LaunchPad > Homework Assignment Requirements and Best Practices

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Mar 14, 2018
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Notes for course set up

Three-course approach

These three-course approach notes do not pertain to new titles released in Fall of 2017 or later, including:
  • Moore, Introduction to the Practice of Statistics, 9e
  • Moore, Statistics: Concepts and Controversies, 9e
  • Sowder, Reconceptualizing Mathematics, 3e

Once a student has submitted an attempt in a Homework assignment, you will be unable to make edits to questions and question settings for that assignment. This includes when you take the Homework assignment as a student 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?. If you need a question edited after the assignment has been locked, you can use a workaround described in the help article How do I edit the content of a question in a locked Homework assignment?.

Only edit the parent/master course

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.

Do not make edits that impact grades for assignments students are working on

Caution: Do not edit settings for points/attempts or add/remove questions 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.

If you are using a parent/master course, make edits in the parent that are desired for all branches or future semesters

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.

It is also a best practice to copy the parent/master course for use in subsequent semesters. A copy of a parent/master course can be edited for due dates or updates prior to the next semester. Then new branches can be created for the new semester's parent course.

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

If a student doesn't completely answer all the questions in their homework assignment, then the entire assignment will appear 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 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.


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

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.

How long does it take for the grades to appear?

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

How do I know this worked?

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

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

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 should still click Submit. If they don’t click Submit for every question, the questions won’t auto-score, 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.
  • 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.

Assignments that need manual grading appear as a sheet of paper icon in the Gradebook
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 every question. Zero for unsubmitted functionality only gives a zero for an entire assignment that your students have not accessed.

For more information, see the help article How to Zero Scores for Unsubmitted Assignments.