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How to bulk upload feedback files

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For: StaffApplication: Grading & FeedbackTagged: assignment , feedback , marking

The assignment activity allows teachers to upload files to provide feedback on a student’s work. These files might be a marked up copy of the student’s submission, a model solution to a problem, a grading form or even a piece of audio feedback. Usually, files are uploaded manually through the assignment grading screen however there is a way in which feedback files can be uploaded in bulk using the Upload multiple feedback files feature of the assignment activity. Using this feature can streamline the process of marking by allowing teachers to work on providing marks and feedback offline and then uploading the work to QMplus when they are ready.

This guide covers:

Downloading and marking up files

In your course page go into the assignment submission. Under Settings select Download all submissions

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Note: You must use the download all submissions method and not the download all submissions (username and id)

This will now compress all the students work into a zip folder which will download to your computer, usually to a downloads folder.

Once you open the zip folder you will be able to access the students submissions.

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Notice that the dowloaded files have slightly unusual filenames. You can open these downloaded files, add your feedback and comments and then save them with the same filename.

Uploading the feedback files

NB: Ensure that your assignment is set up to allow you to upload feedback files, so make sure the option ‘Feedback files’ is ticked. 

First put all the files you want to upload into a zip file. This can be done by selecting all the files, right clicking and selecting send to  > compressed zip folder.

You can then upload the zip file with all the feedback added. This can be carried out under Settings > View/grade all submissions select Grading action > upload multiple feedback files in a zip.

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Use the drag and drop or the file picker to select your file. Once the file has loaded select the Import feedback files option.

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You will see a confirmation screen summarising the changes that are going to be made. If all looks well, click the Confirm button.

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You will then see a screen confirming the number of feedback files that have been uploaded.

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You can return to the assignment grading table and you will find the feeback files in the feedback files column.

Advanced use

The upload multiple feedback files feature in its simplest form is really best for teachers who wish to provide a marked up copy of the original student submission as feedback. It is straightforward to download the submission, open it in, for example, Microsoft Word and then use features such as track changes or commenting to provide feedback directly on the student work, save the file with the same name and then upload it as a feedback file.

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However, when manually adding feedback files in the assignment grading screens, a teacher can add multiple files and they do not have to have the same name, or even be the same type, as the original student submission. For instance, you may want to use a grading form in a Microsoft Word file which you fill in for each student or you may wish to provide a worked example as feedback. It is also possible to do this with the upload multiple feedback files feature.

The method is slightly cumbersome as it involves careful naming of the files which you wish to upload as feedback files. Although QMplus relies on the filenames of the files you are uploading to determine which feedback file should be given to which student, in reality, it actually only relies on a portion of the filename to be in a specific format.

When you bulk download assignment submission files, they have filenames in a specific format:

<student first name> <student last name>_<unique id>_assignsubmission_file_<name of submitted file>

For example, if I download the submissions for an assignment, I may get a file called the following:

Alison Blaire_14067411_assignsubmission_file_example-assignment3.docx

In this case, student Alison Blaire has submitted a Word file called example-assignment3.docx for her assignment. The file I get when I download the submission has this long convoluted filename.

For the uploading of feedback files, QMplus does not actually care about the name of the file that the student submitted. As long as the rest of the filename up to this part is the same, this portion of the filename can be anything and the upload will work.

So, in this case, I could create a feedback file for Alison as, for example, a PDF as long as I keep the filename, up to the last part, the same. For example, I create could a PDF file called:

Alison Blaire_14067411_assignsubmission_file_feedback.pdf

Furthermore, I can upload multiple feedback files for the same student by having slightly different filenames:

Alison Blaire_14067411_assignsubmission_file_feedback.pdf
Alison Blaire_14067411_assignsubmission_file_worked example.docx
Alison Blaire_14067411_assignsubmission_file_audio feedback.mp3

In this case I am uploading a PDF file of feedback, a worked example as a Word document and an mp3 file containing some audio feedback.

I then zip of the files and upload them as described above and all of these files will be attached to Alison’s assignment submission as feedback files.

Limitations of the feature

The feature is limited in the following ways:

  • You cannot bulk upload feedback files for an assignment that has no submission, this includes a QMplus Hub assignment. This is because there has to be something to download to generate the appropriate information to name the files for upload.
  • You cannot use the “download all submissions (username and id)” method for downloading submissions if you then want to bulk upload feedback files. You can use the feature if your assignment is set up for anonymous marking as long as you use the “download all submissions” option.

Next steps

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
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