Assessment Dropbox

Consolidating all aspects of assessment and submission online.

Using the Annotations Tool to Provide Feedback on Dropbox Submissions

This guide shows you how to provide feedback, by adding annotations to assessment submission in the dropbox.

Dropbox Annotation tool currently supports the following files:
Text document: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt, .ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx, .odp, .xls, .xlsx, .txt
Image file: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .gif (once converted to PDF, only the first frame of the .gif displays)


On this page:

For a comment bank full of ready-made feedback statements, see this document.


Step One: Acess the dropbox

1. In your VU Collaborate space on the navigation bar, click Assessments then Dropbox

Access to Dropbox 

2. Click on the Assessment Dropbox name to go to the submissions folder, then select the submission file to view the assessment submission.

select a dropbox submission 

3. The grading view will take a couple of seconds to load. It includes the Annotation Tool and grading panel.

Annotation Tool Overall Layouts


Step Two: Add Annotations


1.  Select the Drawing option, choose pen colour and other settings from the options toolbar, then write or draw directly on the document.

Annotate with drawings

2. The Freeform Highlight option allows you to highlight anywhere on the document.

Annotate with freeform highlight

3. The Text Highlight option allows you to highlight text in a document.

Annotate with highlight

4. The Eraser function is helpful to undo or make changes to markups made using the drawing pen or highlighter.

annotate eraser

5. When you click on the Note icon, it allows you to add comments by clicking on any section in the document. This note also can be customised in the toolbar with different colours or accompanied by symbols, like the "star" or "a check".

Annotation Tool Add Notes

Text comments

6. You have the option to add comments anywhere in the document using the Insert Text Box option

Annotation Tool Add Text Box


7. You can also add Lines, Arrows, or Rectangle shapes to the document wherever necessary.

Annotation Tool Add Arrows

Delete annotations

8. To remove any annotation notes or shapes, you can select that annotation and click on the Trash icon on the top right. Alternatively, you can use Undo or Delete on your keyboard.

delete annotation

Print and download

9. There is also an option to Print the document, including your annotation notes.

print annotation

10. You can also download student submissions as original file formats or annotations (this option will download the document as a PDF file).



11. To search for any specific word or phrase within the submission, you can click on the magnifying glass and enter the search key. This option will highlight any matching words within the document.


Publish or Save Draft

12. Once you are satisfied with the annotation feedback provided, you can then mark the document using the same method of grading dropbox submissions (including providing Rubric grading, Overall Grade and Overall Feedback). When complete select Publish to release grades and feedback, or Save Draft to save changes, then publish all feedback when all grading is complete.

 publish or save draft

To prevent students from viewing feedback prematurely, Save Draft for each submission. Then, when readyBulk Publishing Feedback in VU Collaborate for all students allows them to view their feedback and the grade values to be sent to the Gradebook.


Further Support

Contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for information and resources on technology-enhanced learning, or visit
Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service for technical support.

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