DePaul University Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > D2L Essentials > Submission Folders

​​Creating Submission Folders

Submission folders allow students to submit work to you in D2L. Instructors typically set up Submission folders when students need to turn in one or more files (papers in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) as part of an assignment. Using Submission folders to manage student file submissions provides several benefits:

  • You can download all of your students' files at once instead of downloading attachments one by one via email or an online discussion topic.
  • You can edit/comment on students' files and re-upload them to the Submission folder so students can see your feedback.
  • You'll always have a record of exactly who submitted each file and when it was uploaded.
  • You can associate a specific item in your gradebook with a Submission folder so that grades you post in the folder automatically appear in the grades area of D2L.

Best Pract​ices

  1. Create one Submission folder for each assignment.
  2. Think of this like collecting hard copies of student work: You'd likely put all of your students' papers for one assignment in one folder.

  3. Link to Submission folders from the content area.
  4. This will make it easier for students to access a particular Submission folder and submit an assignment at the appropriate time. If you've organized your content by type, you might add links to your Submission folders in an "Assignments" module. If you're organizing chronologically, you can link to your Submission folders in the weeks that the assignments are due.

  5. Make sure your Submission folder link is published.
  6. When adding a Submission folder to the Content area of your course, be sure to switch from “draft” to “published" so that students can see the link to the folder.

  7. Include essential technical requirements.
  8. Your assignment instructions should include the following technical guidelines:

    • submission file format, such as .doc, .docx, .rtf, .ppt, or .pdf
    • computer skills and specialized software necessary to complete the assignment (if any)

  9. Include a precise deadline.
  10. All Submission folders should include a final deadline with an exact date and time. Avoid using 12:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. in your deadlines, as students will often confuse the two. Instead, use 11:59 p.m. or another time that is less likely to cause confusion.

  11. Offer a low-stakes practice assignment that requires a file submission.
  12. Providing a non-graded practice assignment that requires a file submission can provide an ideal "trial run" for ironing out technical issues early in the term. Giving students a chance to test out uploading files to the folders while the stakes are low can help avoid arguments later on when students are more likely to blame technology for missing key deadlines.

  13. Enable originality checking to assist with plagiarism detection.
  14. When setting up or editing a Submission folder, checking the box under the "Originality Check" heading will ensure that all files submitted to that folder are run through Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection tool. Turnitin will generate an originality report to help identify parts of a document that are not the author's own words. Whether you want to use Turnitin as a teaching tool to help students better understand proper citiation and paraphrasing or as a way to help you detect possible academic integrity violations, be sure to enable originality checking on your Submission folders.

Guides and Tut​orials

The following guides explain how to create a Dropbox folder and evaluate student submissions.


​Hands-on Practice: Submission Folders

After reading through the topics in this unit, it's your turn to practice in your course. Keep in mind that no one will be evaluating the content of what you create in your course, and you can always revise these items later. The goal of the assignments in this course is only to ensure you’re comfortable using each tool.

To satisfy the requirements of this unit, complete the following tasks in your course:

  • Go to the Submissions area and create a new Submission folder for an assignment.​

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