Assignment Guide

Thorough research of an essay topic is probably the biggest difference between Secondary School writing and writing at University level. Researching information for your essays may involve using various encyclopedias, reference books, course textbooks, yearbooks and searching for serial articles in journals or abstracts.

These various sources provide different types of information. The previous stages "read the question, define" and "paraphrase" will indicate to you what types of information you will need. Figure 1 shows the different steps in researching your topic and will help you identify the type of information you need.

The key to successful research lies in:

  • Understanding what the question is really about.
  • Knowing what resources are best suited to provide the answers.
  • Knowing how to find them.
  • Knowing how to use them.
Figure 1 - Where to Find Information
(Courtesy of University of Tasmania Library)

The University library is an excellent resource for students. The staff is friendly and helpful so if you have problems do not hesitate to ask the information desk for help. The library also has resource guides that are specific for each school. The Management resource guide can be found at:

Electronic database searches can be a very useful way to find recent journal articles on the topic you are interested in. The library provides access to a number of indexing databases -- the Management resource guide provides information on which ones will be most useful. You can access the databases from any computer lab on campus, and in some cases from home or work. See the library for details.

The library provides training sessions for class groups and individuals in using the library catalogue and the indexing databases. These are a worthy investment of time and an excellent introduction to the cutting edge of electronic information.

It is important to be disciplined in the way that you research your essay topic. Many students use information collecting as a form of procrastination. These people can often be seen standing for hours in front of a photocopier, hypnotised by the reassuring flash of the copier, collecting armfuls of photocopied books and articles.

In most cases very little of this material is actually used. If you have organised your time properly very little photocopying is necessary. If you make notes thoughtfully, in the light of the purpose of the essay, you will find that a structure to the essay will begin to appear and suggest itself. This is the real value of good research!

Try to organise your notes systematically (e.g. having noted the main points from each of your sources, you might re-arrange them by topic in folders, on cards, or in separate files on your computer).

Main page ► Managing a Moodle course ► Activities ► Assignment ► Assignment quick guide

What is the Assignment activity?

Assignments allow students to submit work to their teacher for grading. The work may be text typed online or uploaded files of any type the teacher’s device can read. Grading may be by simple percentages or custom scales, or more complex rubrics may be used. Students may submit as individuals or in groups.

How is it set up?

  • In a course, with the editing turned on, choose 'Assignment' from the activity chooser.
  • Give it a name and, in the description explain what the students must submit. You can upload a help or example document from the Additional files area.
  • Expand the other settings to select, for example, availability times, how you want them to submit and how you plan to give them feedback. (Comment inline allows you to annotate directly on their submitted work.)
  • If you want them to verify they are submitting their own work, or if you want to prevent them changing their submission once uploaded, explore the Submission settings. To have them submit in group, explore Group submission settings (ensuring your course has groups)
  • To use a rubric instead of a single grade scale, change the Grading method to Rubric and, once the assignment is saved, create or locate the rubric from the Advanced grading link in the Assignment administration block on the side.

Note: Ask your administrator to check the assignment defaults if you are missing a particular setting.

How does it work?

Student view

  • Students click the assignment link and click “Add submission” (1)
  • Depending on the assignment settings, they either have a text box into which to type their work or an upload area to submit their file (2)
  • They may be able to return to their work and redraft it, or they might have to click a submit button to send in a final version which cannot be changed.
  • See Assignment settings for more information.

Teacher view:

  • Once students have submitted work, click on the assignment and click “Grades”
  • The exact view depends on the teacher and admin settings. See Assignment settings for more detail.
  • Here, the submission may be annotated (1) and/or downloaded (2); a grade entered (3) and individual feedback given (4). The teacher saves the changes (5) and moves to the next student (6)

Need more information?

Moodle’s assignment has many useful features. If you haven’t found what you need in this quick guide, try the full detailed documentation pages here:


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