Grading options in Moodle

Grading options in Moodle

In Moodle, there are multiple ways to grade your student(s) work. Some popular activities that are commonly used to grade student work are the Assignment and Quiz activities. You may already be familiar with these activity types, however, today we will focus our attention on the various grading options when working with these activities.

It is important to mention that not all activities and resources within Moodle support grade settings. Activities and resources within Moodle will have their own grade settings that associate with them. For example, when adding a new assignment activity to your course, the following grade options are available:

Grades
  • Grade: Select the grade type that will be used (none, scale, point). You must also provide a Maximum grade value for the assignment activity when using the point grade type. If you decide to use the scale grade type, then you must specify the scale to be used for grading.
  • Grading method: Choose the advanced grading method that will be used to assess student work (simple direct grading, marking guide, rubric). Set this value to simple direct grading to disable advanced grading methods. Otherwise, select the advanced grading method you would like to use.
  • Grade category: The grade category that the activity grade will be placed in within the gradebook.
    Grade to pass: Specify the minimum grade required in order to pass the activity. This value is used when assessing activity and course completion.
  • Grade to pass:  Specify the minimum grade required in order to pass the activity. This value is used when assessing activity and course completion.

  • Anonymous submissions: Specify whether student identity is hidden from the grader/markers.
    Hide grader identity from students: Specify whether grader/marker identity is hidden from the students.
    Use marking workflow: If enabled, the marks will go through a series of workflow stages before the grades are released to students. This allows for multiple rounds of marking and students will all receive marks at the same time.

  • Hide grader identity from students: Specify whether grader/marker identity is hidden from the students.
  • Use marking workflow: If enabled, the marks will go through a series of workflow stages before the grades are released to students. This allows for multiple rounds of marking and students will all receive marks at the same time.

Advanced grading methods:

When setting up the assignment activity, you can choose to use Advanced Grading Methods. To do so, you can click the Rubric or Marking guide over the simple direct grading methods.

When working with the Rubric method, you will be required to define a rubric that will be used by graders to assess the student’s grade, based on criteria plotted against levels of achievement. Each level is assigned a numeric grade which is then used to calculate a sum of all criteria grades.

Here is an example shown of a rubric grading method. In this scenario, the student received a 2/2 in Grammer, ½ in Research, and 2/2 in the Syntax criteria levels. This results in a total grade of ⅚ (83.33%) in the gradebook for the assignment activity.

rubric grading method

The marking guide advanced grading method allows teachers to provide comments and grades for each criterion. For example, here is an example shown of an assignment activity that utilizes the marking guide advanced grading method. There are 2 criteria defined, one for Research, and one for Grammar. In the image below, the user has obtained a 2/2 in research, and ½ in grammar. This results in a ¾ and final activity grade of 75% within the gradebook.

Moodle marking guide advanced grading method

Quiz grading methods:

With the quiz activity, you can specify the number of attempts allowed. Depending on your requirements, you can specify the maximum number of times a user can attempt a specific quiz.

When setting up the quiz activity, you can select from the following grading methods:

Moodle grading methods
  • Highest grade: the highest grade from all user attempts.
  • Average grade: the average grade from all user attempts.
  • First attempt: the grade from the user’s first attempt.
  • Last attempt: the grade from the user’s last attempt.
What is Moodle LTI and how can it work for your organisation?

What is Moodle LTI and how can it work for your organisation?

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a learning technology standard developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium. LTI acts as a medium to integrate learning tools (virtual applications developed by providers) into another platform, which is the tool consumer. Moodle can be both an LTI tool consumer and provider; we can export content available in a Moodle instance as a resource to other platforms, and we can also import content from other providers into Moodle.

Using Moodle as an LTI consumer

Teachers can use the External tool to link external resources from LTI compliant platforms to their Moodle course page and also have users’ grades sent into Moodle from where they are being externally calculated. This means that users can conveniently just log into Moodle to access resources without having to go to the provider’s platform with a separate login.

The following instructions need to be followed to set this up:

1) In a course, find and click on the Turn editing on button
2) Go to the desired course section and click on the Add an activity or resource button
3) In the pop-up that opens, go to the Activities tab and click on the option External tool

Add an activity and resources
3) This will direct you to the settings page for the activity. The name must be provided and a description as well if necessary. The External tool’s URL has to be provided along with the consumer key and shared secret, which are provided by the External tool provider. The settings are described in more detail in the next section. 4) Save the changes

External tool settings

This section covers the settings of the External tool activity when it is added to a course and also the site administration level settings for the course module.

The activity settings have eight different setting groups. Except for General and Privacy settings, which are specific to the External tool, the remaining groups are general activity settings that you can read more about from these links:

 

General Settings

Moodle General Settings
  • Activity name
    • Add a title, description if required, with your choice of display
  • Activity description
    • Give a short description here
  • Display description on course page
    • Choose to show the description along with the activity name
  • Display activity name when launched
    • Have this appear when the student clicks the link.
  • Display activity description when launched
    • Have this appear when the student clicks the link.
  • Secure tool URL
    • This overrides the tool URL when moodle uses SSL (if your site is configured to use HTTPS in the web root)
  • Consumer key
    • This tells the External tool’s site that your Moodle is allowed to connect.
    • The site will issue you with this key
    • If you are merely linking to a tool with no secure access or gradebook sharing, you won’t need a consumer key
    • If you are linking to a course or activity from another Moodle site, you can add any consumer key
  • Shared secret
    • This is the authentication passphrase to connect to the External tool’s site
  • Custom parameters
    • The tool provider might use this to allow you to display a specific resource
    • This setting may be left blank for most External tools
  • Icon URL
    • Enter the URL to a different icon you want to display instead of the default External Tool icon
  • Secure Icon URL
    • Enter the URL of a different icon here if your students are accessing Moodle securely via SSL
  • Preconfigured tool
    • This is how Moodle communicates with the tool provider. If in doubt, leave as default
    • If your administrator has made a tool available site-wide, you will be able to select it here
  • Select content button
    • This button is for LTI Content-Item configuration
  • Tool URL
    • This is the URL for connecting to the tool’s external site.
    • If your Moodle site uses SSL (is on HTTPS), you will only be able to use a tool that also uses SSL. Make sure the tool URL has HTTPS before attempting to use it or you may get a blank page
  • Launch container
    • This is how the External tool will be displayed and one of the following options must be picked:
      • Default – If in doubt, leave as default
      • Embed – The External tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page with blocks and navigation bar
      • Embed without blocks – The External tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page but without blocks
      • New Window – The External tool will open in a new window (a new window or tab will open with the External tool and the old browser window containing the course page will not change)

Privacy

Privacy
  • Share launcher’s name with the tool
    • The student’s name will be displayed on the connected External tool site
  • Share launcher’s email with the tool
    • The student’s email will be displayed on the connected External tool site
  • Accept grades from the tool
    • The connected External tool site will send back grades to Moodle’s gradebook
    • This will be discussed in more detail

Site administration settings

Adding a tool site-wide

A site administrator can manually configure External tools from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage tools to render them available across the site.

A tool can be configured so that it is shown in the course module selection pop-up menu when adding an activity/resource to a course.

Registering a tool using a cartridge

A cartridge can be used to register a tool type. This will configure all the necessary settings info so you don’t need to from the settings page. Enter the tool’s cartridge URL into the “Tool URL…” field and click on the Add button, as shown in the screenshot below.

Add Tool

Then, you will be asked to enter a consumer key and shared secret. If you do not possess these, you can leave the fields blank.

Consumer key and shared secret

Registering an External tool

To register an External tool, enter the tool URL into the same “Tool URL…” field and click on the same Add button. This will open the tool and prompt you to provide some settings.

Registering an External tool

Then, you will be shown the capabilities the tool wants to use and you can decide if you want to proceed with it.

Viewing more details

On the Manage tools page, you can also go to Manage preconfigured tools to view the preconfigured tools under Active, Pending, Rejected tabs.

External tool types

You can also go to Manage external tool registrations to view the tool registrations under Configured, Pending, Accepted, Rejected tabs.

External tool registrations

From here, you can click on Configure a new external tool registration to add a tool with limited capabilities.

External tool registrations
  • Tool provider name
    • Name given by the provider
  • Registration URL
    • URL given by the provider
  • Capabilities
    • Select all capabilities you want the provider to have
  • Services
    • Select all services you want to offer the provider

Once you have configured these settings and saved the page, click on the checkmark to register.

Configured

After a success message is displayed, click Register to complete the registration process.

External tool registration

If all requirements are met, you will be able to register automatically. Now, you can go to Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage external tool types and click on the Pending tab, then click the checkmark to activate it.

Manage external tool types

External tool capabilities

You can read about each of the External tool capabilities in further detail from these links:

Note: You can view a list of LTI certified tools from IMS Global at this link.

Using Moodle as an LTI tool provider 

The enrolment plugin Publish as LTI tool and the LTI authentication plugin can be used to allow remote users on a different platform to access select courses and activities/resources on your Moodle site.

Since the users need to access content on the Moodle site, they need an account for the site and need to be enrolled in the appropriate course, which is why both those plugins are needed for LTI tool provider functionality.

 

Enabling ‘Publish as LTI tool’ at the site level


Site administrators can enable the ‘Publish as LTI tool’ authentication plugin from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication.

Manage authentication

Site administrators can enable the Publish as LTI tool enrolment plugin from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Enrolments > Manage enrol plugins.

Course enrolment plugins

Note: It is recommended that site administrators set Allow frame embedding to ‘enabled’ from Admin dashboard > Site Administration > Security > HTTP security so that tools are displayed within a frame rather than in a new window. We recommend that you use HTTPS on your Moodle instance. Please see Transitioning to HTTPS for more information.

Sharing access to a course or activity

Go to the enrolment methods page within a selected course and add the Publish as LTI tool enrolment method.
Begin by providing a custom instance name, and the activity within this course (or the course itself) that you wish to share to external users. In addition, you may wish to provide an optional enrollment duration, and date range for which external users may have access to the shared material. Furthermore, a maximum number of enrolled users can be specified (if this is set to zero then an unlimited number of remote external users may be enrolled). Lastly, a role can be provided for both the remote teacher and student roles.

Sharing access to a course or activity

Next, the teacher should specify the credentials and settings for the remote external system.

Remote external system
  • Secret
    • A string of characters which is shared with the remote system (LTI consumer) to provide access to the tool.
  • Grade synchronization
    • Whether grades from the tool are sent to the remote system (LTI consumer).
  • Require course or activity completion prior to grade synchronization
    • Teachers can specify whether a course or activity should be completed before the grade synchronization is to be triggered.
  • User synchronization
    • Whether a scheduled task synchronizes enrolled users in the remote system with enrolments in this course, creating an account for each remote user as necessary, and enrolling or un-enrolling them as required. If set to “No”, at the moment when a remote user accesses the tool, an account will be created for them and they will be automatically enrolled.
  • User synchronization mode
    • Whether remote users should be enrolled and/or unenrolled from this course.

Finally, the course creator or teacher may set up default user values for remote external users.

Set up default user values for remote external users

After you have successfully added the LTI enrolment method to your course, you can navigate to the Course administration page to view and copy the registration URL for the LTI consumer site. Go to the Published as LTI tools page from the drop down menu.

Note: You should share the registration URL and secret key with the LTI consumer site in order for them to access your site. The above links will be different for your Moodle instance, but relatively follow the same format such as “http://yourmoodlesite.com/enrol/lti/”.

For more information on the Publish as LTI tool plugin, please read the Publish as LTI tool Moodle article.

What is Moodle task automation?

What is Moodle task automation?

Scheduled tasks:

Moodle allows administrators to schedule routine tasks. These tasks are often referred to as “scheduled tasks” and run in the background. These scheduled tasks should run on a regular schedule however, administrators have the ability to change the scheduled task’s default schedule if required. Scheduled tasks will run as often as the cron is run in Moodle. It is recommended that the cron run every few minutes to get the maximum benefit from your scheduled tasks. This requires the task to do less work on each execution. The scheduled tasks essentially allow for task automation within Moodle.

Administrators can access the scheduled task for their site by navigating to:
Site administration > Server > Tasks > Scheduled Tasks

Scheduled tasks

Clicking the Edit icon allows you to edit the task schedule:

Edit scheduled tasks

You can specify the month, day, hour, and minute interval that this task will be run. Optionally, you can reset the task back to its default configuration or disable it entirely. In the example above, the scheduled task is set to run every 15 minutes.

The format of the fields that you can specify for the settings:

format of the fields

View task log:

Administrators can view a log of their scheduled task by navigating to:

Site administration > Server > Tasks > Tasks log

View task log

Manually executing tasks:

Administrators can manually run individual scheduled tasks via the “Run now” link under the scheduled tasks. The “Allow ‘Run now’ for scheduled tasks” setting must be enabled.

Site administration > Security > Site security settings

Manually executing tasks

In addition, the “Path to PHP CLI” setting must also be provided:

Site administration > Server > System paths

System paths run now

Task processing:

Administrators can define the additional configuration for scheduled tasks by navigating to:

Site administration > Server > Tasks > Task processing

Task processing

Executing task from the command line:

You can view a list of scheduled tasks by entering the following command:
php admin/cli/scheduled_task.php –list

Here is an example in which a specific scheduled task was executed from the command line:
php admin/cli/scheduled_task.php –execute=’\enrol_imsenterprise\task\cron_task’

For more information regarding scheduled tasks and the command line, please navigate to:
https://docs.moodle.org/39/en/Administration_via_command_line#Running_cron_via_command_lin 

Why should I consider scheduled task?

Scheduled tasks are a great way to keep the information on your site up to date. This includes user submissions, notifications, course progression, etc. Scheduled tasks are one factor that makes Moodle the leading LMS. Plugin developers should consider utilizing scheduled tasks in their development to create more immersive and consistent plugins.

Grade better with Rubric

Grade better with Rubric

Within Moodle, there are various methods for teachers to grade their students’ work. One of the most popular Moodle activities is the Assignment activity. With this activity, teachers can set up the grading method as follows:

  • Simple direct grading
  • Marking guide
  • Rubric

In this blog post, we will be focusing our attention on the Rubric advanced grading method. The Rubric grading method can be utilised within Moodle for criteria-based assessments. Similar to how a rubric works in real life, it will consist of a set of criteria that is assessed against various levels of achievement in which each grade is assigned to a specified level. When the teacher marks a student’s work, they will select the level of work that the student has achieved for each criterion.

Eg: A criterion provided for Style, Content, Late submission penalty with the various levels provided.

A criterion provided for Style, Content, Late submission penalty with the various levels provided

Set up Rubric grading method for an assignment: 

When setting up your assignment activity (or by editing activity settings), teachers can select the grading method and
set it to Rubric.

Select the grading method and set it to Rubric

Next, on the assignment activity page, click the settings drop-down and select the Define rubric option.

Select the Define rubric option

Note: You will be redirected to this page automatically if this is your first time setting up the activity and selecting the Rubric grading method.

1. Provide a Name and Description for this Rubric on the Define rubric page.

Provide a Name and Description for this Rubric on the Define rubric page

2. Next, provide a criterion and the corresponding levels. Additional criteria can be added via the + Add criterion button, and additional levels can be added via the + Add level button.

Provide a criterion and the corresponding levels

3. Additional Rubric options can be defined below.

Additional Rubric options

Finally, click the Save rubric and make it ready button to apply it to the assignment activity.

 

Grade student submission with Rubric

 After a student has made a submission on the assignment activity, the teacher can go in and grade the submission.

Grade student submission with Rubric

On the assignment page, the teacher can click the Grade button to grade the student’s submission. In the right panel, under the Grade tab, the teacher can select the grade level for each criterion and provide a comment. In addition, Feedback comments can be provided below for the student to view.

Assignment Grading

The above image displays that the user received a 1⁄2 for Research and 1⁄2 for Grammer. The total assignment is worth out of 4 points since the max points for each criterion specified are 2. This results in the user receiving a 2/4 (50%) total mark.

Total assignment points

In this example provided below, the total assignment would be worth out of /6 points. This user has received a 2⁄3 in Grammer and 3/3 in Research. This would result in a final grade of 5⁄6 (83.33%).

Assignment grade

This will be reflected to the user when viewing their assignment grade:

Assignment Feedback

What about Scale and Point grade types? 

 

When defining the grade settings for an activity, the teacher has the ability to specify the Grade type.

Grade type

You have the ability to select the Scale, Point, or None grade types. If the Point grade type is selected, then the teacher can specify a maximum grade and assign a grade point within the maximum range. You should also specify the grade to pass when specifying a maximum grade.

You have the ability to select the Scale, Point, or None grade types

If you choose to use the Scale grade type, then you will need to select the Scale from the drop-down menu. The scale grade type is a great way to evaluate the student’s performance. Administrators have the ability to create standard scales which can be utilised across the site in different courses. Teachers also have the ability to create their own custom scales to be used within their courses.

Set up using the scale grade type with the Default competence scale selected with a grade of 1 required to pass

The image above demonstrates an activity that has been set up using the scale grade type with the Default competence scale selected with a grade of 1 required to pass. When teachers assess student’s work they can select a grade from the scale:

Assignment Grade Competent
Exploring course formats in Moodle

Exploring course formats in Moodle

Moodle offers course creators the ability to select from an array of formats to meet their learning goals. The course format refers to the layout of the course, determining how its information is presented to and accessed by enrolled users. Site administrators can enable, disable or delete course formats by going to Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Course formats > Manage course formats, the page displaying as follows:

Moodle course formats

Note: The default choice is the Topics format which can be changed by visiting the link titled “Course default settings” at the bottom of the above image, which can alternatively be accessed from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Courses > Course default settings. Under the section “Course format”, the drop-down setting “Format” can be changed to any other course format.

Moodle Topics course format

When setting up a course or editing its settings, you can find the course’s edit settings page has a section “Course format” from where the “Format” field can be used to select the course’s format. There are additional settings to company each format:

Default Moodle course formats

Weekly format

In this format, courses are organized on a week-by-week basis. Each section within the course will have a date corresponding to it. Moodle will create a section for each week of your course. The current week will be highlighted for users to see. The course start date and end date will be utilized to determine the number of sections within your course.

Moodle Weekly course format

Note: If you wish for your students to work on the same material at the same time, then this course format would be ideal for you.

 

Topics format

In this format, the course will be organized into topic sections that can assign titles to. Each topic section consists of activities, resources, and labels.

Moodle Topics course format

Note: The topics course format is ideal if the course is objective-based. In this case, each objective may take different amounts of time to complete. This is great in scenarios in which students build upon the knowledge from earlier topics.

 

Single activity format

The single activity format only consists of one section and permits the teacher to add just one activity to the course. The entire course is thus situated around one single activity (by default forum, but this can be modified by a teacher or course creator).

Moodle Single Activity Course Format

Social format

The social format is situated around one main forum (the social forum). This forum will appear on the main page of the course. The teacher or course creator can specify how many discussions they wish to display on the course page.

Moodle Social Course Format

Recommended course formats from the community

 

Grid format

The grid format is a modular and visual course format. When using this course format, each topic is displayed as a grid icon. When users click the grid icon (topic section), the contents for the clicked topic section will be displayed. Otherwise, the contents of each grid icon are hidden by default.

Grid Course Format

Tiles format

The tiles format displays course topic sections as tiles instead of the default list format found within the topics format. When users click on a specific tile, the content within that topic section will expand below the tile with an animated effect transition.

Tiles Course Format

Course formats available with Virtual Slate

 

Accordion format

The accordion format displays the topic sections in a list format. However, it doesn’t allow more than one section to be expanded at any given time. This means that if students expand one section whilst another section is open, it will result in the first section being collapsed and expanding the second section. This is why it is referred to as the Accordion format, due to its similar nature to that of an Accordion. Teachers may wish to utilize this course format over the topics format due to its aesthetic and transition appeal.

Accordion course format

Tabs format

The Tabs format displays the contents for one topic on the course page at a time. In many ways, it has similar characteristics to that of a web browser. Only content from the selected tab will be displayed to the users at any given time. For example, clicking Topic 3 in the tabs section above will display the activities and resources available within Topic 3.

Tabs course format

The above tabs have a horizontal layout. This can be changed to a vertical layout in the course settings page, by changing the tabs layout setting to “Vertical” from “Horizontal”. When this is done, the tab navigation appears vertically on the side instead of on the top of the topic view.

Tabs format (horizontal layout)

You can find out more about Virtual Slate via the link below:

https://virtualslate.com

2021 Moodle Award Winner – Certified Service Provider of the Year (APAC region)

2021 Moodle Award Winner – Certified Service Provider of the Year (APAC region)

Lingel Learning is proud to announce we are the winners of ‘Moodle Certified Service Provider of the Year 2021 (APAC region)’. The dedicated team at Lingel Learning have excelled this past year in developing and delivering innovative solutions to give our clients the most effective Learning Management System experience possible.

2021 Moodle Award Winner – Certified Service Provider of the Year (APAC region)

The incredible support we received from our clients, our collaboration with Moodle, along with the drive of the Lingel Learning team, has allowed us to celebrate this outstanding achievement today. As a Moodle Partner, we have been deemed experts in our field of educational technology.

2021 has brought new opportunities for Lingel Learning. Over the course of the pandemic, the massive popularity of e-learning has been both rewarding and challenging for us. We have risen to the occasion and measurably accelerated our products, listening to common pain-points from our customers and tweaking our features to deliver what our valued clients need.

    2021 Moodle Certified Service Provider Awards

    Established in 2011, Lingel Learning has prided itself on its commitment to Moodle. With offices in Canada and Australia, we continue to deliver exceptional services to our clients across a range of industries such as Corporate, Government, Education and Not-for-profit.

    Lingel Learning offer its clients the benefit of using Moodle’s latest and greatest features along with enrolmart and the Virtual Slate framework that comes bundled with advanced plugins, integrations, and user-friendly dashboards.

    We’re looking forward to 2022 and continuing to help our clients get the most out of their online learning platform.