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Assignment features

Learners can submit any digital content including word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, audio, and video clips. Assignments don't necessarily have to consist of file uploads. Alternatively, trainers can ask learners to type directly into Totara using an online text assignment. There is also an offline activity assignment which can be used to remind learners of 'real-world' assignments they need to complete and to record grades in Totara for activities that don't have an online component.

  • Assignments can be specified with a due date and a maximum grade.
  • Learners can upload their assignments (any file format) to the server, they are date-stamped.
  • Late assignments are allowed, but the amount of lateness is shown clearly to the trainer.
  • For each particular assignment, the whole class can be assessed (grade and comment) on one page in one form.
  • Trainer feedback is appended to the assignment page for each learner, and notification is mailed out.
  • The trainer can choose to allow resubmission of assignments after grading (for regrading).
  • Allowing resubmissions can allow the trainer to progress monitor learner projects/assignments as they evolve.
  • Advanced assignments can allow multiple files to be uploaded. This could keep together pre-planning maps, outlines, research papers and presentations. (Not for beginners).

Assignment capabilities

The assignment module has only three capabilities:

View assignment: This allows a user to view the assignment but not submit anything.

Submit assignment: This allows a user to make an assignment submission.

Grade assignment: This allows a user to view all assignment submissions and grade them.

Assignment Types

There are four assignment types:

Advanced uploading of files

This gives the options for learners to upload multiple files and change the way these files are managed.

This allows each learner to upload one or more files in any format. As the trainer, you can also upload one or more files for each learner (Enable Send for marking), either at the start or in response to their submission. A learner may enter notes describing their submitted files, progress status, description, or any other relevant information.

If you as a trainer want to give feedback by taking a learner's work, adding comments, and sending this back to the learner, make sure you have specified enough upload options to allow this exchange to happen.

Online text

This allows learners to input text online. Trainers can grade the assignment online.

By default, learners cannot resubmit assignments once the trainer has graded them.

If you turn Allow resubmitting on, then learners will be allowed to resubmit assignments after they have been graded. This may be useful if the trainer wants to allow learners to complete the course with a better mark based on trainer feedback.

Upload a single file

This allows each learner to upload a single file in any format, including a ZIP file. Other options include:

  • Allow resubmitting: Used in courses where competency is required; also useful if a file is corrupt or formatted wrong.
  • Email alerts to trainers: Sends an email when assignment submission arrives.
  • Maximum size: Can be used to restrict the size of a file up to the course file size limit.

Offline activity

This is useful when the assignment is performed outside of Totara; it could be something face-to-face or on paper. Trainees can see a description of the assignment, but they can’t upload any files.

Creating assignments

Once you’ve decided on the basic type of assignment, you can very quickly create a place for learners to upload or enter their responses.

To create an assignment:

  1. Click Turn editing mode on.
  2. Select an assignment type from the Add an activity... dropdown menu.
  3. Enter an assignment, this then appears on the course page for learners.
  4. Enter the assignment description.
  5. Select any Additional Files to help learners complete their assignment.
  6. Select the Grade Scale.
  7. Set the Available from and Due Date for your assignment or check the Disable boxes.
  8. Select whether to prevent late submissions.
  9. Choose the options for the type of assignment you have chosen:

    • Advanced uploading of files
      • Set the maximum size for a file upload (the top of the scale is set by your system administrator. There is also a maximum upload size in your course settings).
      • Choose whether learners may delete uploaded files at any time before grading.
      • Set the maximum number of files each participant may upload. (Learners can’t see this number, so it’s a good idea to write the actual number of requested files in the description).
      • Choose whether to enable learners to enter notes into the text area. This can be used for communication with the grading person or for assignment progress description.
      • Decide whether to hide the assignment description prior to the date when the assignment is available.
      • Choose whether trainers should be alerted via email whenever learners add or update their submission.

    • Online text
      • Decide whether to allow learners to resubmit assignments after they have been graded (for you to regrade).
      • Choose whether trainers should be alerted via email whenever learners add or update an assignment submission.
      • Choose whether the learner's submission is copied into the feedback comment field during grading, making it easier to comment in line or to edit the original text.

    • Upload a single file
      • Choose whether to allow learners to resubmit assignments after they have been graded (for you to regrade).
      • Choose whether trainers should be alerted via email whenever learners add or update their submission.
      • Set the maximum size for a file upload (as mentioned previously, the top of the scale is set by your system administrator but there is also a maximum upload size in your course settings).

  10. Set Restrict access if required.
  11. Set Activity completion settings if required.
  12. Click Save changes.

Your assignment appears on your course page. It is also added to your course calendar and appears in the Upcoming Events block if added to your course page.

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