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Introduction to assignments and assignment groups

Assignments are graded coursework. After creating assignments, your students can then interact with them in various ways (taking tests, uploading files, leaving comments, etc.), and you, in turn, can grade them. As you grade assignments, Populi automatically calculates your students' final course grades based on how you've weighted the assignments.

Assignments and assignment groups

Assignment groups are broad categories of assignments. For example:

  • Readings
  • Papers
  • Lab Work

Assignments are particular items of graded course work. For example:

  • Read chapters 1-8 of The Elements of Style
  • 1,000-word essay on Wendell Berry
  • Dissect drosophilia melanogaster

The distinction between assignment groups and assignments gives you two options for how you grade your course. 

  • If you base your course grade on the weight you give to types of assignments—i.e., Readings = 25%, Papers = 50%, Lab Work = 25%—then use assignment groups.
  • If you base your course grade on an average of all assignments without respect to their type, then skip assignment groups and just use assignments.

Read about grade weighting to learn more about how Populi calculates the course grade from the grades you give students on their assignments.

Assignment types

Each assignment type lets you and the student comment back and forth (and even attach files to the comments).

  • Grade-only: Just give the student a grade. It's good for things like readings and other simple assignments that don't require a lot of interaction.
  • File: Requires the student to submit a file to you for evaluation; good for essays, papers, etc. that benefit from feedback, revisions, and other interaction.
  • Test: Creates a corresponding online test.
  • Attendance: Calculates an assignment grade based on the student's attendance of course meeting times.
  • Discussion: Creates a corresponding discussion.
  • Essay: These provide students with a WYSIWYG editor that they can use to compose and format an essay-length composition right in Populi.
  • Peer Review: Peer-review files and essays let other students in the course section view, comment on, and even grade the student's work. Read more about peer-review assignments.

You can attach any kind of assignment to a Lesson.

Read about adding new assignments and grading them (and interacting with students).

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