Moodle: Using gradebook

The Moodle gradebook is a very versatile online grading system; however, with this flexibility comes complexity. The goal of this guide is to serve as a roadmap for how the gradebook may be set up using the two most common grading methods, and how to progress through the grading process. If you use a grading method other than those listed here, please contact moodle@depauw.edu for assistance.

Setting up the gradebook – Weighted category method

The weighted category method enables the instructor to split the grades into categories. For instance, an instructor may make tests worth 30% of the final grade, quizzes worth 20%, group projects worth 20% and the final exam worth 30%. The Moodle gradebook supports custom categories.

To setup the gradebook for weighted categories

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
    Using Gradebook - Administration Block
  2. Click Categories and items → Full view.
    Using Gradebook - Categories and Items
  3. Make the following selections on the Edit categories and items: Full view window:
    1. In the Aggregation column, select Weighted mean of grades.
    2. To avoid blank grades being calculated as zero, put a check in the Aggregate only non-empty grades selection box. (Note: A zero must be entered for missing or incomplete work if it should be factored into the final grade.)
    3. To keep the gradebook from dropping the lowest grade within each category, leave the default setting for Drop the lowest.
    4. Click Save changes.
      Using Gradebook - Weighted Method

Adding categories to the gradebook

You can add categories to the gradebook for organizational purposes. (Note: It is not necessary to add an item at this point in the process.)

  1. Click Add category, which is located at the bottom of the window.
    Moodle Gradebook Category
  2. In the Grade category section of the New category window
    1. Click Show More to display the advanced settings.
    2. Enter Category name (e.g., Exams, quizzes, labs, participation, etc.).
    3. Select the Aggregation type. (Note: To weight items inherently by having more important items worth more points, select Simple weighted mean of grades.)
    4. To avoid blank grades being calculated as zero, select Aggregate only non-empty grades. (Note: A zero must be entered for missing or incomplete work if it should be factored into the final grade.)
    5. Aggregate including subcategories is the setting that determines whether grades in subcategories are included in the aggregation. Select Aggregate including subcategories to include grades in subcategories.
    6. Select the appropriate setting in the drop-down menu for Drop the lowest.
    7. Click Save changes.

Adding weights to categories

  1. In the Weight column, enter the appropriate weight for each category. For example, if exams are worth 50% of the total course grade, set the exams category to 50.
  2. Verify that the total of the Weight column adds up to 100.

Setting up the gradebook – Accumulating points method

This is the default setting of the Moodle gradebook. An accumulating points setup keeps a running total of all grades and does not use categories. Each assignment is set up for the full amount of points that it is worth. The grade for the class is calculated by taking the number of points earned and dividing it by the number of points possible.

To setup your gradebook for accumulating points

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
  2. Click Categories and items → Full view.
  3. The default settings should be as follows:
    1. Aggregation is set to Simple weighted mean of grades.
    2. Aggregate only non-empty grades is selected.
    3. Drop the lowest is set to “0”.
      Using Gradebook - Accumulating Points Method

Adding items to the gradebook

Items can be added to the gradebook by either adding an activity directly to the course or by adding a grade item directly to the gradebook. (Note: A grade item does not show up on the home page of the course. The adding a grade item method is used for items not in the Moodle course that you want included in the Gradebook.)

To add an activity directly to the course

  1. Click Turn editing on, which is located in the upper right side of the window.
  2. Click the Add an activity or resource, and then select the desired activity.
  3. Complete the on-screen prompts
    1. If grade categories are used, select the appropriate category in the Common module settings section.
    2. If grade categories are not being used, leave this set to the default setting of Uncategorized.

To add a grade item directly to the gradebook

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
  2. Click the Categories and items → Full view.
  3. Click Add grade item, located at the bottom of the window.
    Moodle Gradebook GradeItem
  4. Complete the on-screen prompts.

The grading process

Grade activities that are set up in Moodle can be graded by going into the activity itself or by adding grades directly to the gradebook. You can grade items directly added to the gradebook by entering the grade manually.

To grade activities by going into the activity itself

  1. Click on the activity you want to grade.
  2. Grade the activity. (Note: Each activity has its own method of grading. For questions on how to grade a specific activity, contact moodle@depauw.edu or go to the bottom of the screen and click Moodle Docs for this page.)

To enter the grade directly into the gradebook

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
  2. Click View → LAE Grader Report.
  3. Click Turn editing on, which is found in the upper right side of the window.
  4. Enter student grades in the appropriate column.
  5. Click Update to save the grades.

Hiding, locking and releasing grades

The Moodle gradebook allows grades to be hidden from students. This may be a handy feature if you prefer to release grades to all students at once rather than releasing each student’s grade immediately after grading.

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
  2. Click Categories and items → Full view.
    1. To hide an item from all students, click the eye icon closed. (Note: This setting is recommended for items that are in progress or that you are still grading.)
      Using Gradebook - Hide - Eye Icon Closed
    2. To lock items, click the lock icon closed. (Note: This keeps items from accidentally being changed.)
      Using Gradebook - Locked - Lock Icon Closed
    3. The following table represents possible uses for the hide and lock options. Courtesy of http://www.moodle.org.
      Event Locked Hidden
      Start of activity and participant submissions. No Yes
      End of activity and beginning of grading/feedback. Yes Yes
      End of grading/feedback and release of grades. Yes No

      Grade reports

      Grades can be displayed in aggregated format as a spreadsheet or as an individual report for each student.

  3. To view a grade report, click Grades in the Administration block.
  4. Click View.
  5. To view a spreadsheet report containing all participants
    1. To view a spreadsheet with a horizontal scrollbar, click Grader report.
    2. To view a spreadsheet with a horizontal and vertical scrollbar, click LAE Grader Report.
    3. To edit the report, click Turn editing on, which is located in the upper right side of the window.
  6. To view an individual report for each student
    1. Click LAE user report.
    2. Make the appropriate selection in the Select all or one user drop-down menu.

Exporting the Gradebook

  1. Click Grades in the Administration block.
  2. Click Export → Excel spreadsheet.
  3. Make the appropriate selections, click Submit.
  4. Click Download to save the file to your computer.

Updated: 1/18/2017