Easing grading in Moodle™ and Open LMS

As a teacher grading activities is an essential part of your job but it can be a time-consuming task. Easing grading can save time and allow you to work more on preparing for additional classroom activities and other tasks on your to-do list. Today I am going to share some tips that I have found to be helpful in easing grading in Moodle™ and Open LMS.

  1. For shorter assignments use the online text feature to allow students to submit assignments online rather than using the file upload feature. This saves the student the time from having to create an external document and upload it into the system and it saves you from having to download or open the file to view it. Plus if you are using Open LMS to grade you can simply view it inline and enter the grade in a side-by-side view.
  2. Let quizzes and lesson grade automatically by not including manually graded questions in them. Take full advantage of these activities by using the automated question types only. If you want to have an essay choose to use an assignment with online submission only to ease grading.
  3. Replace your paper rubrics with online advanced grading forms in Moodle™. Are you uploading rubrics for students to view and then having to pull them up to view them as you grade? Is there a disconnection with your students who “forgot” there was an associated rubric? Make it easier for everyone by using Moodle™’s advanced grading methods for grading assignments. (You can also them in Open LMS for grading Open forums by using Open Grader for grading). You can choose to use a rubric checklist or marking guide. The form displays to students and allows teachers to grade with it. Also if you use Open Grader you can easily toggle between the assignment/advanced forum and the advanced grading method before saving the grade. This makes it super easy to provide feedback and criterion level grades as you review the activities. Enroll in our “Course Building Fundamentals” online course to learn how to create and grade with advanced grading methods.
  4. Download all assignment submissions at one time. If you prefer to grade all assignments at once or offline you might find the “Download all submissions” feature helpful. To access it view the activity and go to Settings > Assignment administration. If you plan to use this method do not allow for submission comments as they will not download with the submitted files.
  5. Configure assignments to notify you of each submission or turn it off and create a PLD rule to remind you to grade all submissions at once. When you create the assignment you can choose to be notified or not when a student makes a submission. If you do not want to grade assignments as you receive them then you can turn this feature off and instead go in and grade after the deadline. In addition you can create a custom reminder by creating a Personalized Learning Designer (PLD) rule. Use the “Specific date and time” event to e-mail yourself a reminder to complete grading. To learn how to create PLD rules in Open LMS enroll in our “Advanced Course Building” online course or sign up for an upcoming “Personalized Learning Designer” webinar.
  6. Create a recurring PLD rule to remind you to grade during the week. Are there specific days that you like to complete grading? Consider creating a PLD rule to email you reminders on those days. You can create a “Recurring event” rule that will trigger an email to be sent just to you on specific days at a set time. It is your own personal assistant reminding you to grade!
  7. Remind students to complete an activity by the deadline by creating a PLD rule that emails them if it is not completed by a certain date. You can use the “Specific date and time” event to check which students have yet to complete an activity by a certain date and time. Consider creating this rule for larger assignments. If you are using start/end dates in your activity settings you can also add the Upcoming Events block to display a to-do list for your students.
  8. Use Open Grader for grading assignments and advanced forums. If you are only using these types of manually graded activities in your course you can simply use this feature for all of your grading. Go to Settings > Course administration > Open grader and filter to see only activities that need to be graded by clicking the “Show Activities Requiring Grading” button.
  9. Make sure you set up assignments correctly before students start to submit them. Not only can having an activity set up incorrectly be frustrating for you but also it is frustrating for students. Ensure your activities are working as you desire BEFORE students even access your course. After creating you course test it using a test student account. This can significantly reduce frustration down the road for all!

I hope you find some of these tips useful as you grade in Moodle™ and Open LMS. You probably have your own bag of tricks for grading. What are some of the tips and tools that you like to use? Feel free to post them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

~Rebecca DeSantis, MSIT



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