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

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