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2010 Moodle Grades

Information Technoloy Services Concordia College, Moorhead, MN September, 2010

Introduction to Moodle Grades 1.9.8 Located in the Administration block, Moodle Grades (a.k.a. Moodle gradebook) allows you to automatically track, compute, and report students’ grades in your course. With Moodle Grades students can receive immediate feedback on their academic progress. Moodle provides nine different aggregation strategies for computing grades as well as specifying items as extra credit. Moodle Grades can also be exported to your computer as an Excel spreadsheet. This handout will introduce the two approaches for creating a gradebook, explain how to input and organize grades, view individual student grades, export grades as an Excel spreadsheet, work with different gradebook views and change default settings. Finally, you will learn about two common methods for grading, weighted mean of grades and simple weighted mean of grades along with other category aggregation methods that come with Moodle Grades.

APPROACHES FOR CREATING A GRADEBOOK There are two methods for creating your gradebook in Moodle: 1. You can create categories and grade items directly in Moodle Grades. Grade items created in Moodle Grades do not link to the calendar feature in Moodle. If you use Moodle on a limited basis, this option may be most appropriate. 2. You can add assignments, quizzes, and other graded items on the home page of your course. These will automatically be linked to Moodle Grades and the Moodle calendar feature. Assignments and quizzes can be administered either online or offline. If students are accustomed to accessing Moodle for course materials, consider this option.

Method 1 – Working Directly in Moodle Grades In this step you will learn how to launch Moodle Grades and work in the Grader Report, Simple View and Full View. 1. Log into your Moodle course. 2. Locate the Administration block (shown right) positioned on the left size of your screen and click Grades. 3. This opens the Grader Report which is the main page in Moodle Grades. If you have not yet created assignments, quizzes, or other graded items, the Grader Report will be empty except for a list of participants in your course. If you have already added graded items, you will see those grade items listed in the columns across the top of the Grader Report screen. a. To record student grades in the Grader Report you must first have grade items created and you must turn editing on (button, upper right).


CREATE CATEGORIES AND GRADE ITEMS USING SIMPLE VIEW and FULL VIEW From the Grader Report you can access both Simple View and Full View where you can create grade items such as an assignment or quiz, and you can organize grade items into categories. 1. To display Simple View select the Categories and Items tab as pictured below or you can select Simple View from the drop down list located on the left side of your screen.

2. To add a grade item, click the Add Grade Item button you see pictured above. To add a category click the Add Category button you see pictured above. Categories are used to group and organize grade items. a. TIP: If the academic program requires evidence or tracking of proficiencies, competencies or specific skill development you can use categories to measure progress toward these areas. 3. Select the Full View link in the upper left area to display additional columns. See example below: Added columns in full view


In either Full View or Simple view, you can create categories of grade items and add individual grade items. These grade items will not be linked to the calendar in Moodle. Most activities you add in Moodle’s main course page can be graded and consequently those graded activities will be automatically linked in the Moodle gradebook. In either Simple or Full View you can differentiate which activities have been added through Moodle Grades or were entered as an activity from the main course page by the ability to edit them here:

The Max Grade for Quiz 1 can be edited therefore it was added as a grade item in Moodle Grades. The Max Grade for Assignment 1 was added as an activity from the main course page and cannot be edited. To edit the Max Grade you must go to that activity on your main course page. Method 2 – Create Graded Items by Adding Them as an Activity You can create grade items by adding them as an activity. From your main course page, turn editing on and choose Add an Activity. Choose an activity from the pull down list. In the example below, an Offline Assignment activity is being added. You’re seeing the Edit Summary window:

Note: If grade categories have already been created, you’ll find a field at the bottom (scroll to the end) to designate a grade category.


The information specified in the Grade field (pictured above) will link this assignment to the gradebook. If a date range is specified, those dates integrate with the calendar. If you deleted the activity from the main course page, it will be deleted in the gradebook as well. Keep in mind some activities such as surveys, maps, or podcasts cannot be graded.

Methods for Inputting Grades There are two methods you can use to input student grades: 1. Grader Report 2. Through the Activities block GRADER REPORT Selecting the Grades icon from the Administration block brings you to the Grader Report where you can input grade information and comments directly. Turn editing on. The Grader Report displays a solid cell and a dotted cell. Use the solid cell to input numbers. The dotted cell is for comments. Choose Save when finished.

ASSIGNMENTS LINK If your students are submitted their assignments to Moodle electronically, you can grade their assignments electronically. Click Assignments located in the activities block. This brings you to a list of all assignments within the course. To grade the assignment click “View X submitted assignments” as pictured below:

In the example below, Quick Grading has been activated (check box in bottom right of your screen). This displays a box to input your comment in the Comments column. You can also specify a grade. In the example below Student 4 has submitted an assignment “Team Teach with Twitter.”


Clicking the Grade link pictured above enables you to do several things at once: 1.) You can view the student assignment electronically, 2.) Indicate your comments and grade, 3.) Upload another paper or file, 4. Indicate the grade for the assignment, 5.) Choose Save and Show Next to move onto the next student. 6.) Work that is turned in after the deadline date and time is flagged in red text.



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Note that quizzes can be graded in Moodle automatically. Some questions types will require manual grading on your part.

Viewing Individual Student Grades When you set up the grade book in Moodle students can view and manage their progress in your course. You can also view student’s progress individually or as a group. VIEW INDIVIDUAL PROGRESS 1. From the Grader Report, click the “Grades for…” button to the right of the student’s name

2. A User Report page appears (see right): 3. To view Individual User Reports for the entire class select All Users from the drop down list on the right (see below):



Export Grades as an Excel Spreadsheet You can export Moodle Grades to an Excel spreadsheet. From the Grader Report select the Export tab or you can select Export, Excel Spreadsheet from the Choose an Action drop down list. 1. Select all the items you wish to include in the spreadsheet (you can always delete rows and columns of information you do not need later.) 2. Choose Submit. 3. A preview page appears. Choose Download. 4. You will be prompted to open or save the file (save is recommended). 5. Open the file from the location you have saved it to.

Working With Different Gradebook Views Moodle Grades comes with three different views for accessing information and ease of navigation:

The links for these views are located in the upper left area of the Grader Report. The User Report was covered previously; this is the report where you can get information on individual student grades. If you’re working on updating grades in more than one course, the Overview Report allows you quick access to the gradebooks in your other courses. Here’s an example:

The instructor for this course can quickly jump to the gradebooks in her other courses by clicking directly on the links. Students have the same feature and can quickly navigate between gradebooks in all the courses they are taking.

CHANGING THE DEFAULT SETTING FOR THE GRADEBOOK AND GRADER REPORT DISPLAY You can change the way Moodle Grades displays grades for the entire course. In the Grader Report choose either the Settings tab or Settings: Course under the Choose an Action drop down list.

ATTENTION: You can specify default setting for either the course or for the Grader Report. The Grader Report default settings are located in the My Preferences tab or My Preferences: Grader Report under the Choose an Action drop down list.



Default Setting Last

Explanation and Options Places the course totals at the end or beginning of column

Grade Item settings Grade display type

Default Setting Percentage

Overall decimal points


Explanation and Options Grades can be displayed as a percentage, letter, real (number), or combination of two such as letter and percent. Display decimal places 0 through 5.

Overview report Show rank

Default Setting Hide

Hide totals if they contain hidden items

Show totals excluding hidden items

User report settings Show rank

Default Setting Hide

Show percentage


Show hidden items

Only until hidden (empty)

Hide totals if they contain hidden items

Explanation and Options Shows the position of the student relative to the class. Applies to Overview report only. Other options include: hide, show totals including hidden items.

Explanation and Options Shows the position of the student relative to the class. Applies to the user report only. Options to show or hide. Applies to user report only. Options include: no hidden, only hidden until, and all hidden. Applied to user report only. Options include: hide, show totals excluding hidden items, and show totals including hidden items.

CHANGE GRADER REPORT PREFERENCES Show/Hide Toggles Show calculations

Default Setting No

Show/hide icons


Show column averages


Show locks Show user profile images

No Yes

Show user idnumber



Explanation and Options Whether to show calculator icon next to grade items. This is the show/hide “eyeball” icon in Full View and Simple View. By default this icon is not displayed. Controls grade item visibility to user. This displays the overall average for a grade item. Displays the lock icon in the Grader Report. User profile images appear to the left of the student’s name. If no picture was uploaded, a smiley face icon appears. Whether to show the student’s ID number in an additional column.

Show/Hide Toggles Show activity icons Show ranges

Default Setting Yes Yes

Explanation and Options Activity icons appear next to the activity name. Whether to show the range of grades for each column in an additional row.

Special Rows Range display type

Default Setting Inherit

Decimals shown in ranges Column averages display type

2 Inherit

Decimals in column averages


Grades selected for column averages Show number of grades in averages

Non-empty grades No

Explanation and Options Specifies how to display ranges. If Inherit is selected, the display type for each column is used. Other options include: real (number), percentage, letter. Options include: inherit, 0-5 Specifies how to display the mean for each column. If Inherit is selected, the display type for each column is used. Specifies the number of decimal points to display for each column mean. If Inherit is selected, the display type for each column is used. Whether cells with no grade should be included when calculating the mean for each column. Whether to show the number of grades used when calculating the mean in brackets after each average, for example 45 (34).

General Quick grading

Default Setting Yes

Show Quick Feedback


Students per page


Aggregation position


Explanation and Options Quick Grading adds a text input element in each grade cell on the grader report, allowing you to edit many grades at once. You can then click the Update button to perform all these changes at once, instead of one at a time. Quick feedback adds a text input element in each grade cell on the grader report, allowing you to edit the feedback for many grades at once. The number of students to display per page in the grader report. Defines the position of the aggregation total column in the report related to the grades being aggregated. (Totals appear in last column.)

IDEA: If you wish to apply some of these settings for an individual grade item, open Full View and choose the edit icon to locate that setting.


Managing and Organizing Grades Using Full View Full and Simple view make it easy to manage and organize grades. Below is a snapshot of the Full View window with suggestions as to how you can organize your gradebook data. Make sure to manually calculate the Max grade column category totals.

2 3

5. Weight for category

5. Weight for item


1 Manually calculate

Check if Extra Credit

1. Drop the lowest – indicate a number in this column to drop the lowest score from the category of graded items. 2. Move icon – click this button to move a grade item to another category or location. 3. Multiplicator - factor by which all grades for this grade item will be multiplied, with a maximum value of the maximum grade. (Visible only when multiple items are present in category.) 4. Offset - number that will be added to every grade for this grade item, after the Multiplicator is applied. (Visible only when multiple items are present in category.) 5. Aggregation – use to indicate how grade items will be computed (see next page). 10 | P a g e

Category aggregation In Full View the aggregation menu lets you choose the aggregation strategy that will be used to calculate each student’s overall grade for the category. The different options are explained below. The grades are first converted to percentage values (interval from 0 to 1, this is called normalisation), then aggregated using one of the functions below and finally converted to the associated category item's range (between Minimum grade and Maximum grade). Important: An empty grade is simply a missing gradebook entry, and could mean different things. For example, it could be a participant who hasn't yet submitted an assignment, an assignment submission not yet graded by the teacher, or a grade that has been manually deleted by the gradebook administrator. Caution in interpreting these "empty grades" is thus advised. In the computations below, A1, A2, A3 can be interpreted as Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Assignment 3 or it can be interpreted as a cell address in a spreadsheet program.

Mean of grades The sum of all grades divided by the total number of grades. A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100: (0.7 + 0.25 + 1.0)/3 = 0.65 --> 65/100

Weighted mean (common) Each grade item can be given a weight, which is then used in the arithmetic mean aggregation to influence the importance of each item in the overall mean. Example: Exams 40%, Assignments 50%, Attendance 10%. Points are less relevant. A1 70/100 weight 10, A2 20/80 weight 5, A3 10/10 weight 3, category max 100: (0.7*10 + 0.25*5 + 1.0*3)/18 = 0.625 --> 62.5/100

Simple weighted mean (common) The difference from Weighted mean is that weight is calculated as Maximum grade - Minimum grade for each item. A 100 point assignment has a weight of 100, a 10 point assignment has a weight 10. In other words, a point is worth a point. A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100: (0.7*100 + 0.25*80 + 1.0*10)/190 = 0.526 --> 52.6/100

Mean of grades (with extra credits) Arithmetic mean with a twist. An old, now unsupported aggregation strategy provided here only for backward compatibility with old activities.

Median of grades The middle grade (or the mean of the two middle grades) when grades are arranged in order of size. The advantage over the mean is that it is not affected by outliers (grades which are uncommonly far from the mean). A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100: Median(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 0.7 --> 70/100

Smallest grade The result is the smallest grade after normalisation. It is usually used in combination with Aggregate only non-empty grades. A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100: Min(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 0.25 --> 25/100

Highest grade The result is the highest grade after normalisation. A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100: Max(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 1.0 --> 100/100

Mode of grades The mode is the grade that occurs the most frequently. It is more often used for non-numerical grades. The advantage over the mean is that it is not affected by outliers (grades which are uncommonly far from the mean). However it loses its meaning once there is more than one most frequently occurring grade (only one is kept), or when all the grades are different from each other. A1 70/100, A2 35/50, A3 20/80, A4 10/10, A5 7/10 category max 100: Mode(0.7 ; 0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0 ; 0.7) = 0.7 --> 70/100

Sum of grades The sum of all grade values. Scale grades are ignored. This is the only type that does not convert the grades to percentages internally (normalisation). The Maximum grade of associated category item is calculated automatically as a sum of maximums from all aggregated items. A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10: 70 + 20 + 10 = 100/190 Source: taken directly from with some revisions applied.

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Moodle Grades  

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