Moodle: Set up a course gradebook

Use the Gradebook to record grades for both Moodle and non-Moodle activities (e.g., oral presentations) and display them to students (each student sees only their own grades). You can calculate category-level and final course grades in Moodle or export the grade data to analyze in some other way. (Moodle grade data does not feed into Bionic; you will manually enter students' final grades in Bionic as a separate step at the end of the semester.)   

Before you start, you may need:

  • An Instructor of record or Other editing teacher role in a Bryn Mawr Moodle course
  • If you want Moodle to calculate final grades, LITS strongly recommends finalizing your grading plan, including the weights or point values of each grade category (e.g., Participation, Homework, Exams) and graded items or assignments within those categories, before entering anything into Moodle.  

Create a grade category

You only need to do this if you want to calculate grades in Moodle. For best results, work out your course assessment plan on paper first -- including the different grading categories (e.g. Participation, Exams, Homework), how each will be weighted when calculating the final grade (e.g., 10%, 20%, 60%), and how you will calculate the grades within a category. You will need this information to set up the categories correctly.   

  1. Open your Moodle course.
  2. Click Grades.
  3. Click the Grader report dropdown menu and choose Gradebook setup.

Grades drop-down menu with Gradebook setup selected.

  1. Click Add category.
  2. Enter the category Name (e.g. Participation, Exams, Homework).
  3. Under Aggregation, choose how grades in this category will be calculated. We recommend choosing Natural (the sum of all grade values scaled by weight)
  4. Click Show more… to see more options, including options to exclude empty grades, include outcomes in aggregation, or drop the lowest score (if there will be several items in this category).
  5. Under Category Total, choose your Grade Type. If you chose natural aggregation in the previous steps, the grade type will be set to Value by default.
    • If you have chosen a different aggregation type you can choose the Grade type, choose whether to display the grade as a real value, a letter, percentage, etc. (e.g.: If a student receives an 85 points grade for an exam that is under this category and which is graded 0-100, a Real grade display will show the value 85, while a Percentage display will show the grade as 85%).
    • Under Minimum grade, check the Weight Adjusted box to decide the weight this category will have within the total course grade. The weight should correspond to your assessment plan (see Step 1 above).
  6. Under Parent Category, go to Weight and type in the desired weight for the category. The weight of a category corresponds to its percentage from the total grade. (e.g.: if a category is worth 10% of the final grade, under Weight, you should type 10).
  7. Choose other adjustable settings for category including the number of decimal places you want to show, the minimum and maximum grade for a category, and whether to hide or show the grade category to students.
  8. Click Save Changes.
  9. Repeat this process foreach category in your assessment plan. When you’re done, you will have the general structure for your course’s gradebook and you’ll be ready to move on to creating grade items.

Create grade items

Unlike categories, grade items can be added to the Gradebook in two ways:

As graded activities in your Moodle course

By default, any graded activity created on the body of your Moodle course will have a corresponding item in your Gradebook. This includes graded assignments, forums, workshops, and quizzes. How these graded items get categorized and calculated depends on the categories you have created for your Gradebook, as well as on the settings you choose when creating the activity.

As items created directly in the gradebook

This option is ideal for activities that are not submitted through Moodle, that do not correspond to a graded activity (e.g.: participation, documents shared via other platforms, etc.), or for extra credit items.

Create a graded activity in your Moodle course

  1. Create the activity on Moodle and, when finished, click Save and Return to Course.
  2. Find the activity in the body of your Moodle course click the Edit drop-down menu (three stacked dots) and select Edit Settings
    • DO NOT click on the title of the activity. Some activities such as quizzes and questionnaires can be edited in two ways–clickingEdit Settings on the gear icon will allow you to edit the activity’s settings including availability, grading, restrictions, etc. while clicking on the title of your activity will allow you to edit the activity’s content (e.g.: edit or add question items).
  3. Under Grade > Grade Category, choose the corresponding category for the activity (e.g.: Homework, Essay, Final Project, etc.).

 Note: The Grade Category menu will only show categories you have already created in your Gradebook. To create a grade category, see Creating a Grade Category instructions above.

  1. Click Save and Return to Course.
  2. A new item will appear in your Gradebook corresponding to the activity you have just created. To see this item, go to Grades > Setup > Gradebook Setup.

Create items directly in your gradebook

  1. On your Moodle course, click on the Edit Mode toggle (if it isn't already on).
  2. Next, select Grades.
  3. On the next page, select Grader report > Setup> Gradebook setup from the tabs displayed.
  4. On the Gradebook setup page, click the Add grade item button.
  5. On the Grade Item page, choose a name for your grade item (e.g.: Homework Week 1, Exam 2, etc.).
  6. Click Show more… to see more grade item settings.
  7. Choose whether to display the grade as a real value, a letter, percentage, etc. (e.g.: If a student receives an 85 points grade for an exam graded 0-100, a Real grade display will show the value 85, while a Percentage display will show the grade as 85%). For Real, set a maximum and minimum grade.
  8. Under Parent Category, you can adjust the grade for this item by checking the Weight Adjusted box and manually entering a weight in the box below.
  9.  You can also choose the category to which this grade item belongs.
  10. Click Save changes.

Videos & further reading on Moodle gradebook


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor