Multi-submission workflows: The key to guiding student learning with feedback

Multi-submission workflows: The key to guiding student learning with feedback
  • June 21, 2017
  • by Emended

Have you ever asked yourself if your students even read the comments they receive? Emended’s game-changing Multi-submission workflows ensure that student corrections to written work follow the feedback you give them … every single time!

As a teacher, you invest a lot of time and effort into giving your students on-point, accessible feedback, but the responsibility of making sure each student actually taps into that feedback is a task unto itself. Evidence from researchers like Beth R. Crisp (2007) suggests that most students occupy themselves in fact very little with learning from and applying the written guidance they receive.

This means that you can either devote even more time and effort in hammering feedback home or rather sit back, and let Emended nail down the job for you!

Emended gives you the advantage of Multi-submission workflows – that is, creating tasks with an open, adjustable plan to how students turn in their assignments. Because each plan can be as unique as your students themselves, these workflows can require students to resubmit an assignment a specified number of times, or for maximal flexibility, even an unspecified number of times that you ultimately decide later.

In simplifying that every student successfully applies the comments and direction they’ve received, Emended allows for students to access the last-submitted version of an assignment directly, and begin right away with making improvements. What better way for students to bridge the gap between receiving your feedback and then using that feedback to revise and resubmit!

So, how do Emended’s Multi-submission workflows technically work?

First, log in to your Emended account. If you don’t yet have an account, now’s the time to sign up for your 30-day free trial!

To get started creating a new task with a Multi-submission workflow, go to: Workspaces > Choose a workspace, then scroll to Tasks in workspace and click ‘Create a task’ from the tile’s top-right corner. (New to workspaces? See our User Guide for Instructors for the basics, and more!)

After giving your task a name and optional description, you’re prompted to select one of three workflows from the drop-down – that is, a one-submission option, or either of two multi-submission options: Specified number of submissions or Unspecified number of submissions (see screenshot below). And if you want to assign deadlines unique to each and every revision for a given task, make sure to select workflow 2 (Specified number of submissions), where you’ll define for the task exactly how many submissions are to be made before ticking the Specify deadlines box to select or enter dates and times of your choosing.

To finish the task-creation process, click ‘Create’. If you’d like to review the workflow and deadlines you’ve just set, go to: Workspaces > Choose a workspace > Choose a task (under Tasks in workspace) and scroll to the task’s Task workflow tile.

To see submissions for your new task, scroll further down to Submissions to task. Or, take advantage of Emended’s smart-access Dashboard by simply clicking Home from the Menu bar and scrolling to the Your tasks tile. With quick-click searchability at hand, go ahead and select the specific workspace and task you just created. Your Dashboard now shows you all submissions for your new task and automatically sorts each by whether the submission is Pending, Submitted, Reviewed, or Done.

Tasks with Multi-submission workflows will see assignments return to Pending upon being submitted by the student (Submitted), reviewed by you (Reviewed), and then opened again by the student. Assignments will repeat the PendingSubmittedReviewed portion of the submission lifecycle until the final round (as determined by the workflow you’ve chosen), where a submission moves to Done once the student has opened your final review of that submission.

To view at any point any version of an assignment or even the feedback you’ve provided, open that assignment’s Task history by simply clicking its author’s name. Task history enables you to see an A-Z chronology of a student’s submissions for a specific task, including an activity log showing the dates and times of relevant events throughout that task’s duration!

What about the students themselves?

Well, Multi-submission workflows work much the same way as they do for teachers. Under Home > Your tasks, students can access from their Open list (your Pending) all manner of assignments due, including those already reviewed and ready for another round! To resubmit an assignment, students simply find the assignment from their Open items and click ‘Start writing’ to edit and improve its latest version before again submitting to you. Tasks that require multiple submissions will loop reviewed assignments back to Open until the final round of the submission lifecycle.

Conveniently accessing and editing the latest version of an assignment allows students more easily to read, reflect on, and apply the feedback they’ve been given to every subsequent rewrite – effectively, showing you round by round, version by version how they’ve internalised and then exercised the comments and direction offered to them.

See our User Guide for Students if you’d like to learn more about the Emended experience from a student-user’s perspective!

Education research shows that students are routinely missing out on using written feedback to their own advantage. Emended’s Multi-submission workflow options allow teachers to create and tailor tasks that integrate the feedback students receive into the overall learning process. Sign up for your 30-day free trial and see for yourself the improvements to student productivity and performance!


Crisp, B.R. 2007. Is it worth the effort? How feedback influences students’ subsequent submission of assessable work. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(5), pp. 571-581.