Assignments: When using "Upload All," how should I set up the assignment folder?

(Note: To download a copy of these instructions in pdf format, scroll down to the link at the end of the article.)

As an instructor, you may want to use the “Upload All” feature in the Assignments tool. This feature lets you add or edit grades and feedback for an assignment offline, and then upload a single zip archive file for that assignment.

The files and folders in this zip archive must be labeled and organized in a certain way for the upload to be successful. For this reason, we recommend first using the “Download All” feature in the Assignments tool, so you can download a zip archive file that is properly organized and includes all appropriate content.

To download a zip file for an assignment, access the Assignments tool and follow these steps:

  1. For the appropriate assignment, click the Grade link. The CLE displays the “Submissions” page for that assignment.
  2. Click the Download All link. The CLE displays the “Download All” page for the assignment:

  3. Select the appropriate checkboxes for the materials you want included in the zip file. For this step, keep in mind the following:
  • Selections displayed on this page will depend on the settings you chose for the assessment. If you opted to accept only inline submissions, for example, you won’t see a checkbox for “Student submission attachment(s).”
  • The selections you make here will determine how the zip file is organized for a successful upload. If you do not select “Feedback Attachments,” for example, the zip file won’t include the necessary folder for these attachments.
  1. Click the Download button. The CLE displays a confirmation message and the download of should begin. If it does not, click the Complete the Download link in the message.  

Once you unzip the file, you should have a folder with the title of the assignment.

Folder organization

When adding grades or feedback to the folder you have unzipped, please note that you should NOT change the folder organization, the names of subfolders, or the names/formats of files (with the exception of attached submissions). If you do, the upload will not be successful.    

Assuming you opted to include the grades spreadsheet, the assignment folder’s contents will look similar to this:

The folder includes the grades.csv spreadsheet file, as well as subfolders for each student. Depending on what you opted to download, the contents of a student subfolder will look similar to this:

Adding feedback to a student subfolder
Once you have unzipped the file and saved the assignment folder to an appropriate place on your computer, you have several options for adding feedback for a student, via a student subfolder:

  • Add text to the comments.txt file. You can open this file with a variety of applications, including Microsoft Word (Windows or Mac), Microsoft Notepad and Wordpad (Windows only), and TextEdit (Mac only). When you upload, the feedback will be displayed under “Instructor Summary Comments” on the “Grading” page for the student. Note: this file must be saved in a plain text format, which does not support most text formatting.

  • Insert text in the student’s inline submission. If you’re comfortable working with HTML, you may open the student’s inline submission, which is an HTML file, and add comments directly to the submission. The file name begins with the student’s name.

    Note: If you selected “feedback text” when downloading the zip file, you may also add text to the feedbackText.html file. Working with this file, however, is most appropriate if you already added comments to the inline submission from within the CLE, since the file then includes both the submission and your comments. If you did not add comments before downloading the assignment, the file will be empty. Keep in mind that uploading this file overwrites the original inline submission. So if you upload this file with only your comments, the inline submission will be replaced by your comments.

  • Add feedback as a separate attachment. You may add a file with your comments by copying/moving the file to the Feedback Attachment(s) folder. Once you upload and release the assignment’s grade and feedback to the student, the file will be available as an attachment.

  • Add feedback to a submission attachment. If a student has submitted an attachment--and you opted to include submission attachments in the download by selecting “Student submission attachment(s)”--you may access the file by opening the Submission attachment(s) folder, and you may then add comments to the submission. Keep in mind that the file must be in a format that you can edit, such as MS Word.

    : Upon upload, documents in the Submission attachment(s) folder will NOT overwrite the original student submissions. Instead, they will be available as additional submission attachments. For this reason, we recommend that you do not upload the documents in the Submission attachment(s) folder. If you plan on adding comments to a submission attachment, we recommend that you save the file to the Feedback Attachment(s) folder and also consider saving it with a different name. By using this approach, you’ll avoid creating duplicate submission attachments that may confuse the student when you release grades/feedback.         

Adding grades
To add grades for the assignment you have downloaded, access the assignment folder on your computer and open the grades.csv spreadsheet file with the appropriate application, such as Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet will look similar to this:

The spreadsheet includes the assignment title and grade scale, as well as each student’s name and ID. Enter the appropriate grade for each student in the “grade” column and save the grades.csv file. Be sure to maintain the assignment folder’s organizational hierarchy--i.e., save the file by itself in the assignment folder and NOT within any subfolder.    

Uploading the assignment folder

Once you have added grades and/or feedback to the assignment folder, you’re ready to upload it the CLE. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Using the appropriate application, zip the assignment folder. Note: Be sure that you give both the assignment folder and the zip file the same name as the assignment. If you do not, the upload will not be successful.
  2. Log in to the CLE, access the appropriate site, and select the Assignments tool. For the appropriate assignment, click on the Grade link.
  3. Click on the Upload All link. The CLE displays the “Upload All” page.
  4. Click Browse and select the assignment zip file. Then, select the files that you want to upload by clicking on the appropriate radio buttons.
  5. Choose whether or not to release grades/feedback to students immediately upon upload by clicking on the radio button for either Release uploaded information to students or Do not release uploaded information - I'll release it later.       
  6. Click the Upload button.

Once the upload is complete, the CLE will display the “Submissions” page for the assignment.

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  • Avatar
    Steve Faith

    Hey Jim,


    Nice job on this document.  Any change I could get a PDF version to include for our local documentation?



    -Steve Faith, UCD

  • Avatar
    Jim Mezzanotte

    Hi Steve,

    Glad it was useful--you'll find a download link at the end of the article!


    Jim Mezzanotte


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