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(Last Updated On: March 5, 2020)

Grade items are the various activities and assignments that an instructor uses to assess student performance.  In Moodle, there are two types of Grade items:

a.) Manually graded items — these items are added to the gradebook manually, in the Gradebook setup.  Scores and feedback are most easily entered using the Single View area of the Gradebook (described below).  Use this for items that are not submitted electronically via Moodle. Examples  include oral presentations and participation grades.

b.) Activity-based grade items — these 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.

Grading manually graded items

Manually graded items will be graded directly in the Gradebook and they are represented by a different icon than activity-based grade items.

Moodle28 Manual Grade Item Icon

1. Go to Course Management >> User Links >> Gradebook Setup.

Gradebook setup link

2. Use the dropdown menu to switch between the Gradebook Setup page and the Single View page.

Gradebook actions dropdown menu

Selecting Single View from the dropdown menu

3. On the Single View selection page, use the select the grade item you wish to grade from the dropdown menu.

Select grade item from drop down menu

4. In the Single View page, you can now add the grade and feedback for all the students for that assignment.  If your feedback comments are extensive, you may find it helpful to copy/paste them from another application (e.g. Word). Click Save to save changes.

Grading in Single View

When you return to the Grader report, you will see the grades just entered present along with the rest of the categories and grade items in your Gradebook.

Grading activity-based grade items

Activity-based items should normally be graded in the interface for that activity.  In this example, we look at the workflow for grading an Assignment activity.

1. Begin by clicking on the Assignment from your course homepage.

2. On the Grading Summary page, you can choose between View all submissions or Grade. 

Moodle Grading Summary Page

a. View all submissions is a good option for when you simply want to quickly enter the scores and/or feedback for all students on one page.  It is also where you can opt to download all the submissions.  This is also the preferred option for assignments where student submissions include file formats that cannot make use of the PDF annotation tool (e.g. audio or video files).

Moodle Assignment Grading Table

Under the Grading action drop down menu, you can select to download all submissions as a zip file.  Once you extract the zip file, you can open the individual submissions in their native applications for review.

Enter assignment grades in the Grade column.

Moodle Assignment Quick grade tools

At the bottom of the table is a scroll bar to access the Feedback field.

Use the Notify students drop down menu to decide whether you will send out notifications once an assignment has been graded.

The With selected menu allows you to perform actions for students you have selected by checking the tick box next to their names.  Among the choices is an option to grant an extension.

Click on Save all quick grading changes to enter the changes in your Grader report and notify students (if you selected that option).

IMPORTANT NOTE: When grades are entered for activity-based items, students will receive an email notification.  If you wish to prevent students from being notified until you have finished grading for everyone or you think it’s likely that you will need to revise some grades, switch the “Notify students” field to No before clicking “Save all quick grading changes”.

Students will be able to see your feedback in Moodle regardless of whether you choose to notify them or not. If you do not want the student to see your feedback, do not click the “Save all quick grading changes” button until you are ready for the student to see it. Alternatively, you can hide the assignment on your course home page and then make it visible again when you are ready for students to view your feedback.

b. Grade is a good option if you want to use the annotation feature that allows you to mark-up or read a submission without leaving Moodle.  This works for assignments submitted in PDF format, Word, and PowerPoint.  The grading interface is divided into a PDF annotation pane on the left and a grading pane on the right to enter a score and other feedback.  For instructions on how to annotate submissions, see this tutorial. If the annotation pane is blank, either the file submitted could not be converted or the student did not submit anything (check the Submission section in the grading pane for info about the submission).  Note that some files may take a few seconds to convert.

Moodle Assignment Grading Page

Use the Change user navigator at the top right of the page to move between submissions by either using the arrows or selecting a student from the drop down menu.

Annotations to the PDF will be saved automatically.  If you switch between users, you will be prompted to save any changes you have made in the grading pane.

If you do not wish to notify a student that you have finished grading their submission, uncheck the Notify students box at the bottom of the page.

Students will be able to see the annotated PDF when they navigate to their Assignment submission regardless of whether you choose to notify them or not. If you do not want the student see the annotated PDF, do not click the “Save changes” button until you are ready for the student to see it. Alternatively, you can hide the assignment on your course home page and then make it visible again when you are ready for students to view your feedback.

To leave the Grading Interface, click either the assignment name or the course name in the upper left corner of the page.

It is also possible to grade activity-based items using the Single View page in the Gradebook. Navigate to the Single View for an activity-based item as described above in 2.  However, for activity-based items, you will need to check the box in the Override column in order to be able to enter values in the Grade and Feedback fields.

Moodle28 Grade Item Single View Override

In the Grader report, note the cells will be highlighted beige to indicate the grade has been “overridden”.  Any future changes you wish to make to the grade must be made in the Single View and not in the activity interface.

Moodle28 Overriden Grade in Grader Report