06 Dropbox Assignment Tips

Guidelines for Populating the Dropbox Assignment Page


Provide a general overview of your assignment that includes the purpose of your assignment.


Provide students with clear, step-by-step instructions on how to complete the assignment. Where possible, use plain language and define all acronyms. You may want to consider the final deliverables and work back from there. You may also want to consider the questions students might have as a way to add clarity to your instructions.  Include specific formatting information. For example, stating 500 words maximum rather than 2 pages can make a big difference in the length of final submissions.   


Provide a clear list of what students are required to hand in. If the assignment is complex, you may want to include further requirements for each section (i.e., requirements for the discussion section of a research report).  

Providing assignment exemplars may be helpful. Be sure to ask past students’ permission before sharing students’ work. 

Due Dates 

It is a recommended practice not to include specific due dates here. Rather, refer students to your course schedule for all due dates.  This will make it easier to update your course for future offerings.  You can link directly to your course schedule. See the LEARN Course Templates for how to insert links.

How To Submit Your Assignment 

It is helpful to specify the file type(s) you will accept. These are some of the possible file types dropbox accepts: 

  • Portable Document Format (PDF) (Recommended)
  • Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS or XLSX)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Text Format (TXT)

General Guidelines for Submitting to a LEARN Dropbox 

You may want to add this bullet in your general guidelines: 

  • The number of files they can be submitted per submission (i.e., whether multiple files are allowed or required)
  • Whether all submissions will be kept
    • If all submissions are kept, specify which submission will be graded (ex. the most recent)

Additional Instructions 

The next two sections may be added if you want to provide instructions for creating a PDF or submitting hand-drawn work.   

Options for Making PDFs From Digital Assignments 

Most word processing software applications will allow you to save your file as a PDF; however, if you require software to create PDFs, some free options are listed below: 

  • Use the Microsoft Office 365 account provided to students to access Word, where you can save or download your document as a PDF.
  • Use a free word processing application that can export directly to PDF, such as OpenOffice.
  • Download and install a PDF application, such as PrimoPDF.
Preparing Hand-Drawn Course Work for Submission 

Step 1: Follow these guidelines if you have used pen and paper to draw/write your assignment. 

  • Use either a pen or an HB or darker pencil (other pencils are too light).
  • Leave margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Do not completely fill the page edge to edge.
  • Use only 8.5" x 11" paper.
  • Write on only one side of each page.

Step 2: Digitize your hand-drawn course work (e.g., create a PDF). Options include:

  • Use a smartphone (or similar device) or a digital camera to take a picture of your assignment.
  • Note: Ensure you are submitting the correct file type.
  • Use a scanner that has a scan-to-PDF function. If you don’t have access to one, go to a library (public, school, university) or store that provides scanning services.

How Your Assignment Will Be Graded 

It is important to inform students about how they will be graded. Depending on the assignment, you may want to use a rubric, checklist, rating scale, grade breakdown, etc. If you create rubrics in LEARN, you can attach them to the Dropbox to support the marking process. 


Technical Support 

Technical support for students is provided directly on the template page. If you or your TAs are looking for technical support, see LEARN Help: Dropboxes