Moodle Gradebook Basics

The Moodle Gradebook automatically records scores and feedback from Assignments, Activities, and/or Manual grades from your Moodle course. Students can review their grades in an individual report. Instructors can control the visibility of the gradebook and when to release certain grades. This article will share some basic steps on configuring the Moodle gradebook.

Setting Up the Gradebook

We recommend that you begin by setting up your gradebook with categories that correspond to the main grading criteria for your course. The Moodle gradebook is flexible and allows you to add new assignments as you teach your course. You don’t need to think about how many papers you will be assigning, only the overall contribution of all the papers to the final grade.

  • Papers 40%
  • Homework 60%
an image of the moodle interface
The Gradebook Setup page (click to enlarge)

To edit the weights for grade categories, enter numerical values and then click Save changes at the bottom of the page.

Weights for individual grade items are calculated automatically based on their point value. To edit the weights for individual grade items, check the box next to the item weight, change the numerical value, and then click Save changes at the bottom of the page.


Create Grade Categories


Go to Admninistration > Gradebook Setup.


Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Add category. The New category page will open.


Enter a Category name and select category options. (Click headings to open collapsed settings areas, and click Show more… to view and adjust additional settings under a heading.)

Important options include:

  • Aggregation: The type of calculation for items in this category.
  • Exclude empty grades: (Selected by default) If checked, empty grades are not aggregated into grade calculations (i.e., Moodle assumes that the assignment has not yet been graded or assigned and therefore should not yet count against students). If unchecked, empty grades are calculated as “0.”
  • Drop the lowest: Exclude a set number of grade items with the lowest value from being calculated in the category total.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes. The Gradebook setup page will open, displaying the new category.

Grade entry and display recommendations

  • Never enter grades as letters unless you have no plans to use the gradebook for calculation.
    When you enter letter grades you will get incorrect values for calculations (unless you want
    to spend hours configuring).
  • Always enter grades as numbers ‒ even if you plan on giving a letter grade at the end of the
  • Display grades as numbers or percentages unless you set up “Grade Letters”.
  • The steps below outline how to do that

Important Settings under Setup > Course grade settings

  • Grade Item Settings > Grade Display Type:
    • set this to “Percentage” or “Real (Percentage)” if you are using the gradebook to
      calculate grades.
    • set this to “Real” if you are not using the gradebook to calcualte. In this case you can
      enter letters (although this is not recommended)
    • “Real” is the grade as entered in points. E.g. if an assignment is scored out of 25
      points, and you give the student a 20, they will see “20 (80%)”

Display grades as letters

Configure the letter scale so Moodle can correctly convert numerical scores to letter grades.


Go to Gradebook setup > Letters


If you want to change it you can click edit grade letters and change the ranges.


To display letter grades, go to Gradebook setup > Course Grade Settings > Grade Display Type : “Real (letter)”

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Last modified: November 22, 2019