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Assessment Dropbox

Consolidating all aspects of assessment and submission online.

Creating an Assessment Dropbox

The Dropbox 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.

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

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

Step One: Access the Assessment Dropbox

1. In a unit space from Assessments select Dropbox.

navbar assessment dropbox 2

2. Select New Folder.

create a new folder

3. Enter a Name, using the same name as the unit guide, grade item and rubric.

enter dropbox name


Step Two: Link to a Grade Item

Although you can create a Grade Item in the dropbox folder, it is recommended to first create all Grade Items in the Gradebook. See Creating a Grade Item

1. Select Ungraded from Grade Out Of, to activate the Points and Gradebook settings, then enter the total points.
Total points may be different from the total weight, for example, you could score the assignment (and rubric) out of 100 points with a total weight of 25% for the unit.

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


2. From In Gradebook select Edit or Link to Existing.

in gradebook edit or link to existing

3. Select Link to an existing grade item then select the required grade item from the dropdown list.

4. Select OK to confirm. 

edit or link to existing

Step Three: Submission and Completion settings

1. Expand Submission & Completion.

expand submissions and completion

2. Select an Assignment Type.

Groups must be created before creating a Group Submission Dropbox. Visit the Creating and Managing Student Groups for more information. 

Option 1: Individual Submission

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

individual assignment is selected 2

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.

group assignment and groups is selected

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. 

submission type file submission

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 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.

expand evaulation and feedback

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. 

expand availability dates and conditions

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.

expand availability dates and conditions

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.

expand availability dates and conditions

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

New Dropbox Layout Manage Special Access


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.

expand submissions and completion

2. From Submission Type select Text submission

submission type text submission

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

save and close


Further Support

Visit the VU Collaborate Help site at for up to date information and resources on blended learning or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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