Best practices: Time savers with the Gradebook

Today we're continuing our new blog series "Best Practices." Written by Open LMS ' very own Learning Solutions team the Best Practices series will continue to run bi-weekly and highlight best practices for Moodle™ use inside and outside of the traditional classroom.

In today's post Open LMS Instructional Designer and Trainer Emily Danler highlights how educators can make the Moodle™ Gradebook work better for them.

Thanks for reading,

~Brad

On the heels of the West Coast Moodle™ Moot one of the resounding cries for help came from instructors wanting the Moodle™ Gradebook to be more user friendly! These tips give you a taste of the advice offered at the Moot combined with the experiences of our Moodle™ savvy Learning Solutions team. The first thing you can do is to get someone else to do some of the work for you! Contact your Moodle™ administrator and have him/her streamline the aggregation methods in the Gradebook—this will simplify the look and provide greater clarity. Suggest they take out the following aggregation methods as they are rarely or never used: median mode lowest and highest. Ask them to customize scales that are frequently used by your institution at the site level (i.e. Pass/Fail Credit/No Credit). In the Grader Report settings prevent unnecessary scrolling in the Gradebook by un-checking the static students column. These suggestions are a preliminary start to making the Gradebook a more streamlined tool.

For an instructor the protocol we recommend for setting up your Gradebook is as follows:

  1. Set up Categories and Items in the Gradebook first. Create categories to logically house your assignments based upon the structure of your course (assignments quizzes or units/topics/weeks).
  2. Determine your overall course category aggregation method (use Sum of grades if you want a very basic configuration).
  3. Align your other category aggregation methods to the overall course aggregation or determine the best aggregation strategy for each category.
  4. Build activities and house them in the appropriate category as you create them (and/or move activities already created into the appropriate category).
  5. Configure your Settings so the Gradebook displays the way you want it to for students.
  6. Configure My Preferences to display the Gradebook the way you want to for your own use.

Other Gradebook-related tips:

  1. Edit or delete it where you create it (front page vs. within the Gradebook).
  2. If you create an item in Gradebook you won’t see it from the front page. This is okay for things like attendance or participation but should be used sparingly.
  3. Build out activities on the front-page that you want to populate in the Gradebook and appear in the calendar. Students will be able to view all these items and get reminders in the Upcoming events block.
  4. Create a student account for yourself log in and submit assignments. This way you can practice grading before you go live with real students.

Hopefully this will give your Moodle™ Gradebook the jumpstart it needs! Look for additional blogs on this subject along with the new Moodle™ and Joule 2 features that impact grading in the upcoming months.

~Emily

Carl

Carl

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