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Note: This page, together with the pages listed in the block on the right, describe the gradebook in Moodle 1.9 onwards. For documentation on the gradebook in Moodle prior to 1.9, see Grades pre-1.9.


The concepts of grades and of gradebook have been completely revisited in Moodle 1.9. Although these words are used in earlier versions, important differences are documented here in order to avoid misconceptions.

The two central ideas of grading in Moodle 1.9 are:

  1. Grades are scores attributed to participants in a Moodle course
  2. The gradebook is a repository of these grades: modules push their grades to it, but the gradebook doesn't push anything back to the modules

The three building blocks of the Gradebook in Moodle 1.9 are

As an overview:

  • A grade category groups grade items together, and has settings for affecting these grade items
  • A grade item stores a grade for each course participant, and has settings for affecting these grades
  • A grade has settings for affecting how it is displayed to the users, as well as locking and hiding functions.

Grades can be calculated, aggregated and displayed in a variety of ways, the many settings having been designed to suit the needs of a great variety of organisations.

Many activities in Moodle, such as assignments, forums and quizzes may be given grades. Grades may have numerical values, or words/phrases from a scale or rating system.

Grades can also be used as outcomes and as arbitrary text attributed to each participant in a course.

Grades pushed by modules

When activity modules produce grades, they use the gradebook public API to push (or send) their grades to the gradebook. These grades are then stored in database tables that are independent of the modules. The grades are still kept in the module database tables, and the gradebook will never access or modify these original grades.

The gradebook, however, provides administrators and teachers with tools for changing the ways in which grades are calculated, aggregated and displayed, as well as means to change the grades manually (a manual edit of a grade automatically locks the grade in the gradebook, so that the module which originally created the grade can no longer update that grade in the gradebook until the grade is unlocked).

Settings affecting grades

Being the smallest unit in the gradebook, the grade is affected by many settings at different levels. Here is a list of these levels, in hierarchical order:


Outcomes are specific descriptions of what a student is expected to be able to do or understand at the completion of an activity or course. An activity might have more than one outcome, and each may have a grade against it (usually on a scale).

Gradebook reports

The gradebook includes a variety of reports, available via the grades link in each course administration block:

Grades organization

Teachers may organize grades into grade categories, import and/or export grades, and make grade calculations.

Symbols to represent ranges of grades may be set as grade letters.

Administrators may control the appearance of the gradebook site-wide by adjusting settings available via the grades link in the site administration block. See:

External links