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Moodle Quick Help Guide

Gradebook vs spreadsheets

You have grades to manage. Two popular options are the Moodle gradebook or a spreadsheet. Which one is better for your course? Keep in mind that Moodle cannot automatically submit your grades to MyMountHolyoke.


If you would like to do some combination of these things...

  • Have students complete and submit to Moodle work that is easy for a machine to grade (e.g., quiz tool assignments using multiple choice, True/False questions, or matching questions).

  • Grade using mostly points and percentages, particularly if you only assign a letter grade for your final grade, or at midterm and final

  • Have students submit work via the assignment tool, with automated creation in a gradebook for those items

  • Set up Moodle to award participation credit for forum posts

  • Use rubrics within Moodle to make manual grading easier

  • Grade large classes with relatively few items to be graded, most of which can easily be graded by a machine.

  • Keep using the Moodle gradebook when you've been generally happy with it


consider using the Moodle gradebook for at least some of your grading.


If you would like to...

  • Grade many brief assignments: spreadsheets are easier to sort and scroll through than a Moodle gradebook, and can be resized more easily to deal with large numbers of assignments and individual assignment grades

  • Use letter grades for all assignments: Moodle can handle letter grades, but they must correspond to points and will require more setup than a mostly or completely point-based gradebook

  • Continue using a spreadsheet that is already working for you

  • Adjust your overall scheme for awarding a final grade during the semester, or leave much about grading undefined until you've gotten the feel of the course


consider using a spreadsheet.

Also consider whether your current method of grading is working for you: sticking with what works can be a great thing! If you'd like to start doing some of the things that the gradebook is good at, but still do the final calculations in a spreadsheet, you can do so! You can grade some things in the Moodle gradebook but not share them with students, and then do final calculations in a spreadsheet. See the other articles in our Grading section for more help. There are many ways to grade, ask your LITS Liaison for help making a plan that's right for you!

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