Best practices: Benefits of using the Moodle™ Marking Guide
Moodle™ offers multiple advanced grading methods all of which ease grading while promoting consistency and transparency. Each method allows teachers to create unique and individualized evaluation forms for grading. Currently Joule customers can use advanced grading methods for Assignments and Advanced Forums while Moodle™ users can use them for Assignments only. My personal favorite is the Marking Guide method. If you aren’t using Marking Guide yet in your courses I recommend that you check it out! In today’s post I’m going to talk about how I use it and why I love it.
As soon as Rubrics were available for Moodle™ 2.2 I started incorporating them into my courses. They were painless to create and I found that they saved me time in grading. However I soon realized that I didn’t like that I was only able to assign points that mapped to a specific level of a criterion. I really wished that Rubric was more flexible and was based on a range for scoring.
One of the main reasons why I love the Marking Guide advanced grading method is that it allows you to grade each criterion up to a maximum point value essentially allowing you to grade within a range of points rather than using only specified levels. So if you have a criterion worth 15 points you can easily set it to 15 points using the Marking Guide and Moodle™ will let you score it using any point range between 0-15. Whereas if you were using Rubric and wanted a similar functionality you would need to set up 16 levels associated to that one criterion which would be time consuming. As you can imagine I was very excited to learn of the Marking Guide method that became available in Moodle™ 2.3.
Another wonderful feature of Marking Guide is that it allows you to create frequently used comments. This feature allows you to create standard feedback options that will then be available when you go to grade the activity. You can easily select the feedback that you would like to add and customize the text after adding it to the feedback area. This saves a lot of time! I find myself adding more frequently used comments as times goes on and periodically reordering how they display in the list. When you are creating the comment you might need more space to type. Moodle™ automatically scrolls the text up as multiple lines are added but it makes it hard to read and write longer feedback options. To make this easier click and drag the bottom right-hand corner of the box to enlarge the text input area.
The Marking Guide is easy to use with the Joule Grader. You can view the submitted files or discussion (if viewing an Advanced Forum) inline and quickly open the Marking Guide for grading. It will pop-up allowing you to enter feedback and points. Don’t forget to add frequently used comments by clicking in the appropriate feedback area and then selecting the corresponding icons for the one(s) you want to add. You can close the pop-up and view another file or continue reading the discussion. Don’t click the Save button until you are finished grading the activity for that student because you can re-open the Marking Guide and continue entering feedback and points without doing so. When you are done save the Marking Guide. Using this combination really makes grading a breeze!
If you’d like to learn more about advanced grading methods enroll in our Fundamentals of Course Building online course. You’ll learn how to create Assignments with Marking Guides Rubrics and Checklists how to grade using each form how to reuse and share forms and best practices. You’ll even receive job aids for each one.
Thanks for reading! ~Rebecca