General guidance for online assessments delivered using the Assignment activity





This guide aims to provide you with all the information required to prepare for the assessment formats in the following table:

24-hour assessments

One-week assessments

Longer coursework pieces

48-hour assessments

Two-week assessments

Time limited assessments with a common start/finish time for all students

72-hour assessments

Three-week assessments


If you need to set up Time limited assessment to be taken at any time within a 24-hour window, please visit General guidance for online assessments delivered using the Quiz activity.

Important note

  • Departmental staff setting up online assessments on Moodle course(s), must ensure that the Assignment submission link appears in an appropriate place on the Moodle page (where the students can easily locate and identify it).

  • Departmental staff are required to configure settings, check that all students are enrolled, apply restrictions etc. and upload all the relevant information (i.e. Assessment paper, instructions to candidates etc.)

Please read the instructions below carefully, regardless of your familiarity with Moodle. Some settings are designed to increase the security of the uploaded ‘Assessment paper’, and ensure the smooth running of the online assessment.

Assessment readiness checklist

About this checklist

  • This checklist is a quick reference of important actions.

  • By going through this checklist, you should feel reassured that you have taken all the right steps to prepare your assessment submission links in Moodle and to support your students taking online assessments.

  • Revisit the checklist once you have prepared your assessment links, for a final check-up.

Quick checklist:

  1. Have you checked that all students (registered, deferred, resit etc.) who should take the assessment are enrolled into the Moodle course and have the correct role (i.e. Student or Auditing Student)?

  2. Have you enabled self enrolment for those students entitled to take the assessment that may have been missed out?

  3. Have you removed the self enrolment password/enrolment key from your course (if applicable)?

  4. Have you communicated to your students the assessment guidance (including details of support available during the assessment period)?

  5. Have you uploaded the ‘Assessment paper and instructions to candidates' and the 'Coversheet for submission’ to the Moodle Assignment(s)?

  6. Have you updated the Moodle Assignment settings ('Allow submissions from' date and time & ‘Due date’ and time) with the time set to the relevant time (UK time)?

  7. Have you added the ‘Restrict access’ criterion based on the assessment ‘Allow submissions from’ date and time?

  8. Where required, have you created separate Moodle Assignments for deferred, resit etc. students (i.e. students who are required to answer different assessment questions)?

  9. Have you created a dummy/practice Assignment for your students to practice submitting, reduce anxiety and identify any technical/other problems?

  10. Have you informed your students about an alternative submission method (e.g. programme email address) in case of technical difficulties? (See sample template for wording below).

  11. Have you built in additional time for preparing the files for upload where appropriate? (See sample template for wording below).

  12. Have you informed your students of the relevant guides for this assessment? We have produced the following student guides:




A. Ensure students have access (are enrolled) on the Moodle course

1. Manage enrolments

To check students are enrolled on the Moodle course, follow the steps below.

  • Log into Moodle and go to the course you want to check.

  • On the Administration block, at the left hand side of the screen, use the arrow icon in front of Users to expand and see the available options. Click Enrolled users.

  • You will now see all the enrolled Participants. Ensure all the students who will take the assessment are listed on this screen.

  • If you need to manually enrol a missing student, click on the Enrol users button, and search for the student you want to add, assigning them the role Student.

  • If you need to manually remove any student(s), use the bin icon, next to a student's name as shown below.

If you have a very high number of students, you may want to download a spreadsheet to check out the enrolled students.

  • To remove a role from a student, click on the pencil icon next to the role.

  • Click the 'x' in the blue box of the role you wish to remove and then click on the disc icon to save your changes.

2. Enable self enrolment (i.e. allow students themselves to self enrol on a Moodle course)

To allow, self enrolment follow the steps below.

  • Log into Moodle and go to the course you want to check.

  • On the Administration block, on the left hand side of the screen, use the arrow icon in front of Users to expand and see the available options. Click Enrolment methods.


  • On the following screen, ensure Self enrolment (Auditing student) is visible. If hidden, the option will be greyed out. Use the eye icon to make the option available.

  • Double check the self enrolment settings by clicking on the cog icon (in the 'Edit' column in the above image).

  • Remove any previous password/enrolment key. If a password/enrolment key is set, students who try to self enrol will not be able to do so.

B. Communicate to your students the requirements of their assessment

C. Create and set-up an Assignment activity

In this section you will find detailed information on creating and setting up the Assignment(s) for your assessment(s). Please read it carefully. If you are unable to find the information you need please email

1. Create and set-up the Assignment for the current year students

  • Log into Moodle and navigate to the relevant course

  • Turn editing on

  • Go to the section where you want the Assignment activity to be displayed. Click Add an activity or resource and pick Assignment.

The instructions below take you through all the Assignment settings available and how they should be configured.

1.1. General

  • In General, enter the Assignment name and add instructions to the Description field (see below for more on this).

  • In the Additional files area upload (drag-and-drop) any required files (e.g. the Assessment paper in PDF format, to maintain accurate formatting of the original paper). If a Coversheet for submission, is required, it should be in MS Word format, to make it easier for students to edit this file as required.

Add a Description to provide students with the required information.

1.2. Availability

In Availability, make sure that you select the correct Allow submissions from date and time (UK time) for when you wish the assessment to be open to students and the correct Due date and time (UK time)

1.3. Submission types

  • Submission types (below) - make sure that File submissions is ticked.

  • Maximum number of uploaded files - select the number of files you are expecting students to upload (see the note above about Turnitin).

  • Maximum submission size - set as appropriate to your assessment requirements (we recommend 100MB).

  • Accepted file types - We recommend that you ask students to upload a PDF file to avoid conversion and loss of formatting when their file is downloaded/viewed in different operating systems. PDF is also more reliable format if you intend to mark on Moodle. However, if MS Word is your requirement that should also be fine.

1.4. Feedback types

Ensure that Feedback comments, Annotated PDF, Feedback files, Offline grading worksheet and Audio feedback (PoodLL) are all ticked.

1.5. Feedback criteria

Ignore this whole section of settings. Do not enter anything and move to the section below.

1.6. Submission settings

Leave the Submission settings to the default settings (as shown below).

1.7. Group submission settings

Leave the Group submission settings to the default settings (as shown below).

1.8. Notification

Leave Notification to the default settings (as shown below).

1.9. Turnitin plugin settings

1.10. Grade

Set the Grade settings according to your departmental practice. Set Anonymous submissions (this hides the identity of students from markers) and Use marking workflow to ‘Yes’.

1.11. Common module settings

  • Availability - set this to Hide from students (see note above).

  • Group mode - set this to Visible groups. This setting is particularly useful for Moodle courses with multiple Markers. During the marking process, markers will be able to filter the submissions table by seminar group if necessary (and download only the relevant seminar group submissions), You can read more about Group mode in our guide, Groups and Grouping.

1.12. Restrict access

In Restrict Access set up an access restriction to ensure the Assignment link is not accessible from the course’s homepage up until the set Allow submission from date and time.

  • Click Add restriction…

  • Click Date from the pop-up window that appears.

  • Set the Date criterion. You must select the same Date and time as the Allow submissions from date and time you entered in the Availability section above.

1.13. Activity completion/Tags/Competencies

Ignore the Activity completion, Tags and Competencies settings.

1.14. Save the Assignment settings

Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on Save and Return to course button. You will be able to see the Assignment link on the course home page (hidden) as shown below.

From the course homepage, use the Assignment’s Edit drop-down menu, and click Show.

The Assignment link on the course homepage appears as below. As you can see it will remain greyed out for students (i.e. not available) because of the restrict access date criterion added.

2. Set up an Assignment for previous year students (i.e. if they are examined in a different paper)

You can create the second Assignment from scratch or you can duplicate the original Assignment and replace the Assessment paper file and the Coversheet for submission with the appropriate alternatives.

  • To duplicate the existing Assignment select ‘Duplicate’ from the drop-down settings menu accessed via the cog icon to the right of the Assignment activity

  • Name the duplicated Assignment in a way that clearly signposts to students that the assessment is relevant to them and not other groups (e.g. Resit 2019/20 year students).

3. Providing for students with Central Exam Adjustments (CEAs)?

4. Set up a dummy/practice Assignment

D. Student guides

Eden Digital has produced the following student guides:

E. Additional information

The section below provides further information that you might find useful.

Student view

For full guidance on how students upload their assignments please see our Guide for Students.

Below is a short summary of the steps students will take to submit an assignment with our recommended settings.

  • On the course page, students can see the due date and whether or not they have submitted.

  • Students click on the link and, if the assessment opening date has been reached, they will see the instructions and be able to access the files with their assessment questions.


  • When students are ready to submit and click on the Add submission button, the academic integrity statement is displayed. They must tick this or they will not be able to submit. Student can drag and drop their files into the files area below the submission statement.


  • Once students have checked the submission statement box, uploaded the correct file type and clicked save changes, they will be sent a submission notification by email and see this status window.


Marker views

The following is a short summary of how submitted assignments display if the recommended default settings have been kept. Because Anonymous submissions has been enabled, participants names are not displayed.

To grade, click on the big red GRADE button:

Staff can set marking workflow state.

Whatever marking workflow state has been set will be reflected in the submission.

The marking workflow state can also be set in bulk from the submissions table.