The Assignments tool allows you to create, distribute, collect, return, and grade assignments. Each student's submissions are private and can only be seen by you and that student.

Use Assignments when you wish to have structured assignments with: assignment instructions, student submissions, and feedback/grading. The instructor view for the Assignments tool lists all assignments, and also shows the total number of submissions for an assignments.

As an alternative to the Assignments tool, the Drop Box tool can also be used to collect student work. Use Drop Box when you wish to have a private repository of documents and files between the student and instructor. The instructor view for the Drop Box is by student, with all submissions by each individual student shown together. Drop Box can also be useful for a private repository in a project worksite.

Click the Add action beneath the Assignments tool title bar. Give your assignment a name and set the open and close dates, submission type(s), and grading type. Input assignment instructions and/or attach additional materials. Click Post when done.

To revise or grade a posted assignment, click the appropriate link under the assignment name in the assignment listing.

Continue reading for more detailed instructions and instructions for advanced features.

Add Assignments

Click Assignments in the left menu bar to open this tool.

Click the Add action beneath the title bar.

Add the assignment's title in the Title text box.

Set an Assignment's Open, Due, and Accept Until Dates

The Open Date is the date and time when an assignment becomes visible to your students. You can set up an assignment ahead of time and it will appear on your worksite on that date and time.

The Due Date is the day and time when an assignment is due.

To discourage students from working on assignments at the last minute and barely making the due date, set the time an assignment is due to be early in the morning. An assignment due at midnight will receive many submissions a minute before (or even after) the cut-off. An assignment due at 5:00 AM will receive submissions at a wider range of times.

The Accept Until date is the day and time when an assignment will no longer be accepted. Assignments submitted before this date but after the due date will be marked as late by Sakai. Set these dates to be the same if you do not wish to allow late submissions. Students will only see the due date on the assignment.

When you are setting your times, make sure to pay special attention to the AM/PM dropdown box.

To view a calendar, click the calendar icon. If you use this feature when setting dates, note that the week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday.

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.

If you are using Turnitin, we recommend using the Attachments Only setting since Turnitin only works with attachments.

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.

Select single-file upload if you want students to only be able to submit one file.

Allowing for non-electronic submissions lets you keep track of grades for all assignments in one place, even for assignments collected in class.

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.

In order for grades to be sent to Gradebook 2, you must first enter the Gradebook 2 tool and click Save on the initial setup screen. If you would like to change the gradebook settings, refer to the settings section of the Gradebook 2 documentation.

If you have selected Points, enter 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, an 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.

Because Gradebook works on a point system, you must use points as your grading scale for an assignment that will be incorporated into the gradebook. For more details on how Gradebook implementation works with this and other tools, see documentation in Section 3.1 of Gradebook help and Section 3 of Gradebook 2 help.

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.

Add Assignment Due Date to Schedule

This feature requires you to have the Schedule tool on your worksite. 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.

If you add your assignment's due date to the Schedule tool, the event will contain a link that will take your students directly to the assignment in the Assignments tool.

You also have the option to Hide due date from Students.

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, which is located beneath the text editor for the assignment's instructions. The assignment will appear on the worksite's announcement section. Note that the announcement will not be e-mailed to your site participants.

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.

If you add your assignment's open date to the Announcements tool, the announcement will contain a link that will take your students directly to the assignment in the Assignments tool.

Add an Honor Pledge

You can place an honor pledge on an assignment. If you choose to use this option, the student will have to check a box upon submission that says 'I have neither given nor received 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 honor pledge to use this option, which is located underneath the text editor for the assignment's instructions.

Set Turnitin Options

Turnitin is a system designed to help faculty detect plagiarism. It compares each document with a database built from current and archived instances of the internet, millions of student papers previously submitted to Turnitin, and commercial databases of journal articles and periodicals. The result is a report showing what portions of the paper "overlap" items from the Turnitin database.

Be aware that if this is enabled your students will receive an email from Turnitin suggesting that they create an account at Turnitin. This is not necessary unless they want to use Turnitin for other functions as Sakai will handle the interaction with Turnitin automatically. When a student's submission is sent to Turnitin their assignments will be added to the Turnitin database and will be used to check submissions by others. This will be done independent of any copyright claims by the author of the document. Make sure this is acceptable before submitting anything.

Checking the box next to Use Turnitin to review student submissions will result in all attachments submitted for the assignment to be sent to Turnitin.

Note that only attachments are submitted, not text that the student types into the Sakai editor. Turnitin understands plain text, HTML, Microsoft Word, Postscript, PDF, and RTF. It will not review attachments larger than 10.48576 MB.

These are the available options for Turnitin.

When submitting papers to turnitin, you can control where the paper is stored. Storing the paper in the student repository will save the paper where it will be checked against future submissions. When a paper is stored in the institutional repository, only future papers from the same institution will be checked against that paper.

Turnitin allows you to control the sources that the system will compare submissions against for originality. The Turnitin paper repository holds the collection of papers that Turnitin has amassed as submissions, while the institution-specific repository holds papers specific to your institution. In this case, the institution would be Rutgers University. Check off the sources you wish check against and uncheck the sources you wish to exclude.

A report should be generated from Turnitin within an hour. You can find these reports by clicking on the Grade link under an assignment. When viewing the "Grade" page there will be a "Turnitin" column in the list of student submissions. Once the report from Turnitin is available, there will be an icon in that column. For a quick overview, just look at the color of the icon. It is based on the percent that overlaps items in the Turnitin database:

If you place your mouse over the icon, you will see the actual percentage. Note that Turnitin doesn't check whether the content is properly cited, so you'll almost certainly have to look at the detailed report if you are concerned. If you click on the icon, you will see a detailed report, showing what sections of the document match items in the Turnitin Database. The database items are identified.

To allow students to see this report in Sakai check the box next to Allow students to view Turnitin report. When looking at the assignment, the student will see an additional row, "Turnitin Report". It will have the same icon that the instructor sees, with the same options.

Set Access Options

If you wish to make your assignment available to all site members select the Display to site option. If, however, you wish to make your assignment available only to certain groups within your site you can do this by selecting the Display to selected groups option and selecting the desired groups.

Access options only appear if you have used the Section Info or Manage Groups tool to create groups inside your Sakai site.

Additionally, The Peer Assessment option allows students to grade other student’s submissions. When you select ‘peer assessment’, more options should open up for you.

You can set the evaluation period, whether or not you want students to grade anonymously, whether or not students are allowed to see reviews of their submissions, and also the amount of submissions students must review. In the text editor below these settings you have the option to enter instructions for student reviewers.

Unchecking the peer assessment option will collapse this thread of options.

Set Email Notification Options

The first option, which is also the default setting, does not send an email notification when a student submits an assignment. The second option, is to send you an email notification each time a student submits an assignment.The third and final option, is to receive one email notification per day with a summary of students that submitted assignments.

Released Grade Notification Email Options: The option, which is also the default setting, is to not notify your students when their grades are released. If you would like for your students to be notified whenever their grade is released by you, select the second option: "Send notification email to student when the grade is released". Keep in mind that you may choose exactly when you want to release the grades (for more detailed information, please refer to Section 6).

Add an Attachment to an Assignment

You may want to attach supplementary resources to your assignment.

If you create your assignments in a program such as Microsoft Word, you can attach the document and refer participants to this for instructions. You can also use this if you have a form you would like participants to fill in and hand back to you. Participants can download the attachment, enter their information, and then submit.

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.

Remove an Attachment

Once you have added files, you will have the option to remove them. If you want to remove an attachment at any time during the Add Attachments process, simply click Remove next to the file name.

If you have already selected Finish to add the attachments to your assignment, the button that previously read Add Attachments will now read Add/Drop Attachments. Click this button to revise your attachment choices.

Once you have made your changes, click Finish.

Add Additional Information

You can add a model answer, a private note, and/or an all purpose item to your assignments.

Click Add next to any of these items to add them to your assignment.

Add a Model Answer

You can add a model answer that will show your students how you want them to approach the assignment.

Type your model answer into the text box provided or click the Add Attachments button to provide a file for your model answer.

If you add an attachment, you are not done! You must go back into the model answer item by clicking the Edit link beside it, then click Save at the bottom of the item.

Select when you want the model answer to show from the 'Show to students:' drop box. Click Save to complete the process.

Add a Private Note

You can share private notes with instructors regarding your assignment.

Type your notes into the text box provided and choose the sharing level from the 'Share:' drop down menu. You can share the note only with yourself (something you might want to remember) or both yourself and other instructors. If you choose to share your notes with other instructors, you have the option to grant them read-only access, or both read and edit access so they can make changes/additions to the note.

Click the Save button to save your changes.

Add an All-Purpose Item

You can add an all purpose item to your assignment and share it with whomever you choose. This item can show indefinitely or for a specific period of time depending on your preferences.

Type the information that you want to share into the text box provided, add any attachments that you want to share by clicking the Add attachments button, and set the availability of the item with the date/time widget.

Select which role(s) you would like to release the item to by selecting their particular checkboxes in the 'Show to' section.

If you want to release the item to particular individuals, click the people icon to the left of the role name. This will allow you to select/deselect individuals in that role to whom the item will be released.

Click the Save button to save your changes.

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 are satisfied with your assignment, click the Post button. If you would like to make revisions, click Edit. If you would like to save this assignment for later revisions, click Save Draft. Drafts can not be seen by your students. If your are finished reviewing the preview, and wish to not make any changes, click "Done" to close the preview.

If you check the share.drafts permission in the Permissions action beneath the title bar, you can permit instructors, teaching assistants, or students to view and/or edit your drafts.

Post Your Assignment

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

View Assignments After Posting

Click the Assignment List action beneath the title bar.

Every assignment that you have created will show up here.

View an Assignment's Details

If you would like to view an assignment's details, click on that assignment's title in the Assignments List. You will see a short synopsis of the assignment's details.

Click the black triangle next to Student view of the assignment... if you would like to see the assignment as your students see it.

To see the full assignment list as a student, refer to Section 7.

Control the Assignment List

By default, only 20 assignments are shown at a time.

The assignment controls are above the assignment list on the right side. Use these to navigate the assignment list.

To show the next 20 assignments, click the > button. Similarly, to show the previous 20 assignments, click the < button. The |< and >| buttons send you to the very first and the very last pages of the list, respectively.

To increase or decrease the size of the list, select the desired size in the drop down list. The page will then reload and your desired settings will be reflected.

Sort Your Assignments

Your assignments are arranged in a table that can be sorted by any column.

Click the titles in the header (e.g., Assignment Title, Status, etc.) to sort the assignments by that title. For example, if you wanted to view the assignments in order of their due date, click the Due title in the heading. This will sort your assignments chronologically by their due date.

Clicking Due again will sort your assignments in reverse chronological order.

Change the Assignment View

By default, the assignment list will show details for each individual assignment. If you would like to view student activity for each assignment, select Assignment List by Student in the View dropdown box. Click on the black triangle next to a student's name to see that student's assignment activity.

Edit Assignments

You can change details about an assignment after it has been posted or if you have saved an assignment as a draft.

To change details about an assignment, click the Edit option beneath that assignment's title.

The process for revising an assignment is the same as it is for adding an assignment. Please see section 2, Adding an Assignment for more details.

Editing or revising an assignment that has been posted will not interfere with the assignments that have already been submitted.

Delete Assignments

You are able to delete an assignment from the Assignment List.

Click the Assignment List action beneath the title bar.

Click the Remove? check box at the far right for the assignment that you want to remove. You can make more than one selection at a time.

After you have made your selection(s), click the Update button.

You will be shown a confirmation screen that shows some details for the assignment(s) that you are removing. Note that all of the submissions for the assignment will be deleted along with the assignment.

If you are satisfied with your selection(s), click the Delete button.

Review and Grade Assignment Submissions

Sakai allows you to view each submission individually from within Sakai, or to easily move all assignment submissions to your computer in a single archived folder.

Review and Grade Submissions Within Sakai

To view your students' submissions for an assignment from within Sakai, click on View Submissions beneath that assignment's title.

You will see a list of students who have submitted work for the assignment. You can also see the private notes that have been added as well as the assignment details by clicking the black arrow to the left of each.

To view an individual student's work, click grade below that student's name.

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

Move back and forth between student submissions on an assignment with the navigation at the top of the submission review page.

You will lose any unsaved changes if you navigate to another student's submission without first saving your work.

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

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

You can click Review to review the comments on the student's work.

You can select Add Attachments to add an attachment, like a Microsoft Word document, to the student's feedback.

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

If you wish to release all grades at once when you finish grading all assignments instead of releasing them individually as you go along, see section 6.2 below.

If you do not want to return the student's grade at this time, click the Save and Don't Release to Student 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.

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.

Towards the right, above the submissions, click Download All.

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.

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. See Section 6.2 for more information.

If you download all student submissions, you can add feedback and grades directly into the files downloaded, and then upload them all at once. The file structure will already be set for you.

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

In Windows, right click the folder, and select Send to... and then Compressed (zipped) folder. On a Mac, right click the folder and select Compress "(folder name)".

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. See Section 6.4 for more information.

Click Upload to upload your grades.

Return All Grades at One Time

If you do not want to return grades to students one at a time, you can return them all at one time.

You need to have clicked the Save button (Section 6.1) or have uploaded grades (Section 6.3) in order for this technique to work.

Make sure that you are satisfied with each submission's comments and grades before you return them.

Click the Grade option beneath the title of the assignment that you want to return.

Make sure that each assignment has a grade in the Grade column.

Click the Release Grades action towards the right, above the student's submissions. This will send out all grades at the same time.

Student View

You can see the assignment list as your students see it by clicking on the Enter Access View action beneath the title bar.

This is what your students will see when they open the Assignments tool.

If an assignment has not yet reached its open date, it will not show up on this list.

Click Submit as Student to see what the student will see when going through the submission process for an assignment.

Click Exit Access View beneath the title bar to view the page as an instructor again.


Click the Permissions action beneath the title bar to load the permissions menu. Use these settings to determine what abilities and access the instructors, TA's, and students can have in the Assignments tool.

2012 June 27