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Which Assignment Type and Options Suit Your Purpose?

You want students to write a short response, or
The student’s response may include a video/sound file/image file or
You are not going to do extensive commenting or markup of the students’ assignments:
• Set Online text to Yes.

Advantage - quick for the student to get started; no need to use a word-processing program and upload the file. No need for you to download student files, edit and re-upload.

You want students to submit work you can download in a specified program

Select "file submission"

Determine the number of files you will allow using the Maximum number of uploaded files setting and the file sizes by using the Maximum submission size setting.


Better than students emailing work as the whole class's work is always available in one space on your course.

Graders can provide comments directly on the student work.


Assignments must downloaded to be viewed (but they can be downloaded in bulk)

The grader needs the appropriate program to open them.

You want students to submit files at different times during a project

Set File submission to Yes, and use Maximum number of uploaded files to set the maximum number of separate files they can upload

Advantage - all project files are in one assignment area for grading so they get a single grade.

Disadvantage - all project files are in one assignment area for grading - so they can only have a single grade unless you manually create additional grade items

You want to view, comment on and send back students' assignments

Set up an assignment allowing file submissions which allows you to download the assignment, add your comments and then re-upload back to the student.

Advantage: useful for instructors who like using the review and comment options in Word.

Disadvantage: the files have to be downloaded, saved and re-uploaded. They can't be edited online.

You want students to send you a comment or note along with their uploaded work

In the settings, set Submission comments to Yes.

You want to allow students to redraft and decide when to submit the work

In the settings, set Require students click submit button to Yes. Students can then control when their draft work is submitted to the teacher.

You want to check students work for plagiarism

Use Turnitin. Turnitin has other advantages, such as ease of grading, supports audio commenting and allows peer grading (See TurnItIn faculty Guides for use of TurnItIn for plagiarism).