Gradebook 1.9 Tutorial

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Gradebook 1.9 Tutorial.

by Gary Anderson of Seattle Academy

The new gradebook in version 1.9 of Moodle is very powerful and flexible. However, many of the new features can be a little daunting. The purpose of this tutorial is to walk you through three of the more common grading strategies which will probably serve the needs of a great many courses.

Strategy 1: Items weighted by their point values

By default, Moodle computes a course grade based on the total number of points (or marks) earned, divided by the number of points possible. Therefore, if your course has two midterm tests, each worth 50 points, and a final exam worth 100 points, the final exam counts twice as much as each of the midterm tests.

Moodle calls this Aggregation method of computing course grades Simple weighted mean of grades because items are weighted based simply on their maximum point value.

Note that in version 1.9, by default, items are not computed into the grade until a score is assigned. This means that you can post your activities as far in advance as you wish; students always see a grade based only on what has been marked. You can change this to have all non-graded items be counted as zero if you wish.

Exercise

  1. In a sample course of three students, create three assignments titled "10 point assignment", "20 point assignment", and "50 point midterm".
  2. Assign scores to each of the assignments as shown in the example:
    Gradebook Tutorial -- Simple weighted mean of grades
  3. Verify that the course grade is as you desire.
  4. Change various scores and confirm that the gradebook is computing the course grade in the way you want. If not, you might want to make additional changes to your gradebook setup.

Strategy 2: Items all given equal weight

In some courses, the number of points(or marks) given to an item is arbitrary and is not a factor in deciding its weight in computing the course grade. In this case, each assignment is given equal weight, so a 10 point essay might be worth just as much as a 20 point essay. With this grading strategy, one would first convert each item to a percentage value and then average the percentages in computing the course total.

Moodle calls this Aggregation method of computing grades Mean of grades because the average is computed by giving the same weight to each item.

Exercise (begin with the example from the first exercise)

  1. From the view menu in the gradeboook, select "Categories and items".Gradebook Tutorial Categories and items menu.gif
  2. Click the "Edit" iconEdit.gif for your course.
  3. Change Aggregation to Mean of grades.Gradebook Tutorial Edit course command.gif
  4. Verify that the course grade works like this example:
    Gradebook Tutorial -- Mean of grades
  5. Change various scores and confirm that the gradebook is computing the course grade in the way you want. If not, you might want to make additional changes to your gradebook setup.

Strategy 3: Course grade weighted by category

In many courses, the teacher may want to assign different elements of performance (such as daily work and tests) to defined percentages in determining a course grade.

Moodle calls this Aggregation method of computing course grades Weighted mean of grades because the course grade is computed by weights that the teacher assigns to categories (or items).

Note:

  • Once your gradebook is setup, you can put activities into categories when you create or edit the activity (like and assignment or quiz).
  • You can also change item categories from the Categories and items view of the gradebook.
  • You can keep an item from being factored into the course grade by not placing it in a weighted category
  • Category weights do not have to add to 100. If you have two categories with weights of 1 and 2, the second is given twice as much value in computing the course grade.

Exercise (begin with the example from the earlier exercises)

  1. From the view menu in the gradeboook, select "Categories and items".
  2. Click the "Edit" icon Edit.gif for your course (the top item in the gradebook) and change Aggregation to Weighted mean of grades.
  3. From the same "Categories and items" view, click the button "Add category" Add category button.gif. Add two categories: "Daily work 40%"Gradebook Tutorial Daily Work.gif with a weight of 40 Gradebook Tutorial Item weight.gif and "Tests and Exams 60%" with a weight of 60. Within the category, keep Aggregation type as "Simple weighted mean of grades".
  4. For the existing items in the gradebook, click the "move" icon Move.gif and place the items in appropriate categories.
  5. Going back to your main course, add a new assignment called "100 point final". Note that you can place items into categories when you create or edit them. Gradebook Tutorial Grade category.gif
  6. Assign scores to each of the assignments as given in this example (note that Helen's first assignment score was changed to a zero):Gradebook Tutorial Weighted mean of grades.gif
  7. Change various scores and confirm that the gradebook is computing the course grade in the way you want. If not, you might want to make additional changes to your gradebook setup.