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(Last Updated On: July 30, 2021)

You can keep track of student grades and permit students to view their progress by setting up the Gradebook.  Setting up your Gradebook at the beginning of a course will save you considerable time at the end of the semester when it comes time to report grades.

1. Plan — Start with your syllabus.  How have you laid out your grading structure?  Do you simply add up points for each graded activity to calculate final grades?  Do you assign weight to different assessment categories (e.g. Quizzes worth 25% of total)?  Do you offer extra credit?  In the scenario for this tutorial, we will be setting up a gradebook for a course that weights assessment categories and uses points within each category to determine the relative importance of an assignment.  If your grading style does not match the scenario described here, please send an email to and we will assist you in determining the best settings to meet your needs.

2. Under Construction — While you are setting up your Gradebook, you may want to hide it from students. Go to Course Management >> Course settings >> Edit course settings >>  Appearance >> Show gradebook to students >> No.

icon of multiple gears

(click on the multi-gear icon to reveal the Course Management menu)

Edit course settings in Course Management menu

(click on Edit course settings in the Course Management menu)

Field to show or hide gradebook

(Set Show gradebook to students field to No)

Be sure to click Save and display at the bottom of the page after you have changed the setting.

3. Set up grade categories — Categories help you to organize your gradebook into groups of grade items.  Categories are also used to control weighting. For example, if you have 5 quizzes and the combined score on all quizzes is worth 25% of the total grade, you will create a quizzes category and either assign it a weight of 25% or ensure that the total point value of the quizzes is 25% of the total of all points in your course.

Assume you have a syllabus that indicates several categories of assessment whose contribution to the overall course grade varies.  For example:

Syllabus Grade Categories Example

a) To begin setting up categories go to Course Management >> Gear Icon >> Gradebook Setup.

Gradebook setup link location

b) This will take you to an overview of your grade book. First you’ll need to set up categories and add items to them.  So, on this page click the Add Category button on the bottom of the page.

Add Category button in the Gradebook

c.) On the subsequent page, enter the name of the category and then click Save changes at the bottom of the page.

Grade category name field

Adding the weight of the category in the name is not required, but it will make it more transparent to students when viewing their grades to understand how much that category is worth.

d) Repeat steps b and c for each of your categories to match your syllabus.

e) After adding categories, enter the weight for that category in the corresponding column of the Gradebook setup. First tick the box next to the Weights field for each category and then enter the number.  All of your category weights combined should equal 100. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page before proceeding.

Add category weights

4. Add Grade Items

Grade items are the are the various activities and assignments that fall under the categories you’ve created.  There are two ways to add grade items:

a) Activity-based grade items — these are items are automatically added to the gradebook when an activity is created from the Add an activity or resource link on the course home page.  You grade these items in Moodle (or Moodle auto-scores for you) in the activity interface and those grades are automatically transferred to the Grader report.  Examples include quizzes, assignments submitted via Moodle, and forums.

For instructions on adding Activity-based items, see the corresponding tutorials in the Knowledge Base.  As you add such items, select the grade category the item belongs to be using the corresponding drop-down menu (see example below):

Moodle28 Specify Grade Category

b) Manually graded items — these items are added to the gradebook manually from the Gradebook Setup page.  Scores are added directly into the Grader report.  Use this for items that are not submitted electronically via Moodle. Examples  include oral presentations and participation grades.

To add manually graded items, click on the Add grade item at the bottom of the Gradebook Setup page:

Moodle28 Add Grade Item

Provide settings for the grade item, including the 1. Name, 2. Maximum grade (this determines the weight of this assignment relative to other assignments in the same category unless you indicate otherwise), 3. Grade category and finish by clicking 4. Save changes.

Manual grade item settings page

Once you have set up all your categories and items, your Gradebook Setup now corresponds with your syllabus.

5. Show Gradebook

When all categories and grade items have been set up to your satisfaction, you can return to step 2 and change the setting that enables students to see the gradebook.  Now as you grade assignments throughout the semester, Moodle will calculate the cumulative grade and students will be able to see where they stand in the course at any given time.