Set up a Moodle Gradebook

Posted December 2nd, 2020 at 1:17 pm.

When teaching online and having students submit online assignments, the simplest way to calculate grades is to use the Gradebook in Moodle. This tech doc explains how to set up your Gradebook in a new Moodle course, including how to create categories and grade items.

Ideally, grade categories are created before adding any graded activities to your Moodle course or to your Moodle Gradebook. As the first step in setting up your gradebook, we recommend creating your grade categories. Once you have all your categories, you can move onto creating grade items.

Creating a Grade Category

  1. Have the categories in your assessment plan at hand. For example, your assessment plan might look like this:

Participation 10%
Peer-review and editing 15%
Homework 25%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%

In the following steps, each of your assessment categories will correspond to a grade category and each percentage will correspond to each category’s weight.

  1. On your Moodle course page, click the Turn Editing On button at the top right of the page.
    Turn Editing On
  2. Next, on the left side menu of your course, select Grades.
  3. On the next page, select Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup from the tabs displayed.
  4. Once you’re in the Gradebook Setup page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add Category.
  5. In the Grade Category page, choose a name for your category (e.g.: Midterm Exam, Homework, or Participation).
  6. Under Aggregation, choose how grades in this category will be calculated. We recommend choosing Natural. 
  7. Click Show more… to  see more options, including options to exclude empty grades, include outcomes in aggregation, or drop the lowest score (if there will be several items in this category).
  8. Under Category Total, choose your Grade Type. If you chose natural aggregation in the previous steps, the grade type will be set to Value by default.
  9. Under Category Total > Grade Display Type, choose whether to display the grade as a real value, a letter, percentage, etc. (e.g.: If a student receives an 85 points grade for an exam that is under this category and which is graded 0-100, a Real grade display will show the value 85, while a Percentage display will show the grade as 85%).
  10. Under Category Total, check the Weight Adjusted box to decide the weight this category will have within the total course grade. The weight should correspond to your assessment plan (see Step 1 above).
  11. Under Weight, type in the desired weight for the category. The weight of a category corresponds to its percentage from the total grade. (e.g.: if a category is worth 10% of the final grade, under Weight, you should type 10).
  12. Choose other adjustable settings for category including the number of decimal places you want to show, the minimum and maximum grade for a category, and whether to hide or show the grade category to students.
  13. Click Save Changes.
  14. Repeat this process for each category in your assessment plan. When you’re done, you will have the general structure for your course’s Gradebook and you’ll be ready to move onto creating grade items.

Creating Grade Items

Unlike categories, grade items can be added to the Gradebook in two ways:

(a) By creating graded activities in your Moodle course

By default, any graded activity created on the body of your Moodle course will have a corresponding item in your Gradebook. This includes graded assignments, forums, workshops and quizzes. How these graded items get categorized and calculated depends on the categories you have created for your Gradebook, as well as on the settings you choose when creating the activity.

(b) By creating items directly in the Gradebook

This option is ideal for activities that are not submitted through Moodle, that do not correspond to a graded activity (e.g.: participation, documents shared via other platforms, etc.) or for extra credit items.

To create a graded activity in your Moodle course:

  1. Create the activity on Moodle and, when finished, click Save and Return to Course.
  2. Find the activity in the body of your Moodle course and click Edit Settings under the gear icon. DO NOT click on the title of the activity. Some activities such as quizzes and questionnaires can be edited in two ways–clicking Edit Settings on the gear icon will allow you to edit the activity’s settings including availability, grading, restrictions, etc. while clicking on the title of your activity will allow you to edit the activity’s content (e.g.: edit or add question items).
  3. On the next page, scroll down and click on the arrow next to Grade to display grade options.
  4. Under Grade, choose the maximum points possible for the activity.
  5. Under Grade Category, choose the corresponding category for the activity (e.g.: Homework, Essay, Final Project, etc.). Note: The Grade Category menu will only show categories you have already created in your Gradebook. To create a grade category, see Creating a Grade Category instructions above.
  6. Click Save and Return to Course.
  7. A new item will appear in your Gradebook corresponding to the activity you have just created. To see this item, go to Grades > Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup.

To create items directly in your Gradebook:

  1. On your main Moodle course page, Turn Editing On.
  2. Next, on the left side menu of your course, select Grades.
  3. On the next page, select Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup from the tabs displayed.
  4. On the Gradebook Setup page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add Grade Item.
  5. On the Grade Item page, choose a name for your grade item (e.g.: Homework Week 1, Exam 2, etc.) and a maximum and minimum grade.
  6. Click Show more… to see more grade item settings.
  7. Under Grade display type, choose whether to display the grade as a real value, a letter, percentage, etc. (e.g.: If a student receives an 85 points grade for an exam graded 0-100, a Real grade display will show the value 85, while a Percentage display will show the grade as 85%).
  8. Under Parent Category, you can adjust the grade for this item by checking the Weight Adjusted box and manually entering a weight in the box below.
  9. Click Show more…
  10. Under the option Parent Category, choose the category to which this grade item belongs.
  11. Click Save changes.
Filed under: Grading and Feedback Tags: , by Maria Ocando Finol

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