Assign handwritten work

If students are submitting handwritten, you can give them instructions on how to scan and submit the work from their smartphones. While students can send you the scan a variety of ways, the instructions give an easy way for students to submit their work directly to a Moodle Assignment activity.

Pros:  Free. Relatively simple. You can share these scanning instructions with your class.

Cons: Annotating online is not as easy and marking up on a piece of paper.

Expert:   Alex Savoth, Sharon Strauss, Charles Woodard

Voice Thread for student audio or video assignments

Voicethread is a great tool for collecting audio from students. It will also work for short video assignments or performances. 

Pros: Lightweight, done entirely within the browser so students don’t have to download any extra software, integration with Moodle, accepts a wide variety of media formats.

Cons: Requires an internet connection to use. Archiving presentations is somewhat of a tedious and cumbersome process. 
Expert: Hiroyo Saito, Sharon Strauss, Charles Woodard, Alex Savoth

Moodle Questionnaire for Feedback

Description: The Questionnaire tool within Moodle is one option for getting feedback. It can be anonymous, if desired. It is a good option if you use Moodle heavily and you want an easy way to restrict a set of questions to those in your class. It is possible to see which completed a questionnaire, but still keep those responses anonymous. Qualtrics and Google Forms are similar options, but are not as easily restricted to your students.

Pros: Simple to create a questionnaire and share it with your students. Can easily collect aggregated, and to share, responses to each question.

Cons: Hard to create a report with each individual student’s survey response, showing all answers by that student.

Expert: Sharon Strauss

Google Forms for Feedback

Google Forms provides a flexible way to gather feedback from any set of users. You can include questions with prose responses, or scaled ratings and multiple choice answers.  Results are assembled in a spreadsheet, but Google forms will also summarize answers to questions with preset answers or ratings. as charts and diagrams.  Moodle Surveys provides another way to gather feedback, but it is hard to assure anonymity in that platform.  Google Forms can be either attributed or anonymous, so they are especially good for course evaluations.

Learn more about Google Forms here, or view this sample course evaluation, which you can copy and adapt.  Note that you will need to adjust the settings of any form to allow BMC students to submit answers.

Pros:  Free, included as part of Haverford Gsuite, anonymous if needed.


Expert:   Richard Freedman

Formative Assessments using an Anonymous Moodle Questionnaire

If you want to allow anonymous responses to questions, you can use the Moodle Questionnaire activity. Question types are more limited than in the quiz activity, and it does not give you an option to provide automatic feedback to selected responses. However, this is a good way to get a pulse on how the class is doing with a lesson or how they are feeling about an idea.

Pros:  Responses can be anonymous. However, if desired, you can still see who has and has not submitted responses.

Cons:  Limited question types. No automatic feedback to selected answers.

Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Untimed Written Evaluations in Moodle

Either the Moodle Quiz or the Moodle Assignment will work for untimed tests. The quiz activity will allow automatic grading of some question types, as well as feedback. The assignment activity allows both written and audio/video content, either as part of the instructions or the submitted materials. However, with the exception of audio or video under two minutes in length, content needs to be stored outside of the Moodle server (YouTube, Vimeo, Flipgrid, etc.) and linked or embedded.

Pros:  Compared with timed evaluations, the untimed option does not put students with slow or intermittent internet at a disadvantage.  

Cons: You can ask students to take pictures of written work, but unless they do this using a PDF conversion tool (GeniusScan, Camscan, etc.) it may be hard to work with those uploads

Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Submitting Student Work in Moodle Assignment

The Moodle Assignment is a great way to collect student work and reply with many types of private feedback. You can:

In addition to online assignments, you can suggest students scan or photograph handwritten work or objects they create. 

Pros: All student work is time stamped and submitted in one place. It ties to the Moodle grade book and provides a way to give students private feedback.

Cons:  If you are expecting students to upload audio or video, the files of longer than a couple of minutes will be too large. Look at other options for those multimedia projects. Such options include VoiceThread, FlipGrid, and YouTube. You can have students use Moodle to submit a link to multiple projects created outside of Moodle.

Expert: Sharon Strauss

Formative assessments and low stakes quizzes in Moodle

You can use an ungraded Moodle Quiz as a way to check in with your students before or during a unit to see areas that need clarification or discussion. The Quiz tool also can also be set to allow students to take a particular assessment multiple times, and lets you give feedback about each reply—often automatically, depending on the type of question. 

Pros:  Students can take the quiz as many times as you allow. Through automated feedback, you can show students why a response is right or wrong–or give any other sort of feedback that you wish. Once you create questions, you can reuse them for interlaced exercises and future classes.

Cons: There is a bit of a learning curve on understanding how to set up a quiz. However, once you learn the concepts, you can use the quiz for both formative and summative assessments. Note that while Questionnaires in Moodle can be anonymous, Quizzes cannot.

Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Timed Evaluations in Moodle

You can deliver just about any kind of timed written test that you might want via Moodle using the quiz module (see this helpful video to learn how). In the quiz setting, set the desired time limit, the number of attempts allowed, and question behavior. Then add your quiz questions, including automated feedback when appropriate. See this helpful video and also these written instructions on quiz settings and quiz questions.

You can override the time setting for individual groups or individual students (for instance, those who might have an accommodation letter). If a student loses power and/or connectivity during a test, and thus times out, you can clear out a student’s attempt and let them start again.

Pros:  Moodle is available for all students. This tool easily integrates with the Moodle gradebook and allows for automatic grading on some question types. Questions can be reused in other courses, either by peer teachers or other courses you teach–allowing you to build up a question bank over years.

Cons: Students with slow or intermittent connectivity will be disadvantaged by timed tests taken online. Complicated for you and for you and your students, if students need to upload images of written work. 

Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Evaluation and Feedback in Moodle


If you want to give grades or feedback to your students privately, Moodle is a great tool–especially when you cannot just hand back a paper copy of an assignment in class. The Moodle gradebook lets you see and update all student grade information at once. However, students see only their own information.

You can set up a gradebook to match the grading scheme in your syllabus. SUNY Potsdam has great instructions for setting up your gradebook. In addition to calculating numerical totals, you can use the gradebook to give feedback comments or just note that an assignment was completed. 

Note: Moodle activities are automatically included in the gradebook if you select the grade option for that activity in the settings.

Pros: Tool is widely available, with appropriate access privileges already set up in Moodle

Cons:  Gradebook is a little awkward for the instructor to use. “Handwritten” notes are possible, but only with a lot of effort.

Expert:  Sharon Strauss