Grading or Assessing in Moodle

Moodle Grading and Assessment

Moodle offers a range of options when it comes to grading or assessing students’ work, but how does a lecturer decide on which is the best approach for their class.

Let’s look at what there is on offer, and then consider in which scenario you might choose which.

  1. Simple direct grading
    1. Grading using a rubric
    2. Grading using a marking guide
  2. Grading using outcomes
  3. Assessment using learning objectives

1     Simple Direct Grading

This approach involves a simple way to grade. So why might you use it? If you have a very straight forward assignment that requires nothing more than a straightforward grade 1 to 6 with optionally comments/feedback, then this form of grading is for you. The approach requires no justification of how the grade is derived, and hence the concept enables a teacher to simply award the grade either through the grading system or by quick grading.

Grading using a Rubric or Marking Guide

I am taking both of these together since their approaches are fairly similar.

A rubric or marking guide is a grid of criteria that must be met in order that a certain grade is awarded. Let’s start though with the rubric.

  1. The rubric allows you to form a grid based on a scale. The grader clicks on the box in the grid that contains the description that best suits the criteria met by the student. On the left side the base requirements are listed whilst horizontally the degree to which the criteria is met is stated. The grade is automatically calculated by Moodle and entered into the gradebook as a single mark. The student can then see the grade, and the criteria which the grader checked. Note! When you adopt the approach, always ensure that you include a zero grade otherwise the grades may not calculate correctly.
  2. The Marking guide is a similar to the rubric, but, the grader is free to enter their own grade depending on their own assessment of how the criteria have been met. This naturally means that fractions of the grade can also be entered. Using this approach also allows for frequently used feedback comments to be stored and then selected by the grader negating the need to type them in repetitively.

It is worth noting that both approaches allow for individual notes to be made against each criteria.

2     Grading using Outcomes

The above approaches are as it were isolated. By this I mean that the comments, the criteria and grades are saved with the assignment and might only be viewed in connection with the assignment. Grading using outcomes makes the tracking of a students work easier and effectively more accountable.

Grades can be broken down into elements that students must achieve in order to successfully complete an assignment, activity or course.

Teachers can view these criteria, and the grades/comments made in a table and thereby assess to what degree a student is taking feedback and using it.

3     Assessment using Learning Objects

First of all it is worth drawing attention to the change in wording here. We have change from grading to assessment here and this is significant.

Assessment by Learning Objectives is increasingly becoming an approach of favour. Rather than grading from say 1 to 6 we shift to grading from a competency table/listing. This means stating to what degree we believe that a student has grasped a competency rather than simply stating 4 with some feedback.

Students can seek to have a competency assessed when they feel ready, they can ask for it to be reassessed thereby encouraging them to strive to improve.

The approach also significantly can be differentiated is that grades travel with the student from one course to another thereby enabling the teacher of another course or follow on course to see what was achieved in a previous class/course.

To adopt such an approach a student learning plan is setup and then the criteria for a given course attached to the plan.

In each activity etc. the criteria being assessed by that activity are activated allowing the teacher to track where a student is in the course and where they have been.

The approach does not stop a grade being awarded to the student together with the competency, but it could also be left out.

In all the above approaches, there are a raft of finer grading points that can be initiated, for example, the lecturer can hide who marked the work, they can assign a colleague to grade the work, they can anonymise the student being graded, they could set criteria that means a student must achieve a set grade or criteria prior to moving on.

Essentially, Moodle is incredibly powerful and provides you as a lecturer with a massive advantage when it comes to tracking, supporting and grading your students.

If you want to know more about how you can exploit the power of Moodle, contact me and I’ll be only too pleased to support you.



MAS – E-Learning and Knowledge Management.

Important Corporate IT News

Please Note!

This is important to everyone who is currently developing a Moodle course.

Firstly Corporate IT are updating the FHNW servers, this is an ongoing operation and should not affect your work with Moodle. However, they are intending to update the Corporate Moodle to Moodle 3.5. This is NOT the latest Moodle version, but, due to some issues with the interface plugin, they cannot update to 3.6.2+ just yet.

Good news is that we have taken back responsibility for our e-learning LMS from LIIP which essentially means there should be more freedom to install the plugins we want, though you should not expect to try out new plugins. You may do this on the HT Moodle platforms.

If you want to see what the new Moodle will look like, you can take a look here: Moodle 3.5


You should NOT use Moodle between 20:00 and 23:00 on 11.02.2019. The system will be down, and any work you do between these times is likely to be lost.

Our own HT Moodle should be moving along with this site and all the content during the summer of 2019. We felt that to migrate the CIT system and merge our system would be a job too much.

If you have any questions concerning Moodle or anything e-learning, please feel free to contact me.

Moodle 3.6.1 is here

Moodle has just launched version 3.6.1.

We are now testing Moodle 3.7.

In the New Year we will upgrade our operational Moodle to the latest secure version.

New Mahara Interface Launched

Mahara have launched their latest upgrade and with it, a brand new user interface.

The new interface is designed to complement the concepts and ideas of Mahara:

  • Create
  • Share
  • Engage

Switch will be upgrading to the new format as of Summer 2019, so now would be a good time to start looking at the new layout ready for when the students start using it.

Mahara Personal Learning Environment

EduHub Days 2019

Dear Members of the Swiss e-Learning Community,


We are happy to invite you to th eduhub days 2019, which will take place on February 13 & 14, 2019, at the University of Zurich.


The eduhub days 2019 will focus on digital skills and digitalisation in higher education. Digitalisation is omnipresent in discourses about society, work and education. It is an expression that englobes many aspects: Being able to use new technologies and to apply them in a way, so that they are the most efficient for our intentions. It affects the way we teach and the way students learn. It also refers to a more fundamental change in the disciplines and the process of scientific knowledge creation.


During the eduhub days 2019 we will focus on how digitalisation affects teaching and learning practices in our daily activities. How can we best leverage public awareness and interest for digital technologies to transform our universities? We will look at methods and practical experiences in applying new technologies for higher education, such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and learning analytics.


Digital excellence is built on the ability to understand and employ new  learning and teaching technologies in the most efficient way. The eduhub  days provide a platform for knowledge exchange on digital awareness,  digital skills and media literacy. At the eduhub days 2019 you will be  able to present the way you promote digital excellence and effective use  of new technologies for teaching and learning at your institution either  in a tutorial, in a BarCamp or in a digital exhibition.


You can register for the eduhub days 2019 and send a proposal until December 20, 2018. Please note that places for eduhub days 2019 are limited. Registration is therefore binding.


We are looking forward to welcome you in Zurich in February 2019 and to another inspiring conference of the Swiss e-Learning Community!


Best regards,

Nathalie Roth

Login Error

There is an error which seems to be causing a lot of problems for students and lecturers alike.

Information about this error may be found here:

Turnitin Workshop November 2018

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen

Am Mittwoch, 7. November, 13:30-16:00 Uhr, findet der nächste Workshop für Dozierende zum Umgang mit Turnitin statt.


Bitte macht in euren Hochschulen über die entsprechenden Kanäle darauf aufmerksam:


Herzlichen Dank und viele Grüsse, Nadja