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Assignment Reference Guide

Updates to the Assignment Activity

On December 16, 2016, a major update to GauchoSpace was performed, upgrading the core software from Moodle 2.8 to 3.1. The most notable change to the Assignment Activity is the new grading interface, which makes grading assignment submissions easier in GauchoSpace.

Jump to the Grading an Assignment section to learn more about the new Assignment Grading features.


The Assignment Activity allows instructors to collect, grade, and redistribute students’ work. Assignments are intended for one-to-one interaction between students and instructors. Unless students are submitting as a group, they cannot see each others' work. Students can submit many types of digital content (e.g., documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, etc.), type online text directly into GauchoSpace, or be graded on offline assignments outside of GauchoSpace (e.g., presentations, performances, or class participation). Assignment due dates are automatically synchronized with the GauchoSpace Calendar. Once instructors grade an assignment activity, students can see feedback and grades for their work in the Assignment and the Gradebook.

Add an Assignment

  1. Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
  2. Turn editing on in the upper-right corner.
  3. In the topic or week block where you would like to place the assignment, click Add an activity or resource.

  4. Choose Assignment in the pop-up menu, and click Add.

  5. Configure the settings, such as the grade, due date, and submission type. Read below to understand more about assignment settings.
  6. Click Save and return to course.

Understanding Assignment Settings


  • Assignment Name: Required. What the students will see when selecting the assignment link from your course's homepage and the name in the Gradebook.
  • Description: No longer required. This is where you tell your students what they need to know to complete the assignment. The description might include information such as an essay prompt, the due date, length requirement and--if students are uploading files--the file format to be used (Word, .PDF, etc.).
  • Display description on course page: Select this if you want the full description (above) to also appear on your course page under the name of the assignment. If this box is left unchecked, students will only see the description when they open the assignment from the link on the course page.
  • Additional files: If there are any files your students will need to reference in order to complete the assignment, you may upload them here.


  • Allow submissions from: Provide a start date to allow submissions. You must check the "Enable" button if you want to use this setting. If disabled, students will be able to start submitting as soon as the assignment is added.
  • Due date: Provide a due date for students. You must check the "Enable" button if you want to use this setting. After the due date has passed, students can still submit an assignment, but it will be marked in red as "late."
  • Cut-off date: After this date, submissions will no longer be allowed, unless a student has been granted an extension. You must check the "Enable" button if you want to use this setting.
  • Always show description: If this is unchecked, the description above will only be visible at the "Allow submissions from" date.

Submission Types

  • Submission Types: Instructors can configure the Assignment settings so that students are prompted to insert text into a text field housed in the web browser (Online text) or upload a file(s) (File submissions) from their computers. File submissions is enabled by default.

    It is possible to have both options checked, but not recommended. Files uploaded in the File submissions option can be any file format.

    Note: If you would like to get the maximum potential out of the new assignment grading interface, you will need to make sure that your students submit PDF documents ONLY. The split screen grading view does not work to view any other filetype other than PDF at this time. For more information, see Grading an Assignment.
  • Word limit: If online text submissions are enabled, this is the maximum number of words that each student will be allowed to submit. You must check the "Enable" button if you want to use this setting.
  • Maximum number of uploaded files: If "File submissions" is selected, students will be able to upload this number of files.
  • Maximum submission size: The maximum upload size limit is 100MB, but can be made smaller.

Feedback Types

  • Feedback types: If providing feedback on assignments, determine which option you'd like to use. Feedback comments are entered online in the assignment grading interface within GauchoSpace, whereas Feedback Files are downloaded, graded, and re-uploaded back to each student. There is also the option to use an Offline Grading Worksheet which allows instructors to enter grades for the Assignment in a spreadsheet that is uploaded back to the assignment grader. Feedback Files and Feedback Comments are both enabled by default.
  • Comment inline: If enabled, the submission text will be copied into the feedback comment field during grading, making it easier to comment inline (using a different color, perhaps) or to edit the original text.

Submission Settings

  • Require students click submit button: When this option is enabled, students are required to click a "Submit" button, which prevents them from editing their submission after they have done so. However, if a student mistakenly submits a file, instructors can revert the submission to draft status in order to allow a new upload. If you opt not to use this setting, students may return to the assignment and edit their submission at any time until the assignment is closed.
  • Require that students accept the submission statement: The submission statement, which reads "This assignment is my own work, except where I have acknowledged the use of the works of other people," will be displayed before submitting. The student will be required to check a box near the statement before submitting their answers.
  • Attempts reopened: This setting determines how student submissions are reopened.There are three choices: never, manually (attempt can be opened by instructor), and automatically until pass (a highest grade to pass must be set).
  • Maximum attempts: Can only be changed if Attempts reopened is changed to either manually or automatically until pass. This is the maximum number of submission attempts that can be made by a student.

Group submission settings

The instructor can create groups and create groupings of groups to restrict access and for use with group submissions. To learn more about creating a group submission assignment, visit our Assignment Best Practices page.

  • Students submit in groups: If set to Yes, students will submit their assignment as a group. When one student submits the group assignment, the same assignment will be shared with the other group members. The grade will also be shared. If you want to restrict access or visibility of an activity by group, use the common module settings area to make these changes.
  • Require group to make submission: If Yes, users who are not members of a group will be unable to make submissions.
  • Require all group members submit: If Yes, all group members will need to click submit in the assignment, even though the assignment will be shared, this allows group members to view the work that will be submitted for their group. If No, when one person submits, the submission will automatically be entered for all group members.
  • Groupings for student groups: If Students submit in groups is Yes, this will allow you to select the grouping that contains the groups that will be used for submitting the assignment.


  • Notify graders settings: These are settings to notify the instructor or TAs of submissions. Setting them to Yes, will either notify the instructors or TAs when students make submissions or students make late submissions.
  • Default setting for "Notify students": If set to Yes, the "Notify students" checkbox in the assignment grading interface will be turned on by default. This will notify students when their assignment has been graded.


  • Grade: Use the Type drop-down to set a grade type - if using points, the Maximum grade should be entered below. If using scales, choose from the available scales in the drop-down. If you will not be grading the assignment, set the type to None.
  • Grading Method: The default is Simple direct grading, which allows you to enter one grade for the student. You can also select Grading Guide or Rubric. Both of these methods will require you to create either a grading guide or a rubric (links from that you create and add to GauchoSpace for grading.
  • Grade Category: If you are using Categories in your Gradebook, and they have been set up prior to creating the assignment, you can designate which category the assignment will be placed into using the drop-down. Assignments can also be moved into a category within the Gradebook Setup page afterwards.

  • Grade to pass: This setting determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and course completion, and in the Gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.
  • Blind Grading: If Yes, Blind grading hides the identity of students to graders. After grading the assignment, it is possible to see who submitted what assignment through the assignment's settings.
  • Use Grading Workflow: If enabled, grades will go through multiple stages before being released to students. This allows for multiple rounds of grading and allows grades to be released to all students at the same time.
  • Use Grading Allocation: If enabled together with grading workflow, graders can be allocated to grade particular students’ work.

Common module settings

  • Visible: If the assignment is set to Hide, students will not see the assignment. This is the same as using the "Hide/Show" setting in the Edit drop-down menu on your course page.
  • ID Number: A way to identify assignment in the Gradebook, but can be left blank.
  • Group mode: This setting has 3 options:
    • No groups - There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
    • Separate groups - Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
    • Visible groups - Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups

    Note: The group mode defined at course level (Administration block > Edit Settings > Common Module Settings) is the default mode for all activities within the course. Each activity that supports groups can also define its own group mode, though if the group mode is forced at course level, the group mode setting for each activity is ignored.

  • Grouping: A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. If you have groupings set up, students assigned to groups within the grouping will be able to work together.

Restrict Access

You can limit access (ability to see) to an activity by adding date, grade, group, grouping, and user profile restrictions. The conditions must either be met or not met for the student to gain access to the resource. If you want to restrict access by date, but not hide the assignment, it is best to use the availability settings in the assignment options. However, if you want to restrict access by groups, the Group setting in Restrict Access can be very useful. To learn more visit, ways to restrict access to specific students.

Grading an Assignment

in Moodle 3.1

Each time an assignment or a quiz is graded within the activity itself, the grade is recorded and available to students in the activity and in the Gradebook. If you need to change a grade for a student within an activity, you should enter the activity and change the grade, rather than changing it in the Gradebook. When an Instructor does this, the grade is automatically updated in the Gradebook. For more on on grading, see: how activities like an assignment interact with the Gradebook.

Granting an Extension on an Assignment

Instructors may decide to grant extensions to particular students after the assignment has closed using the "Grant an Extension" feature in the Assignment Grading interface.

To do this:

  1. Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
  2. Enter the assignment, and click View all submissions at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Find the student you wish to grant the extension for in the user list. In the Edit column inline with the student's name, click the Edit drop-down menu and choose "Grant Extension."
  4. Next to Extension Due Date, make sure the Enable box is checked and enter the date you wish to extend the deadline to. Click Save changes. This will only grant the extension for this individual student. In the View all Submissions screen, the status will update with the new due date for that student.

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