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Can individual students be identified in the event of non-submission of work (or similar)?

 No. Moodle anonymity is absolute and is applied to the entire cohort equally. As this is the case, owners of specific submissions can only be identified in Moodle once anonymity has been lifted.

How can I identify those students who have not submitted their work?

We recommend that students put an identifier (such as their student ID or candidate number) into the file name, and the body, of the document they are submitting so that they can be identified if there is a problem. In theory this practice also enables you to identify students who have not submitted their work although the process is time consuming and not normally recommended.  Normally the names of students are revealed at the end of the marking process when anonymity is lifted. Reminders to students to submit their work on time should be sent to the whole cohort.

Should the ‘Submit’ button be enabled?

It is recommended the Require students click submit button setting is not enabled during blind marking. Enabling this option can complicate the workflow, adversely affecting the ability of staff to manage anonymous submissions.

For example, in the following cases:

  • Students wanting to resubmit before the deadline (having already pressed the submit button)
  • Students not pressing the submit for marking button (causing the file to remain in ‘draft’ status)

Please note that if the Submit button is not enabled, students will be able to resubmit their work without Teacher intervention. It may be helpful therefore to set a cut-off date for the submission – effectively preventing students from modifying their submission after the cut of date has been reached. Alternatively (if this is not considered appropriate for any reason), Teachers can lock individual submissions before the marking process begins. This is done from the assignment grading screen.

How can I mitigate against students who submit drafts to Moodle, but forget to click the submit button and then cannot be identified?

You should not enable the Submit button, as described in the FAQ directly above this one.

How can extensions be applied to students if they cannot be identified?

Moodle extensions enable students to submit their assignments after the specified due date (without Moodle highlighting the submission as being overdue).  This also enables users to submit files after any cut-off date that may have been specified in the assignment.  Combining this feature with Moodle's group functionality means that staff can apply extensions to select groups of users rather than to individuals - thus retaining the anonymity of the individual.

You should seek to create and populate a group within your Moodle course.  This group should contain those individuals who require an extension and will enable you to differentiate them from the rest of the course participants (whilst still retaining anonymity).

To apply the group functionality to the Assignment activity, go to the activity settings, scroll to the section entitled Common module settings and select the Separate Groups within the Group Mode field. Once you have done this, remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on one of the Save buttons.

After applying setting, enabling extensions can be be granted to group members as appropriate by visiting the assignment submission overview screen, selecting the group name from the top left hand corner of this interface (as shown below).

Once the participants have been filtered in this way, members of the group can then be granted extensions as shown below.

Note:  If students have been granted different extensions, you will require more than one group.

Clearly, true anonymity can only take place if more than one student is receiving an extension in this way.

Once anonymity has been lifted, how can I see a student Moodle Participant identifier again?

This number is recorded in the offline grading worksheet. This can be done by visiting the assignment marking interface and, as shown below, selecting Download grading worksheet from the Grading action dropdown menu.

If you download this at any point after anonymity has been lifted it will show both the student name and the identifier that was used for their submission.

How can I make providing feedback to students less time consuming?

A range of functionality and workflows exist in Moodle that can help to streamline the marking process.  This includes having the ability to download all assignments (and upload any response files) in bulk, or to mark offline in an Excel spreadsheet before uploading it to Moodle. 

Additionally, rubrics or marking guide functionality (which also allows frequently used comments to be re-used) can also help staff to provide detailed feedback rapidly and consistently to all students. For further guidance, please contact the e-Learning team at

How do I use Turnitin when marking paper submissions anonymously?

Many departments expect their students to submit work both in paper and electronic (through Moodle) format with the paper copy used for marking and the electronic copy providing a record of the submission and to facilitate submission to Turnitin.  If this is the practice in your department you will need to be aware that Moodle does not use the same numerical identifiers as SAMIS.  Therefore, in order to match up Turnitin originality reports with the paper submission, departments should ensure that either a) students have put their candidate number into the file name of the electronic copy of their work and/or b) lift the anonymity completely at this point in the marking process.

Within Moodle the default setting for Turnitin is not anonymous and therefore, unless the anonymity function is enabled, the names of the students will be revealed as soon as the work is uploaded.  Instructions for enabling anonymity in Turnitin are provided in the section on Moodle submission (see b below).  However, it is acceptable to lift the anonymity at this point.

To maintain anonymity for as long as possible during the marking process it will probably be necessary for marking be undertaken prior to viewing the Turnitin reports.

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