Creating Assignments

Creating Assignments

Assignments are a common activity in many courses and can be set-up in Brightspace. With this functionality students can submit files, pictures and text electronically, after which you or your assistants will review and grade them. You can also use Assignments for feedback when work is delivered hard-copy or in another way outside the Brightspace environment or for when students are Observed in person (e.g. oral exams or presentations).

Go to this page if you are creating an assignment for exams.

*An instructional video is also available for this topic. Scroll down if you wish to watch the video. *

  1. Go to the (Sub)Module of your course where you wish have the assignment.
  2. Click Upload/Create followed by New Assignment.
  3. Give the assignment a Name and choose between a Group or an Individual assignment.
  4. Choose the Submission Type:
    • File submission: digitally submitted document where an attachment is required. Feedback, annotation, evaluation and grading can be completed in Brightspace.
    • Text submission digitally submitted text without attachment. Feedback, annotation, evaluation and grading can be completed in Brightspace.
    • On paper submission:  hard-copy document in person submitted to instructor. By making an assignment; feedback, evaluation and grading can be completed in Brightspace.
    • Observed in person: for example a presentation. This type also allows for feedback, evaluation and grading in Brightspace.

    For paper submissions and submissions that are observed in person you have to choose whether the assignment should be marked as complete by learners, automatically marked as complete on their due date, or marked as complete upon evaluation by the instructor.

    Until students have handed in submissions to a file, you can still change the Assignment type. Once submissions have been filed this is no longer possible.
  5. Choose whether or not you want to select the option Hide from Users. It is recommended to Hide the assignment until all settings are configured.
  6. Optionally add Instructions and click on Save.
  7. Optionally Add Attachments. When an attachment is added, it is recommended to refer to the attachment in the instruction so that students know where to look for that document.
  8. If you have chosen File submission or Text submission you have to make sure the Options are correctly set. Click underneath Options to change them.
    1. Files allowed per submission (File submission only)
      If you choose the File based submission, you will have two options: Unlimited files or One file per submission folder. Choose between the two depending on if students should submit one or multiple files. But please make sure your students are aware of the warning described below.

      A pitfall exists when allowing for multiple documents to be attached and defining the most recent submission option. This combination is a problem when students work in groups and, for example, student 1 submits document 1, and student 2 comes and submits document 2 (because they have divided the work). In this case, only that second document, submitted by the 2nd student, will be kept.

      In this situation, please inform your student groups that when they resubmit work, the last person to submit should submit all the groups’ documents.

    2. Submission Options
      Choose one of the following options:

        • All submissions are kept: when students resubmit multiple times; all their submissions are kept.
        • Only the most recent submission is kept: Since students might submit drafts, or incomplete work at first, this gives them the chance to resubmit multiple times. The previous submissions are not shown to you or your TA’s.
        • Only one submission allowed: this is the most restrictive and gives students one single opportunity to submit their work.
      The option “All submitions are kept” could lead to confusion as it might be unclear for the lecturer or TA which file to grade. The option “only the most recent submission is kept” minimizes this potential confusion.
  9. Optionally Add date and restrictions. Setting a due date is recommended. Doing so will create a calendar entry in the course schedule, so students see the deadline coming up.
    If you are using the assignment functionality for an assessment/exam, it’s important to make the exam available during the correct time window(s) to the correct students. Check Using assignments for assessments/exams to make sure you have the correct settings.
  10. Optionally Associate Assignment with the Brightspace Gradebook
  11. Optionally set More settings.
  12. After you have configured the Assignment you can make it visible to students by Clicking on the switch:
    Be aware that this setting cannot be changed after submissions have been made.
  13. The students can now see the assignment (depending on the restrictions and release condtions you set).
    If you entered a start date, they will see when the assignment starts.

    Upon submitting the assignment, the student will receive a confirmation email.
  14. To end, you can create an announcement for your assignment. Follow this instructions on how to create an announcement. In this announcement, you can link directly to the assignment by selecting the text you wish to hyperlink and using the Quick link icon . Students will receive a notification with a hyperlink so that they can directly access the assignment.
As long as no submissions have been made, your assignment can be modified without the need of creating a new one. After you have Saved the assignment this can be done by going to Assignment in the course menu, Clicking on the arrow next to the assignment on which you want to change the option and then Clicking on Edit Assignment.
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  1. When the assignment is created scroll down to click on Add Dates and Restrictions.
  2. Fill in a Start date (when the assignment becomes available to students) and a Due date (the last date and time at which they can submit).
    Note: Students can still submit after the Due date, but instructors and teaching assistants will clearly see this assignment marked as being late.
    Note: After the End date/time the link is not clickable for students anymore. This prevents them from returning here to see the assignment. You might consider to not set the end date so that students can return to their assignment to review and/or prepare for their exam.
  3. If you would like to make the assignment visible to students select the Hidden eye icon to make the assignment visible.

These steps  help you to join your Assignment to the Brightspace Gradebook. This is not mandatory.

  1. Create the grade item in the gradebook ahead of time.
  2. Click on Add a grade item

  3. You will be able to select a Grade item from this drop-down menu or you can make a new grade item by clicking on the +.
  4. Enter the Points for the assignment.
    You might have to repeat the same value that you have used in your Gradebook setup. For example, if your Gradebook column is for 20 points for this assignment, please re-enter that value of 20 here again.
If you have (accidentally) deleted an assignment, and would like to restore it, please follow the following steps:
  1. On the navbar, click Assignments.
  2. On the assignments page, click More Actions.
  3. Go to the Event Log.
  4. For every assignment you want to restore, click the Restore button.
When you restore an assignment which has availability dates, you also restore its dates in the Calendar tool.

Instructors are able to copy previously created assignments and create a duplicate assignment. This feature enables the instructor to quickly create similar assignments.

  1. Go to the drop down menu next to the assignment you want to copy
  2. Select Copy assignment

More Settings

You can find all settings by going to the Assignment in the course menu, Clicking on the arrow next to the assignment on which you want to change the option and then Clicking on Edit Assignment.

To avoid unconscious bias in the grading and feedback process, instructors can now configure assignments to use anonymous learner names. To do so, please follow the steps below:

  1. Click in the icon as in the image below:Once anonymous marking is selected for an assignment folder, students will be presented anonymously to all Brightspace roles with permission to provide feedback.
  2. Once the setting of the assignment submission folder has been completed, go back to the assignments list. Attached to the specific assignment, an icon confirms that the anonymous marking has been enabled.When the feature is turned on, instructors can only see an anonymized learner name on the assignment submission and the user names are revealed to instructors once feedback is published. Once anonymous marking is selected for an assignment folder, students will be presented anonymously to all Brightspace roles with permission to provide feedback.

Check this page if you want to know how to use Rubrics and how to create them.

Check the Tunitin page to see how to set this up.

Using Turnitin allows you to check assignments for plagiarism, grade them and give in-text feedback to students.

If you are using the assignment functionality for an assessment/exam, it’s important to make the exam available during the correct time window(s) to the correct students. The steps below help you to make sure you have the correct settings.

  1. Click the ‘restrictions’ tab. (1)
  2. Make sure that Hide from users is checked. (2)
  3. Add a Due date and time. (3) This is the submission deadline for standard students.
  4. Add a Start date and time. (4)
  5. Do not add an End date and time. Do this after the exam has ended, when you are sure that all students have late submitted and no technical issues occurred. (5)
  6. Restrict the access by adding Release conditions. (6)

    We advise to make at least one Release condition to restrict the access to a Brightspace Group that contains all students who should have access. This prevents unlawful access.To do so, first create a group with all the students that are allowed see the assignment. This can be done manually or by using the Import/Export Group Tool.

    When you have created this group in Brightspace, you Create and Attach a release condition using Condition type: Group enrolment. When you have selected this type you can select the Group you created underneath the Condition Details.

  7. If you have multiple versions of an exam you can restrict access using the Groups as described in the step above. A downside is that students can see who else is in their group. To prevent fraud you can  make sure that students cannot see who else is in their group by using a hidden Grade item.
    This is a work-around, so it is not all that logical and straightforward. If you need help, please contact Brightspace support.
    1. Make a grade item using  the following settings:
      • Grade Item Type: Numeric value
      • Maximum Point: 100
      • Weight: 0
      • Grading Scheme: Percentage
      • Hide from users: Selected (!)
    2. Add grades manually or by using Import and Export functionality. The grade you enter is the Version of the Exam that the student will receive
    3. Create and Attach a Release Condition with the following settings:
      • Condition type: Grade value on grade item,
      • Grade item: hidden item you created.
      • Criteria: Between
      • Grade: Version number twice.
  8. Optionally check the box to Allow users with special access to submit outside the normal availability dates for this folder to allow students who are entitled to extra time to hand in their assignment late. (6)
    You can also use this functionality during the exam to grant extra time to students that had technical issues. In case of large problems, you can change the general due/end dates.
    When special access is granted to students this will overwrite all the general settings for that person. So while any change in general settings will apply to all regular students, it will not apply to students with special access.
  9. Add students that are entitled to extra time by clicking on Add users to special access (7) and set their extra time. (see also screenshot below , 4-6).
  10. Click on Save.

Assignment View

Once you have created the assignment you can go to the Assignment view by Clicking on Assignments in the course-menu.  This overview allows you to quickly determine if there are new submissions, what assignments you need to evaluate, how far along you are with the evaluations and check if you have published the evaluations. Also you can edit or delete categories if needed.

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