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Assessment Handbook Taught Higher Degrees

Appendix 2 Submitting assignments online

Online submission of TMAs is simple and quick, but you must ensure that

  • you read each of the messages that appear on screen during the submission process. Donít assume that you know what they say because you have used the system before. Some of the messages are specific to that particular submission. If you donít read the messages you may be unaware of action that you need to take.
  • you submit all of your work in one file. If you make more than one submission before the cut off date, and before your tutor has collected your TMA, each will overwrite the previous one so that the only one available for your tutor to collect will be the final version. So if your TMA consists of more than one file you must zip these together. You can use any compression software that creates a file with a .zip extension (see below).
  • your file name is no more than 50 characters. You should put your module code and TMA number in your file name; this is an additional check that you are submitting the right file.
  • you check that your submission is complete and you are submitting the right file and not a previous draft of your assignment. Save and close the file before submitting it. Once your tutor has returned your marked eTMA to the system, you will not be able to submit another version. You will not be allowed to resubmit a TMA even if you find that you originally submitted an incomplete or incorrect version.
  • your file is 5MB or less, unless your module materials say that there is a larger file size permitted for your module. If your file is larger than 5MB you can zip it to reduce the size. You can use any compression software that creates a file with a .zip extension (see below).
  • your submission is in an acceptable format. To be sure that your tutor and their monitor can read your submission you must make sure that your file is in a format readable by Microsoft Word - unless your course materials stipulate a different type of file. This means that it must have a file extension of .doc, or .rtf. If your word processing software creates a file with a different extension (eg. .docx or .odt) you should use Ďsave así to save as either .doc or .rtf.
  • If you have already submitted an assignment and your tutor has downloaded it for marking, the system will warn you that your tutor has already collected it and you should contact your tutor. You can still submit the assignment and it will be recorded as another version on the system, but your tutor will normally mark the first version unless they have agreed to accept another one. The system will hold up to five submissions.

How to zip your file

We strongly advise using the dummy eTMA (TMA00) to try out the eTMA system before you have to submit your first TMA. You can send your dummy eTMA at any time once you have access to the system. Unless your assignment book, or your tutor tell you to do something else, just put a few lines of text into a document and submit it as TMA00. Do tell your tutor that youíre doing this so that they can put some comments in and return it to you.

You should note that your tutor can collect and mark your eTMA at any point from the time you submit it. They donít have to wait until the cut-off date. Therefore you should be sure that the assignment you submit is your final version. If your module also has an eEMA (end-of-module assessment), you may find you are advised that you can submit drafts to the system. This is because markers are not able to download eEMAs until after the cut-off date.

If you submit a TMA after the cut-off date, the system will accept it, but this doesnít mean that it will be marked or assessed. The system will warn you that the cut-off date has passed and you should contact your tutor to discuss the matter. If you have already arranged an extension with your tutor, you donít need to do anything further.

You will have access to your TMAs on the system for up to 30 days after your module ends, so if you want to keep copies make sure you have downloaded them before this. The University canít provide you with copies at a later date so you may want to make sure that you also have back-up copies in case of technical problems.

Where to go for help

If you have technical problems submitting your assignments online you can contact the OU Computing Helpdesk. For some enquiries it may be necessary for the Helpdesk to refer you to other sources of expert help. For more complex queries, it may take more than one phone call to resolve the problem. The Helpdesk is open between 09:00 and 21:30 Monday to Friday and from 09.00 to 17.00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

When contacting the Helpdesk regarding a problem with online submission, please note exactly what you were trying to do, the time the problem happened and the exact error message including error codes (take a screen print of the error code if you can).

You can contact the Helpdesk by email -, or telephone - +44 (0)1908 653972, or by fax - +44 (0)1908 652193 (mark for the attention of the OU Computing Helpdesk).

If you have any other queries about online submission click on the link below to check our FAQs on StudentHome, if your query isnít covered then you can use the Ďcontact usí button to email your query.

FAQs about online submission