For hand-graded activities, we recommend the Online essay option because it is easier to use than either of the file upload options. Online essays allow students to type an essay directly into Sapling, to which you can assign a grade. Special characters (such as Greek letters) and formatting options (such as subscripts) are available for students to use in their submission.
Create an Online Essay
Add an activityOn your main course page, in the topic block where you want to add a hand-graded activity, click Add an activity... then choose Online essay. The file upload options are also available to you, but aren't recommended in most cases.
Give the essay a Name. This is what will appear to students on your main course page.
In the Description, indicate what you want the students to write about.
Include description (prompt)
Set the available from date and due date (if applicable).
Give due date and available from date (optional)
You can also set whether or not you want to prevent late submissions (if not, students will be able to submit their result late, and you can see when they submitted to adjust their score). We recommend setting the Prevent late submissions option to Yes.
Allow late submissions (optional)
If you would like your students to keep trying (after you give them feedback), turn on Allow resubmitting.
Allow resubmitting (optional)
If you would like to be alerted when students submit answers, turn on Email alert to instructors.
Turn on instructor alerts (optional)
If you would like be able to comment directly within a student's essay, turn on Comments inline. Otherwise, you will be given a separate comment area for your feedback.
Turn on comments inline (optional)
Make sure Visible is set to Show (to make sure your students can see the essay assignment when its Available from date arrives). You may also want to set the Grade category.
Make sure assignment is visible and set grade category
Click Save and return to course to save your essay assignment. The essay will appear at the bottom of the unit where you added it.
Click "Save and return to course"
Grade an Online Essay
Open activityClick the name of the essay you wish to update from your main course page.
Click the link that says No attempts have been made on this activity, or View X submitted activities (where X is the number of students who have submitted a response). Once you are on the submissions page, there are several options for how to navigate and score the submissions.
View submitted activities
To Allow quick grading, check the box at the bottom of the page, then click Save preferences. If quick grading is enabled, you can set grades and leave comments without leaving this page.
Allow quick grading
Be sure to click the Save all my feedback button when finished. If you like, you can uncheck the box to notify students by e-mail that their assignment has been graded.
To see a student's submission, click the link in the Last modified (Student) column. If there is no link in the student's row in this column, they have not made a submission yet. The student's essay will appear in a pop-up window.
Comments are always optional, but their purpose is to give the student feedback on their essay and/or justify the grade you are giving them.
Inline comments (i.e., annotations from the grader within the student's essay) can be enabled for an online essay at any time. (Note that inline comments are only available for online essays, not for file upload.) When creating a new essay, choose Yes from the Comment inline drop-down menu. To find and edit this option for an existing essay, click the three dots icon (...) on the main course page next to the essay, then click Edit.
Enable comment inline
Instructor comments will show up to the student on the Grades page next to their score for that activity. When inline comments are enabled, the comment/feedback box will show the student's entire essay plus your comments. When inline comments are not enabled, the comments/feedback box will contain only the instructor's comments without the student's full essay.
Where can students see comments I leave them?
If after leaving comments, you'd like to see how it looks to a particular student, return to your main course page and click Grades in the left-hand navigation menu, then click User Report, then select the student's name from the drop-down menu at the top right. To get back to your normal view of the gradebook, click Grader Report (on the same line as User Report).