The assignment authoring tool allows you to create an assignment for your course and place it within a lesson. Add an assignment to a lesson to assess your students’ knowledge of the material they are learning.
There are several options available for customizing an assignment. This allows you to create a unique assignment tailored to your needs.
- Question Types:
- multiple choice
- multiple answer
- short answer
- file upload
- Other Features
- Due date
- Time limit
- Auto grade
- Randomize question order
- Randomize answer order
- question bank
- submission cut-off
Create an Assignment¶
Below are the steps for assignment creation. Each step is explored in full below.
- Locate “Create” assignment button.
- Assign the due date, time limit, and point value (optional).
- Title your assignment and write a description.
- Add, edit, and order questions.
- Explore assignment “Options.” (optional)
- Publish or schedule your assignment.
- Add assignment to a lesson.
2. Assign the due date, time limit, and point value¶
Below are the descriptions for each optional feature.
The due date defines the date and time the assignment should be completed by.
- Select the “Due Date” field.
- Check “Due Date.”
- Select a date and add a time.
- Click “Save.”
Assignments will display their due date
How it works: In the Lessons Page and Assignments Page, the assignment due date will display next to the assignment’s title. Once the assignment is past the due date, students will still be able to take it, but the assignment will be marked as late upon submission. Once the due date passes, the solutions to each question will display after the student submits his or her assignment.
If not selected: If no due date is selected, the assignment will be marked as “Available” and students are welcome to take the assignment when convenient.
Adding a time limit to the assignment will alert the student upon opening the assignment that he or she only has a defined amount of time to complete the assignment once started.
How it works: The time limit will be displayed next to the assignment’s name on the Lessons or Assignments tab, and when the assignment is selected, the student will first be alerted to how much time they have to take the assignment and that once started the timer will not stop. Once the student begins the assignment, a countdown clock will display at all times in the upper right-hand corner. The timer will continue until the student submits his or her assignment. Once the timer reaches 0 when counting down from the allotted time, the timer will then count up displaying how many seconds/minutes/hours the assignment is over time. In other words, the student will be able to interact with the assignment past the time limit, although the assignment will be marked as over time upon student submission.
If not selected: If a time is not allotted to complete the assignment, a student is welcome to work on it as long as needed without being penalized for time.
The value allows you to assign the amount of points the assignment is worth. This point value will display in bold font to the right of the assignment’s title in student’s Lessons page and the Assignments tab.
How it works: The assignment’s total value will display next to the name of the assignment on the Lessons View and Assignments View. In their Assignments View, their grade will be listed as [Earned Points/Total Points]. If you choose to set the assignment to autograde, the total points will determine the value of each question.
If not selected: If a point value is not assigned, no point value will display. An instructor can still assign a grade once the assignment is submitted by students.
Please note, in order for the assignment to autograde, you must assign a point value and also click on the “Options” button and check the “Enable Auto Grading” box. This means, when the student takes the assignment, the assignment will be checked for correctness and assigned a visible grade for the student’s work. We will explore this option more in Step 5 below. Also, if you are using the Grade Predictor feature, you must assign a point value.
3. Title your assignment and write a description¶
Add a title and description by typing in the appropriately labeled fields.
The students will see the title of the assignment within their lesson and within the assignment’s tab. The description will display once the student opens the assignment and may be used for further explanation or instructions regarding the assignment.
4. Add and Edit Questions¶
Add questions to your assignment by clicking on a question from under the “Types” panel on the right and dragging a question type into the correct placement within your assignment, or click once on a question type to place the question at the end of your assignment. You may reorder these questions after placed.
Once you have added a question type, you will need to add text. Most questions will have a field for the question text and a field for the answer text (with the exception of the essay type and file upload types). To edit any field, click in the field and begin to type. On most question types, you can add extra solution possibilities by clicking on “Add a choice.”
To learn more, see Question Types.
Please note, if you add a Short Answer question type, your answer text must exactly match the spelling of your student’s solution for the question to be marked correct.
Add Code Block¶
While in the description field or question text field, click on the brackets at the bottom of the window to initiate a code block. Click in the code block and begin typing.
To reorder your assignment’s questions, click on the dotted box in the upper left-hand corner of the question and drag your question into place, or select the up or down arrow to the right of your question to move it one place at a time.
You may also reorder the answers within the question itself. To do so, click on the dotted box icon to the left of your solution and drag the answer to the preferred location within the solution set and drop your answer into place.
Duplicate the question to create a second identical question within your assignment to edit as needed. Click the square icon to the right of your question to duplicate the question.
Click the trash can icon to delete the question entirely from your assignment. If you’ve made a mistake by deleting the question, you will have a small “undo” menu that appears momentarily at the bottom left to restore the question.
5. Explore assignment “Options”¶
The Options tool allows you to choose who can see the assignment, if your assignment is auto graded, if ordering of questions or answers is randomized, and if you’d like to set a max limit of questions that present to the student.
To view and edit advanced settings, click the “Options” button to the right of the assignment’s title. Below is a description of each option:
Assign to Option¶
This option allows you to select who can view the assignment.
How it works: You can make an assignment visible to either “Everyone” or “For Credit Only.” If it’s assigned to “For Credit Only” only students that are taking the course for credit may see the assignment and interact with it.
By enabling auto grading, the assignment will be automatically graded according to the answers you’ve marked as correct. You must have an assignment value set in order to auto grade. (See Step 2 regarding value.)
How it works: Each question will share an equal amount of points counting toward the total value of the assignment. (Although, NextThought can set up an assignment to grade with different point values per question. Please contact NextThought if you are interested.)
After the student submits his or her assignment, each question will be marked as correct or incorrect and display the student’s score based on number of correct answers and how much each question is worth. The instructor will also be able to view the student’s score and answers.
Please note, that if you have added a file upload or essay question type, auto grading will no longer be available to you since neither of these types can be automatically graded. Also note that all assignments will be “auto-assessed” regardless if they are auto-graded. Auto-assessed means that each question upon submission will be marked with either “Correct” or “Incorrect.”
If you plan to edit an assignment to autograde that wasn’t previously autograded, or if you plan to edit or delete the point value associated with an autograded assignment, please see “Editing Point Values and Autograde Option” within the section titled “Edit or Delete an Assignment” for more details.
Selecting randomize will help ensure that each student have a unique quiz while still displaying each question and solution.
Randomize Question Order:
Selecting this option will randomize the order in which the questions are presented to each student.
Randomize Answer Order:
Selecting this option will randomize the order in which the answers are presented to each student.
Setting a max limit of questions allows a designated amount of questions from a larger set of questions to be randomly selected and assigned to students. Students will only be able to see and interact with their unique set of questions.
In other words, if you have 40 questions for the assignment, and you set a max limit of 10 questions, each student will have 10 questions randomly selected and presented to them from the 40 possible questions on their assignment. These 10 questions will make up that student’s unique assignment.
6. Publish or schedule your assignment¶
Once you have completed creating your assignment, the last step is to publish the assignment and place it in a lesson.
Click on the “Publish” button at the bottom right-hand corner of your assignment. This will open a new window displaying the options “Publish,” “Schedule,” and “Draft” (the current state it’s in). If you want to publish your assignment and make it available right away, click “Publish” and then “Save.”
If you’d like the assignment to be scheduled to become available, click “Schedule” and select the day and enter a time for it to become available for students. Before this date and time, students will only be able to see the title of the assignment and the date it becomes available. They will not be able to view the assignment’s contents. Once the assignment becomes available (or if it was immediately published) the student may take the assignment.
If you aren’t quite finished with the assignment, that’s okay. You can leave it as is without publishing it and return to it later. It will be saved as a draft. For instructions about returning to an assignment, see the section “Edit or Delete an Assignment.”
7.: Add assignment to a lesson¶
There are two ways in which to add assignments to your lesson.
While Viewing your Assignment¶
While viewing your assignment, you can add your assignment to a lesson.
- Above the title of the assignment, click on the blue text that “Add to Lesson.” A new sharing window will appear that lists where the assignment is currently placed, and lists the current lessons, both drafted and published.
- Now select the lesson you’d like to place the assignment in by clicking “Add to lesson.” When you select this, a pop up menu will allow you to select a section within the lesson to place the assignment.
- Select the section(s) in which you’d like to place the assignment. The lesson will now be listed at the top of the sharing window.
- Now, click “Done.”
You will notice that “Add to Lesson” has been replaced with the name of the lesson in which the assignment is shared to. Click on this again to add or remove the assignment from a lesson. You can also add it to multiple lessons.
While Viewing a Lesson¶
While viewing a lesson, you can add your assignment to a lesson.
Click on the “Edit” at the top right-hand corner of the lesson. This will enter the editing mode.
Now, find the section in which you’d like to place the assignment and click “+Add Content.” (This text appears at the bottom of each section within a lesson while in Edit Mode.) This will open the content menu.
In the content menu, select “Assignment.”
Next, find your assignment within the list of assignments, click on it, and then click “Select” in the bottom right-hand corner.
If you do not see your assignment, you may not have set it to be published. Return to your assignment and publish the assignment. Please see the section “Edit or Delete an Assignment” to find out how to return to your assignment.
- Now select “Add to Lesson” in the bottom right-hand corner to add it to your lesson.
Please note, if you do not place an assignment in a lesson, published assignments can still be viewed by students within their Assignments tab.
Edit or Delete an Assignment¶
You can return to an assignment to complete it, make necessary changes, or delete the assignment entirely.
To return to an assignment to edit or delete it:
- Click on the Assignments tab and view the Assignments subtab. This will list all assignments in your course both published and drafts.
- Now, click the blue text “Edit” to the right of the assignment’s name to view it in editing mode.
Depending on the state your assignment is in some editing options may be limited. Use the descriptions below to understand your limitations:
- If the assignment is in draft currently (or scheduled for a future date), you are not limited to the edits you can make.
As you edit the assignment, your edits will be saved automatically as you go. Please make sure you are finished editing your assignment before the scheduled date at which point the assignment will be “published” and viewable.
- If the assignment is published, but no student has yet interacted with it, you are not limited to the edits you can make; however, you will be required to save some types of edits manually instead of the application saving changes automatically as you go.
Any edits to published questions (or adding new questions) will open the question in a new pop-up window. Once you have made changes to that question and are satisfied with its presentation, click the “Save” button to publish the new version of the question at once and continue editing.
Other edits such as toggling different Options, moving the order of the questions, deleting questions, adding a time limit, as well as adding a due date will be saved automatically when the change occurs.
- If the assignment is published, but students have begun the assignment, you will be limited in the edits you can make.
In this scenario, only minor changes can be made such as textual changes in question or answer text or in the assignment title and description. You may also assign a new value to the question, select a new answer, or assign a new due date or scheduled date.
(Please note, if the assignment is set to autograde and you assign a new value to the assignment, the assignment will be regraded according to the new value for those students who have already taken the assignment. Also, if you assign a different solution than previously selected, the assignment will regrade and reassess accordingly for those who have already submitted their assignment.)
If you need to make larger changes such as adding a question, deleting a question, and toggling different Options, you will receive an error message in the bottom right-hand corner and will be prompted to Reset student assignments in order to save the changes. Resetting the assignment will clear all student submissions and students will have to retake the updated assignment.
- If the assignment was not created using our authoring tools, the assignment will be referred to as a “Legacy Assignment” and is limited to two types of edits, point value and autograde changes, regardless if students have begun the assignment or not. You can add, delete, or edit point values, and you have the option to turn autograde on or off by clicking the “Options” button and selecting the enable autograde option. Please see “Editing Point Values and Autograde Option” below for more details.
Editing Point Values and Autograde Option¶
Within all assignments, regardless if students have begun the assignment or not, you have the option to add, delete, or edit point values, and turn autograding on or off. Please click “Edit” next to the assignment’s name in your Assignments tab to enter Edit Mode. The point value is located in the upper right-hand corner, and the autograde option is listed within the “Options” button.
FAQ when editing autograde and point values:
- There are some assignment types that can’t be autograded (such as an
- essay). If this type of question exists within the assignment, it will not allow you to select autograde, although you are still welcome to add a point value.
- If you choose autograde, all previously completed assignments should
- now autograde according to the point value you just defined.
- If you choose autograde, all assignments taken after will also be
- autograded accordingly.
- If you turn off autograde on an assignment that was previously
- autograded, any student’s assignment that was autograded will remain graded. In other words, their grade will not be deleted.
- If you define a NEW point value with autograde already selected, the
- assignments will RE-AUTOGRADE according to the new point value (both previously completed assignments and assignments completed after the change).
- If the assignment is MANUALLY GRADED by the professor, the manual
- grade will OVERRIDE any autograde settings for that student’s assignment. In other words, if a student’s assignment was graded by the professor and given “90 points” and then set to autograde, the “90” points will persist even if the autograde function would grade the student differently.
To delete an assignment:
- View the assignment in editing mode.
- Select the publish button at the bottom right. (If students have begun taking the assignment, you will first be presented a Reset button. You will need to reset student progress before proceeding.)
- Now, click the “delete” button. A window will now appear to confirm deletion.
Copying or Sharing a Question to Another Assignment¶
The question sharing features allows you to take one question from an assignment and place it into another assignment. This can be useful when creating cumulative tests: perhaps you’d like to take one question from each quiz in the course and create a test from those questions.
- Share: Sharing a question refers to the same question being “shared” over multiple assignments. By sharing, any edits to the question, regardless of location, will apply the edit to all locations.
- Copy: After you share a question, you have the option to “detach” the question from other locations so that question edits are not shared across locations. Detaching a shared question essentially makes a “copy” of the question and places it in a new location.
Before we get started, please note:
- Editing: When you edit a shared question/answer, on either assignment, it will edit the question/answer set in both places.
- Editing Limitations: You might be limited to what you can edit on the question if an assignment it was shared with has been taken. For example, if a quiz and cumulative exam share a question, and the students have taken the quiz, then from within the exam you will only be able to select a different solution (e.g., from “A” to “B”), or make minor text edits. You will not be allowed to delete solutions or reorder solutions. (If you do choose to select a new solution, the previously taken assignment will regrade according to the new solution in the question).
- Copy vs. Share: If you wish to only make a copy of the question and place it in another assignment (and not “share” the question to where edits will affect both places), you do have the option to “detach” the shared question once you’ve placed it into another assignment. We will go over this below.