What is an assignment and how do I add one to my course?

What is an assignment?

An assignment is a description of an activity to be done, but is not directly done within Echo.


How do I add an assignment to my course?


From the homepage, click the "Editor" icon located on the course that needs an assignment added to it.


Click the "+Add to..." link.


Click "Assignment."


When creating an assignment there are a few tabs where a teacher can adjust different settings.

Activity Tab

1. The Title field holds the name of the assignment. The title will be visible on the course syllabus.

2. The thumbnail image for the activity. The thumbnail will appear in the course syllabus.

  • Recommended thumbnail file type: PNG or JPG (Echo converts all files into PNGs).
  • Ideal thumbnail size: 400px x 400px (Echo automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality).

3. The Content section is a rich text field that can hold text, images, links, and more. The content is visible when the assignment is opened.

As an alternative to entering text into the Content field, teachers can reference a web page or upload a .pdf document. Note that web pages must be on a secure server (identified by an https:// URL rather than an unsecured http:// URL).

4. The Activity Instructions section typically holds the assignment instructions or a text resource the student will access.

5. The Attachments feature allows teachers to attach files to an activity.

Settings Tab

  1. The Activity Settings allows teachers to set a due date and time as well as set late submission rules. Students will not be able to submit assignments after the due date unless the "Allow late submissions" box is checked.
  2. Gradebook Settings is where points possible can be established, as well as the submission type. Single document is recommended for students to have a dropbox available to submit.
  • Any activity can be made "Gradable," but depending on the activity type, the points possible may not be enabled by default. To make an item gradable and enter points, check the "this activity is gradable" box.
  • This setting also allows for options like making it an extra credit activity or a group assignment. Activities can be designated group activities if groups have been defined in the course. When this option is selected, only one student in each group is required to submit activity and all students in the group will receive the same grade.

3. Use Objective Mastery to align selected course standards to the activity (if the course has a defined list of objectives). This allows teachers to track student performance against the standards in the gradebook. To learn more about associating activities with objectives, click here.

4. Visibility and Access controls rules for who can view the activity.

5. Badges can be used to automatically assign a specific badge to students who complete the activity. Badges must be configured in course settings in order to be selected.

6. Advanced gradebook options offer additional settings.

  • Options:
  • Teachers can restrict student access to assignment scores by date
  • Echo tracks when students have completed and passed each assignment. The "Passing Score" field allows teachers to define the minimum score students must achieve in order to "pass" the assignment
  • The Minimum Points Possible field is not used with the Multi Outcome Scoring gradebook
  • Teachers can allow or prevent scores from being dropped from final grade (calculated course score)
  • Teachers can choose to include or not include the assignment scores in the final grade
  • Teacher can elect to make this a mandatory assignment for the course (require a passing score for course credit). If a student doesn't receive a passing score on the assignment, their grade will go to 0% until a passing score is earned. This option is only suitable for high stakes tasks that are absolutely necessary to assess student performance
  • Teachers can choose to treat submitted but not scored assignments as either blank (doesn't effect grade) or zero (affects grade)

7. Define Metadata by:

  • An assessment description for course author, or an idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the "big picture"
  • CRA and IAKT activity tags which can be used for reporting purposes

8. Advanced activity options include dropdown options for the activity to "mark as complete" and a checkbox for "student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one." Teachers can also choose a location for the activity in case they want to change which folder/project the activity exists in on the fly

History Tab

The History tab provides a list of the versions of the activity and the changes that were made.



Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date. If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.

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