Setting up Dropbox folder and associate it with a grade item

The Brightspace Dropbox folder is an where students upload assignments such as documents, images, audio and video files. A separate Dropbox folder is required for each assessment item submission. Linking each Dropbox Folder to the associated Gradebook assessment item guarantees that grades assigned in the Dropbox folder are automatically published to Gradebook.

Before starting creating a dropbox make sure you have created a grade item and set up your gradebook with the recommended gradebook settings.

If you are creating Dropbox Folders for groups, please review the D2L Group Set-up Wizard tutorial.

To watch video tutorials, please visit:

We will create a Dropbox folder for a term paper grade item:

1. In the Navigation Bar, click Assessments. In the dropdown menu, click Dropbox.

2. Click New Folder.

3. Name the Dropbox Folder. Type in Instructions for the assignment. Click on Add Attachment (the cloud with the arrow) to add files or click on Record Audio or Record Video to add a recording of assignment details.

4. Grade and Grade Item

Set the maximum grade for the assignment by clicking “Ungraded” under Grade Out Of.

By default this will create a new grade item. You must choose Edit or Link to Existing grade item to link to the existing item in the gradebook. Note: When you select Edit or Link Existing it will show the name of the assignment, if this is the same as the grade item, it may look like it will link, but will actually create a second grade item with the same name. Make sure you select Link to an existing grade item and then choose the grade item to link to.

If you set a Due Date any submission by a student after that date will be marked as late when you view submissions. Due dates are automatically posted in the calendar (hosted on the Course Home page).

5. Availability Dates & Conditions

Under Availability Dates & Conditions you can select when and how the assignment appears for students generally and for specific groups of students.


Click on the Availability Dates & Conditions tab to add a Start Date and End Date to the assignment, if desired. Several options are available to limit viewing and submission access. See

Click on the Date fields to access the calendar and select restriction options

Release Conditions

Attach conditions to the Dropbox folder being available to students based on their progress through the course. Click on Create New to create a new condition or click on Add Existing to add an existing release condition.

For more information on Release Conditions, review Best Practices for Release Conditions and Guide to Adding and Using Release Conditions.

Special Access

You can set special access for students by clicking the Manage Special Access button.

This will bring up a dialog that will allow either give some students special due dates, or limit the dropbox to specific students.

To allow specific students access to the Dropbox folder outside the set availability, click on Allow users with special access to submit outside the normal availability dates for this folder.

To allow only specific students access to the Dropbox folder, click on Allow only users with special access to see this folder.

Click on Add Users to Special Access after checking either options and then select preferred options and students and click on Save when done.

Read more about Setting Special Access for Students

6. Submission, Completion and Categorization

The settings to adjust how students hand in the assignment are under Submission & Completion.

Assignment Type

Click on Individual Assignment to get submissions from individuals. To get submission from a group where all group members have the same grade, click on Group Assignment and select the Group Category.

Note: Group Category must be created beforehand. Follow the instructions here to create a group.

Submission Type and Allowable File Extensions

For your course, you may have different requirements for each assignment and an online file submission may not always be necessary. For example, some assignments may just require text-based answers or links to websites, or they involve paper-based submissions, in-person presentations or on-the-job demonstration of skills, etc.

File submission allows students to upload files to Brightspace which you can then view or download.

You can choose whether students are allowed to upload unlimited files or limit them to a single file, depending on your assignment specification.

Allowable File Extensions allows you to limit the types of files students submit.

  1. No Restrictions Students may submit any type of file, except for file types that are automatically restricted for security reasons.
  2. PDF Only Students may only submit .pdf files.
  3. Annotatable Files Students may submit any file which Brightspace can display in the reader. This includes most types of files produced by Microsoft Office, most types of text files and most image files.
  4. Files that can be previewed without conversion – Students may submit any file which Brightspace may display directly. This mostly includes HTML files.
  5. Images and Videos Students may submit most common image and video. Note that videos will still be limited to the upload size cap.
  6. Custom File Types Students may submit only files with types that match comma separated list of file types you provide.

Text submission allows students use the Brightspace editor to provide an answer directly within Brightspace.

Upon successful submission for both files and text, students will receive an automated confirmation email.

On-paper submission and Observed-in-person submission types have 3 completion options.

  1. Manually by Learner – The onus is on the student to mark the assignment as complete
  2. Automatically on the due date – D2L automatically marks the assignment as complete on a due date set by the instructor
  3. Automatically on evaluation – D2L automatically marks the assignment as complete when the instructor evaluates the assignment using any of the assessment methods in D2L.
    As instructor, if you notice that a student has not met the requirements for an assignment, then you can mark the assignment as incomplete for the student and follow up with them.
Notification Email

To receive email notifications when submissions are made, type in your preferred email address. This is not advisable for a large class.

7. Evaluation and Feedback

Under Evaluation and Feedback you can attach rubrics to the dropbox.


Click on Add Rubric to add a pre-existing rubric or to create a new rubric.

Read instructions on How to Create Rubrics and how to Attach Rubrics to Activities.

Once attached you can click on the rubric to show the details of the rubric.

Learning Objectives

If you are using Learning Objectives in your course shell you can connect them to the dropbox.

Annotation Tools

If you intend to annotate student submissions while providing feedback, make sure you check the Make annotation tools available for assessment checkbox.

8. Click on Save and New to save the current Dropbox and create a new Dropbox, click Save and Close to return to the main Dropbox Folder page.

NOTE: A Dropbox folder that has been successfully associated with a gradebook item will appear as follows: