Homework Assignment Requirements and Best Practices

Document created by Vishal Sharma on Jan 10, 2017Last modified by Vishal Sharma on Jan 13, 2017
Version 134Show Document
  • View in full screen mode
  • IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Within a course, once a student has submitted an attempt to a Homework Assignment, you will be unable to make edits to questions, question settings and overall activity settings for the homework. This includes when you take the Homework Assignment in "View as Student" mode. For this reason, we are recommending a three-course approach as outlined in the help article How can I review Homework activities as a student?.
  • For more information on creating a new course, please refer to the help article How to Create a New Course.
  • For more information on creating course sections that are connected to a parent/master, please refer to the help article How do I create course sections that are connected to a master?.
  • Be sure to make any course additions or edits you want to flow to subsequent branches or copies of your course in the parent/master course.
  • CAUTION: Do not edit settings for points or attempts in a Parent course while students are making submissions in a branch course. To do so will cause grading irregularities for students and will require manual grading.
  • It is also a best practice to copy the parent/master course (and not the branch) for use in subsequent semesters. A copy of a parent/master course can be edited prior to the next semester. Copying a branch would also copy edit restrictions.

What to do if you're receiving a "Needs to be manually graded" message for your Homework assignment in the gradebook

During the fall, you may have experienced an issue where, if a student didn't completely answer all the questions in their homework assignment, then the entire assignment appeared in your gradebook as "needs to be manually graded." Originally, this was designed to allow you to decide how to handle incomplete assignments, but we recognize that this isn't an acceptable path when you have a large number of students in your classes. As a result, we want to offer the following suggestion for making this process more efficient for you:

  • Once the due date for your assignment has passed, please contact tech support via phone (800-936-6899) or online form and give them your course ID and assignment names that are affected.
  • The agents will escalate your request to our Customer Care group, who will go into the system and initiate an auto-grade of all submissions. Customer Care is NOT going to be manually entering grades, but rather using technology to auto-grade the incomplete submissions through the system.



Some questions that you may have, with answers:

1. Should I call after every assignment, or can you put me on a 'watch list' of sorts to do this weekly?

ANSWER: After we do this once, we will contact you to ask if you want us to do this in the future. It will be your choice if you want to be on a 'watch list' or not.

2. How long does it take for the grades to appear?

ANSWER: Depending on the volume of requests, we anticipate 2-5 business days.

3. How do I know this worked?

ANSWER: The submissions which previously had the "manual grading needed" icon will now have grades.

4. How will this effect multi-part questions where students have answered for some but not all parts?

ANSWER: It will treat the full question as zero.


To avoid this problem, try the following:

  • Make sure to require that your students submit answers to every question. If they don't know the answer to a certain question they still should hit "submit." If they don’t hit "submit" for every question, the questions won’t auto-score (see below), and you’ll have to manually input the assignment grade in the gradebook. You may want to tell students verbally, as well as include a statement in the homework activity's directions.
  • If your students fail to submit answers to every questions, please follow the instructions below so you don't have to manually input the assignment grades in the gradebook.
To avoid this problem, try the following:
  • Note that opting to use the "Zero score for unsubmitted assignments after due date has passed" option available in the Gradebook Preferences in the Instructor Console WILL NOT mean your students' assignments will be recorded if they fail to hit "Submit" on certain questions. Zero for unsubmitted functionality only gives a zero for an entire assignment that your students might fail to submit, but not to individual questions within a Homework assignment.
  • Please refer your students to the help article How can I be sure to see my grades after submitting my Homework? for information on submitting Homework for grading.