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Instructor View of Submitted Assignments
Instructor View of Submitted Assignments

The Sakai Assignments Tool allows instructors to create, distribute, collect and grade online assignments. Assignments are private and student submissions are not visible to other users of the site. The Assignments Tool allows letter grades, points, check marks, pass/fail or ungraded. Assignments can also be returned, with or without grades, for re-submission. This feature can be used to evaluate drafts of projects or papers before final submission, or to allow students to correct and re-submit an assignment. Students can also be asked to agree to an 'honour pledge'.


[edit] Adding an Assignment

Permissions and roles

To complete the procedures in this article, you must be assigned a role having the necessary permissions. This often excludes Students and TAs by default. To determine your role, follow the directions in Participant roles.

For a basic understanding of roles and permissions, see Permissions and roles.

[edit] Create the Assignment

Add the Assignment tool if you have not already.

Add the assignment’s title in the Title text box.
Add the assignment’s title in the Title text box.
  • In the menubar, click Assignments and then click "Add" at the top of the page.
  • On the Add Assignments page, fill in the following information (fields marked with a red star are required):
    • Title: Enter a brief title for your assignment (e.g., Essay 1 ).
    • Open date: At the open date and time, the assignment is available for students to begin working on it. To send an announcement alerting students to the start date, see step 4 below.
    • Due date: This is the assignment's deadline.
    • To list the due date on the course site's schedule, see step 4 below.
    • Accept until: No assignments can be submitted after this date. You can set this date and time later than the due date to continue accepting assignments (e.g., to allow for revisions) after the due date.
    • Student submissions: You can choose to have students submit their assignments inline only (typed directly into a text box), as attachments only, or both. You can also allow non-electronic submissions.
    • Grade scale: You can choose from five grading options:
      • Ungraded
      • Letter grade
      • Points
      • Pass/Fail
      • Checkmark
    • If you choose points, enter the maximum possible points (must be a positive number or zero).
  • In the "Assignment Instructions" box, type a description of the assignment.
    Note: This step is optional, but you will receive an alert message at the top of the page when you post the assignment if you leave it blank.
  • There are many additional options --the most commonly selected being Turnitin integration with Isaak-Sakai-- but some others are explained in this article.
  • Click Post a second time to proceed.

[edit] Set Student Submission Type

The Student Submissions dropdown box determines how students can submit their assignments.

Select Inline Only if you only want the students to type their assignments into a text box in Sakai.

Select Attachments Only if you only want your students to attach files to their assignments for you to download. Note that multiple files can be attached with this submission type.

Select Inline and Attachments if you want your students to be able to type into a text box as well as add attachments.

Select non-electronic submission type if you want students to submit their assignments in class. Allowing for non-electronic submissions lets you keep track of grades for all assignments in one place, even for assignments collected in class.

Select Single Uploaded File only if you prefer that students are limited to a submission that consists of a single file. This configuration is strongly recommended if Turnitin integration is enabled, as Turnitin reports are created only for the first attached file in any submission.

[edit] Set Assignment Grade Type

Sakai allows you to select the type of grading scale you want your assignment to have.

Select the type of grading scale you would like to use for the assignment in the Grade Scale dropdown box.

If you have selected Points, add the maximum possible points for the assignment into the text box below the dropdown box.

If you have the Gradebook tool added to your worksite, another option to add this assignment to the gradebook will appear. This will automatically add a new entry into your gradebook and will copy the grades for the assignment into your gradebook.

[edit] Add Assignment Description

You may want to add a description to your assignment. This is especially helpful to your students if you haven’t distributed detailed instructions in class.

Add your description into the Assignment Instructions text box.

[edit] Add Assignment Due Date to Schedule

If you want to add an assignment’s due date into the class Schedule tool, click the check box for Add due date to schedule. This feature requires you to have the Schedule tool on your worksite.

[edit] Add Assignment into Announcements

If you want Sakai to announce an assignment so that your site participants will be more aware of it, click the check box for Announce the open date. The assignment will appear on the worksite’s announcement section. Note that the announcement will not be e-mailed to your site participants.

NOTE: Do this only if you are releasing your assignment right away, not if you have a delayed open date. The system cannot yet handle an automatic announcement for a delayed assignment open date.

[edit] Add an Honour Pledge

You can place an honour pledge on an assignment. If you choose to use this option, upon submission the student will have to check a box that says ‘I have neither given nor received unacknowledged aid on this assignment’. The student will not be able to submit his or her assignment unless this box is checked.

Click the check box for Add honour pledge

[edit] Add an Attachment to an Assignment

You may want to attach supplementary resources to your assignment, for example, a PDF of the original description given out in class.

Click the Add Attachments button.

To select a source from a local file on your computer, select Browse... from the Upload from file heading. Navigate to the file that you would like to attach, select it, and click Open.

To select a source that is located on the web, type its address into the URL text box under the URL (Link to website) heading and click Add. Make sure to type the URL correctly.

To add an attachment that is already located in your Workspace or a worksite, find the resource that you would like to add in the Select a Resource section of the screen, and click Attach a copy. Click the Show other sites option to see the resources for other sites on Sakai to which you belong.

All of the files that you selected will appear under the Items to attach heading. Click on the title of the file to view the file. It will appear in a new window in your browser.

After you are done selecting your files, click Finish to add the files to your assignment.

[edit] Preview an Assignment

To preview a summary of your assignment, click the Preview button. You will see a short synopsis of the assignment’s details. If you click on the black triangle next to Show Student View, you will see the assignment as your students see it.

If you are satisfied with your assignment, click the Post button. If you would like to make revisions, click Revise. If you would like to save this assignment for later revisions, click Save Draft. Drafts can not be seen by your students.

[edit] Post Your Assignment

Once you are satisfied with your assignment’s details, click the Post button

[edit] Peer Assessment

Peer assessment facilitates student peer review of assignments. Note: You must be using a Points grade scale in order to enable peer review.

Peer assessment options
Peer assessment options

If you select the Peer Assessment box, the settings will expand to show additional options. You may indicate the following items:

  • The evaluation period end date. (This date must be after the Accept Until date for the assignment.)
  • Whether or not reviews are anonymous.
  • Whether or not students may see reviews of their own assignments.
  • The number of reviews each student must complete.
  • Instructions for reviewers.

[edit] Things to consider for peer assessment

  • The review period must begin at least 10 minutes after the latest submission date. This means that students cannot normally submit their assignment and perform their required peer review tasks during the same work session.
  • Though it’s possible to specify in the assignment description that students perform a minimum quantity of peer reviews, there is no facility within the Assignments tool to quickly identify those that have not done so.
  • If the intent is to have anonymous peer evaluation of anonymous peer submissions, advise students not to include personal info within their paper that can be used to identify.

[edit] Review and Grade Submissions

[edit] Within Sakai

To view your students’ submissions for an assignment from within Sakai, click on Grade beneath that assignment’s title.

You will see a list of students who have submitted work for the assignment.

To view an individual student’s work, click that student’s name in the list.

The next screen will allow you to review and grade the work.

Add any comments or further instructions to the Instructor Comments text box.

If you would like to allow the student to resubmit their work after you have reviewed it, click the check box for Allow Resubmission.

After you have reviewed and graded the student’s work, you can return it to them by clicking the Return button. This will release the grade to the student.

If you do not want to return the student’s grade at this time, click the Save button. This will save any comments, attachments, and grading that you have added.

After you release the grades for an assignment, your students can see their grades by clicking on the assignment’s title in the Assignments tool.

[edit] Download All Submissions Onto Your Computer

You can download all student submissions into one archived folder on your computer.

  • Click Grade beneath the assignment’s title.
  • You will see a list of students who have submitted work for the assignment.
  • Beneath the title bar, click Download All.
  • You may choose All to select all of the download options, or select only some of them by placing a check mark next to an individual item or items. The options available for download are:
    • All
    • Student submission text (original student submitted text, possibly containing instructor added comments)
    • Student submission attachment(s)
    • Grade file (grades.csv file at top level of archive)
    • Feedback text (the inline comments with student submission)
    • Feedback comments (comments.txt file if available in student's folder. Comments are put into the Instructor Comments field for each student's submission)
    • Feedback Attachment(s)
  • Click the Download button to save the files your computer. The assignment files will download as an archive file, or .zip file to your local computer.

This will compile all of the submissions into one folder for that assignment. You will be able to review all of the submissions from your computer.

[edit] Upload All Grades

You can grade all student submissions for an assignment outside of Sakai and then upload them all at once.

Click Grade beneath the assignment’s title.

Select Upload All action.

Uploading grades in this way requires a specific folder structure. Within the folder being uploaded should be a series of additional folders, one for each student. Within each student folder is the student submission and individual grade report. Click Download Template to see how to organize the folder you must upload in order to use all of it's available features. Downloading all student submissions for the assignment will also give you the correct structure to upload.

Note: In Windows, right click the folder, and select Send to... and then Compressed (zipped) folder. On a Mac, right click the folder and select Create Archive of (folder name).

Hit Browse to find your file. Note that the file must be a zipped/archived folder.

Check the boxes for the files you are uploading. You can upload only the grades, or grades along with commented submissions and feedback, etc.

Select whether or not you want to release the information to students right away. You can release later if you wish.

Click Upload to upload your grades.

Select Upload All action.


This article is based on the equivalent Sakai help article created by Rutgers University found at:

All respective sources used are under a free-for-reuse license and additional permission has been obtained.

[edit] Assignments and the Gradebook tool

Please note that when an assignment is given an automatic item in the Gradebook that item will only be updated when grades are "released" as opposed to when they are only modified - modifications remain only in the assignment itself until they are released.

[edit] Giving TAs Access

TAs can be given access to grade assignments by following these steps:

  1. In the Assignments tool select the "Permissions" tab
  2. Check of the appropriate permissions for TAs:
    • Same site level permissions for all groups inside the sites (allows TA marking of all groups. Leave unchecked to allow marking of only specific groups - see Manage Groups for instruction on adding TA's to groups)
    • Submit to assignment(s)
    • Read assignment(s)
    • Grade assignment submission(s)
    • Receive email notifications
  3. Press Save

[edit] Edit an assignment

To revise a posted assignment before or after its open date or due date:

  • In the menubar, click Assignments.
  • Under the assignment you wish to modify, click Edit.
  • Make your revisions in the assignment.
  • After you have made your revisions, you can post or preview your assignment. If you choose to preview it, you will then have the option to post it or to save it as a draft.
    Note: If the assignment is currently open to students, you will only have the options of previewing and posting the assignment.

When students view the revised assignment, they will be notified that changes have been made.

[edit] Delete an assignment

Note: You can completely delete an assignment before any students have submitted work. However, if you delete an assignment after the first submission, all students will continue to see the assignment with a notice saying "(Assignment has been deleted)", even though the assignment will not be visible in the Assignment List that you see as an instructor. To delete an assignment:

  • In the menubar, click Assignments. You will see a list of assignments.
  • Check the box under Remove? next to the assignment you want to delete.
  • Click Update.
  • You will see a confirmation screen asking if you are sure you want to delete the assignment.
  • Click Delete to permanently delete it or Cancel if you've changed your mind.

[edit] Why is the Assignments tool slow?

Sometimes, users may experience a slower load in the Assignments tool. Explanations can range from a slow Internet connection, the size of the course, or heavy Isaak/Sakai usage during peak times. Assignments that are integrated with Turnitin may exhibit significantly longer load times as a result of the additional reports that are available on the Instructor's Grade page for that assignment. Possible remedies are may include:

  • Connect to the Internet with an Ethernet cord whenever possible. WiFi signals are not as strong as a direct cord connection (due to interference from solid objects such as concrete).
  • Avoid reloading the page that lists all students for a submitted assignment. This page is loaded after clicking a Grade, View submissions or In/New link for an assignment in the Assignment List page.
  • In the case of an exceptionally large course, creating an assignment without using Turnitin-Sakai integration might be preferable. If Turnitin features are desired, students may still make assignment submissions directly to Turnitin via and optionally to the Assignments tool in Sakai as an extra step.

Instructions about students using can be found here.

[edit] Things to Consider

Privacy Concern: Be Careful

This tool is designed to protect the privacy of student information. Instructors should take care that they are entering information in the correct location and are disclosing information accurately.

Please consider the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and Brock University's own privacy policies. You can learn more at

  • There is a 200Mb per-file upload limit at Brock University
  • For a less-formal option for private file sharing between instructor and students you may want to consider the Drop Box tool.
  • Where applicable, deleting an assignment will delete the corresponding Gradebook entry.
  • Assignments can be released to a limited or specific selection of groups.

More articles can be found in the Category:Assignments

[edit] Video

YouTube/Podcast - Assignments / Tests and Quizzes

Find more videos for instructors at the Welcome To Sakai Webinar article, or look in the Video Category

The Sakai Educational Community License is deemed to be compatible with this site's Project:Copyrights which are under the Creative Commons 2.5 Licence.

Other articles about Isaak/Sakai's tools and how instructors can use them:

Core Tools:   Image:Flag blue.png Announcements | Image:Page edit.png Assignments | Image:Lessons-icon.png Lessons | Image:Comments.png Forums | Image:Report.png Gradebook | Image:Folder.png Resources | Image:Calendar.png Schedule | Image:Pencil.png Tests and Quizzes

More Tools:   Image:User comment.png Chat Room | Image:Folder page.png Drop Box | Image:House.png Home | Image:Comment.png Messages | Image:Chart bar.png Statistics | Image:Page world.png Web Content

Related articles:   How to add tools to your course | Using the Text Editor | Manage Groups | Permissions and roles | Contact the CPI for help

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