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Flu-Proof Your Course: Assignments

An assignment is due in your course, but a student is ill and unable to attend your class to submit it. What are you (and your student) to do?

One obvious solution is to use email. You could direct your students to email their assignments to you as an attachment. While this is easy to do, accepting assignments via email has its downsides. You will have to open, download and properly save (& archive) all assignments. Also, you cannot set up submission windows to automatically control when assignments are turned into you, nor can you easily enforce a “cut off” date. And it can be rather unwieldy to manage all the emails you would receive if accepting assignment submissions from all students across multiple courses.

WolfWare, NC State’s suite of tools for online teaching, offers a much better solution. Instructors can set up a Moodle space for their class and create an assignment that accepts online submissions. The submission can be plain text, attachments or even a webpage – all of which the instructor can easily view, comment on, grade, and return to the student. And this process is private: only you and the individual student can view the assignment and grade (unless the assignment has been set up as a group project.) One major bonus of this approach is that all the data are stored on NCSU servers and you do not have to take extra steps to save and archive the files. You can also set up submission windows for each assignment, which will help enforce due dates.

For more details, see our FAQ about the assignment tool in Moodle. And for help additional help, contact DELTA’s LearnTech Help Desk at or call 919-513-7094. You can also request an in-person consultation using our online request form.