Basic Gradebook Setup in Moodle 4.3

The Gradebook Setup window allows you to add Grade Items, to organize Grade Items into Categories, and to choose how you want Moodle to calculate final grade totals (weights, points, etc.).

Accessing the Gradebook Setup Window

  • Open the Moodle course and turn editing on by sliding the Edit Mode toggle to the on position.
  • Select the Grades tab.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Gradebook Setup.
Moodle 4.3 - Grades tab - drop-down menu - Gradebook setup option highlighted

Manually Adding Grade Items

A Grade Item is simply any activity that can earn a grade.

Some Moodle activities, such as assignments and quizzes, automatically create Grade Items in the Gradebook. There may be, however, activities in your class, such as an oral presentation or class participation, that are not Moodle activities but that you still want to grade. In this case, you will need to add a Grade Item manually to the Gradebook.

  • In the Gradebook setup window, click the Add button and choose Add grade item from the drop-down menu.
Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook setup window - Add drop-down menu button with Add grade item option highlighted
  • Enter an Item name.
  • If necessary, change the Maximum grade. (The default is 100.)
  • Click the Save button.
  • The Grade Item now appears in your Gradebook as a Manual Item.
Manual Gradebook item highlighted in the Moodle 4.3 Gradebook Setup window

Some Moodle activities, such as Quizzes and Assignments, automatically generate a Grade Item in the gradebook. You do not need to add Grade Items for these activities, as they will appear in the Gradebook automatically when you create them in the course. You can access the Grade settings for such activities by opening the activity in the course, clicking the activity’s Settings tab, and adjusting the Grade type under the Grade heading.

Adding Grade Categories

Grade Categories allow you to group Grade Items that will be handled in a certain way. For example, a “Homework” category may include all homework assignments and be weighted in a particular way.

  • In the Gradebook setup window, click the Add button and choose Add category from the drop-down menu.
Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook setup window with Add button and - Add category option highlighted
  • Enter a Category name.
  • Click the Save button.

Rearranging Items in the Gradebook

In Moodle you cannot just click and drag a Grade Category or Grade Item to move it to a different position in the item list. To rearrange items in the Gradebook:

  • Click the Move icon next to the item you wish to move.
Moodle 4.3- Gradebook setup window - grade category move icon highlighted
  • A series of dotted lines appear in the Gradebook list. Click the dotted line in the location where you wish to move the item
Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook Move to fields
  • The item moves to that position in the list.

Weighted Grade Items or Categories

In some cases you may want grade items or categories to represent designated proportions of the final grade in the gradebook. For a detailed explanation about why and when to use weights in Moodle see Using Weights in the Moodle Gradebook.

Adding Weights to the Entire Gradebook

To add fields where you can enter weights to every item in the Gradebook:

  • Click on the Cell Actions button (three dots) across from the course title at the top of the Gradebook Setup window.

Be careful not to click the Cell Actions button for an individual Grade Item or Grade Category.

Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook setup - Cell Actions button for entire Gradebook highlighted
  • Select the Edit Category option
  • From the Aggregation drop-down menu, choose Weighted Mean of Grades.

Do not choose Simple Weighted Mean of Grades if you want to enter weights. The “Simple” aggregation option is not the same as the Weighted Mean of Grades.

Gradebook setup - Aggregation drop-down menu options - Weighted mean of grades highlighted
  • Click the Save button.
  • You will now see a Weights column in the Gradebook where you can add your weight figures.
Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook setup window with Weights column highlighted
  • Be sure to click the Save changes button after entering your weight values. If you don’t click the Save changes button, the weight values will not be saved.
Moodle 4.3 Gradebook setup window with Save changes button highlighted

Adding Weights to a Gradebook Category

Sometimes you want to weight items inside of a Gradebook Category. To add weight fields inside of a specific category in the Gradebook:

  • Click on the Cell Actions button (three dots) across from the Category where you want to add weights.

Be careful to select the corresponding Cell Actions button for the chosen Category rather than the entire Gradebook or another Grade Item in the list.

  • Select the Edit Category option
  • From the Aggregation drop-down menu, choose Weighted Mean of Grades.

Do not choose Simple Weighted Mean of Grades if you want to enter weights. The “Simple” aggregation option is not the same as the Weighted Mean of Grades.

Gradebook setup - Category Aggregation drop-down menu options - Weighted mean of grades highlighted
  • Click the Save button.
  • You will now see Weights boxes for items inside the category in the Gradebook.
Moodle 4.3 - Gradebook setup window with Weights column and category weights column highlighted
  • Be sure to click the Save changes button after entering your weight values. If you don’t click the Save changes button, the weight values will not be saved.
Moodle 4.3 Gradebook setup window with Save changes button highlighted

Video: Gradebook Setup Basics When Using Moodle’s Classic Theme

This video was recorded using Moodle 3 and the Classic theme. The default theme in Moodle 4 as of the Fall 2023 is Boost.

How to access the Gradebook setup in Moodle 4 using the Boost theme
To access the Gradebook setup in Moodle 4 using the Boost theme: open the course, click the Grades tab, and select Gradebook setup from the drop-down menu.

Moodle 4 - Grades tab - drop-down menu - Gradebook setup option highlighted

For more information about this Moodle topic, see the following articles on the moodle.org support site.

Updated on July 9, 2024
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