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Grades FAQ

From MoodleDocs


How can I change how grades are displayed?

Grades may be displayed as as actual grades, as percentages (in reference to the minimum and maximum grades) or as letters.

The default grade display type for the site is set by an administrator in Administration > Grades > Grade item settings. However, this may be changed at course level.

To change how grades are displayed for particular grade items, or category and course summaries (called aggregations):

  1. Follow the grades link in the course administration block.
  2. Select "Categories and items" from the gradebook dropdown menu.
  3. Click the edit icon for the grade item, category total or course total.
  4. From the Grade display type menu, select real (for actual grades), percentage or letter.
  5. Click the "Save changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Alternatively, to change how grades are displayed for the whole course:

  1. Follow the grades link in the course administration block.
  2. Select "Course settings" from the gradebook dropdown menu.
  3. From the Grade display type menu, select real (for actual grades), percentage or letter.
  4. Click the "Save changes" button.

How can I hide entered grades until a specified date?

To set a "Hidden until" date:

  1. Access the course gradebook via the grades link in the course administration block.
  2. Select "Categories and items" from the gradebook dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the edit icon opposite the activity for which a "Hidden until" date is to be set.
  4. On the edit grade item page, ensure that advanced settings are displayed. (Click the "Show advanced" button if not.)
  5. Enable the "Hidden until" setting by unchecking the disable checkbox, then set a date.
  6. Click the "Save changes" button.

Is it possible to show the teachers/administrators' grades in the grader report?

Yes, at the site level you can define which roles will appear in the grader report. This can be found in Administration > Grades > General settings. Also read this discussion for some more ideas.

Why can't I change a grade within an assignment after changing it in the gradebook?

When you edit a grade directly in the gradebook, an "overridden" flag is set, meaning that the grade can no longer be changed from within the assignment.

However, the flag can be removed by turning editing on in the grader report, then clicking the edit grade icon, unchecking the overridden box and saving the changes.

How do I get groups to show up in the grader report?

For groups to show up in the grader report, group mode should be set to visible or separate groups in the course settings. This will result in a groups dropdown menu being displayed, enabling a teacher to view the grades of all participants, or only the grades for a selected group.

The quiz grades keep disappearing from the student view, even after I un-hide them!

Check your quiz settings. Under the Review options heading, in the Later, while the quiz is still open and/or the After the quiz is closed columns, you probably have Scores un-checked. Each time a student completes a quiz, these settings are consulted and the scores will be hidden from all students. If your students don't all take the quiz at the same time, it can look like quiz scores reset themselves to 'hidden' randomly, even after you un-hide them.

How can I make the gradebook simpler for teachers?

See Simplifying the gradebook by changing permissions.


How do I create my own custom gradebook reports?

Here is a tutorial explaining all the main steps involved.

How can I sort or change the order of column headings?

Go to Grades link, then select one of the "Category & items" actions from the pulldown on the top left. Use the move icon to change the position of the graded item. And/or you could create categories for the items and move them into a category so they will be grouped that way first.


I can't find where to change the aggregation type for my gradebook categories!

Each category has an aggregation type, which can be changed through that category's "edit" page. To access that page, you must use one of 2 ways:

1. In the grader report, turn "Editing" on, then click the little "hand" icon next to the category whose aggregation you want to change 2. In the "Edit categories and Items" page (accessible through the "choose an action" menu, top left), you see a tree view of the categories and items in your gradebook. The top category is the course category. Each category also has a "hand" icon, which leads to the category edit page

How can I grade some of my activities without the results affecting my students' course total?

  1. Create two Grade categories, one for your "activities still being graded," and one for your "released" activities.
  2. Ensure that "Aggregate including subcategories" (an advanced option) is unchecked for your top level course grade category.
    1. Where is this? In gradebook (grader report), in the upper right corner, click the "Turn Editing On" button.
    2. Click the edit icon next to the "course category" (usually your course name, just above the quiz names and below all the clickable links that were revealed when you turned editing on)
    3. Then make sure you have the "Show Advanced" option turned on.
  3. Edit the "activities still being graded" category's "course total" item. (This is one of the categories you created above.)
    1. Where is this? Look for the edit icon under "category total" that is below this category's name
  4. Set the "grade type" to "none".
  5. Tick the "Hidden" checkbox.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. Move all your activities being graded in the "activities still being graded" category.
  8. Move all your activities already graded in the "released" category.

Note: I rewrote this a bit, to help people find where things are. However, this method didn't seem to work for me on Moodle 1.9.

My student completed only one activity out of 5, but his course total shows 100%. How do I show a more "progressive" course total?

Step-by-Step Explanation

  1. From the view menu in the gradeboook, select "Categories and items" File: en/6/65/Gradebook Tutorial Categories and items menu.gif
  2. At the top line there is a folder icon and an edit icon on the right, click the edit icon
  3. You'll then see the title "Grade category," the 3rd item is "Aggregate only non-empty grades."
  4. Uncheck this.
  5. Save.

Another Explanation

By default, only non-empty grades are aggregated, the others are ignored. However, you can change this setting as well as others that affect the course total, by turning "Editing" on in the grader report, and clicking the "Edit" icon next to the course category (the very top row of the grader report).

You can untick the box "Aggregate only non-empty grades" if you want to show a more "progressive" score for each student. Their empty grades will count as a 0 and will be counted in the course mean/total.

If you prefer to show a sum of points, rather than a percentage, you can change the course category's aggregation method to "Sum of grades".

How can I display the average grade for my course categories (not grade categories)?

In Moodle 1.9 there is no way to aggregate course totals within each category. The gradebook is course-centered, and there is currently no User Interface for showing grades within an entire course category at once.

How can I setup weighted assignments?

See Using "Weighted Mean of Grades" to weight categories containing assignments.


How many depths of categories/subcategories can I create?

There is no programmatic limit, but there are practical limits. Very deeply nested structures are difficult to manage. 3 levels of categories should be sufficient for most situations. Note that there is always at least one level of categories, since the Course category always encompasses all other categories and grade items, can cannot be deleted.

I can't find setting X in the grade category edit page! Where is it?

If a setting documented on the Grade categories page does not appear on your edit page, it may mean that it is set globally in your site. See Forcing settings for more information.


I have just upgraded to Moodle 1.9, and I want to set up an outcome item for my course. What are the steps required?

  1. Administration > Grades > General settings > Enable outcomes
  2. Create a scale
  3. Create a course outcome (read the outcomes documentation for instructions). Assign to it the scale you just created.
  4. Assign the outcome to your course
  5. Enter the "Grades" section of your course, from the course administration block
  6. In the Actions menu (top left), select Edit -> Categories and Items
  7. Click "Add outcome item"
  8. Follow the instructions of the outcome items documentation to create the outcome item

You can now give your students a rating on the outcome dimension you just created. If you created a standard outcome, you will be able to use it in other courses and follow your students' performance across these courses.

How can I remove an outcome from an activity?

An outcome can be removed from an activity by deleting it on the gradebook edit categories and items page. This results in the outcomes being deselected on the update activity page.


The activity module (Module name) doesn't support grading. How can I give my students a grade anyway?

You can create a grade item manually in the gradebook. You will have to grade your students through the Grader report interface (in editing mode).

I just graded some of my students using the (Module name) interface, but the results aren't showing up in the grader report. What's going on?

Here are some of the possible reasons:

  1. The corresponding grade item is locked, or its parent category is locked.
  2. The module code is not using the gradebook API correctly

I just created a new assignment with the "Grade" setting set to "No grade", but it still appears in the gradebook

The reason is that the gradebook is now the place where both numerical and textual types of feedback are recorded for all activity modules. The word "Grading" in assignment relates only to numerical grades, but the ability to give text feedback remains, and must be recorded in the gradebook. This is why a grade item is created for it. You can hide the grade item if you do not want it to appear in the user reports.

Weights and extra credits

How do weighted grades influence the category or course total?

A weight (also called coefficient) only has meaning in reference to other weights. If you only have one grade item, changing its weight will not have any effect. However, if you have two grade items, each with a different weight, the "heavier" item will have more influence on the total grade than the "lighter" one.

You can set the weights to any positive numerical value you choose. Usually, at least one of the weights will be 1 and serve as the baseline for other weights. If another item has a weight of 2, its grades will be multiplied by 2 compared with the grades of the first grade item, before being averaged. The denominator used for averaging is the sum of all the weights.

An example follows:

 item 1 weight: 1
 item 2 weight: 3
 item 3 weight: 0.5
 item 1 grade: 40/100
 item 2 grade: 60/100
 item 3 grade: 20/100
 total = ((40 * 1) + (60 * 3) + (20 * 0.5)) / (1 + 3 + 0.5)
       = (40 + 180 + 10) / (4.5)
       = 230 / 4.5
       = 51.11
 The total for this category will then be 51.11 out of 100

Do I have to put a value in each "weight" input box?

No. If you do not put a value, it will default to 1. If all items are set to 1 then they all have equal weight. If you set a weight to 0, the item's grades will not count at all in the category or course average.

Do all the weights have to add up to 100 or some similar value?

No, the numbers you put as weights are completely arbitrary. They must be positive numbers, and can add up to anything you want. Note however that the following four sets of weights are identical in value:

 (1 1.75 3)
 (4 7 12)
 (8 14 24)
 (400 700 1200)

What is the difference between Weight and Extra Credit?

Weight is only available with "Weighted mean of grades". For the "Simple weighted mean of grades", the weight is taken from the grade item's maximum grade. A weight is used to give a grade item more or less importance in the computation of the category total or average, compared with the other items of the same category.

Extra credit replaces grade item weight if the aggregation method is "Mean of grades (with extra credits)" or "Sum of grades". The effect of extra credit is different for both methods, hence some confusion:

  • Mean of grades (with extra credits): A value of 0 does nothing. Any other value is used to multiply the grade and add it to the total after the computation of the mean. This grade is not used in the computation of the mean, however, only added afterwards. Additionally, this cannot bring the category total over its maximum grade unless grades over 100% are enabled by the site administrator (since 1.9.5). This grade item is not counted either in the denominator used to compute the category mean.
  • Sum of grades: Extra credit is a checkbox, not a number. Normally, with Sum of Grades, the category's maximum grade is the sum of the maximum grades of all its grade items. If one of them is set as "Extra Credit", however, its maximum grade is not added to the category's maximum grade, but its grades will be. This way it is possible to achieve maximum grade (or grades over maximum if enabled by the site administrator) in the category without getting the maximum grade in all the grade items.

How do I create an assignment for which students can receive a grade higher than the maximum?

In Moodle 1.9.5 onwards, a new unlimited grades setting in Administration > Grades > General settings enables administrators to allow teachers to enter grades over 100% directly in the gradebook.

In earlier versions of 1.9, it is possible for a student to get less than the maximum grade in some grade items, while still getting the maximum grade in the category or course total. The Extra Credit feature is used for this purpose, as described above.


How do I give a fixed score for a successful quiz attempt

Suppose you want to give 5 points for a passing grade (say, 70) in a certain quiz. Possible scenario ([1]): extra credit points to every student that gets a "passing grade" in a "practice test" at the end of each chapter covered in the course, to encourage them to practice after the homework quizzes and to get familiar with a "test type" situation before the actual test.

The following formula should do the trick:


The formula may be added to a designated grade item or category.

Sample calculations:

Score 70:
Score 69:

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions: