Assignment - annotate (mark) student assignments in FLO (online)

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assignment dropbox iconThis entry relates to the Assignment activity.

The online annotation feedback method allows you to open PDF assignments in your browser (eg Chrome, Firefox, Safari), provide comments and annotations, and save without needing to download and upload submissions into FLO.

Students can submit in either Word, Open Office (.odt) or PDF file format. If they submit in Word, FLO will generate a PDF file, as you will use PDF annotation tools to mark it up online.

If the assignment has been set up with an online marking guide, see also Mark assignments in FLO using a rubric, marking guide or checklist.

Good practice guides and tip sheets

Good practice guides and tip sheets have been developed to support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation. Links to assignment-related resources are provided below. 

Inspirational and engaged teaching | Marking in FLO using the assignment tool

Annotate online – steps

When marking online, you can annotate student assignments, provide a grade and feedback all in the one screen. In the 'individual marking form' for each student, you will see the student's 'Submission status' (eg Submitted for grading – once you have graded the assignment this will change to Graded). Depending on how the assignment activity is set up, you will also see a Grade box, a Feedback comments box (if enabled), and a Feedback files box (if enabled).

  1. Click on the Assignment link in your topic

  2. In the next screen you will see a Grading summary – how many students have submitted, how many need grading etc. Use the Visible/Separate groups box (depending on how the assignment has been set up) to select a group you need to mark (if applicable)
    Filter for a group of students

  3. Click the View all submissions button to see the list of students, and then click on an individual student's submission (Grade button). Alternatively, you can go straight to the first student assignment listed in the Grading summary screen by clicking on the Grade button (next to the View all submissions button).
    View all submissions and grade buttons

  4. To move between students, use the arrows in the Change user box (top of screen) to move to the next student's submission. You can also select a specific student from the drop-down list
    Change user to mark 

  5. Look at the bottom right side of the screen for the individual student – there are options for how the screen is displayed. Your choice will depend on what you want to do at that time – mark the submitted file, complete the feedback file (rubric, marking guide, checklist), or provide feedback and a grade. You can switch between each of these screens as you mark. How you have set up the assignment (eg with a marking guide/rubric/checklist) will determine your viewing options
    Screen display options 

  6. The first page of the PDF submission is displayed. The annotations toolbar appears at the top of the page. You may need to click the down arrow to see all tools.
    Annotations toolbar with drop-down arrow
    Annotations toolbar

    The following table outlines the tools and keyboard shortcuts available for online annotation. Note: Keyboard shortcuts are activated by pressing Alt + Shift + Keyboard shortcut.
    Icon Keyboard shortcut Description

    h = Search comments 
    g = Expand/collapse all comments

    Rotate – You can use the rotate icons to change the orientation of an uploaded document, for example, if the student submitted it in landscape mode 

    q = Rotate 90 degrees to the left  
    w = Rotate 90 degrees to the right 
    comments icon z

    Comments – Adds a comment box to the PDF. Once a comment has been typed into a comment box, it can be added into your comment 'quicklist' (see instructions below). Any comments in your quicklist can be inserted again by clicking the small box (top right of the comment box) and selecting from the drop-down list. To delete a comment, click in the small box and choose 'Delete comment' from the menu.

    Note: The colour of the comment box can be chosen using the Comment colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'x' to select the colour picker.
    select arrow c Select – Used to move or deleted previously added annotations. (Deleting comments can be done using the comments tool – see above.)
    freehand icon y

    Pen – Adds a freehand colour line to the submission.  

    Note: The colour of the freehand line can be chosen by the colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'r' to select the colour picker.
    line icon u

    Line – Adds a coloured straight line to the submission. 

    Note: The colour of the line can be chosen by the colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'r' to select the colour picker.
    rectangle icon i

    Rectangle – Adds a coloured rectangle to the submission. 

    Note: The colour of the rectangle can be chosen by the colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'r' to select the colour picker.
    oval icon o

    Oval - Adds a coloured oval to the submission. 

    Note: The colour of the oval can be chosen by the colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'r' to select the colour picker.
    highlighter p

    Highlight – Adds a highlight line to text/images. 

    Note: The colour of the highlight can be chosen by the colour picker, or by using the shortcut key 'r' to select the colour picker.
      stamp icon  n

    Stamp – Adds a stamp to the page. The stamp appearance is chosen from the stamp drop-down list. A stamp can either be simply applied by clicking the screen, or by clicking and dragging the stamp to the size you require.


  7. To navigate between pages, either use the Previous page / Next page buttons, or select a specific page number from the drop-down list activated by selecting the current page number:
    page arrows

  8. Once you have finished annotating the submission, you can insert a grade, leave feedback comments or attach feedback files on the same screen:



    Feedback comments

    In the Feedback comments section, you can provide feedback using the HTML editor Types of feedback  include: 

    • Text – type directly into the box provided 

    • Audio – click the Record audio icon to create a short audio file ( up to 2 minutes  long)   
      Record audio icon  

    • Video  click the Add media icon to embed a pre-recorded video from the topic Media Vault. See  Manage topic video content with the Media Vault (Kaltura)  
      Add media icon  

    Feedback comments

    Feedback files

    upload a feedback file

  9. Save changes on the individual marking form – this will return the annotated document to the student. Note: If the assignment is hidden in the gradebook, the student will not be able to see the feedback file. Grades and feedback are only made available once the assignment is visible in the gradebook

Add a comment to a quicklist (save time)

Using the comment quicklist can save time when providing comments to submissions using online annotation. To save a regularly used comment to your comments quicklist, complete the following steps.

  1. Select the icon in the comment box of the comment you wish to save

  2. Select 'Add to quicklist' from the menu

  3. To add this comment elsewhere on the document, add a blank comment box and select the icon in the top right corner. All previously saved comments will appear in a list. Select the comment from the quicklist
    add comment from quicklist

» How-to glossary