If you've never used the Moodle gradebook before, this guide will help you get started. We will walk through the steps of setting up a course gradebook using an example syllabus.
In our example, the course has the following assignments:
Short Topic group presentation: 10 points
In-class worksheets: 20 points
Midterm exam: 40 points
Final exam: 75 points
Total: 145 pts
In this example, it is assumed that all of the assignments are submitted outside of Moodle and we will simply be keeping track of the assignment grades in the gradebook. Just click the "Grades" link in the left-hand navigation drawer to get started:
The first step before adding any assignments to the gradebook is to make sure that the gradebook settings are configured properly. Once you have opened the gradebook, click on the "setup" tab here:
If you are building a new course for the first time, all of the default settings should be fine. However, if you are using the gradebook for the first time in a course that you have taught previously, your setup view might look a little like this:
If you see the text which says "Simple weighted mean of grades. Drop 1 lowest values," this means that your course is using an aggregation method that was previously the default setting for new courses, and that the course is configured to drop the student's lowest grade in any assignment. These settings can be confusing and we recommend changing the aggregation method to "natural" instead. To change the aggregation method, click "edit" and "edit settings" on the top row that includes the name of the course:
On the next screen, in the "Grade Category" section, click on the "Show more..." link to reveal advanced options:
Now, change the aggregation method to "natural" and change the value in "drop the lowest" from 1 to 0:
When you are finished, your settings should look like this. Click "save changes" to finish changing the settings:
Now, when you return to the gradebook setup, your gradebook should look like this; note that the text next to "course total" is gone and the max grade is now 0 points instead of 100:
Once your gradebook setup looks like this, you are ready to begin creating assignments. If you create quiz or assignment activities in Moodle where students can submit their papers directly in Moodle, those activities will automatically create entries in the gradebook and student grades will automatically update when the students submit quizzes or receive a grade from you on their assignment. If you have assignments which are submitted in class on paper and graded outside of Moodle, or assignments which don't make sense to submit in Moodle such as class presentations or clinical technique observations, you can use the "add grade item" feature to track the grades in Moodle. In this example, we will assume that all of the course assignments are submitted outside of Moodle and we will use the "add grade item" feature to track all of them.
On the "add grade item" menu, enter the name of the assignment and the point value of the assignment that is in your syllabus. We'll begin by adding the "Short Topic group presentation" assignment for 10 points:
Now your gradebook setup should look like this:
Repeat this process for the other assignments until your gradebook looks like this; the "course total" max grade should match the number of total points in your syllabus:
Now, after you return to the grader report by clicking the "view" tab, your gradebook should look something like this; to grade an assignment, click the pencil icon next to one of the assignment names:
This will allow you to assign a grade on that assignment for all of the students at once; be sure to click "save" once you are finished:
Now, back on the "grader report" tab, you will see grades for that assignment listed for each student:
Note that the "course total" has updated to reflect the grades as well. The course total will provide students with a grade percentage that reflects all of the work they have been graded on so far. This means that if a student does not complete an assignment, it is important for you to enter a grade of "0" (zero) on that assignment instead of leaving it ungraded, or else the course total will not be accurate. Here is what the course total looks like once we have entered grades for all of the assignments:
If you have never used the gradebook before, using the "add grade item" feature to track all of your grades is a great way to get started that won't be too complicated. The gradebook can also be used in more advanced ways, such as automatically entering grades for Moodle quizzes and assignments, manually adjusting the weights of different assignments, or setting up a category for quiz scores that is configured to drop the lowest score.
You can learn more about the gradebook by reviewing the Moodle documentation, or you can contact me for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are getting started with the gradebook for the first time and you would like hands-on instruction, I would be happy to sit down with you and help you get everything configured.