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Moodle Quick Help Guide

Getting Around in Gradebook

At the top of gradebook pages is a list of views or reports. Here are the ones you might need most often:  

  • Grader report: default view for instructors. Click “Turn editing on” to start entering grades. This is used for grading, not for setting up categories and weights.
  • User report: default view for a student to see their own grades, but an instructor can load one for any user.
  • Single view: information about either a single user, or about grades on a single item.
  • Gradebook Setup: for setting up things like categories, weighting, etc. 
  • Course Grade Settings:  where an instructor can modify how the course total and different gradebook reports display. 

There are many other options in this list of choices. For more information about different choices, open an option and then click on the Moodle Docs link at the bottom of the page.

Gradebook weights & aggregation

Moodle gradebooks start out by summing the number of points earned for each assignment or graded item.  At its most basic, a simple sum of those points divided by the total number of possible points equates to the final grade.

Instructors who calculate grades with this simple summing often allot more potential points for items that are meant to count more towards the final grade (e.g. a final exam vs. a pop quiz) as a way to weight them, but it can become complicated.  Moodle can make this easier by doing all the calculating for you.

With the “Natural” aggregation method, an instructor can average grades and define what percentage a category or item should contribute to the total grade, rather than giving out varying number of points per item.  This can be done for a category of items (if items are grouped into categories) or across an entire gradebook. Gradebook will add up points until you check the box next to a weight and set it to the correct percentage of the total grade. An item can also be flagged as extra credit, after you have created the item.

There is a "weights" column in the gradebook setup view that shows the current weights: just check the box next to a weight to adjust it.  You will want to create categories as needed and then go back and make sure the weights match the breakdown of a total grade that you want to use in your course.

(If you have previously used one of the "mean of grades" or "weighted mean" types of aggregation, or "sum of grades," "Natural" brings all of these into one method that is easier to use.) 

Add a Category

Grade categories are for grouping similar assignments together, for giving credit as a percentage of a total grade, and for dropping lowest grades if desired. 

In the gradebook setup page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add category. The New category page will open.
Enter a Category name and select category options. (Click headings to open collapsed settings areas, and click Show more... to view and adjust additional settings under a heading.)
Aggregation: You can choose Natural or Highest, and Natural is the right choice in most cases.
Exclude empty grades: (Selected by default) If checked, empty grades are not aggregated into grade calculations (i.e., Moodle assumes that the assignment has not yet been graded or assigned and therefore should not yet count against students). If unchecked, empty grades are calculated as "0" which may alarm your students early in the semester.
Drop the lowest: Exclude one or more grade items with the lowest value from being calculated in the category total.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.  The Categories and items page will open, displaying the new category.

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