In today’s world of courses and education, a student’s grade is often determined from a large variety of different components including assessments, assignments, and participation. However, these items are not usually worth the same in terms of the final grade. For example, the final exam may have more weight than the participation mark. In Moodle, teachers have the ability to set up the grade book to support weighting of grades in order to easily calculate course grades.
The objective of this article is to provide you with the information necessary to implement weights in the gradebook. Using these steps, you will be able to obtain an accurate grade for your students’ course work.
Sections/Summary of the Steps
Before getting into the details of using a weighted grading system, please note the following sections/steps.
- Step 1: Initial setup of the aggregation method
- Step 2: Setting up categories
- Step 3: Organizing grade items
This article will also expand upon the following.
Step 1: Initial setup of the aggregation method
The first step is to get the gradebook ready.
When you have entered your course, navigate to Administration block > Course administration > Grades > Grade administration > Categories and items > Full view
On the page that loads, under the ‘Aggregation’ column, select ‘Weighted mean of grades’ from the drop down menu located beside the name of your course.
Step 2: Setting up categories
Next, you need to set up categories in the gradebook depending on your grading scheme.
For example, let’s say the following was the breakdown of grades for my course:
I would create a category for each of the items (Participation, Assignments, Midterm, and Final Exam).
To create a category click the “Add category’ button.
Once you have created your categories, you can set the value of the weight for each. Make sure to click ‘Save changes’ when you are done. Based on the grading scheme described above, here is what our gradebook looks like:
It is also possible to create subcategories. For example, within the assignments category you might have Oral Presentations, which are worth 30% and Written Assignments worth 70%. The method would be the same, except that when creating the categories, you need to select the parent category (for this example we would select ‘Assignments’ as the parent category).
Step 3: Organizing grade items
Finally, to complete your gradebook setup, you’ll need to organize grade items in the correct categories so that the course grade produced is accurate.
Adding new graded activities
When creating a new activity, it is easiest to specify the category while configuring the settings. Under the ‘Grade’ section, in the drop down menu for the ‘Grade category’ field select the category that you want the activity to be included in.
Moving existing items into the correct category
It is perfectly fine to set up weights after creating graded activities; you will just have to move the activities to their respective categories.
To move an existing grade item into a category,
Navigate to Administration block > Course administration > Grades > Categories and items > Full view
Scroll down and find the item you want to move. Click the tickbox in the ‘Select’ column for the item. Then go to the ‘Move selected items to’ drop down menu and select the category the item should be in.
If multiple items need to be moved to the same category, you can put ticks in all their boxes and move them all at once.
Adding offline grade items
Not every course component will be well suited for Moodle. For example, perhaps an oral presentation is an assignment in the course. In these instances, when the item is an offline activity, it is still possible to incorporate it into the gradebook so that manual calculations do not have to be completed.
To include non-Moodle-activity grade items, navigate to Administration block > Course administration > Grades > Categories and items > Full view
On the page that loads, scroll to the bottom and click the button ‘Add grade item’
Give the item a name that easily identifies what the item is, and select the category it should be included in.
Click ‘Save changes’; the item will now be included in the gradebook.
Taming the Gradebook: A Lambda Solutions Webinar
If you are interested in learning more about using the Moodle gradebook, here is a recording of a Lambda Solutions webinar on using the gradebook.