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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, click on the Settings menu 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.

Updating grades and feedback

  1. To update grades 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. 
  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.

Importing grades

You can import grade to Moodle using student email addresses. Ensure your excel file is saved as a comma separated csv file. Make sure row 1 contains your column titles (e.g. email, assignment #1). These will be used to map each student's grade to the assessed item.

  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 below
5. 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

  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  ( In this case, I am using Quiz as an example). 
  3. Either tick the Hidden checkbox or click on the "Show Advanced" button in the top right 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.
    Students will only be able to see their grades after this time. 
  4. Click Save changes.

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 Advanced button. 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.

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 pencil
  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
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