Table of activities that can be used for producing and submitting assignments

Moodle provides the teachers with multiple opportunities for supporting students in their assignment processes. When to choose which activity depends on the learning objectives in the course, and the methods you have selected for the process in whole: what the students should do before the submission, what happens after the submission, and how many students there are participated in different stages of the process. Based on the wanted publicity of the submissions and whether students are going to work individually or in groups, alternatives provided by Moodle can be illustrated as the table below. Students can both submit files and write online text in all listed activity types.

Note: this is an overview for your support in designing your course. For How-to information, please use the international Moodle documentation at

 ForumAssignmentWikiQuizWorkshopDatabaseFeedback (form)
Submitted assignment visibilityThe whole course community or the group. **
Opportunity for delayed publication.***
The submitted student (group) and all teachersThe whole course community or the group. **
  • The submission: the submitted student and all teachers
  • The summary: all respodents.
  • Submission phase: the submitted student and all teachers
  • Peer review phase and phases after that: students who assess the submission
  • Closed workshop: all participants can see the submissions that teachers have chosen to be published

The whole course community or the group. **

Opportunity for delayed publication even for other participants.***

Only teachers or the whole course community /group **
Can the assignment visibility be automatically scheduled?YesYesYesYesYes: besides visibility also automatic change of phase to the peer assessment phaseYesYes

Possibility for group work?

Yes, preferably in forums for groups **YesYes, either with restricted visibility or pages visible for the whole course communityNo
  • Group editing: No
  • Peer assessment within the group: Yes
Can the group work result be published to the course community?Yes, in a joint discussion forum for the whole course community. Opportunity for delayed publication.***NoYes, in a joint wiki for the whole course communityNoYes, if
  • the number of peer assessors is the number of course participants (but max 30) or
  • the teacher publishes all submitted group work when the workshop is closed
Can the submission be assessed?YesYesNo? *YesYes; peers as well as the teachersYesNo
Can the submission be automatically assessed?NoNoNo

Yes (except essays)

  • Submitted assignment: No
  • Given peer assessment: Yes
Can the submission or the assessment be anonymous?NoNoNoNoIn peer assessment Yes; one-way in the settings, two-way via editing role permissions. Teachers see student submission always with namesSubmission: Yes
Comment: No
Submission: Yes
Given grade visibilityDefault: The submitted student and all teachers. Options for the group and the whole course community (based on forum visibility)The submitted student (group) and all teachers The submitted student and all teachersThe assessing student(s), the assessed student(s) and all teachersDefault: The submitted student and all teachers. Options for the group and the whole course community (based on database visibility) 
Feedback visibilitySame as previousSame as previousThe page visibilityThe submitted student. The general overview: the whole course communitySame as previous  
Can the teacher attach a file to the feedback?YesYes, visibility same as previousYes, visibility same as previousNoNoNoNo
Can the submissions be discussed?YesNoYesNoNoNoNo

* Possible but not directly in the assignment context (for further information, see below)

‌** The course area visibility can be restricted with the help of groups and separate working areas for groups. In this way, also individual working areas can be provided for each student.

*** Delayed publication: the student can see other students' submissions only after submitting themselves. To implement this, choose Forum type "Q and A forum".

When to use the Forum for assignment submissions?

Use the Forum when an essential part of the assignment is to learn from other students, or discuss an assignment with other students. The Forum is the most flexible way of collecting assignment submissions, but may be disorganised without proper structure, instructions and headings. On the other hand, the Forum provides most versatile features for collecting submissions, and is therefore the most powerful activity. But remember to design the whole process - assignment, submission, assessment, feedback - beforehand and with proper instructions in each phase.

When to use the Assignment?

Use the Assignment when the submissions must be visible for only the teachers, not other students. The Assignment is The Way for collecting student submissions because the features have been designed for the purpose. It is the recommended way of submitting and assessing e.g. essays and learning diaries.

How wanted working methods affect submission settings

  • Most typically, teachers want students to submit one or more files. Choose the max number of files students are allowed to submit.
  • Another option, if the need is to produce learning diary type of text which is going to be fulfilled during the course, you can provide the students with the option to write text directly in Moodle. In these cases, select the Online text submission type.
  • Sometimes teachers want to provide the description for the assignment and assess in Moodle, though the asssignment itself would be elsewhere (e.g. a presentation). In these cases, do not select any of the submission types.

When to use the wiki?

Wiki is the best way of creating group artifacts in Moodle. It is the best alternative for process writing in groups. This requires students to use the online writing option, not submission of files.

When to use the Quiz?

If you want to provide the students with options for own practice or testing knowledge with automatic feedback, the Quiz is the only alternative for you in Moodle. With a scheduled Quiz you can implement a traditional written exam. A Quiz is more labourious to implement than most other activities, because you have to produce each answer alternative and their grading separately.

When to use the Workshop?

Like the Assignment to which you can add a guided peer assessment process where students provide each others with feedback and grades.

When to use the Database?

If you want to collect structured information consisting of multiple items, or if you want to publish submissions for the whole course community and peer comment on them, the Database is the only alternative. Creating a Database activity requires some brainstorming, after which the use is simple.

When to use the Feedback?

The Feedback activity is kind of internal Elomake in Moodle an electronic form for collecting structured information. Like in Elomake, you can define relationships between questions. The Feedback is especially useful if you want to collect anonymous responses, because the Feedback activity is the only one in Moodle providing anonymity. You can publish the results for the course community of keep the responses only for the teachers. You can also export the results to a spread sheet program for further analysis.

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