Assignments v. the Digital Drop Box
The Assignment and Digital Drop Box tools allow instructors
to exchange files with students.
The Digital Drop Box tool allows instructors
to store and exchange files with their students. Students can
send files to the instructor; the instructor can then retrieve
and review the files and then return them to students.
The Assignments tool also allows instructors
to exchange files with students, but it combines this ability
with the organization and management functionality of the Gradebook.
The instructor can post an article, case or other document with
the assignment, retrieve the completed assignment from a student,
and grade that assignment via the Gradebook. With Assignments,
there are also enhanced management options, such as bulk downloading
and clean up of the files.
Make sure to let your students know which method you will be
using and where to find assignment and assignment files in your
course. If you know that you will not be using Assignments,
the Digital Drop Box, or both, delete links to either tool from
your Course Menu.
Which should you use?
You should use the Digital Drop Box when you only need to exchange
a file with one student or a group of students or when a project
will not be graded. An Assignment is effective when a grade
will be assigned to student work, and the graded product requires
submission of one document. Some other considerations include:
- Sorting Files. Assignment Files can be
sorted by Assignment and organized by student name. The list
of Drop Box files cannot be sorted; they are posted by the
order in which they were received.
- Downloading Files. Multiple Assignments
may be downloaded at once. Drop Box submissions must be downloaded
- Multiple Student Revisions. Use the Drop
Box for submissions that require multiple revisions by students.
Once an Assignment has been submitted, it cannot be re-submitted.
- Restrictions on Date and Time for Submission.
Assignments give you more control over the date and time of
submission submission. Deadlines can be given for Assignments,
while students can submit files at any time as long as the
Drop Box is available.
- Gradebook. Assignments are integrated with
the Gradebook, while the Drop Box is not. To use the Gradebook
for a Drop Box submission, you must create a separate Gradebook
- Ease of Creation. The Drop Box is easier
to set up and use, but offers less powerful features; submissions
to the Drop Box can be more difficult to manage.
- Student Comments. Students must includes
comments with an Assignments submission; comments are optional
for students with Drop Box submissions.
- Course Builder Access. Only a TA or Instructor
may download Assignment submissions. You should use the Drop
Box if you plan to have your Course Builder handle submissions
or have assign a new role such as Grader or TA to your Course
Builder for the purpose of downloading Assignments.