Assignment settings (detailed)


Settings (Overview)

  • Visible: If an assignment is visible, students can see it.  It is possible to make an assignment visible forever, only for a specific period of time, or not visible.
  • Deadline: When students submit their work, the assignment response will be stamped with a submission date and time.  If you choose to give students a deadline for an assignment they will have up to that point in time to submit their response.  It is also possible to allow students to submit a response after the deadline.  In that case, the date and time will be marked late. 
  • Homework: It is possible to mark an assignment as Homework.  By doing this, it adds a purple tag that says Homework to the assignment so students know it is homework.  This tag is added to the assignment, the students’ tasks block, and plans.
  • Learning objectives: must first be added to the course and then attached to the assignment. When standards are attached to an assignment, the teacher may track standards mastery.  Standards-based rubrics with assessment criteria can also be created.
  • Assigned to: You can choose to assign an assigment to individual students, groups or the whole class. 
  • Assessment Scale: When grading an assignment, it is important to select an assessment scale and if the assignment will be added to the grade book.
  • Peer and self assessment: allow students to assess themselves or fellow students. Teachers can also select to enable 'anonymous peer assessment'. (More infor further down the page)
  • Results: It is possible to make results of the assignment visible to the students.  Note they will only see their results, they will not see any results for other participants.
  • Group Activity: Allow students to work in groups. The groups can be predefined by you, or the students can make their own groups. 
  • Anonymous Submission: Disguises student names from the teacher until all grades have been calculated. More details further down the page. 
  • Plagiarism Control: Checks for student plagiarism (subscription required.)
  • Not Mandatory: Students can view progression of a course with mandatory assignments using follow up and reports. Only visible if the Progress report is enabled for the course.

Peer Assesment

Peer assessment or peer review is a process where students review and/or assess each other's work. There are two main reasons to use peer assessment:

  • To save the teacher's time
    Reviewing papers or essays and providing quality feedback takes a long time. Time that a teacher may not have. To ensure that each student still gets feedback, peer assessment can be used.
  • To improve the student's understanding of the course objectives.
    Looking at someone else's answers on the same assignment allows the student to look at the assignment from a different perspective. Especially if the teacher provides criteria the student should look at while reviewing.

In itslearning, peer assessment is an option within the Assignment tool.

Setting up the assignment

You can enable peer assessment by enabling 'Require peer assessment' when creating or editing an assignment.

With peer assessment, student's answers are distributed when the deadline passes. Because of this, you need to set a deadline before you can enable peer assessment.

When you have set a deadline and enable peer assessment, you can choose how many peers each students can assess (between 1 and 5).

Group assignments are disabled when peer assessment is enabled and vice versa peer assessment is disabled if you already have made the assignment a group activity.

screenshot peer assessment

Anonymous peer assessment 

When using peer assessments, it is also possible to hide the identity of the student submission from their peers. This setting works separately from the setting for teachers described above. 

To activate anonymous peer assessment, check the setting 'Enable anonymous peer assessment' under Peer Assessment in Assignments. 

Teachers will, however, still see the names of the students commenting on their peers. 

If teachers are not meant to see the names of students, for objectivity reasons, check also 'Names are hidden when assessing' under 'Anonymous submission' in Assignments.  


Submitting an answer

Until the deadline has passed, the assignment will be the same for the student as regular assignments. The only difference is that they can see in the right panel that they will have to review an certain amount of peers when the deadline has passed.

screenshot submitting an answer

Assessing peers

After the deadline, itslearning will automatically assign the configured number of students/answers between the students that have submitted an answer. This also means that students that did not submit an answer are excluded from the peer assessment process.

Note: in the assignment we have a so called 'soft grace' period. If a student is already on the Answer page we allow to submit a few minutes after the deadline, as the student's clock can be a few minutes off. This means that the actual distribution of peer answers is around 5 minutes after the deadline.

The student will see the assignment on their task list again, with the action 'assess peers'.

When the student opens the assignment, the students he/she needs to assess are shown on top of the page. Below that, the students that will peer assess him/her are shown.

When assessing a peer, the student has the same assessment options as the teacher would have. They can:

  • view and annotate on the submitted document (for the most common document types);
    • Note: for peers, files will always open in itslearning's document viewer, not in Office Online
  • assess with a rubric, if the teacher has provide one;
  • set the grade or score they would give the assignment, if the teacher has set an assessment scale;
  • give overall feedback in the rich text editor.
    • It is also possible to download the submitted answer, annotate it locally and attach the edited file to the feedback.

Peers cannot:

  • Change the submission status of the assignment
  • Request a plagiarism report
  • Set the mastery status of learning objectives

Opening an answer file in the document viewer:

By clicking 'Save and assess next' on the assess page the student can move to the next peer they need to assess.

Viewing peer assessment

As soon as a peer assessment is available, it can be viewed by clicking the View button.

The peer assessment will open in a dialog.

To view the annotations on a file, the peer can click on the name of the file at the bottom of the dialog.

Teacher views peer assessments

The teacher can see the progress of peer assessment in the Status column of the answer grid. This displays how many students have already peer assessed this students. For example, in the picture below 1 student has already peer assessed Erik.

From the assess page, the teacher can access the peer assessments a student has received, and this student has given to others.

It is also possible for the teacher to give an overall assessment as they can do for a regular assignment. Please note that after the teacher gives their overall assessment, it is no longer possible for peers to assess a student's answer. This means teachers should not give their overall assessment if they are still expecting students to assess their peers.

Manually adding and removing peers

For teachers, it is also possible to manually add and remove peers after the peer assessment process has started.

Anonymous Submissions

Anonymous submission is designed to improve the objectivity when assessing work by hiding the identify of the student from a teacher assessing their answer. This feature was developed with the premise that teachers act in good faith. 

Your school system administrator will determine the setting for your school. The setting can be found in Admin>Edit Global Settings>Features and Security.

Student names remain hidden in the activity, but results are visible in the course reportsYou will not be able to know which answers belong to a specific student. But their results will be visible in the assessment record, and any progress will be visible in the different course reports. This way you can still get a full overview of the students' progress within itslearning, but teachers could deduce the name of a student by for example matching a unique grade to a specific answer.
Student names are shown when assessments are completed and results are visibleWhen assessing the answer, teachers will not be able to see the name of the student. But when the answer is assessed and this assessment is made visible to the student, the name of the student will be revealed. This allows the teacher to follow-up on the submission, e.g. in case of a high plagiarism percentage. But since students are able to see the assessment as well, they will also be able see if a teacher changes the assessment after their identity is revealed.
Student names remain hidden and results will not be visible in course reportsIt will not be possible to see or guess the name of a student who submitted an assignment in the course. The result or progress of the assignment will not be shown in any report, such as the assessment record, which can limit the overview of a student's progress. Note: The results can still be exposed via the Organisation API, to allow integration with the Student Information System.

Anonymous submissions can be used in combination with group assignments or peer assessment.  

To use, check the 'Anonymous submission' box in Assignments (right panel). 

  • Student names are hidden. Teachers see instead random characters in place of student names. 
  • Student profile picture replaced by default profile image. 
  • Teachers cannot open the student's profile (can be done in regular assessment by clicking on the student's name).
  • Teacher cannot jump to a student's answer from the Assessment record/Gradebook. The icon (folded tip page) that usually allows this will instead take the teacher to the overview page of the assignment. 

screenshot showing anonymized name and image of student

When downloading the assessment file, the names of the students are replaced with the same random characters. So, it is still possible to upload a feedback file or give a grade, for example.

Note: Once all students have been assessed and grades calculated, it is possible to reveal the names of the students. (A setting controlled by the school sys admin determines this: Edit global settings >> Features and security (Anonymous activities). Three options are available: 

  • Student names remain hidden in the activity, but results are visible in the course reports.
  • Student names are shown when assessments are completed and results are visible
  • Student names remain hidden and results will not be visible in course reports.

Students will be informed that this is an anonymous assignment with a message next to the answer button. In addition they can see the setting on the side panel. The anonymous assignment works just like any regular assignment. 


Group activities

The itslearning platform makes creating group assignments easier than ever before! 

Click Add → Assignment. Add a title, description, and deadline. To make it collaborative, check off the 'group activity' box. You have the option to create the groups for the students or allow students to create their own. 

Watch the video

There are 2 options:

  • 'Students create groups': Students can freely create their own groups by inviting other students in the course
  • 'Use course group': These groups are usually predefined by the teacher.

The assignment can be changed into a group assignment (or vice versa) until there is at least 1 submission.

Students create groups

When students are allowed to create their own groups, they can invite other students to work together on the assignment.

Until the student has created a group - or has chosen to work alone (submit individually) - it is not possible to answer the assignment.

To create a group, students type in the name of the student(s) they want to collaborate with.

When saving the created group, invited members will get a notifications that they have been added to a group.

In the assignment itself, the group members are shown at the top of the page. It is now possible to start answering the assignment.

To add or remove members, a group member can click the Edit group button. This opens the same dialog as the one for creating the group. It is also possible to withdraw from a group.

Note that changing a group is currently only possible as long as there is no answer submitted.

Use course groups

With course groups, a student can submit using one of the existing course groups they are a member of. These groups are created and managed by the teacher.

Instead of 'Create your group', the assignment will show the button 'Select your group'. Clicking it will list all groups the student is a member of.

As long as there are no answers, the student can select another group - if available - or choose to submit the answer on their own.


When being added to a group, the student will get a notification (bell icon). The same happens when a group member withdraws from the group.

There is also a notification when a student submits an answer on behalf of the group.

And when an answer is saved as a draft

Assessing groups

In general assessing a group answer works in the same way as assessing individual answers. YThe teacher will be able to see the members of the group.

The assessment given on the answer will be given to all members of the group. It is currently not possible to give a different assessment for certain group members.

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