It’s admirable that the Moodle development team wants to require a description for each assignment. The description field provides instructions to the student. It makes it easier to browse all the assignments for a course. However, I work with a lot of teachers who want to post as quickly as possible and who are not accustomed to a completely electronic, web-based course format. The solution? Make the description field optional, so that they are not required to enter something into this field for Moodle to accept the submission.
Comment out line 41, as follows:
// $mform->addRule('description', get_string('required'), 'required', null, 'client');
I assume you can modify other assignments in a similar manner.
We run Moodle 1.9.1
On a related note, I have heard of a school that has written their own Moodle modules. I am currently wondering how to blend teachers’ requests for a school-wide major assignments calendar with Moodle’s default categories of personal, course, and global events. Creating a new assignment or calendar type called “major assignment,” or adding such a flag to the relevant assignment types, may be the way to do it.