Using the Assignments Tool in Courses

What Does It Do?

The Assignments tool allows you to administer student assignments online. Faculty can collect, download, grade, comment on, and return an assignment to students via the Courses interface.

How You Can Use It

  • Collect individual or group assignments online
  • Provide detailed feedback to students, including text or file attachments
  • Leverage peer review or anonymous grading options to meet your assessment goals
  • Link Assignments to Gradebook to calculate overall course grades


  1. Click the tab for your course or project site in your Favorites bar, or click the "Sites" menu at the top right and click the desired course.
  2. Click the "Assignments" tool in the left tool menu.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Image
  3. Click "Add" to add a new assignment.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Add Assignment Image
  4. Fill in the assignment title in the "Title" box.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Title Image
  5. In the "Assignment Instructions" box enter any instructions students need to know about the assignment. The more detail, the better. For example, if you expect Microsoft Word documents as file attachments, be sure to specify this requirement. We also recommend repeating the deadline for added emphasis.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Description Image
  6. Under the "Availability" section: 
    • Set the "Open Date": Students cannot view or submit an assignment until after the open date.
    • Set a "Due Date" when the assignment is due.
    • Set the "Accept Until" date. This allows late submissions and is highly recommended to save your inbox from last-minute attempts. Late submissions are tagged as late.
  7. Under the "Student Submissions" section, select the "Student Submissions" type to determine how students are allowed to submit their assignments. Note: If using Turnitin, please select "Single Uploaded File only."
    • Inline only: Allows students to submit their assignment by typing (or copy/paste) in the text box. This allows you to grade all submissions without having to download and open attachments.
    • Attachments only: Removes the text box and leaves the attachment format for students to submit their assignment file.
    • Inline and Attachments: Allows students to type (or copy/paste) in the text box (inline) and to attach one or more files for submission.
    • Non-electronic: This format is for hard-copy/paper assignments that students will hand-in to you. This gives an instructor assignment details and grade recording.
    • Single Uploaded File only: This format is for students to turn in a single file and is used with plagiarism detection (Turnitin).
  8. Under the "Grading" section:
    • Select the type of "Grade Scale" for this assignment. If you plan to link with the Gradebook, you must select "Points" and then enter the appropriate value in the "maximum possible" field.
    • Decide if you want to link grades to the Gradebook. If so, select "Add Assignment to Gradebook."
      • TIP: If you haven't created your Gradebook categories yet, be sure to set up your Gradebook before adding assignments. You'll save yourself a lot of time!
  9. (Optional) Consider additional features. Explore the built-in help by clicking the "Help" link at the top right of the tool to explore other features.
  10. Click "Post" at the bottom of the page to publish the assignment.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Post image

Grade an Assignment

  1. In your class site, click "Assignments" in the left tool menu.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Image
  2. Click "Grade" beneath the specific assignment title. Note: If you did not specify a grade scale for the particular assignment, you will not see "Grade" beneath the title.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Click Grade Image
  3. To view an individual student's work and grade it, click the student's name on the list.Sakai 12 Assignments Tool Grade Student Image
  4. Review the student's submission. Depending upon the type of student submission you selected for the assignment, you may see an attachment or view the student's inline submission. 
  5. Specify a grade in the "Grade" field. Note: you will be prompted for a grade that conforms to the Grade Scale you selected for the assignment. 
  6. (Optional) In the "Instructor Summary Comments" field, type in feedback related to the student's performance on the assignment. 
  7. (Optional) Click "Add Attachments" to return a file to the student. This can be useful if you have marked-up a student's submission with comments. 
  8. (Optional) Click the checkbox to "Allow Resubmission" for this assignment. Note: you will be prompted to specify the number of resubmissions allowed and the "Accept Until" date. 
  9. Choose either "Save and Don't Release to Student" (to save your changes but not show the student the grade yet) or "Save and Release to Student" (to save your changes and allow the student to view your feedback). Note: Any unsaved comments or information will be lost if you navigate away from the page without saving first.
  10. Click "Return to List" and the individual student's status will change to "Graded." If you did not already return the grade, click "Release Grades" when ready so that students may view their grades and feedback. Verify that the grades are viewable by the check mark listed in the "Release" column next to each name.

See Also

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