Creating a Moodle Grading Guide (Faculty)
Posted by Bonnie Tensen on 16 October 2013 12:08 PM

There are two types of advanced grading methods in Moodle--the Rubric (please see Creating a Moodle Rubric for information on that), and a Grading Guide. A Grading Guide is an advanced grading method that provides consistent and transparent assessment criteria (like a rubric), but is less complex and more flexible. A Grading Guide allows you to you to grade within a range of points rather than using only specified point value. So, if you have a criterion worth 5 points, it will let you score using any point value between 0-5 (unlike a rubric where you would need to establish 5 different levels associated with that one criterion). There is also a column for additional comments, and one (time-saving!) feature is "frequently-used feedback." These are recurring comments that can be quickly inserted (and customized) in the feedback textbox. A Grading Guide can expedite your grading process while simultaneously providing substantial feedback for students.  [NOTE: if you are using rubrics, you may want to include a link to this video that explains how students can view your feedback: ]

  1. Turn editing on, click on "Add an activity or resource" and select "Assignment." Name the assignment and provide directions for your students in the box marked "Description." Click on "Grade" and enter the total number of points for the assignment and from the dropdown menu next to "Grading method," select "Grading guide." (If you have already created an Assignment, it is possible to edit and add a Grading Guide to it). Then click on "Save and display."

    Adding Marking Guide to assignment under "Grade."

  2. Once you have created the assignment, you next need to build your Grading Guide. Select "Define new grading form from scratch." [Note: if you have already created a Grading Guide for a different course or semester, you can select this (and edit it) by selecting "Create new grading form from a template."]

    Build new Marking Guide from scratch

  3. In the window that opens, name your grading guide [include the course number] and (if desired) provide a brief description. It is helpful to include the course name and number since you may want to use this another semester. [Note: If at any point in the process of creating or editing your marking guide you get interrupted (by inadvertently exiting this page or saving the draft to work on later), you can return to this page by opening the assignment and in the Administration box, clicking on "Advanced grading" and "Define grading guide."]

    Name marking guide

  4. Scroll down, and click on "Click to edit criterion name." [Note: this is a hyperlink even though it does not LOOK like a hyperlink. When you click on this, it will transform into a small window in which you can type the first criterion.]

    Click to edit criterion nameType name of criterion

  5. Then, under "Description for Students," click the italicized phrase "Click to edit" and in the small window that opens, type any additional description of the criterion.

    Click on "Click to edit"Insert description of criterion

  6. Under "Maximum mark" click on the italicized phrase "Click to edit" and enter the number of possible points for this criterion. When you grade this criterion, you will have the option of awarding any number between 0 and this point value. [Note: You should ignore  "Description for Markers." If you had a TA or student assistant who was doing the grading, this would be a place to enter further instruction about your grading policies regarding this criterion.]

    Under Maximum mark, click "Click to edit"Enter point value for criterion

  7. To add additional criteria, click the "+Add criterion" button. Repeat the process until you have created all of the criteria for the marking guide.

    Click "Add criterion" for next category

  8. Moodle Grading Guides permit you to add feedback you frequently repeat when grading. [NOTE: there is also a column in the marking guide where you can type individual comments that are not "pre-loaded" in the marking guide.]  To add a comment, under "Frequently used comments" click on "Click to edit," type (or copy & paste) your comment there, and click "+ Add frequently used comment." 

    Type frequent comment
  9. Repeat the process until you have added all of the frequently used comments you would like. [Note: Frequently used comments can be added to the marking guide even after you begin to grade student work by clicking on "Advanced grading," and editing the template.]  Add another comment
  10. When you finish building your grading guide, click on "Save grading guide and make it ready." This will automatically connect the grading guide to this assignment.

    Saving marking guide template
  11. Your students will see the criteria on the Assignment page where they will submit their work.

    student view of marking guide
  12. To grade student submissions, on the Assignment page click on "View/grade all submissions" and on the box next to the phrase "Submitted for grading." This will bring up the marking guide for you to use.

    Teacher grading view
  13. Download or open the attached file from student, and then use the grading guide to assess (add comments and score criterion).

    Download or open student fileScore criterion
  14. To add a frequently used comment, click on the criterion comment field and then on the + sign next to the desired comment.

    Insert a frequently used comment
  15. The comment will be automatically inserted. [Note: you can edit comment to personalize your feedback if you desire.]

    comment inserted
  16. Make any final comments in the feedback comments textbox, and if you want to provide additional comments right on the student paper, you can attach the graded document. To finish grading, click on "save changes." [Note: Students will see Grading Guide feedback by clicking on the Assignment link. Only the final grade will appear in the Moodle Gradebook. You may want to help students with this by directing them to this article on How to Access a Graded Grading Guide.]

    Image of Step 8

(Faculty) For additional help with Moodle, visit the Faculty Moodle Resources site at

Last Modified: 2022/05/18

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