How to use the Assignments tool

Assignments are used to easily assess and evaluate the work of students. Lecturers can use the Assignments tool to create and edit assignments for their course activities, see users' submission times, view submissions on the Evaluate Submission page, associate assignments to rubrics and grades, and return submissions with feedback.

Assignments tool serves to manage course activity on which input from students is required. An assignment in Brightspace does not require to be created with a grade association, nor a file submission.

This article will describe the options and functions of the Assignment tool and explain the homepage:

Navigating to the Assignments homepage

In your Brightspace course, navigate to the green navigation bar. Then,

  1. Click Assessment
  2. Click Assignments from the drop-down menu
Navigate to Assessment, then select Assignments

Assignments homepage

This action opens the homepage of the Assignments. If you are using this tool in your Brightspace course page for the first time, the homepage of this tool will appear empty with only three default buttons: New Assignment, Edit categories, More Actions.

Assignments homepage
1. New Assignment button

Click this button to start creating a new assignment for the students of your course. 

For more visit: How to create an Assignment

2. Edit Categories button

Can be used to create/edit categories for your assignments which serve as containers for similar group of assignments, and can visually structure your Assignments homepage.

3. More Actions button

Clicking this button will show a drop-down list with additional options. Click on More Actions to open the menu:

Assignments homepage - More Actions button
3.1. Preview

Use this option if you want to see how the Assignments homepage with the list of assignments (and categories) will be shown to students.

3.2. Reorder

Use this option to change the order of the assignments how they appear in the list on the Assignments homepage.

3.3. Event Log

Use this option if you want to see the event log for the assignments of the course, which keeps track of:

  • when assignments are Created
  • when assignments are Deleted
  • when assignments are Restored

Assignment names in blue indicate the assignment(s) is (are) active. These are assignments with status Created or Restored.

Assignment names in gray indicated that they were deleted, and so no more active and available. Additionally, a Restore button to this deleted assignments appears, for the option to restore the assignment into active state again.

3.4. Make Visible to Users

Use this option if you want to make several assignments visible to students in bulk at once.

You can also make assignments visible one by one (see section Assignment Quick Menu).

3.5. Hide from Users

Use this option if you want to make several assignments visible to students in bulk at once.

You can also make assignments visible one by one (see section Assignment Quick Menu) .

3.6. Delete

Use this option if you want to delete more than one assignment at once.

To use this option, you will first have to select the assignments in the assignment homepage list by clicking on the Select box in front of each that you want to delete. After you select the assignments to be deleted, you will be able to use this option.

Once you delete a Brightspace assignment it is not possible to retrieve it yourself. You can contact Education Support Helpdesk for support.

Assignments table overview

Once new assignment(s) has (have) been added, a the table with all created (and active) assignments will appear on the Assignments homepage with the following information:

Assignments overview
5. Bulk Edit option

This option is located above the table with assignments. It can be used to edit the names, categories, access and/or deadlines of multiple assignments.

To use this option:

  • Select the assignment(s) to be edited by ticking the Selectbox(es) in the column before the name of the assignment
  • Click Bulk Edit
  • Make the desired changes 
  • Click Save
6. Assignment column

This column will list all assignments active in the course, both the ones hidden from and visible to students. The list shows the specific assignments and can also show categories if these are used.

Categories are like containers to visually group and organise the assignments on the Assignments homepage.  You can create them through the Edit categories tab above the table, or directly when creating an assignment.

Assignment category

Behind the name of a category there are two icon:

  • The pencil icon allows to change the name of the category by clicking on it.
  • The bin icon deletes the category; the category will also be deleted from the category list.

The bin icon will not delete assignments associated to this category. It will place them in the default No category.

7. New Submissions column

This column will show the number of new submissions by student/group to the assignment (click on the number to go to these submissions).

8. Completed column

This column shows a number of completed submissions out of the number of submissions to be completed, by either students or groups. This means how many students in your course are expected to complete and have completed this activity. If it is a group assignment this will show the number of groups that have to complete this activity and already have made a submission to an assignment thus far.

9. Evaluated column

This column shows a number of evaluated submissions out of the total number of submissions to be evaluated, of either students or groups.

10. Feedback Published column

This column shows a number of feedbacks published out of the total number of the feedbacks to be published, to either students or groups. The feedback published can be either grade and/or another type of feedback.

11. Due date column

This column shows the due date and time for the assignment (if applicable).

Assignment Quick Menu

Each Brightspace assignment has its own quick menu from where you can access several management options. It can be accessed through the down-facing arrow next to the assignment name. In the drop-down menu you will find:

Assignment - quick menu options
1. View Submissions

Allows you to navigate to the Submissions homepage with the students' submissions to the assignment.

For more visit: How to use the Assignments tool: Submissions Homepage

2. Edit Assignment

Allows you to edit the settings of the assignment.

3. Make Visible to Users/Hide from users

Allows you to make the assignment visible/invisible to students.

Students can only submit their assignment when the assignment is set to visible.

Any newly created assignment is invisible by default.

4. Delete Assignment

Allows you to delete the assignment right away.

To restore a deleted Brightspace Assignment you can click the More Actions button at the top of the Assignments homepage, then select the option Event Log. In the log find your deleted assignment and click the button Restore.

5. Copy Assignment

Allows you to copy the assignment with the copied one indicated as Copy of [original assignment name]. This action will copy the everything from the original assignment except the Turnitin, Grade item, and Anonymous Marking settings.

For more visit: How to copy an Assignment

6. Submission Log

Allows you to navigate to the Submissions Log homepage where you can see details (the log) on students progress on the submission to the assignment.

For more visit: How to use the Assignments tool: Submission Log

Assignment icons

Behind the name of the assignment are several symbols, depending on the settings of the assignment.

Assignment - icons
1. Visibility icon

When this icon is visible the assignment is hidden from  students.

When you unhide (make visible) the assignment to students, the icon disappears.

2. Release Conditions icon

An assignment with this icon indicates that it has a release condition active.

For more visit: How to set restrictions for an Assignment

3. Group icon

An assignment with this icon indicates that it is a group assignment.

There is no icon indicating an individual assignment.

For more visit: How to use an existing Assignment for groups

4. Special Access icon

This icon appears when Special access to the assignment is given to users. This can be done from the assignment settings under the section Availability Dates & Conditions.

5. Grade Item icon

This icon appears when an assignment is linked to a Grade item in Brightspace.

6. Anonymous Marking icon

This icon appears when you have enabled Anonymous Marking for your assignment. It can be turned on in the assignment settings in the section Evaluation & Feedback.

7. Turnitin Enabled icon

This icon appears when Turnitin has been enabled to check the assignment's submissions for plagiarism.

For more visit: How to enable Turnitin® for a Brightspace Assignment

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You now know how to use Assignments tool in Brightspace!