Assessment Dropbox

Consolidating all aspects of assessment and submission online.

Creating and editing an Assessment Dropbox

Dropbox provides an online location for students to submit assessments, and receive grades and feedback.
Set up a Dropbox folder for each assessment, select submission dates, file types, individual or group submissions and more.


Watch this short video to learn how to create an Assessment Dropbox.


On this page:

Create a Dropbox

1. In a space on the navbar, select Assessments (1), then Dropbox (2).

assessment dropbox

2. Create a new dropbox folder, or edit an exisiting dropbox.

Create a New Folder

a. Select New Folder.

new folder

b. Enter a Name (1), using the same name as the grade item and rubric.

assessment name

Edit an existing folder

a. From the Dropbox name menu (1), select Edit Folder (2).

edit dropbox folder


Enter a Grade and Link to a Grade Item

Link to Existing Grade Item
In this step, it is recommended to link to an existing grade item to ensure the weighting is correctly set, see Creating a Grade Item.
When no grade item is selected a new grade item with the default weight of 10% is created.

1. In Grade Out Of, enter the Total Points (1) the assessment will be marked out of.
Total points may be different from the total weight, for example an assessment (and rubric) marked out of 100 points, can have a total weight of 25% for the unit.

2. From In Gradebook (2) select Edit or Link to Existing (3).

enter grade details

3. In the pop-up window, select Link to an existing grade item (1) then select the required grade item (2) from the dropdown list.

4. Select OK (3) to confirm. 

link to existing grade item

Dates and Availability Conditions

Due Date (set in the delivery space)

Due date is the date and time when a submission is due, past this time a submission will be marked at late.

1. From Due Date (1), enter a date in DD/MM/YYYY format, or select date (2) from the mini calendar.

select due date

Start and End Dates (set in the delivery space)

2. Expand Availability Dates & Conditions (1).

availability and dates panel

3. Select start and end dates

  • Start date (2) - first time assessments can be submitted
  • End date (3) - last time assessments can be submitted

release conditions start and end dates

Release Conditions and Special Access (set in the delivery space)

  • Release Conditions (4) - students are unable to access or view the dropbox until the release conditions are met. See Using Release Conditions for more information. 
  • Special Access (5) - provide access to either
    (a) only a select group of students i.e. one class, or
    (b) individualised access for select users, that differ from the rest of the class i.e. extention of due date. See  Add Special Access for more information.

release conditions and special access


Submission and Completion settings

1. Expand Submission & Completion.

expand submissions and completions panel

Assignment Type (group or individual)

Group Assessments
A Group Category must be created before creating a Group Submission Dropbox, see Creating and Managing Student Groups.

2. Select an Assignment Type.

Option 1: Individual Submission

By default, Individual Assignment will be selected. This option allows students to submit their assessments as individuals.

select individual submission


Option 2: Group Submission

If you wish for students to submit their assessments as a group (one or more submissions per group), select Group Assignment and proceed to select the Group Category.

select group category

Submission Type

3. Select submission type

  • 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. 

submission type file submission

Files (number and types)

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 i.e. ".TXT".

Dropbox Files allowed and restrictions


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.

select submissions

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


Evaluation and Feedback

1. Expand Evaluation & Feedback.

expand evaluation and feedback panel


In this step, it is recommended to link to an existing Rubric. If the rubric has not yet been created, see Rubrics.

1. To assist in the evaluation, marking and providing feedback for student submissions, you can use a Rubric. 
2. Select Add rubric (1), then select Add Existing (2).
If a rubric has not yet been created, see Rubrics.
3. You can Search (3) to locate your rubric, tick (4) to select, then click Add Selected (5) to attach the rubric to the Dropbox.
4. Once the rubric has been added you can expand inline, to see what it will look like when evaluating a student's assessment. 

select existing rubric and add

Learning Objectives, Annotation Tools and Anonymous Marking

  • Learning Objectives (1): Learning Objects attached to the assessment. Select only if required.
  • Annotation Tools (2): Enables annotation for the submitted document. Keep selected.
  • Anonymous Marking (3): This allows for the anonymous marking of students identities from the person marking said assessment. This is not recommended unless required. 

select learning objectives annotations anonymous marking

Turnitin Similarity Check

Turnitin is returning in Semester 2 Block 1 2023
Turnitin is returning in July 2023, replacing Ouriginal (Urkund) by November 2023. During this time Ouriginal (Urkund) will continue to be available allowing time for the transition. 
See Enabling Turnitin Similarity Check for more information.

Before you begin

1. Enter a Due Date and select Save or you will receive an error message when you try to enable the similarity check.
2. Check that Urkund/Ouriginal is not turned on in the Dropbox - Originality Check

Manage Turnitin

3. Scroll to the bottom of the Evaluation & Feedback panel and select Manage Turnitin.

 select manage turnitin

4. See Enabling Turnitin Similarity Check to select settings.



Dropbox Visibility

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 (2), visibility is available for students
  • When utterly white with the eye icon slashed (1), visibility is not available for students.

change visibility  


Use Case - Creating a Text Only Dropbox

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. Expand Submission & Completion.

2. From Submission Type select Text submission

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



Further Support

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