Tips for Setting up Assignments

Document created by Vishal Sharma on Jan 12, 2017Last modified by Vishal Sharma on Jan 13, 2017
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We recommend you check the "Zero score for unsubmitted assignments after due date has passed" box in the instructor console. Doing so will mean that the gradebook will record zeros for all unsubmitted assignments once the due date passes. For more information on using this feature please refer to the help article How to Zero Scores for Unsubmitted Assignments.

Gradebook Preferences page in Instructor Console

BASIC INFORMATION -- using the setting

Basic Info tab of assignment creation with fields for Title, Subtitle, and Directions


For many assignment types, the subtitle information is displayed on the home page. You can use this to provide supplemental information to your students (e.g. "This is an extra credit or optional assignment").

Green subtitle appears next to assignment title in parentheses when viewing table of contents on the course home page


While most assignments allow you to add directions, note that not every assignment has this. If it's not there it's because most instructors don't add directions to that type of assignment.


ASSIGNMENT -- using the setting

Assignment tab of assignment creation

Grace period

  • If you have chosen to use a grace period, any auto filling of grade earned that would happen at the due date is delayed by the grace period setting;
  • In the gradebook the student’s grade will appear with a red/pink background to indicate the student worked into the grace period.

For more information about using a grace period, please refer to the help article Using the Grace Period Setting.


"Allow late submissions until grace period expires" box checked and 15 minutes specified as length of grace period


Although points are not required to assign an activity, if no points are allocated to an assignment, no gradebook column will appear.

Points field under Gradebook Settings

Gradebook category

This feature can help you organize how you and your students view their grade information.

Gradebook category under Gradebook settings is set to "Quizzes"
  • Each gradebook category can be selected for view in the instructor gradebook. This allows for a more structured and organized way to view student progress and performance.
Tabs for gradebook categories above gradebook columns
  • In the gradebook your students will see the assignments you have given a due date to in a list that is grouped by gradebook category.
  • Inconsistent use of gradebook categories can result in a messy/confusing presentation of grading information to students.
Each gradebook category listed in bold with points possible out of the total for that category and a percentage. Underneath is a list of each assignment in that category.
Dropdown menus with numbers to select the order that gradebook categories appear

Hide grade from student until due date has passed

Students expect to see grades for quizzes and other assignments immediately after they complete them. If you check "Hide grade from student until due date has passed" your students obviously will not have access to their grades until the due date passes. This can sometimes confuse students who expect to see their grades immediately after submitting their answers. We recommend that if you choose this setting you alert your students so they know not to expect to see their grades right away.

Currently, no grade will show up in the student gradebook until the due date has passed. You may want to let your students know so they don't panic when they don't see their grade recorded. To that end, we recommend you add the following alert in the Directions: "NOTE: Your grade will be NOT be posted in your gradebook until the due date has passed."


SETTINGS -- using the setting

Note that some of these tips pertain only to quiz settings.

Settings tab of assignment creation


You can use the drop-down menu here to give student or group extensions. For more information on granting extensions to individuals, please refer to the help article How to change Assignment Settings for a Single Student. For more information on granting extensions to a group of students, please refer to How to Change Assignment Settings for a Specific Group of Students.

"Settings for:" dropdown has options Entire Class, Add Individual, and Manage Groups

Time Limit

Many people give students too much time to complete their assessments and this can add unnecessary stress to your students' experience. If you're adding additional time to help reduce cheating or looking up answers, consider taking the quiz yourself and then giving the students 3 or 4 times as long as it took you to complete the quiz. This requires the student to work quickly, while still having time to consider questions that are more difficult. Note that this is only a rule of thumb.

Time Limit is set to 60 minutes

Question Delivery

When you click "one question at a time" the students will only see one question at a time but will still have the option of returning to a prior question.


Save and continue

Checking "save and continue" allows your students to save their progress and return to the quiz later after starting.

  • We recommend that you uncheck "save and continue" for higher stakes assessments.
  • Check "save and continue" if the assessment is designed to be a learning experience.

Showing feedback, solutions, and scores

The following settings can be adjusted to provide extra help to students or make it more difficult for students to share information with other students. For more information about each choice, see the help article How can I control when my students will see the correct answers for and receive feedback on their quiz responses?.

Please note that some students will use cameras or screenshots to capture assessment questions, so true question security cannot be assured.



It's important to note that if either hide function is used, the column is NOT visible in the gradebook until after the assignment is made visible.

Visibility options with "Visible to students" selected


It's a great idea to let your students know what each assignment setting means. We've found that this will help students avoid a lot of stress and confusion.