All posts by Maria Ocando Finol

Hiding Grades from Moodle Gradebook

Hiding a Moodle Assignment column in the gradebook allows you to hide the grade throughout your course page, including when a student looks at their assignment submission. By hiding a grade, you will also hide any feedback comments or files you have added to that grade. However, students will still be able to see the assignment activity link in their grade report.

To hide a grade column from your gradebook:

  1. On your course’s left-side panel, go to Grades.
  2. From the tabs in your Grades page, select View > Grader Report > Setup. The gradebook will open to the Gradebook setup page.
  3. Locate the grade item or category you wish to hide and, under the Actions column, click Edit. From the drop-down menu that appears, select Hide. You will see the grade item turn to a light gray color, indicating that the item is hidden.

When you are ready to show grades to students, simply navigate back to the same page of your gradebook (following step 2, above) and, under the Actions column, select Edit > Show. 


Set up a Moodle Gradebook

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.

Make an Assignment Extra Credit in Moodle

Moodle Gradebook allows you to mark individual assignments as extra credit, as well as create a grading category in which all grading items are worth extra credit. This tech doc shows how to set up each of these options.

Marking a Grade Item as Extra Credit

The easiest way to do this is to modify the grade item directly by marking the extra credit checkbox. However, the way to do this varies depending on whether you want a) to create an extra credit assignment that students will complete as a Moodle activity or b) you want to create a new extra credit assignment directly in your gradebook without tying it to a Moodle activity.

a) If the extra credit grade item IS TIED to a Moodle activity:

  1. On your Moodle course, Turn Editing On.
  2. To begin, you will need to create the activity on your Moodle course by going to +Add an activity or resource and completing all the steps to save your new activity.
  3. Go to Grades > Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup.
  4. Search for the grade item for which you wish to give extra credit. On the gear icon toward the right of the item, click Edit Settings.
  5. On the new page that appears, scroll to the bottom of the page and check the Extra Credit box.
  6. Save your new settings.

b) If the extra credit grade item IS NOT tied to a Moodle activity:

  1. On your Moodle course, Turn Editing On.
  2. Go to Grades > Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup.

  3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and select Add Grade Item.
  4. On the new page that appears, adjust all the settings for the grade item you want to create, including giving the item a name, maximum and minimum grade (without counting extra credit points), etc.
  5. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and check the Extra Credit box.
  6. Save your new settings.

Creating an Extra Credit Category

It is also possible to create extra credit grade items within a category of their own. This option is useful if you have more than one extra credit item and wish to group them together. If you choose to create an extra credit category, your extra credit grade items will be in a category of their own. In this case, the category should be marked as extra credit but the individual grade items SHOULD NOT.

To create an extra credit category:

  1. On your Moodle course, Turn Editing On.
  2. To begin, you will need to create the activity on your Moodle course by going to +Add an activity or resource and completing all the steps to save your new activity.
  3. Go to Grades > Grader report > Setup > Gradebook Setup.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add Category.
  5. Give your new category the title “Extra Credit” (or any appropriate title you choose) and select the settings for this new category.
  6. Save your new settings.
  7. On your Gradebook Setup page, find the new category and click Edit Settings. Be sure to select Edit Settings for the category item with the blue icon folder and NOT for the Extra Credit Total item.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the new page and, under Parent Category, check the Extra Credit checkbox.

  9. Save your new settings.
  10. Finally, finish setting up your extra credit assignments by creating or modifying extra credit grade items following the steps above in (a) and (b) but DO NOT check the extra credit box for each individual grade item.

Share Large Files in OneDrive and Link on Moodle

Whether you’d like to share a film clip, an outside link, or upload a class recording, there are several ways to add/share video on Moodle. In this Tech Doc, you’ll find the most-common ways to share video on Moodle based on where the video is originally stored/hosted.

The first step to sharing video stored on your computer/device is to upload it to a platform that offers sufficient storage space for large video files. For the Bryn Mawr community, the easiest way to do this is by uploading your video to OneDrive or Panopto. This article provides instructions for uploading your file to OneDrive (see this article for uploading videos to Panopto and linking on Moodle).

Uploading a video to OneDrive

  1. On your browser, visit and log into your account.
  2. On the blue toolbar near the top of your browser, navigate to your Office 365 apps by clicking on the Apps icon.
  3. From the menu that appears, choose OneDrive. A new page will appear showing your OneDrive page.
  4. On this new page, locate and click Upload button near the blue toolbar. From the dropdown menu, select Files.
  5. A new window will appear showing files stored on your device. Find the video file you wish to upload and click Open.
  6. When the video has been uploaded, you will see a box indicating that the upload is complete and asking you to share a link to your file. Use the option Share Link to create a link for your video.
  7. A small window will appear in which you can set your sharing preferences. Click on Anyone with the link can edit to start changing your preferences.
  8. In the Link Settings window, set your sharing preferences. If you’re sharing this link with anyone outside the Bryn Mawr community (such as Haverford students), click on Anyone with the link.
  9. In Other Settings, choose whether the group you selected above can edit the document by checking/unchecking the box Allow Editing. This box is checked by default, so if you do not want users to edit the document, you will need to uncheck the box.

  10. When you’re finished setting up your preferences, click Apply.
  11. From the window that appears next, click on the icon Copy Link. Yet another new window will appear showing you the URL and indicating that you have copied the link. You can click on Copy Link once again if you need to get the link back on your clipboard.

After you’ve uploaded your video to OneDrive and created a shareable link, navigate to Moodle to share the video:

  1. Turn editing on in your course (use the button located at the top right of your course’s main page).
  2. Locate where you would like to place the link and select +Add an activity or resource.

  3. From the menu that comes up, choose the URL activity and then click Add.
  4. In the new window that appears, you will be able to give your URL a Name. The name is the text that will be displayed linking to your video. For example, you can title your link “Film clip for Week 1.”
  5. Next, paste your link into the External URL.
  6. Click Save and return to course. Your video is now available through this link to all users on your Moodle course page.
  7. To confirm your link is working correctly, open your link in a new incognito tab or browser.


Scan Papers Using a Smartphone App

Related Video on LinkedIn Learning: Capture Photos with Office Lens

Particularly during remote teaching and learning, it is common for faculty and students to share a scanned version of a document or assignment for which they have a hard copy (e.g. notes, equations, handwritten work, etc.). Office Lens offers a secure way to scan and share files while also saving your files to the cloud under your Office 365/Bryn Mawr College credentials.

  1. Download the Office Lens app from the App Store or Google Play and launch the app on your smartphone.
  2. Office Lens will show to consecutive screens in which it will ask you to Allow the app to access photos, media, and files on your device and Allow the app to take pictures and record video. For each of the two options, choose Allow.
  3. On the next screen, read the brief instructions for using your phone as a scanner. You can frame your shot from any angle and the app will clean the shot for you.
  4. Click the camera icon to start scanning. A new screen will show up allowing you to take a picture of the document you will be scanning.
  5. To adjust the borders of your document, make sure to turn on the option Let me adjust borders after each scan at the top of your screen.
  6. When you have confirmed that the image on the screen is what you would like to scan, click Confirm.
  7. You will now be able to edit your document or picture by using the editing tools that appear near the bottom of the screen. When you are finished editing or if you have no edits to make to the document, click Done >

  8. Select a title for your new document and choose the type of file for your scanned document. To convert the scanned document or image into a PDF, select PDF and click Save.

    : Files saved as PDF, OneNote, OneDrive, Word, or PowerPoint will be saved to your OneDrive. However, if you save the file to your gallery or to your device’s images, you will not be able to find the document on OneDrive.
  9. You can also share your file through other apps by going to the More menu and navigating to My Files.

    To share the file, touch and hold the desired document and share using your smartphone’s sharing options.

Schedule Appointments using Moodle

A helpful tool to schedule online or in-person office hours and other appointments within a Moodle course is the Moodle scheduler.* All teachers can add a scheduler to their course by following the steps below:

Note: It is also possible to schedule Zoom meetings on Moodle when using the Zoom Moodle activity. Learn how to add Zoom meetings to Moodle here. 

  1. Turn editing on in your course (use the button located at the top right of your course’s main page).
  2. Click +Add an activity or resource.
  3. In the box that appears, choose Scheduler and then click the Add button.
  4. A page called Adding a new Scheduler will appear. On this page, type in the name of the scheduler, You’ll be able to change this name later on, if needed.
  5. On this page, you will also be able to adjust certain settings of your scheduler, including the duration of each appointment, how many appointments students can schedule, and whether you would like scheduling to be available for pre-determined groups.
  6. To allow students to submit a message to you when scheduling an appointment, go to Booking form and student-supplied data. Here, you can also allow students to submit documents.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click Save and display.
  8. You will see a webpage with the name of your scheduler at the top. On this new page, click Add slots.
  9. A drop-down menu will appear that allows you to add repeated slots or add a single slot. Click on the link to add repeated slots, which are the most frequent option when creating a scheduler.
  10. After you have added all desired slots, close out of the scheduler and save your settings, by clicking Save and return to course.


New: Collapsible Topics in Moodle

In previous versions of Moodle, course content for all week or topic sections had to be displayed on the main page of the course. For large sites, this resulted in a “scroll of death” to get to sections and resources at the end. The new Collapsible Topics format helps by making all sections (except section ‘0’ at the top of your page) collapsible links, that viewers can expand to see content.

To change your course to the Collapsible Topics format:

  1. Open your course, click the gear icon in the top right, and choose Edit Settings.
  2. Scroll down and click Course Format to expand that section.
  3. From the Format drop-down menu, select Collapsed Topics.
  4. You can (optionally) use the settings below this menu to customize the look and behavior of the collapsed topics menu, for example:
    • Icon position (left, right)
    • Icon set (arrow, folder, etc.)
    • Whether to show the section summary when collapsed
    • Instructions for using collapsed topics
  5. Click Save and Return to Course to view your changes.
  6. The top section of the course should now be followed by a collapsed list of the remaining sections, as shown below. The exact look of the list will depend on your settings choices.

Known Issue

There have been very alarming cases in which Teachers have returned to a Moodle course with a Collapsible Topics format and find a significant chunk of content missing.

  • Instead, the number of course sections was reset to fewer than the actual number in the course, and the remaining sections were hidden from both students and teachers.
  • The workaround is to change the Course Format to Topics, save, and then change it back to Collapsible Topics.

Recording a narrated presentation using QuickTime (for Mac users)

Please note: The below method will work on all versions of macOS through Mojave. For later versions, including Mojave and Catalina, there is a separate built-in app called Screenshot that will also enable screen recording.

  1. Open QuickTime.
  2. Select File > New Screen Recording.
  3. A screen recording menu will appear. On the menu, click on the red circle to begin recording.
  4. Instructions will appear asking you to ‘Click to record the full screen. Drag to record part of the screen. End recording by clicking the stop button in the menu bar.’
  5. If you wish to record all content on your desktop, click the mouse once. If you wish to only record your presentation screen (recommended), click the upper right of the window and drag to select the portion you wish to record. (Anything grayed out will not be recorded). This will allow you to record the presentation but still refer to your slide notes, if needed.
  6. Once the recording window is selected, click Start Recording in the center of your screen.
  7. Record your presentation. Click through slides as you normally would.
  8. To stop recording, go to the top right of the menu bar and click the stop This will open the recording in a new window.
  9. Save the recording before closing QuickTime.

Create Checklists for Students on Moodle

The Checklist activity on Moodle allows a teacher to create a checklist, to-do list or task list for students to work through. The teacher can monitor each student’s progress as students tick off each of the items in the list.

Checklists can be helpful for students navigating course content independently or in a self-paced way. They can help teachers keep track of the work students have completed, and can also help students track their own progress within a course.

Features of the Checklist include:

  • Choosing whether students or teachers can check-off items
  • Students can add their own notes to their checklist
  • Dates can be added to items (and exported to the calendar)
  • Teachers can comment on an individual student’s items
  • Progress can be exported to the gradebook
  • Teachers can choose colors for each checklist item

To create a Checklist:

  1. On your Moodle course, Turn Editing On and navigate to the section of the course where you wish to add the checklist.
  2. Click on +Add activity or resource. From the list of activities, select Checklist and then click on Add.
  3. Give your checklist a title and a description (optional).
  4. Select the settings for your checklist. You may allow students to add their own items and update the checklist, enable comments by teachers, and add checklist due dates to your Moodle calendar.
  5. Save your checklist and return to your course’s main page.

Adding Checklist items:

  1. Click on the title of your checklist. This will take you to the checklist preview.
  2. Use the first box allows to type in the text for any one item in the checklist.
  3. Use the second box to include a URL to which the text will link students (this second box is optional).
  4. To add a date to the checklist item click on Edit Dates and select the desired date.
  5. Click Add to finish adding an item
  6. Follow the same steps for every item you wish to add to this activity.

Editing item settings:

  1. From your Moodle course page, click on the title of your checklist.
  2. Use the menu appearing directly above each item. Here, you can choose the color of the checklist item, access item settings via the gear icon, or delete an item using the delete icon.
  3. Use the tabs near the top of the page (View checklist, View progress, and Edit checklist) to navigate through your checklist.
  • View checklist will allow you to see how the checklist will be displayed to users
  • View progress will show you the progress each student has made on this checklist
  • Edit checklist will bring you back to your checklist item setup options

Changes to the checklist will be made when you save each item using the Add button. To exit the checklist editor, simply navigate back to your main page.

Take Attendance in Moodle

To take attendance on Moodle, teachers will first need to create an attendance activity and to add sessions for each activity.* After you have completed this step, attendance can be taken for each session by going into the attendance activity, where a list of all sessions will appear.

To begin taking attendance:

  1. Go to your Attendance activity (may also have a different title depending on what you named this activity earlier)
  2. Locate the session for which you wish to take attendance and, to the right of this session, locate the Play button.
  3. Click on the Play button to take attendance for that session.
  4. Select the attendance status for each student by following the headings on the top row: (P) Present, (L) Late, (E) Excused, (A) Absent.
  5. Alternatively, you can set the same status for all students by clicking on Set status for and choosing All from the dropdown menu.
  6. Enter remarks as appropriate — for example, the reason for an absence if known, or the number of minutes a student was late — and click the OK button to record the information.
  7. Click Save Attendance to finish taking attendance for that session.

Self-recording Attendance

It is possible for students to record their own attendance if you configure it in the settings.

When choosing for students to self-record attendance, each session may be assigned a unique password that you can share with students during class time so they can mark themselves as present.

Another way to allow students to record their own attendance is by displaying a QR code containing a URL that students can scan with a mobile device. By scanning the code, students will be taken directly to the page where they record their attendance. There, students will also fill in the password for the session.

When asking students to self-record attendance, instruct students to select the “Present” status, to record their attendance. The remarks section will include the text “Self-recorded.”

Generating Attendance Reports

You can generate attendance reports on sessions you have created within an attendance activity. To do this:

  1. Select the Attendance activity of the course and session you’re interested in.
  2. Click on the Export tab near the top.
  3. Change the export settings if you wish. You may choose to select all or some sessions, include remarks, identify users by username, and choose the start and end date of the period for which you want a report.
  4. From the Format drop-down menu, select the file format you’d like to export the attendance report in (for example, Download in Excel Format).
  5. Click on the OK.
  6. Your browser will now ask you to either display or save the file.