How to create an Assignment

Lecturers can use the Assignments tool to create and edit assignments. Students can also use the Assignments tool to upload and submit assignments directly in the Brightspace Learning Environment, eliminating the need to email their work to lecturers. On paper submissions, and observed in person assignments are also available and do not require file submissions to be made in Brightspace.

This manual will show how to:

Once an Assignment has submissions, it is no longer possible to change the assignment type (individual or group). In this case a notification will be present on the top of the Edit Assignment Homepage.

Creating the assignment

1. Click on Assessment in the navigation bar of the course, this will open the drop-down menu for assessments
2. Then click on Assignments

Click Assessment, then Assignment

In the Assignments homepage:

3. Click on the blue button New Assignment:

Assignments homepage - create New assignment

Most common settings

This action will open the New Assignment settings window. On the left side you will see the most common settings used in assignments. On the right you will see drop-down menus that will allow you to change more settings (links to Availability, Dates & Conditions; Submission & Completion; Evaluation & Feedback; Submission & Completion).

Assignment homepage
1. Name

Give the assignment a clear name. Using keywords such as Assignemnt 1, Submit, or Group work in the name of the assignment can help to identify the activity for the students once you add the assignment to the (sub)module in your Content.

Also, this will be the name visible in the list of assignments on the Assignment homepage.

This field is obligatory.

With a group assignment clearly indicate in the name that it is a group assignment to avoid confusion with students.

2. Score Out Of

Under Score Out Of the maximum points for the assignment can be assigned. When clicking in the Ungraded box under Score Out Of, new options will appear and you can

  1. Set the score and
  2. Connect it to a Grade item.

When an assignment is linked to a Grade Item (see How to create a Grade Item), make sure this is the same score as in the Grade Item.

If a value is entered, the denominator value for a user's submission score must be a number between 0.01 and 9999999999.

score out of

Under In Grades, select whether or not the assignment should be linked to a Grade Item.

Choose from Grades

When clicking on Choose from Grades a new window will open with two options:

  • Create and link to a new grade item, where it is possible to create with one click a new Grade Item with default settings and automatically be linked to Grading book. Under this option you can choose the Grade Category
  • Link to an exiting grade item, when Grade Items were made in advance, they can be selected from the drop-down menu

The settings cannot be adjusted at first while creating a new Grade Item through the Assignment tool. The new Grade item will have the default grading scheme and the Type will be numeric. The settings of the new Grade Item can later be edited in Manage grades.

The Create and link to a new grade item option is not recommended when a Selectbox grade item Type is needed for Fail/Pass grades.

Choose from Grades
Remove from Grades

This option allows to have Score Out of maximum points without having a grading item linked to the assignment. If the Assignment was linked to a grade item, this option will also remove this association.

Reset to Ungraded

This option will disconnect the Assignment from any grade item and set it back to the default Ungraded option

Only one assignment can be linked to a grade item; use Grade Item Categories for multiple Grade Items with a similar assignment (for example Lab reports).

3. Due Date

If you want your assignment to have a due date, click the box under Due Date. The button Set to Today will set the date to the date the button was pressed.

By default, students can still submit after the due date, but the submissions are marked as late. If submissions should no longer be possible, see End Date under Availability Dates & Conditions.

Due date
4. Instructions

Use this space to describe the assignment, give instructions for the students. This information appears also as descriptions of the assignment when it is added to the Content view in the module.

For more information, please visit: the Editor

5. Attachments

You can add attachments to your instructions, like video or audio recordings, links or documents or links to external sources to support your assignment. From left to right you can, the different buttons will allow you to:

  • Upload a File from your computer
  • Attach a link to an Existing Activity via a Brightspace-quicklink
  • Link to an external website
  • Attach a link from Google Drive
  • Attach a link from OneDrive
  • Record Audio - option to add an audio message (when a microphone is available)
  • Record Video - option to add a video message (when a webcam is available)

Availability, Dates & Conditions

You can add further restrictions to your assignment in the Availability, Dates & Conditions tab on the right.

availability and conditions

6. The Start Date indicates the date the submission will be opened to students; not selecting any date will open the assignment immediately.

7. The End Date indicates the date the submissions will be completely closed to students; students will still be able to see the assignment, but can no longer open or submit the assignment.

8. Additional release conditions can be added, see What are Release Conditions and how to use them.

9. Manage Special access

Special Access can be granted to specific students; this allows students to have special access or different start, due, and end dates, without having to change these for all other students

  • Select¬†Allow users with special access to submit outside the normal availability dates for this folder¬†to allow students to have different dates
  • Select¬†Allow only users with special access to see this folder¬†to restrict visibility of the folder to specific students
  • Click on¬†Add Users to Special Access¬†to add students to the special access list
Special access

1. When, for whatever reason, some students have a different deadline than the rest of the students, tick the box Has Due Date and enter the due date for special access students

2. If special access students have a different start and/or end date, enter a modified start and/or end date

When an assignment is only available to special access students, the due date linked to the assignment in the restrictions tab will still be visible to all students

3. Use the search function to find the students that have to be added to the Special Access list. The View By drop-down menu can be used to select individual students from the entire class list (User), or specific groups (Groups), then press Apply. Students can be added by their name or user number

4. Tick the boxes of the students that are to be added to the Special Access list (only students that are added to the Special Access user-list will be available in the list)

5. Click Save to add the students/groups to the list and go back to the Edit Assignment page

You now know how to set up restrictions for an Assignment!


Submission & Completion

In this section of the settings you can select the Assignment Type and the Submission Type. You can also add one or more emails for receiving notifications on submissions.

Under Submission, Completion
10. Assignment types

Select the Assignment Type that is to be used:

Assignment settings - Submission type
Individual Assignment

Select this option when students will submit their assignment individually and when grading is done individually.

Group Assignment

Select Group Assignment when students will be graded as a group.

Then, select the Group Category that the assignment is meant for.

  • Note: create groups beforehand, so you can then link the assignment directly to a group. If you do not have them created previously, you can still do that later.¬†
11. Submission types

Select under Submission Type how students will submit their assignment:

Assignment settings - submission type field

Depending on the submission type, several options are available which are described in the following sections.

File submission

Students will upload their assignment as a file

Assignment type - File submission
  1. Under Files Allowed Per Submission, select whether students are allowed to submit:
    • Multiple files per submission(Unlimited) or
    • A single file per submission (One file)
  2. Under Submissions select whether:
    • All attempts should be saved (All submissions are kept),
    • Only the last submission is saved (Only the most recent submission is kept), or
    • Students can only submit a file once (Only one submission allowed)

When the Only the most recent submission is kept option is selected, make sure that students are aware that the last student to upload documents should upload all documents; when students choose to divide the workload, with this option only the last submission will be used.

Similarly, when the Only one submission allowed option is selected, the assignment will be closed to submissions if any group member uploads (a) file(s).

If students should be allowed to submit multiple files, select Unlimited combined with All submissions are kept.

Text submission

Students will enter the assignment as text within the assignment. Images or URLs can also be submitted.

When you select Text submission as a submission type for your assignment the following options appear:

Assignment type - Text submissions

Then, under Submissions select:

  • Whether all submissions are saved (All submissions are kept),¬†
  • If only the last submission is kept (Only the most recent submission is kept), or¬†
  • If only a single attempt is allowed (Only one submission allowed)
On paper submission & Observed in person

With this option students submit their assignment as hard copy, instead of through Brightspace. When opting for this setting grading is still possible via Brightspace.

When you select On paper submission or Observed in person as a submission type for your assignment you will have the following options: 

Assignment type - On paper submission

Under Marked as completed there is a choice of three options on how Brightspace will process the assignment

  • Manually by learners - students will mark the assignment as complete themselves
  • Automatically on evaluation¬†- the assignment will be marked as complete after the assignment has evaluated by a teacher
  • Automatically on due date - the assignment will be marked as complete on the due date, regardless of submission or evaluation

With these two options the student can only see the title and the description of the assignment, and (if selected) the rubric.

12. Notification Email

Notification Email is only available with the File submission or Text submission types.

It is possible to receive an e-mail when a student submits an assignment, by filling in the e-mail address the mail should be sent to in the Notification Email-box. Be aware that this option will send a message for each submission, and therefore is not recommended for large groups.

Note: You can add more than one email addresses. For that, use a comma-separated list of email addresses.

Assignament settings - notification email

Evaluation & Feedback

You can add further evaluation tools to your assignments under Evaluation & Feedback.

Assignment settings - Evaluation and Feedback section
13. Rubrics

Under Rubrics it is possible to assign a Rubric to the assignment. Click Add Rubric to assign a previously created rubric. If no rubric is available, click Create New to launch the rubric creation menu. 

For more see How to create a rubric.

14. Learning Objectives

You can associate learning objectives to your assignment by clicking in Manage Learning Objective.

15. Annotation Tool

Annotation tool is selected to be on by default.

  • Check the box if you want the annotation tool bar available when reviewing students
  • Uncheck the box if you want to hide annotation tool bar in the document viewer of the submission
Assignment settings - Annotation tool
16. Anonymous Marking

Tick the box Hide student names during assessment when student names should not be visible when evaluating and grading submissions. 

Note: This option is only available for File Submissions and Text Submissions

Saving and making your assignment visible

Once you are finished creating the assignment, you can decide to make the assignment visible or invisible for students by clicking the Visibility button.

Assignment settings - Save button options

The progress or the assignment is not automatically saved while being created. You will have to click on the buttons on the bottom of the page to do so:

  • Save and Close button - this option saves and closes the current assignment settings and returns you to the Assignments homepage.
  • Cancel button - click this button if you do not want the new assignment to be saved, or when you do not want to save editing changes in an already existing assignment.

You now know how create an Assignment in Brightspace!