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M27 - Moodle gradebook

How to use the Moodle Gradebook to view and manage student grades


The Moodle Gradebook allows tutors and course administrators to manage grades for Moodle activities such as assignments and quizzes. The Gradebook collects items that have been graded from the various assessed activities in Moodle and allows you to view and change them, as well as sort grade items into categories and calculate totals in various ways. When you add an assessed activity in a Moodle course, the Gradebook automatically creates space for the grades it will produce and then adds the grades as they are generated, either by the system (e.g. quizzes) or by you (e.g. assignments). Many activities in Moodle can be graded, including glossary and database entries (using ratings), lessons, quizzes, assignments, questionnaires, SCORM/AICC packages and scheduler meetings. 

Accessing the Gradebook

  1. To access the Gradebook in your Moodle course, go to the Settings block and under Course administration click on Grades.
  2. As a tutor or course administrator, you will see three types of reports below the tabs: Grader report, Outcomes report and User report.


Moodle shows a number of different grade reports, which are explained below.

Grader Report

  1. The Grader report is shown by default and shows each student down the left side and each category, gradable activity and grade for the current Moodle course along the top of the page. The list of students can be sorted using the arrows alongside each activity name. Clicking the name of the activity will take you to the student's attempts for that activity, assuming there are some. The course total displays to the far right, so you may need to scroll down and to the right to see this.

Outcomes Report

  1. The Outcomes report lists the outcomes used within the course. Outcomes may also be known as competencies or goals and are defined as specific descriptions of what a student has demonstrated understanding in an assessment. The outcomes report shows overall averages (each outcome can be measured through multiple grade items), each item's average values and the number of "grades" given for each item. Outcomes can either be defined as 'site-wide' and used in any UCL Moodle course, or created for use within a specific Moodle course only. To add new outcomes, click on the Outcomes tab above the row of report tabs. 

User Report

  1. The User report is what students see by default and shows the grade, percentage and feedback for each activity in the course. To view a student's grades, choose their name from the Select all or one user drop down menu on the right. You can filter by user to see the grades for any of your students. To view all the students' grades on one page (one after the other) select All users from the menu.

Overview Report

  1. The Overview report is only available for students and lists all the Moodle courses they are enrolled on, with their total grade for each. If they click on the Course name, they will see all the grade items and grades for that course (this will take them to the User report). To see this report for yourself click on the Settings menu (to the left of the page) and expand Switch role to.... then click Student. You will need to select a user from the drop-down menu on the right of the page (don't worry, students only see their own grades). Once you have finished seeing (roughly) what students see, click return to my normal role in the top, right corner of the page.
  2. Students can see their own grades for each activity providing it is not hidden. Grades can be hidden in the Gradebook and within the settings for that activity (e.g. Quizzes allow you to hide Scores from students). If you don't want your students to see grades ensure they are hidden in both the activity and the gradebook.

Giving grades and feedback via the Gradebook

As well as marking via the Assignment's submission inbox, you can also mark via the Assignment's Gradebook.

  1. To update grades (e.g. numeric marks) and feedback in the Gradebook, go to the Grader report.
  2. In the top, right corner of the page click Turn editing on.
  3. One box will appear alongside each student's name, under each assessed item where you can quickly enter a grade.
  4. To edit using more advanced options (or to see a feedback box), click the edit icon     alongside the student you are marking.
  5. This will bring you to the Edit grade page for that student's piece of assessment.
  6. On this page you can do things like:
    • Exclude the grade for this assessment item from that student's final mark.
    • Hide a particular student's grade completely or hide it until a specific date.
    • Lock a grade from being automatically updated by Moodle.

Giving students feedback before revealing the numeric mark

Because feedback is more important to learning than a numeric mark (which can interfere with students' willingness to engage with the feedback) some tutors decide to delay releasing the mark.

Either set up a separate Grade Item

Setting up a separate Grade Item only works where student submissions are attributable, i.e. not anonymised.

It entails setting up a new Item in the course area's Gradebook consisting only of a numeric grade for a particular assignment. Students can see this by clicking on the Grades link from the front page of the Moodle course area.

Staff can enter grades at the time and set the item to be hidden until a certain date. This has the advantage of the grades existing on Moodle so that colleagues can see them, even while they are hidden from students.

To set this up, staff with an editing role:

  1. Go to the Moodle course area's Gradebook.
  2. Turn Editing On.
  3. From the tabs menu, click on Categories and Items; a list displays of all the gradeable elements in that course area.
  4. Click the Add Grade Item button; a web form displays.
  5. For clarity, give the new item a sensible name which refers to the original Assignment item.
  6. Complete the other form fields as needed.
  7. Click the Save Changes button.

For clarity, it's a good idea to put the two items in a single Category as follows.

  1. From the Gradebook tabs menu, click Categories and Items; a list displays of all the gradeable elements in that course area.
  2. At the bottom of the page, click the Add Category button; a web form displays.
  3. Complete the settings as needed, then Save Changes; this returns you to Categories and Items.
  4. To move items into the new Category, find one Item and click its adjacent Move icon (arrow heads pointing up and down); the page reloads with dashed-line placeholders.
  5. Click the placeholder inside your new Category; the page reloads and should display your Item now inside the Category.
  6. Repeat as needed with any other Items which belong in that Category.

Or use an Offline Grading Worksheet

This entails producing feedback for students either as annotations made in a downloaded copy of their submission, or as summary feedback entered into a downloaded grading worksheet containing records for all students, then at a later stage uploading that grading worksheet including the numeric mark.

To do this:

  1. Browse to the assignment and click the link to View/Grade all submissions; the Grader page displays containing a table of students and assignment information.
  2. Activate the Grading action menu; a list of options displays.
  3. From it select Download all submissions; a zip file containing all submissions downloads according to your browser settings.
  4. You are now able to open each file in turn, make annotations, save, and ensure the files are zipped up.

    Don't change any filenames - when you upload the files again they are needed to link the files with the right students.

Alternatively or additionally to the annotations you make on copies of students' work, you can give students less specific, summary feedback as a brief passage by typing it into the designated cells of a downloaded Grading Worksheet generated by Moodle for a particular Assignment. Do this by returning to the Grading action menu (see above) and this time selecting Download grading worksheet; download according to your browser settings.


Can't see this option in the menu? Go to your Assignment's settings and enable it in the Feedback Types section.


To add feedback to this downloaded Grading Worksheet, open it in your spreadsheet package (eg MS Excel) and type directly into the cells in the Feedback comments column; note the column for numeric grades which you can leave blank for now; then save.

At this stage you now have feedback for each student in one or two places: a zip containing annotations on submission files and/or a Grading Worksheet containing summary feedback.

Next we upload these as follows:

  1. To upload the annotated submission files, return to the Grading action menu (see above) and from it select Upload multiple feedback files in a zip; you are then asked to upload the zip you created.
  2. To upload the Grading worksheet, from the the Grading action menu  choose Upload Grading Worksheetthis takes you to a page where you can upload the spreadsheet file.
  3. To check if you scroll horizonally to the column of the Gradebook relating to that assignment, you can see your grades and feedback files in place - or you can spot check individual students.

(1) browse to or choose your Grading Worksheet file containing the summary feedback; (2) allow updating of records if you've already uploaded feedback files; (3) finally click the Upload button.

Importing grades

You can import grade to Moodle using a comma separated csv file. You can use either student email addresses, usernames or student number (maps to 'ID Number' in Moodle) Make sure row 1 contains your column titles; e.g. email, and then the following coumn headings should match the name/s of the grade item/s in the gradebook that you want to import into. The gradeitem columns should contain the actual grades you want to import.These will be used to map each student's grade to the assessed item.

For example.


  1. To import grades into a Moodle course click on the Import tab in the Gradebook.
  2. By default CSV file will be selected.
  3. Click Choose a file, or drag a file to the file upload area on the page and skip to step 6.

4. Click Upload a file (in the top, left of the pop-up file picker) - see below5. Locate the file to be imported from your computer and click Open, then Upload this file.

6. On the next page, click Upload grades.
7. On the next page, under Map from choose the email address column name that you defined in your spreadsheet (email).
8. In the Map to drop-down choose useremail.
9. Under Grade item mappings map each grade item to either:

  • an existing assessed item; or
  • choose new gradeitem

10. Click Upload grades.
You will be told if your import was a success and can view these grades on the View tab.

Exporting grades

  1. To export grades from Moodle, click on the Export tab in the Gradebook.
  2. Select the type of file you would like to export, either: OpenDocument spreadsheet (ODS), Plain text fileExcel spreadsheet or XML file.  The options that appear will change depending on the file type you choose.
  3. If you want to import these grades back into Moodle at some stage, choose Plain text file (with comma separator).
  4. Note: If you select the XML file option, you need to ensure that:
    • Users have ID numbers (an optional field in the user profile)
    • Activities have ID numbers (an optional field in common module settings)
  5. Click Submit.
  6. A Preview of the data you are exporting will be displayed.
  7. Click Download and save the file to your computer. The file will be named using the short name of the course (the name that appears in the breadcrumb) with the word Grades and the extensions for the file type you have chosen. E.g. ELE1001_Grades.txt.

Advanced Functions

  1. You can do things like add new grading scalesimport and export gradeschange Gradebook settings and organise grade items into categories using the tabs or the menu in the top, left corner of the Gradebook page. 

Hiding grades from students

Please note that hiding grades entails also hiding feedback. To give feedback before you give a mark, see the table of contents for this page.


  1. To hide grades from students, go to the Gradebook (Settings > Course administration > Grades) and click on the Categories and items tab.
  2. Click on the edit ( ) icon alongside the assessment item for which you would like to hide the grade from students 

  1. To quickly hide the grade item, click the Hide icon. For more functionality, click on the Edit icon and then "Show more. . ." and tick the Enable checkbox alongside Hidden until and choose the date and time you would like the grades to be visible to your students.
  2. Students will only be able to see their grades after this time. 
  3. Click Save changes.

Note: Turnitin Assignments will only show grades to students once the Post Date has been reached and Moodle Assignments will only show grades and feedback when the final stage of the 'marking workflow' is reached - if this setting is enabled. If the marking workflow is not enabled students will see feedback and grades immediately unless the above measures are taken to hide grades.

Hiding all the grades in your course

  1. The Categories and items tab allows you to organise your grade items and aggregate grades using various methods for all the items in that category. A top-level category with the name of the Moodle course is added by default to the Gradebook and cannot be deleted. More information about grade categories is available in the next section of this document.
  2. You can hide all grades in your Moodle course by clicking the eye (  ) alongside the top-level category in the Actions column, or hide individual categories and items using the same method.

Categorising and re-ordering assessment items

Categories allow you to perform complex calculations on the item grades in that category. By default, a grade category has its own aggregated grade which is calculated from its grade items. There is no limit to the level of nesting of categories (a category may belong to another category). However, each grade item may belong to only one category.

Adding assessment items to a category

  1. Grade items are created automatically, when a gradable activity is added to the Moodle course.
  2. To add a category, click on the Categories and items tab in the Gradebook.
  3. Click the Add category button located at the bottom of the page.
  4. Enter the Category name.
  5. To see the options listed above, you may need to click the Show more link. To begin with you can leave the default values as they are.
  6. To find out more about what each setting means, click on the help ( ) icon alongside each setting. A pop-up window will explain the setting in more detail.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.
  8. You will return to the Categories and items screen and should now see your new category in the list underneath the permanent course category. 
  9. To add items to your category, click on the Move icon ( ) alongside the grade item you want to move into your category.
  10. Click on the white box with a dashed border beneath the new category, to move the grade item into this category.

Add a multiplier to a grade item

Sometimes it may be desirable to multiply a given grade. A particular use of this can be if you have multiple parts to a Turnitin assignment. For example if you have 2 parts to a Turnitin assignment, the Moodle gradebook only sees a grade for one part and assumes that is half the mark. To counter this issue you will need to impose a multiplier of 2 onto that grade item.
1. To do this open the Moodle gradebook.2. Then Turn editing on.3. Under the desired grade item click the edit (   ) icon.

4. In the field for Multiplicator enter the required amount (which in the example above would be 2).

5. Click Save changes.

Calculating grades

A grade calculation is a formula used to determine grades based (optionally) on other grade items. You can calculate grades for grade items within particular categories and those for the entire course. If you want to learn how to add and edit categories and grade items, refer to the Categorising and re-ordering assessment items section.
The easiest way to do a simple weighted grade calculation follows. The steps to do more advanced grade calculations are explained below.

Simple weighted grade calculation

  1. To calculate grades, click on the Categories and items tab in the Gradebook (Settings > Course administration > Grades).
  2. Change the aggregation to 'Weighted mean of grades' at the top of the second column.
  3. A new column will appear where you can enter the weight for each item. Enter any number from 0-1 (0 meaning it is not counted at all in the calculation, 1 meaning 100% of the calculation).
    • E.g. for an item weighted at 30% of the total course grades enter 0.3 in the weight field alongside that item.
  4. Click Save changes.

Advanced grade calculations

  1. To calculate grades, click on the Categories and items tab in the Gradebook (Settings > Course administration > Grades).
  2. Click on the calculator icon ( ) next to the category for which you want to calculate a grade.
  3. The grade item page will appear.
  4. Id numbers represent each grade item in the calculation. You must set these before writing the calculation. If one of the grade items already has an id, you can only change this on the settings page for that activity. If not already set, you can edit the id number by entering text in the text field alongside that activity at the bottom of this page. In the example above, the assignment Id number has been set on the assignment settings page (so is not editable here) and the forum review Id number has been set to 2 on this page (but has not been saved yet).
  5. Click Add id numbers before entering your calculation, otherwise your id numbers will not be saved. The text field will then be replaced by non-editable text depicting the Id number: .
  6. Now enter the Calculation you want to perform for this category total. Clicking on the help icon (  ) will show you a pop-up window that explains the different calculations possible. The calculation in the image above shows item 1 (depicted by [[1]]) with a weighting of 40% and item 2 (depicted by [[2]]) with a weighting of 60%.
  7. Click Save changes.
  8. The calculator icon on the Categories and items page will now appear in black instead of grey, and this same calculator icon ( ) will appear alongside this category total in the Grader report to indicate a grade calculation exists for this category.
  9. The Category total in the Grader report and User report will now depict each student's grade based on this calculation. This will also affect the Course total grade for each student. Note: if you want to show results from a Moodle quiz in the gradebook (and use it in the overall grade calculation), you need to ensure the quiz item is visible (not hidden) in the gradebook's categories and items area (i.e. the eye should be open). This will allow students to see their quiz score and any calculated scores that includes this grade item. Showing or hiding the result in the gradebook is independent of whether or not you show the score in the quiz itself, which is controlled in the quiz settings.

Grade Display Types

Moodle allows you to change the type of grade displayed to the students, e.g. percentage or letter
To do this

  1. In your Moodle course go to Settings > Course administration > Grades
  2. Go to the Categories and items tab
  3. Choose the item you want to choose the display type for and click on it's edit icon
  4. In the settings page for the grade item, go to the dropdown for Grade display type, and choose the option Letter for letter grades.
  5. Set the Overall decimal points to 0
  6. Save changes
  7. Go to the Settings tab and, under the User Report section set Show percentage to Hide
  8. If you want to change the grade boundaries for the letter grades, go to the Letter tab and click Edit grade letters