the number of words or percentage of text to be excluded can be entered into the box that will appear underneath this field).

Note: For Turnitin to generate an Originality report, the student’s submitted file must:

  • be less than 40MB
  • include a minimum of 20 words
  • be less than 400 pages.
If the use of text-matching for the assignment is nonsensical or will throw an error, it can be turned off (contact your local eLearning support team).

Grade settings

Grade settings
Setting Description

Select the type of grading you want to use. The options are:

  • None – The assignment will be ungraded and worth no points, however, feedback can be given if enabled in the Feedback types settings.
  • Scale – The assignment is graded using a non-numeric value. Choose a scale from the dropdown list (eg Non-graded Pass). If a new scale is required, contact your local eLearning support team.
  • Point – The assignment will be graded out of a maximum number of points. This is the default setting (maximum grade = 100).
Grading method

If Scale or Point for the Grade setting is chosen, the following options are available:

  • Simple direct grading (default setting) — This is the most used method, where a final grade and feedback is provided.
  • Checklist | Marking guide | Rubric — These are advanced grading methods for online marking. All methods will require a template to be set up.
Grade category Controls the category in which the assignment’s grades are placed in the gradebook.
Grade to pass This setting determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and topic completion, and in the gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.
Anonymous submissions Hides the identity of students from markers. Anonymous submissions settings will be locked once a submission or grade has been made in the assignment. Note: students will need to be instructed to exclude personal information (eg name, ID number) in their submission. Further information: Create an assignment with anonymous submissions
Hide grader identity from students

Hides the identity of markers from students. If enabled, the identity of markers is not shown to students when they view their feedback through the assignment link.

Note: This setting does not affect the Comments link (Submission comments column) on the grading page. If you add a comment, your identity is not hidden.
Use marking workflow If you choose Yes, the Use marking allocation setting will appear where you can choose to allocate markers to each student. Note: Allocating markers is done on the grading screen. Marking cannot commence until markers have been allocated.

Hide assignment grades until ready for release

After creating an assignment, we strongly recommend you hide the grades. This will prevent students from seeing their grades until you are ready to release them (both in the assignment activity and in gradebook). As soon as you have created an assignment (and clicked Save and display), you will see the Grading summary screen.

Grading summary page

You can hide the assignment grades at this point, by clicking on the eye in the Grade visibility row. Once hidden, the Grade visibility row will change.

Grades are hidden from students

Students can still see the assignment and details of their submission, but they won't be able to see their grades until you unhide them (see Hide and release marks/feedback to students).

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