Creating Grading Systems in Moodle

Moodle is an open-source learning management system that is used by many different institutions within and outside of education. The challenge with Moodle is not a lack of features but rather how incredible flexible it is. What you can do with Moodle is only limited by your imagination. This problem is almost insurmountable for people who like rigid and fixed systems and options.

The overall flexible found in the Moodle system is also a part of the gradebook found within Moodle. A common complaint is that the gradebook is too complicated. In reality, the complexity of the gradebook is its flexibility that it possesses. Without clear goals and objectives going in, the gradebook is impossible to use.

In this post, we will begin to explore some of the features of the Moodle gradebook before moving to other features of this Learning Management System.

Types of Grades

There are three ways that grades can be recording in the gradebook in Moodle

  1. Numerically (value)
  2. As a letter (text)
  3. As a scale (scale)

We will look briefly at each

Numeric Grade

The default option in Moodle is a numeric grading. This option involves giving points for the completion of an assignment. The default number of points is 100 but this can be changed as necessary. Below is a screenshot of an assignment that is using a numeric grade. Notice how the grade type is set to “value” and the maximum grade is set to 100 points.

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 09:42:04.png

Letter Grade

A letter grade is a letter, word or phrase that serves as a substitute for numerical grade. The letter acts like a number and the letter or word is converted into a number for calculating grades. Below is an example of letter grade system.

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 09:54:09

Below are directions for creating a letter grade system in Moodle 2.8

  1. Log in to your Moodle system and pick a course it which you have teacher authorization.
  2. Inside the course, click on “course administration” and then click on”grades”
  3. Click on the “letters” tab. You can see the tab in the picture below.

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 10:00:53.png4. There should be some default settings already visible. We want to changes these so we need to click on the “edit” link.

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 10:02:39.png
5. You should no see a new screen with the current grades along with their cutoff points. In this screen click on the “override site defaults” so we can set our own grade system.

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 10:04:35.png

6. We will now set our own sample grade system below are the details

  • Excellent 90%
  • Good 75%
  • Satisfactory 60%

Below is what this looks like in Moodle

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 10:14:49.png

After clicking on “save changes”, here is what the grade systems looks when it is complete

Screenshot from 2016-07-05 10:16:00.png

Whenever we want to see the final grades of a course. This scale will be used and will be displayed as the final grade. However, if we want to grade individual assignments with different grading systems we will need to make a scale. In a future post, we will look at how to create scales for grading.


Moodle offers a huge array of options in terms of learning and instruction. In addition, Moodle offers many different options in regards to grading that can by confusing. However, with clear goals it is possible to achieve what you want from this system.

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