Offline Bulk Assignment Grading in Moodle

Posted March 31st, 2020 at 6:01 pm.

Did you know that you can download Assignment submissions in bulk for offline grading/feedback and re-upload the grades, feedback, and (optionally) marked assignments back into Moodle? This feature works with both anonymous grading (blind marking) and non-anonymous grading workflows.

This tech doc describes the four steps of the process:

  1. Set up an Assignment for offline grading
  2. Download the submissions and a “grading worksheet” (spreadsheet) for recording grades and overall comments.
  3. Grade and annotate (if desired) the submitted work.
  4. Upload the completed grading worksheet and (if applicable) annotated submissions or feedback files.

Note: If you’d like to mark PDF submissions without downloading them, see Using Annotate PDF to give feedback on Moodle.

EAST is happy to help you with the process of offline bulk grading — email help@brynmawr.edu or set up a consultation appointment.

Step 1. Set Up an Assignment For Offline Grading

In order to use offline grading, you need to set up your Assignment with the following settings. You must do this before you start grading, but it’s best to do it before students submit any work. 

To check/adjust Assignment settings.

  1. Click on the Assignment name to open it.
  2. Click the gear icon, and choose Edit Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. Under Grade
    1. Set Type is set to Point or Scale (i.e., the assignment must be graded, although note that Complete/Incomplete is one of the Scale options).
    2. Set Grading Method is to Simple Direct Grading. This is the default.
  4. Under Feedback types, check all of the following (not checked by default):
    1. Feedback comments
    2. Feedback files
    3. Offline grading worksheet

Step 2. Download Submissions and Grading Worksheet

  1. From the main course Moodle page, click on the title of your Assignment (do NOT click Edit or Edit Settings).
  2. On the next screen or summary page, click View All Submissions. 
  3. A new page will appear with a drop-down menu at the top, below the title of the assignment. From the drop-down menu, select Download grading worksheet.
  4. Save the .cvs file, making sure to keep it in .csv file format. You can open this file in Excel or other spreadsheet program.
  5. Navigate toward the bottom of the screen, and check the box titled Download submissions in folders.

  6. Scroll back to the top of the screen and, from the drop-down menu, select Download all submissions.
  7. Unzip the submissions folder downloaded to your computer.
    • Note that each student has a folder:
      • Each folder and file has a unique numeric identifier.
      • If you have not turned on anonymous grading (“blind marking”), folder and file names will also include the students’ first and last names.
      • The same number/name identifies the student in the grading worksheet.
    • The submission files will be in the format the student uploaded (e.g., .doc, .rtf, .pdf, etc.). Online text submissions will be downloaded as html files.
    • Do not change the file and folder names if you plan to provide feedback by uploading annotated submissions!

Step 3. Grade and Annotate Submitted Work

  1. Click on the students’ submission files (or HTML files for text box submissions) to open and read them.
  2. Fill out the grading worksheet (spreadsheet) that you downloaded in step 2.
    1. Open the .csv file in a spreadsheet editor (e.g. Excel).
    2. Each student is identified by a unique number and/or name (see above).
    3. Enter the student’s grade Grade column, using the same scale you set up for the assignment (e.g., Points, etc.)
    4. If you want summary feedback to appear next to the Grade in the Moodle Gradebook, type it in the Feedback comments column.
    5. Leave all other data untouched unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
    6. Save the .csv file.
  3. Optional: If you want to provide more detailed feedback to students you can:
    1. Open the students’ submission files and annotate them. There are many ways to do this, including Microsoft’s commenting and track changes features for Word files or Adobe Acrobat Reader’s commenting features for PDFs. Save the annotated files in the same folder and don’t change the file names.
    2. Type feedback for a student into a separate document and save it to the student’s folder in the unzipped submissions folder. You can include multiple feedback files in the students folder.
    3. Once you’ve added the feedback, zip the sub-folders back up for upload by selecting them and either:
      • Windows: Right-click and choose Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.
      • Mac: Right-click (or Ctrl+click) and choose Compress.

Note: Don’t change the name or location of the subfolders: Moodle needs this information to allocate the files correctly.

Step 4. Upload Grading Worksheet and (if Applicable) Files 

Upload the grading worksheet to add grades and feedback you entered to your Moodle gradebook:

  1. From the main course Moodle page, click on the title of your Assignment (do NOT click Edit or Edit Settings).
  2. On the next screen or summary page, click View/Grade All Submissions. 
  3. A new page will appear with a drop-down menu at the top (same as in Step 2), below the title of the assignment. From the drop-down menu, select Upload grading worksheet.
  4. Click Choose a file… to browse for and upload the grading worksheet to Moodle, or drag the .csv file to the arrow and wait for the file name to appear in the box.
  5. DON’T check the overwrite records that have been modified more recently in Moodle than in the spreadsheet unless you want to override grades you’ve already entered.
  6. Click Upload grading worksheet.
  7. Review the the grades and feedback to be imported in the Confirmation window carefully.
  8. When you are satisfied that everything is correct, click Confirm, then Continue.

If you created a zipped file with annotations of student’s submitted work and/or additional feedback documents in Step 3: 

  1. From the Grading actions drop-down menu (see parts 1–3 of Step 3), choose Upload multiple feedback files in a zip.
  2. Click Choose a file… and upload the zipped assignments file to Moodle, or drag the compressed/zipped file to the arrow and wait for the file name to appear in the box.
  3. Click Import feedback file(s).
  4. The Confirmation box will list all the feedback files and student names that will be imported.
  5. Click Confirm; the next screen summarizes the changes.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. From the page containing the Grading Table, you can check your feedback files by enabling Quick grading (see Options at the bottom of that page) and scrolling horizontally, if needed.

For an assignment with no file submissions, see the discussion upload feedback files without student file submissions for details of what to do.

Filed under: Grading and Feedback by Jenny Spohrer

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