Many Moodle users don’t know about the “offline assignment” type and its usefulness. Years ago, you may remember that there were four different assignment types as available options in the activity chooser. Those included:
- Upload a single file
- Advanced uploading of files
- Online text
- Offline activity
These types later merged together under the umbrella of the “assignment” activity. It now allows you to select which “submission type” works best for your instructional goal.
File submissions are your standard “submit something here” assignment type that is most commonly used. Easily control how many files a student can upload to the assignment and even what type of files they’re allowed to submit. Instructors have enjoyed the file restrictions features since it was added in v3.3. Now they can ensure students submit files that can be used by the assignment grading interface.
Online text allows students to compose their submission directly within Moodle and has the option to set a word limit. This is a good selection for more informal reflections and other exercises that don’t require the use of a word processor.
If you disable both file submissions and online text options, you get an “offline assignment” type that’s used in a variety of ways.
While it does not require the students to “do” anything with an assignment configured this way – it has the following benefits:
- Acts as a useful placeholder to provide instruction for activities that may be happening in the classroom
- Provides the instructor with a better interface to submit grades and provide feedback than if they created a manual grade item
You can also enable advanced grading for offline assignments. For example, you could have a grading rubric configured within an offline assignment to evaluate an in-class presentation or weekly participation within a separate discussion forum activity.
This then provides the student with a space to receive more robust feedback than just giving a total score.
If you are not already familiar with the offline activity type, we encourage you to explore how it may improve your existing course design and grading practices!
Questions about the offline assignment or assignment settings? Speak with one of our experts!