Learning Technology

Marking online when a student has not submitted a physical assignment (Turnitin and Moodle)

January 9th, 2015 at 09:01

In Moodle assignments and within Turnitin you can add a mark and feedback even if students haven’t actually submitted anything.

Why might you want to do this?

There are many types of assessment that don’t include the generation of a text that can be submitted online. They might include:

  • Presentation
  • Performance
  • Creation of a physical object such as an artwork
  • Participation in a discussion
  • Fieldwork
  • Lab tasks
  • Practical skills assessment
  • Oral / interview

Creating an assignment within the online learning environment has the advantages that

  • information about the assignment can be given to students
  • the deadline is automatically included in the Calendar as a reminder
  • marks can be given
  • feedback can be given

Setting up the Moodle assignment is exactly the same as for a submitted assignment but students can be clearly told that no submission is necessary. Marking can go ahead as normal with all feedback options (except PDF annotation) being available to the marker.


It is also possible to add (overall) comments and a grade to an assignment in Turnitin even though the student has not submitted a text.  Clicking on the grey pencil against a student who has not submitted will insert a “Grading template” and a Turnitin paper ID – even though there is no paper. Given that Turnitin is best used in cases where text needs to be checked for originality we would recommend that Moodle Assignments without Turnitin are used for this purpose.

In most circumstances it’s a good idea to avoid clicking on grey pencil icons. They turn blue when an assignment has been submitted and is available for marking.

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