Category Archives: Assignments

Restricting access to final assignment until feedback has been completed

One of the regular questions we get asked is

How do I prevent students from submitting their final assignment until the course feedback has been completed?

This can be done using ‘Conditional Activities‘ [see Moodle 2.4 Docs here]

To do this, Completion Tracking must be enabled at site level, and activated at course level for any courses where you want to use it.

  1. Add your Feedback activity then in the settings scroll down to ‘Activity completion’.
    For ‘Completion tracking’ choose ‘Show activity as complete when conditions are met‘ then tick the two boxes for ‘Student must view this activity to complete it‘ and ‘View as completed if the feedback is submitted‘.


  2. Return to the course and add a Turnitin or regular assignment. In the ‘Restrict access’ settings choose the name of your feedback activity in the ‘Activity completion condition’ section, and choose ‘must be marked complete’.

    In the ‘Before activity can be accessed’ section choose ‘Show activity greyed-out, with restriction information


  3. Now when you return to the course you’ll see what the students will see. The assignment will be greyed-out and won’t be unlocked until the Feedback activity has been submitted.



Assignments in Moodle 2 and through Turnitin

We’ve been having requests lately from staff members who have been setting up Moodle and/or Turnitin assignments for the first time who needed help to do so. We had already created some video tutorials to explain how to do this, but realised that one of the most common questions we were getting was – what does the student see? We do have the ‘switch role to student’ option available on our Moodle 2 site, but you don’t actually get a true picture of what the student will see (for example, you don’t see the ‘Upload a file’ button on a Moodle assignment).

We have therefore created two new YouTube playlists for tutors, which include our video tutorials aimed at students, so that the tutor can also see it from their point of view. These are:

Assignments in Moodle 2

Turnitin assignments in Moodle 2

In both playlists we explain how to set up the assignment and then how to provide grades and feedback. We also include the student videos on how to submit the assignment and how to view grades and feedback.

On the Turnitin playlist we also explain how to submit a paper ‘on behalf of’ a student. You could do this if a student has submitted a paper to you electronically, either through a Moodle assignment or via email, and you suspect plagiarism. You could set up a Turnitin assignment on your Moodle course and then submit the paper under the student’s ID to check the originality report.

Activity completion and course completion

Tracking student progress

One of the nicest new features in Moodle 2 is that you can now track student progress by setting criteria for completion of resources and activities with activity completion. You can then monitor the students’ progress through the course with course completion. This would be a good way to monitor student engagement and flag up problems, for example, to identify at-risk students who may need support (see Franklin et al, 2012, Exploiting activity data in the academic environment, JISC).

To enable activity and course completion, you first need to enable this on the course settings. Go to Settings > Course administration > Edit settings and make sure Completion tracking is set to Enabled, control via completion and activity settings.

Activity completion

Once you have enabled Completion tracking, you can set activity completion criteria whenever you set up or update a resource or activity, although it is worth remembering that you don’t have to! (you may only want to use it on a few activities, which you see as important).  The criteria could include:

  • viewing a resource
  • obtaining a grade in an activity
  • obtaining a pass grade in an activity
  • posting new discussion topics or replies in a forum
  • allowing students to manually mark resources or activities as complete

completion criteria

The completion criteria you set will determine what the student sees next to the links on their Moodle page i.e. tick boxes which show activities as Completed, Not completed, or ready for the students to Mark as complete.

Activity completion

Course completion

In order to have an easy-to-view record of the activities you then need to edit your course completion settings. To do this, go to Settings > Course administration > Completion tracking. Only the activities you have set completion criteria for would appear on this screen, but you can choose which of them to include as criteria for course completion.

You can view the Course completion report. On the Navigation block, go to (Course name) > Reports > Course completion. This will show you who has done what (ordinarily you would see the students’ names and email addresses here):

Course completion report

You could also add a Course completion block to your site for students to view their own progress, thereby taking responsibility for their own learning. To take this even further, you also have the option of allowing students to mark the course as complete themselves, in which case you could add the Self completion block for them to self complete.

The video below, from Moodle HQ, explains how these functions work in Moodle 2.

In a future post we’ll explain how you can use activity and course completion together with restricting access to create conditional activities.