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Create an assignment


The Assignments tool in D2L Brightspace allows you to set up a place for students to submit their assignments digitally, with the ability to:

  • Control the window for submission.
  • Facilitate individual submissions or group submissions (provided the groups have been set up using the Groups tool first).
  • Collect and assess submissions (with a connection to the Grades tool, if needed).
  • Enable plagiarism detection through Turnitin®.

Some assignments require plagiarism detection using Turnitin Feedback Studio. This feature can be added to any D2L Brightspace assignment through the options in the Turnitin® tab. Since this process requires some special consideration, please review our instructions on how to Enable Turnitin Feedback Studio® for assignments.

Note: If you do not see Assignments in the top navigation, under Assessment, please review our tutorial to learn how to enable course tools.

Group assignments tip: If you wish to create group assignments where one student from each group submits for the group (and all members of a group receive the same grade and feedback), please use the Groups tool. It is not possible to create an individual submission folder and then change it to a group submission folder once students have started submitting the assignment.

Text submission assignments tips: At this time, we do not recommend using Turnitin for a text submission assignment. The assignment will not display as expected in Turnitin Feedback Studio. If you wish to use Turnitin, please use a file-based submission instead.

Please also note that if you create a text submission assignment, and then change your mind, you cannot change it to a file-based submission. You will need to create a brand new assignment.


Create an assignment
  1. On the Assignment Submission Folders page, click New Submission Folder.
Create an assignment
  1. Enter a Name.

    Select a Folder Type:
    Individual submission folder Select this option if the assignment is an individual assignment.
    Group submission folder Select this option if this is a group assignment, with one submission per group. You must associate the folder with a Group Category. This option is only available if you have created groups in your course. Read the tutorial about how to create groups. If you haven't previously created the groups, we recommend using the groups tool, and creating your group assignment at the same time, within the Groups tool.

    Note: Group submission areas are marked on the Assignment Submission Folders page with the Group Submissions icon. Any group member can submit and view files for a group assignment submission folder.

    Please keep in mind that once you set the folder type, you cannot change it, so be certain of your decision before proceeding.

    Select from the Category drop-down list if you want to assign a category. You can click the New Category link to create a new category. This is an optional field.
Create an assignment
  1. Associate the assignment with a Grade Item if you want submissions tied to an item in your grade book. Click the New Grade Item link to create a new grade item for the assignment.

    Enter a value in the Out Of field for the assignment score.

    If you associate the assignment with a grade item, maintain consistency for your students by matching the value of the Out Of field to the grade item's Max. Points value.

    Click Add Rubric to associate the assignment with a rubric. Click the Create Rubric in New Window link if you want to create a new rubric. You can also select an existing rubric and set it as the Default Scoring Rubric. Learn more about how to create and use rubrics, including controlling visibility of rubrics to students.
Create an assignment
  1. Add Instructions for users.
the Restrictions tab in an assignment

Files, links and existing activities from your Brightspace course can be added to assignment submission folders as attachments. These may be materials that will assist students with their assignment, such as guidelines, examples, or related quizzes they have completed.

To attach an item to your assignment submission folder, click on Add Attachment.

the Restrictions tab in an assignment
the Restrictions tab in an assignment
the Restrictions tab in an assignment

To add a file, such as a Word or PDF document, click on File, and then My Computer and follow the instructions to either drag and drop or navigate to add your file(s).

the Restrictions tab in an assignment
the Restrictions tab in an assignment

To add a link, click on Link, and fill in the link URL and Title before clicking on Insert. Make sure to include the http://... portion of the URL.

the Restrictions tab in an assignment
the Restrictions tab in an assignment
the Restrictions tab in an assignment

To link to existing activities in your course, choose Existing Activity, and then navigate, first by type of course material, such as content or quizzes, then folders or modules/sub-modules if necessary, then select the particular item, and it will be loaded. When linking to an existing activity, the appropriate tool icon will be displayed next to the link.

the Restrictions tab in an assignment

Record Audio:
You also have the ability to record an audio file by clicking on the "Record audio file" button. You need to have a microphone on your device. Click on the Record button to begin recording. Click again to pause recording.

You might need to adjust the Flash settings in your web browser to enable recording, which may require restarting your browser or computer. Consider attaching a text transcript of your recording as a separate file to make your material more accessible.

Additional Recording Options:
Use the play icon to play back your recording. Click the play icon again to pause playback.

If you click record after pausing playback, you can record over audio previously recorded after that point in playback.

the Restrictions tab in an assignment

If Submission Options are collapsed, click on Show Submission Options.

5. Submission Requirements: You can now choose to either ask students to upload a file for their submission, or ask students to create text documents for submission directly in Assignments using a rich text editor, eliminating the need to attach a file.

To ask students to upload a file, select File based submission, attachment required. You can then also decide whether to allow unlimited uploads, or just one submission per student.

Please note: If you allow multiple uploads, you can avoid last minute emails from students who noticed a problem or made some improvements to their assignment, and want to resubmit before the deadline.

OR to ask students to submit a rich text document using the editor in Brightspace, select Text submission, no file required. This option can be particularly good for brief assignments, where there is no need for a lot of formatting.

Please note: This is not recommended for Turnitin-enabled assignments, as the submission currently displays in an undesirable way in Turnitin Feedback Studio.

Also, please note that if you create a text submission assignment, and then change your mind, you cannot change it to a file-based submission. You will need to create a brand new assignment.

6. Under Submissions, you can decide whether all submissions are kept, only the most recent submission is kept, or only one submission is allowed. We usually recommend keeping all submissions.

7. If you wish to receive an email notification each time a student uploads an assignment, type your email address into the Notification Email field. Multiple email addresses can be comma-separated, if desired. Most instructors do not want this.

8. Click Save.

The Restrictions Tab


The availability section allows you to control the start, due and end date of your assignment folder. The start date marks the date and time students can begin submitting files to the folder. The due date marks the exact time the assignment is due. If an end date is set, students will no longer be allowed to submit a file to the folder. If there is no end date, or the end date is later than the due date, students can still submit an assignment past the due date but it is marked as late. All assignments are time-stamped.

the Restrictions tab in an assignment

Release Conditions

Create new, or attach existing, release conditions if you want the assignment submission folder to be available to users only after they fulfill other specified tasks. You can edit and change release conditions by clicking the Remove icon or Remove All Conditions.

Special Access

If students have accessibility requirements that allow them extended time to work on an assignment, you can grant students special access by clicking Add Users to Special Access. You can customize unique start, due and end dates for these students only.


Modifying Date/Time for Select Students

You can change the start, due, and end date of a particular assignment for students with special access, allowing them extra time without a late designation to the assignment.

Create an assignment
  1. When editing the submission folder, click the Restrictions tab.
  2. Select if you want to allow students with special access to submit outside the normal time/date constraints (default) or if you only want students with special access to see this submission folder (only recommended if this is a separate folder created for particular students).
  3. Click Add User to Special Access.
Create an assignment
  1. Change the start, due and end dates for the student(s).
  2. Check off the students with special access. You can filter by section or group here.
  3. Click Save.