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Assessment Dropbox

Consolidating all aspects of assessment and submission online.

Creating an Assessment Dropbox

The Dropbox tool allows you to set up assessments that students can submit online.

You can set up separate Dropbox folders for each assessment and select settings such as due dates. Once students have submitted to the dropbox, you can view, download, check submission times, grade, provide feedback, and then publish grades and feedback back to the student, all from within the Dropbox tool.

 Below are steps to walk you through creating an Assessment Dropbox Folder:

Step One: Access the Assessment Dropbox Tool 

1. Select Dropbox from the Assessments dropdown menu.

Select Assessments in the Navbar to activate the dropdown box and select Dropbox

2. Then select New Folder.

create a new folder

3. Enter a (1) Name,  using the same name as the unit guide, grade item and rubric.
Enter additional Instructions (2) or attach supporting files (3) to further inform students on what is required for the assessment task. 

enter name

New attach options are now available when creating a Dropbox. They include the following:

  • File Upload - Upload a file or document to attach to the dropbox as a possible downloadable document.
  • Attach Link to Existing Activity - Link other pages, activities, modules and external software to the dropbox. For example, you may attach a BuddyCheck activity to the assessment.
  • Attach Weblink - Attach a clickable website link
  • Attach from Google Drive - Open Google Drive to attach a document.
  • Attach from OneDrive - Open OneDrive to attach a document.
  • Record Audio - Record an audio file explaining what the assessment is about or its criteria.
  • Record Video - Record a video for others to watch explaining what the assessment is about or its criteria.


Step Two: Submission, Completion and Categorisation

1. Select Submission & Completion to open the dropdown settings to showcase settings associated with Submission and Completion of Assessment.

New Dropbox Layout Select Submission Completion to open the dropdown settings to showcase the following settings

2. Select an Assignment Type. Individual assignment will be selected by default. However, students will have the ability to submit their assignments; if you wish for students to submit group assignments, select Group Assignment and proceed to select the Group Category.

Groups must be created before creating a Group Submission Dropbox. Visit the Creating and Managing Custom Groups in VU Collaborate Manager for more information. 

New Dropbox Layout Submission options

3. Click the down-arrow icon icon arrow down under Submission type to expand further options for your Assessment Dropbox Folder.

  • File submission: Students upload their assessments to the Dropbox folder.
  • Text submission: Students type their assessment within the Dropbox folder and then submit.  Useful when you need a link to another site where a student has created something, such as a YouTube clip.
  • On paper submission: Students completed a paper-based assessment and don't need to submit anything. The dropbox is used to register completion of the assessment with marks and feedback, use a rubric if wished and have grades added to the gradebook. 
  • Observed in person: Students completed their assessment under the observation of an assessor and didn't need to submit anything.   The dropbox has the rubric for each student, register completion of the assessment with marks and feedback, and have grades added to the gradebook. 

New Dropbox Layout Submission Type

4. Control how many files students can submit at any one time in the Files Allowed Per Submission setting.

5. You can also set restrictions for file extensions on specific assessment submissions in the Allowable File Extensions setting.

  • PDF only: only PDFs can be submitted.
  • Annotatable Files: refer to Using the Annotations Tool to Provide Feedback on Dropbox Submissions guide for more information.
  • Files that can be previewed without any conversion: .HTM, .HTML, .MHT, .MHTML, and .BMP
  • Images and Videos: JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF, TIFF, SWF, MPG, MPEG, RM, MP3, MP4, M4V, M4A, AVI, WAV, RAM, ASF, MOV, RA
  • Custom File Types: enter a specific file extension that is allowed for assessments.

Dropbox Files allowed and restrictions

If you choose the Custom File Types option, ensure you place a dot in front of the file type. For example, if you want students to submit a TXT file only, you need to enter it as .TXT in the textbox, or the system will return an error message below.

Dropbox custom file types with error message

6. Choose if students can re-submit to the Dropbox Folder through the Submissions setting.

  • All submissions are kept: Students can re-submit as many times as they desire, showing all previous submissions to teaching staff.
  • Only one submission allowed: Students are not able to re-submit to the Dropbox folder. 
  • Only the most recent submission is kept: Each time a student submits to the Dropbox folder, it replaces the previous submission.

7. You may enter your staff email or other email types to receive notifications when students submit a file or document into the dropbox.

Dropbox submissions and notification email


Step Three: Create a new Grade Item or Link to an Existing one

3.1. Create a new Grade Item from the Dropbox

Although you can create a Grade Item in the dropbox folder, it is better to have all Grade Items made before beginning dropboxes. Visit Setting up the Gradebook to learn how to manage your grades for all assessment activities effectively

1. Select Ungraded from Grade Out Of to activate the Points system and Grade Item Settings for this dropbox. You may enter your assessment's total points; this may be different from the weight of an assessment. For example, you could score the assignment (and rubric) out of 100 and have it weighted at 25% of the total score for the unit. 

By default, it will automatically create and link to a new grade item in the gradebook. 

Dropbox Grade Out Of selected 1  Dropbox Grade Out Of selected 2

2. You can also check or modify some settings of the newly created Grade Item, such as Grade Type and Grade Scheme, by selecting the option Edit or Link to Existing from the In Gradebook dropdown menu.

Dropbox In Gradebook selection

 3. In the Edit or Link to Existing window, the option Create and link to a new grade item is selected by default. This option will create a new grade item in your grade book, named after the dropbox and will receive the associated points. The weight and other settings will need to be edited after the dropbox has been saved and finalised.

  • You can also add the new grade item to an existing category through Choose Grade Category.
  • Select Change Grade Type & Scheme to review and modify grading type and scheme if needed.

1 edit or link to existing

Grade Type & Scheme: 

  • Numeric: numeric grade items receive a numerical score (80/100).
  • Selectbox: when entering student grades, the instructor will have the option to choose from a dropdown list ( If you choose Grade Scheme as HE Grading Scheme, it will give you a list of HD, D, C, P, N to select ).

2 change grade scheme in dropbox

Grade Scheme: you can select your unit grading scheme from the dropdown list. By default, you will have three options: Percentage Scheme (%), HE Grading Scheme and HE Postgraduate Grading Scheme. For more information on Creating a Grade Scheme, refer to this guide: Creating a Grade Scheme.

3 grade scheme lists

4. After reviewing all the changes, you can select OK to save your settings.

Dropbox In Gradebook Edit or Link to Existing option step 5


3.2. Link your Dropbox Folder to an existing grade item

Another way to associate a Dropbox with your gradebook is to link an Assessment Dropbox to an existing Grade Item.

In the Edit or Link to Existing window, select the radio button associated with Link to an existing grade item to attach a Grade Item to the created dropbox. In addition, you can choose the dropdown menu to view a list of Grade Items currently available within your space.

Once done, select Ok to attach the Grade Item to the dropbox. 

Dropbox In Gradebook Edit or Link to Existing option step 4


Step Four: Linking to a Rubric 

It's highly recommended that you create the rubric firstensuring the rubric's name matches the assessment name, i.e., Assessment 1 - Case Study. Visit Rubrics to learn how to create a rubric within VU Collaborate. 

1. To assist in the evaluation, marking and providing feedback for student submissions, you can use a Rubric. Select Evaluation & Feedback to open the dropdown settings to showcase settings associated with Evaluation and Feedback of Assessment.

Dropbox attaching a rubric

2. Select Add rubric to activate a dropdown selection. You may choose Add Existing to select a rubric from your collection or Create New to edit a new one to attach to the assessment.

New Dropbox Layout Select Add rubric to either select a rubric from your collection or create a new one

3. Tick an existing Rubric from your list and select Add Selected to attach the rubric to the Dropbox.

New Dropbox Layout Adding an existing Rubric to a Dropbox

4. Once the rubric has been inserted into the dropbox; you can select the added rubric to see what it will look like when evaluating a student's assessment. 

To delete the rubric, click on the icon to the right of the added rubric. 

Delete a Rubric

5. Learning Objectives and other settings are located within the Evaluation & Feedback dropdown. 

Learning Objectives

  • Learning Objectives: Learning Objects attached to the assessment.
  • Annotation Tools: Enables annotation for the submitted document. This is automatically ticked.
  • Anonymous Marking: This allows for the anonymous marking of students identities from the person marking said assessment. This is not recommended unless required. 


Step Five: Allow Students to View the Assessment Dropbox

All Assessment Dropbox folders are hidden from student view by defaultTo ensure that students can see the Assessment Dropbox on VU Collaborate:

1. Located on the bottom of the page is a Visibility button, defaulted to hide users' assessment dropbox. To make the dropbox visible, click on the eye icon. 

  • If it's blue with an eye icon within, visibility is available for students
  • When utterly white with the eye icon slashed, visibility is not available for students.

Dropbox Visibility  Dropbox Invisibility

2. To add a Due Date and Time of the assessment, click on the calendar icon located under the name of the Dropbox to activate a dropdown calendar to select a date. Next, enter a cut off time for the assessment, e.g., 16:30. 

The clock follows a 24-hour format. 

New Dropbox Layout Select the Due Date setting to activate a dropdown calendar

3. The Start Date and End Date settings can now be found by selecting the Availability Dates & Conditions dropdown. 

New Dropbox Layout Availability Dates Conditions to open the dropdown settings

4. Select both Start Date and End Date text boxes to activate a dropdown calendar and selection for both date and time settings. 

New Dropbox Layout Select Availability Dates Conditions to select the Start End Date of the assessment

  • Due Date: Once this date lapses, students that submit to the Dropbox Folder will be flagged in red as late.
  • Start Date: When students can start submitting to the Dropbox Folder.
  • End Date: Once this date lapses, students can no longer see the Dropbox Folder. 


Step Six: Choose Availability Settings (Optional)

6.1 Add Release Conditions

Using Release Conditions, you can make the Assessment Dropbox Folder open to specific students.

1. The Release Condition settings can be found by selecting the Availability Dates & Conditions dropdown.

New Dropbox Layout Availability Dates Conditions to open the dropdown settings

2. Using Release Conditions, you can make the Assessment Dropbox Folder open or hidden for certain students who need to meet the chosen criteria.

3. Select Add Release Condition to activate a dropdown menu. You can select Create New to create a new condition or Add Existing to select premade conditions you have made.

See the guide Using Release Conditions for further information. 

New Dropbox Layout Release Conditions

6.2 Add Special Access

Special Access allows you to add students to a whitelist, which will enable them to bypass the available dates listed above.

You may find this useful later on in the semester when students are requesting assignment extensions. Visit the guide Add Special Access for more information.

1. To add Special Access, select the Availability Dates & Conditions dropdown.

New Dropbox Layout Availability Dates Conditions to open the dropdown settings

2. Select Manage Special Access to open special access settings.

New Dropbox Layout Manage Special Access


Creating a Text Only Dropbox (Optional)

Text only dropboxes restrict assignment submissions to text that can be entered in the submission process. This can be useful when you require links from students to files hosted outside of VU Collaborate, such as to a website or if the assignment is a video. The method for creating a text-only dropbox is very similar to creating a regular dropbox and only requires a slight change in the submission type.

1. Select Submission & Completion to open the dropdown to showcase settings associated with Submission and Completion of Assessment.

New Dropbox Layout Select Submission Completion to open the dropdown settings to showcase the following settings

2. To enable Text Only Submissions, click the Submission Type dropdown arrow icon arrow down under the Submission Type subheading and select Text submission

New Dropbox Layout Text Submission

3. If you have finished creating your dropbox, select Save and Close.

Dropbox Save and Close


Further Support

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Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service for further technical support.

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