Microsoft Teams Assignments and SharePoint Documents

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SharePoint and Assignments

You probably know that documents that students upload to Assignments are stored in SharePoint. You can open that location in SharePoint Online, by going to the Files tab of the relevant team and choosing "Open in SharePoint". You then need to navigate to Site Contents and Student Work. You will see there are two folders: Submitted files and Working files. In each of these is a folder for every learner and in every learner folder is a folder per assignment.


What I do, is I sync the Student Work folder to my device. It then appears as a folder structure in my File Explorer. I have the choice to either leave the documents in the cloud or make them available on my device.

The difference between Submitted files and Working files is that when a student uploads a document to an Assignment, it goes into the Working files folder. The learner can still open it (in Teams Assignments or in SharePoint) and make changes. Once the student has clicked on the Turn In button, it is copied to the Submitted files folder and no longer allows any changes.

User Scenario

The User Scenario where this can be beneficial is as follows: Students can upload their documents to the Assignment even while it is a work in progress. During that time both the learner and the teacher can have access to the file and basically 'collaborate' on the document. This allows a teacher to make ongoing comments to the document to provide formative feedback. When the student is ready to submit he/she Turns In the document. Even after submission the teacher can still make comments on the document and the student can still open it and view the comments, but can no longer make changes.

I have a research project that learners work on for the duration of the school year. They need ongoing input to keep them on the right track. I'm going to use the method I have outlined above to provide them with that feedback.

9 Replies

@Marius PretoriusDo you know if Grade Syncing is actively working with PowerSchool yet?  I am having a hard time finding out if this is running. 

@Marius Pretorius 


What I want is to be able to download everything uploaded by students  for a particular assignment. SharePoint organizes the Submitted Files folder by student not by assignment. How can I create an alternate file structure? Any ideas?

All I can think of is that after syncing as I outlined in my post, you create shortcuts to the folders you want. That has to be done manually which creates a lot of extra work. If you sync the structure I have described, any new assignments would automatically be downloaded.

@Marius Pretorius Is this still true?  My school's experience is that after a teacher returns an assignment, students can edit it, then they can select Resubmit and the previous version is no longer available in Teams.  The teacher/student has to go to Sharepoint to get the previous version. Many teachers want to use this as method for drafts, but it isn't user friendly within Teams right now. 

@Marius Pretorius Hi Marius


Some of my teams have the 'Student Work' folder available, and the students folders are automatically created, others not, any ideas?




It is for files uploaded to Assignments. My guess is that there are some teams where you have not yet created assignments.
There are two subfolders in Student Word: Submitted Files and Working Files. These are related to Assignments. If a learner uploads work and does not yet submit it - it goes to Working Files. Once they submit - it is copied to Submitted Files. Students have permission to edit files in Working Files but not Submitted Files.
There is a folder for each student in Working Files and also in Submitted Files. Every time you create an assignment a folder is created with the name of that assignment in each Learners' folder, in Working Files and in Submitted Files.

@Emre_Ilal Were you ever able to figure out how to change the organization in Submitted Work? I also want to be able to organize these files by assignment rather than by student. 


Or, if that isn't possible, figure out how to easily download all student submissions for a specific assignment. Do you know if that's possible?


Thank you!

@mwalsh43It is not possible to change the folder structure or easily download a single assignment for all students in the SharePoint of the Team. The one place I have seen this strategy necessary is where students are submitting PDFs as the work for the assignment and the teacher wants to annotate the document with feedback. It isn't possible to do that within the Teams environment, so teachers having the files all in one folder would be super helpful. The workaround that I have helped some teachers use is to use the Request Files option in OneDrive and attach this link to an assignment. As long as students are signed-in, it should show which student submitted the work. Teachers can then share the document back to the student when done and enter the score/additional feedback in the Teams assignment.

@Marius Pretorius, hello. I have a case from one of my teachers and I contacted Microsoft Premier Support. While troubleshooting we discovered the following behavior :

1. Students attach files to an assignment - both images and documents.

2. All the files appear in the "Working files" folder.

3. Students click on "Turn in" button.

4. All the files appear in the "Submitted files" folder. BUT images and video files disappear from the "Working files" folder, only documents remain.

The support guy told me that this is "by design" behavior. Since I can't find confirmation anywhere in the documentation, can you please confirm this or give me a link where this is written? Thank you in advance!

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