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Keywords: assessment, feedback, grading, marking

Please refer to the M09 - Collecting & Marking Assignments in Moodle for an overview of marking in Moodle (regardless of the tool you settle on using - either Moodle or Turnitin).

On this page:

Table of Contents

Marking the submissions

Before you start marking it's important to decide how you will hide the marks and feedback from students while you are marking.  See detailed step-by-step guidance on controlling when to notify students of graded work on moodledocs.

It's possible to annotate uploaded Word or PDF documents,either online using the Online PDF editor, or offline, using in-built Word or PDF annotation tools, such as tracked changes (in Word) and in-text comments (in both Word and PDF).

  1. Navigate to the Moodle assignment, where you want to start grading.
  2. Click view all submissions.
  3. If you have been allocated to mark a particular group of students the group name should be displayed in the top, left of the page and you will see these students appear in the list of submissions. If your group isn't yet selected, then you can do this manually.
  4. Next you need to decide whether you want to mark online or offline.   

Online marking

Online marking supports inline comments, general feedback in typed or multimedia form, rubrics and marking guides.


Educational notes

Use these different modes of feedback judiciously. Be aware that feedback makes demands of students, and there is research evidence that students need support to do the necessary work to integrate the feedback into their future work. So although Moodle offers several different modes of feedback, they need to be selected and used carefully, because students need to relate the different bits of feedback to each other, to the criteria, to their mark, sometimes to a model answer, and to the decisions they made with their work, sometimes weeks previously.

This is a complex mapping exercise which needs all the support we can give.


If the student has uploaded a PDF, docx or odt file, or if you set 'Comment inline' for an online text submission, then their submission will be displayed on the grading screen, allowing you to annotate it, using a variety of tools, stamps (if uploaded by the admin) and comments which may be saved to a comments bank.

Moodle have a brief video on this:

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  1. From the assignment submission inbox click Grade. If you are marking a particular group of students, only the students in that group will appear.
  2. You can save, open or print the file by clicking the file name in the top corner of the Submission panel to the right of the paper. 
  3. Enter the Grade below the submission file.
  4. To add inline comments to a particular paper you can click on the first note button at the top of the document (directly under the student details) and click and drag notes onto the screen that you can type directly into. 
    1. You can change the colour of the note backgrounds before you add them, using the second button.
    2. From the top, right corner of each note you can also choose to use a saved comment, or you can choose to save the current comment by clicking 'Add to quicklist'.

      Comments may be added and then saved in a quick list for future use.

    3. You can also search for comments that have been added to the paper, using the paper/magnifying glass icon to the right of the page selector. 

      1. In the Search comments pop-up window, enter the term you would like to search for in the Filter comments... box. 

      2. Clicking on the comment will take you to the part of the paper where that comment has been added.

        Search previously saved comments.

  5. You can highlight text and draw shapes and stamps onto the paper.
  6. General feedback is entered on the right, under Feedback comments.
  7. Rubrics and Marking guides will appear above the general feedback (if enabled) and let you select and/or enter text against a number of pre-established criteria.
  8. If enabled, you can also attach feedback files (audio, video, text, images) by uploading (or dragging and dropping) the file into the Feedback files area.
  9. Once you have completed marking, make sure notify students is unchecked (otherwise some students will receive their grades and feedback before others) and click Saves changes.
  10. You can navigate to the next paper in the group using the arrow in the top, right corner of the page. 
    1. You will be prompted to save your feedback if you haven't already.

Annotate a student's submission

Note: To ensure that comments display to students as the marker intends, do instruct students to download the annotated PDF rather than just previewing it. Preview sometimes displays comments in a way which obscures the original text.

Detailed step-by-step guidance on Using_Assignment is available from moodledocs.


Offline marking - downloading and uploading multiple files, feedback and grades

If you don't have an internet connection or prefer to grade outside Moodle, you can do so (including with anonymous submissions).

Offline Marking Stages

  1. Download the submitted work and spreadsheet (grading worksheet) to record grades.
  2. Grade the submitted work and/or prepare feedback files.
  3. Upload the completed grading worksheet and the feedback files (if applicable).

Note that you cannot grade outside Moodle if you are using Rubrics or Marking Guides

1. Download the submitted work and grading worksheet

  1. If offline grading is enabled, in the assignment submission inbox in the Grading action menu you will see options to download the submissions and grading worksheet. 
    1. Choose 'Download all submissions' and save these to your computer.
    2. Then choose 'Download grading worksheet' and save this to your computer.
  2. On your computer, unzip the submissions file. In Windows, right-click the zip file and choose Extract All...
  3. This will extract all of the student's submissions to a folder on your computer. Each student will have their own folder with an identification number you can use to match the submission file to the grade and feedback row in the grading worksheet.

2. Grade the work and provide feedback

  1. Depending on the file type you will be able to annotate the document in various ways. The most common will be PDF annotation and Word track changes and comments.
  2. It is also possible to provide additional feedback files (audio, video, text, images etc.) by placing these files into the student's folder.
  3. Open the grading worksheet in Excel and find the paper you are currently marking (anonymous papers will have a common identifier number matching the fodler). 
  4. Enter general comments in the Feedback column (if this exists) and enter the mark for the submission in the Mark column.

3. Upload the marked work, grades and feedback

  1. Once you have finished marking all the papers assigned to you you need to zip the documents containing your feedback back into a single file.
  2. Zip the file. In Windows, right click on the folder and choose 'Send to' > 'Compressed (zipped) folder'.
  3. In Moodle, navigate to the assignment submission inbox and choose 'Upload multiple feedback files in a zip' from the drop-down menu.
  4. Choose (or drag and drop) the zip file and click Import feedback file(s).
  5. Choose 'upload grading worksheet' from the menu in the submission inbox and choose (or drag and drop) the grading worksheet.
    1. There is a checkbox to overwrite records that have been modified more recently in Moodle than in the spreadsheet - only check this if you want to spreadsheet to overwrite all Moodle records, including ones made more recently than the spreadsheet.
  6. Click Upload grading worksheet and click confirm.

Further guidance on 'Offline marking - downloading and uploading multiple grades and feedback files' is available from moodledocs.

Moodledocs has guidance on:

Allocating markers 

If you want your markers to be allocated to students' work in advance, then you may find it easiest to set up Groups corresponding to the students allocated to each marker, and then apply Groups to the assignment. That way markers can easily filter their allocation.

If you allocate markers after the work is submitted you may find the Marker Allocation capability useful - this lets you allocate one marker to each submission directly in the assignment's Grading Table:

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Releasing grades and feedback for students

To release grades and feedback to all students at once, or one by one, see detailed step-by-step guidance on controlling when to notify students of graded work on moodledocs.

The default notification settings email students with all Moodle notifications. However students may change this, or they may miss email messages. We recommend using a range of communication to let students know when their feedback is available e.g. lecture announcements.