Set a Quick Assignment
What are Quick Assignments for?
Many teachers now set and receive assignments by email. Whilst a big step forward from illegible notebooks, these can soak up time with downloading attachments, retrieving emails from the spam folder, arguing with students about whether an email was even sent and so forth. Quick Assignments (QAs) cut through all of this by making each stage simpler and more reliable.
How to set a Quick Assignment
- Assignment instructions. As thorough or as brief as you like.
- Any accompanying file for students to download. Tip: if your instructions are more than a few lines, put them into a file that can be uploaded here each time you set the assignment. It will save re-typing, and maintain consistency.
- Permitted response. A text response is typed directly into the browser by the student. Fine for a few lines. A file response may be any file type, and is better for longer responses. Permitting neither turns your QA into a simple one-way announcement.
- Student set. Select to see...
- Settings: these only appear once the student set has been chosen. You can leave all settings on the defaults, or change each individually. Pro tip: keep the due date as short as possible. This actually increases the number of students who respond.
- Subject, syllabus and topic. If you set a subject, you must also set a syllabus and topic before you can assign. Setting the topic allows you to use your QA results in the per-topic analytics, so it's well worth doing. Small bug: sometimes you have to re-select the topic before the Confirm button will come 'live'.
- Confirm and assign. This button will remain grey until all the data has been entered. See above on the options for setting subject, syllabus and topic. If students have email addresses attached to their accounts, they will be automatically emailed a reminder on the start date of the assignment (by default, immediately).
Grading a Quick Assignment
This one page is the equivalent of a whole pile of grubby exercise books on your kitchen table. In this example, students were permitted to respond by file upload only, so the 'answer' field is empty.
You can download attachments individually by clicking on them, but it is more efficient to wait until the due date has passed (after which no more uploads are permitted) and download them all with two clicks:
- Click the very bottom checkbox - this is the 'select all'.
- Click "Download selected attachments". The button will flash as your download is being prepared. When it stops flashing, that means the download has started. If 30 students have been uploading large images, expect the download to take a while! The files download in a single zip file. When you unzip them, you will find each is neatly named with the name of the student.
The grade and comment you enter will appear in the student's to-do list as soon as you click Save (don't forget!), and will also be emailed to the student if we have their email address.