Upload multiple response files for an Assignment activity in Moodle 1.9. What a time saver!


Totara LMS supports the work of Frankie Kam as he explores the many possibilities of Moodle for fun and to improve his college’s course site.

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Learning Outcome
At the end of this post, you will know how to enable multiple uploads of Moodle assignment response files.

This post is the companion post to my previous post on Moodlenews.com entitled “Download student assignment uploads for Moodle 1.9 in one fell swoop. What a time-saver!”. The work presented here is Teddy Aprilianto’s hack for Moodle 1.9’s Assignment activity.  Many thanks also to John Holmes of Jakarta International School, for sharing this with the Moodle community.

In my previous post, you might have noticed the curious-looking link named “Upload Response File”. See the red section in the image below.

What’s that all about? Well, the link allows you to upload one or more response files into the assignment feedback section of one or more students. Confused? Read on!

When you click that link, a fresh browser tab appears with some instructions.

Assume you have a Moodle user with the username studentscm.

You can then create a response file (in doc, docx, xls, xlsx, pdf, rtf, txt, png, gif, numbers or pages formats!) with comments typed inside it. The file is named as [MoodleUserName][underscore][filename].[extension] for example:


If you were to click on the light-blue button,

you could then upload the file named studentscm_file2.docx, and get this, the system will automatically (and almost magically) store that response file, in the correct location of studentscm’s assignment response folder within your Moodle server!

That specific location being

/moodledata/<course id>/moddata/assignment/<assignment instance id>/<Moodle user id>

which on my Moodle server, happens to be, for example,

So what’s the benefit of this then? Well, suppose you had 2 students who each had submitted three poems in Ms Word format (.docx) for a Moodle Assignment activity.  Assume also that you have edited each of their submitted Ms Word files with feedback and corrections inside each file. Then by using the “Upload Responses File” button, you could upload ALL 6 response files simultaneously!

A quick check on FileZilla, my favourite FTP client, shows that the files have indeed been stored, for Moodle user id 876, on the server here:

and for Moodle user id 906, here:

Let’s now check each student’s Assignment feedback window. For Moodle user id 876, we can see this:

and for Moodle user id 906,  this:

The red sections indicates the response files that were automatically uploaded by the system.  Now do you think that that’s a real time-saver? I do!

APPENDIX (let’s roll up our sleeves!)

How to setup the system for your Moodle server.

Make sure you read the installation instructions found inside the Google Docs link.  You can also read the same instructions here!

 Created a new Assignment activity.

Make sure that a course participant with the Moodle user name, for example, studentscm, has submitted an assignment. This is very important. If the Moodle user has not submitted

dating in nyc an assignment, he or she will not be able to access the response file.

Create a dummy response file named studentscm_file.docx on my Desktop.
6.  UPLOAD the response file  studentscm_file.docx by clicking on “Upload Response Files” link and button.
After you click the upload responses files link, look at URL address at the top of your Web Browser’s title bar. You will find something like this:


The variable c determines the courseid , var a determines assignment_instance_id , and var t determines teacher_id(but the teacher_id is generally not used)

7. Check the folder (for example!) /moodledata/2/moddata/assignment/101/876/responses

Again, in this example, 2 is the Moodle Course ID, 101 is the Assignment ID, and 876 is the particular Moodle student’s ID. lo and behold, you should be able to see the  stored file named me_file.docx file!

8. At the Assignment page, REFRESH your Web Browser. You should be able to see at least one “Update” status. Click the “Update” status. Do you now see a pop-up window displaying your response file that you uploaded into the system? If you do, then you should now be in Seventh Heaven because the hack is successfully working on your Moodle site! See below.

Congratulations. Well, that’s all from me. I’ve got to go and save the planet.

Until the next time and the next tip, HAPPY MOODLING!
Frankie Kam

Melaka, Malaysia


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