Gradebook improvements in Moodle 1.9.5

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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 improvements in Moodle 1.9.5.

Moodle1.9

This page provides details of improvements to the gradebook in Moodle 1.9.5. Thanks to everyone who helped with testing and feedback :-)


Tabs navigation

Tabs navigation
Course settings with sentence explaining what they apply to

A new navigation method setting in Administration > Grades > General settings enables administrators to choose whether to enable tabs navigation of the gradebook in addition to/instead of the existing dropdown menu. (The default navigation method setting is 'Dropdown menu' so it will look just like 1.9.4.)

The order of items in the dropdown menu is slightly changed, with 'Categories and items' appearing directly after the gradebook reports, and settings and preferences appearing last (since these will be used least often).

Course settings for the gradebook can be found in the Settings tab. A sentence has been added explaining that the settings determine how the gradebook appears for all participants in the course.

Grader report preferences (and preferences for other gradebook reports) can be found in the 'My preferences' tab.

Grader report improvements

Grader report with horizontal scrollbar

A new static students column setting in Administration > Grades > Report settings > Grader report enables administrators to enable a static students column for teachers to scroll grades in the grader report using a horizontal scrollbar. (Note that this feature is not available for IE6 users or for users who have have the screenreader setting in their profile set to Yes.)

The show/hide toggles across the top of the grader report (Show show/hide icons, Show locks etc) have been removed. The settings are still available in the grader report preferences.

For very large gradebooks (with many students and/or many grade items), an informative mouse-over tooltip has been added to each grade cell in the table. It shows the user and grade item to which the grade belongs.

User report improvements

Before: User report
After: User report showing category nesting

Category nesting is shown with contrasting colours in the user report, which makes it a lot clearer, especially when lots of categories are in use. A range column has been added.

Overview report removed for teachers

Gradebook with overview report removed

The overview report lists all the courses a student is enrolled in with the total grade for each course. The report is not relevant for teachers or non-editing teachers.

For new Moodle 1.9.5 installs the view overview report capability is not set for the default teacher and non-editing teacher roles.

For administrators upgrading to Moodle 1.9.5, Simplifying the gradebook by changing permissions provides details of how to make this change for teachers and non-editing teachers.

Easier editing of categories and items

Before: Edit categories and items
After: Edit categories and items simple view
Combined grade category and grade item editing

A new Edit categories and items page, with simple and full view, enables teachers to move multiple items between categories and quickly edit multiple settings.

Categories can only be moved one at a time, but all their contents are moved as well.

Category aggregation type can be changed instantly (without submitting the form) by changing the selected option in the aggregation dropdown menu.

Contrasting colours indicate category nesting. The categories and grade items are also indented with a cell coloured by the parent category's colour, to make the nesting even clearer.

Extra credit and weight appear in two different columns. If none of the categories have an aggregation type that makes use of either extra credit or weights, these columns are omitted.

Forms for editing grade categories and their associated grade items (e.g. course category and course total) have been combined into one form. This also means that there is no edit icon in the grader report for course and category totals. You just edit the category itself instead.

This change is perhaps the most radical one visually. If you are upgrading to 1.9.5, please make sure your users (teachers) are expecting this change and understand the new interface.

Aggregation types

Available aggregation types setting

A new available aggregation types setting in Administration > Grades > Grade category settings enables administrators to reduce the number of aggregation types.

By default, all existing aggregation types are available (Mean of grades, Weighted mean of grades, Simple weighted mean of grades, Mean of grades (with extra credits), Median of grades, Lowest grade, Highest grade, Mode of grades, Sum of grades). This list may be reduced to only a few types, with additional types being enabled as/when teachers request them.

Note that reducing the number of aggregation types simply results in disabled aggregation types not appearing in the aggregation type dropdown menu. All existing grade category calculations remain the same, regardless of whether the aggregation type is later disabled by an administrator.

Allowing grades over 100%

Unlimited grades setting

A new unlimited grades setting in Administration > Grades > General settings enables administrators to allow teachers to enter grades over 100% directly in the gradebook.

It is recommended that this setting is enabled at an off-peak time, as all grades will be recalculated, which may result in a high server load.

Implementation plan

  1. Add details to this page of everything we want in 1.9.5 - done
  2. Get consensus on the proposed improvements from Gradebook forum posters, asking them to find real teachers and run the improvements by them - done 31 March 2009
  3. Notify registered admins and Moodle Partners of the improvements - done
  4. Merge the changes to 1.9 branch - done 22 April 2009
  5. Remove the development prefix from this page - done
  6. Publicize the improvements in the moodle.org news forum and elsewhere
  7. Update the Grader report and other gradebook documentation - done

See also