Mini guides

Gradebook

1. What is grade Aggregation?
2. What is grade Calculation?
3. When should I use grade Calculation rather than Aggregation?
4. Where can I find examples of grade Calculation?
5. Where do I configure a category's Aggregation or Calculation?
6. Why should I use grade categories?
7. Is there any difference between an empty grade and a grade of zero?
8. How can one exempt a student from a grade item?
9. What is Extra credit?
10. What are Scales?
11. What are Letters?
12. Can I use a letter for just some of the grades?
13. Can I simply mark an item e.g. as Pass or Fail?
14. How can I...?
     ...Move a grade item or category?
     ...Edit grades?
     ...Narrow the Grader report?
15. What is on page...?
     ...Grader report?
     ...Grade history?
     ...Overview report?
     ...Single view?
     ...User report?
     ...Gradebook setup?
     ...Course grade settings?
     ...Preferences: Grader report?
16. Why...
     ...are some grades highlighted in yellow
     ...can I no longer change a student's grade in some activity?
     ...can I no longer change a student's grade in both the activity and the Gradebook
     ...can a student not see his grade?
17. How can I...?
     ...enter a grade?
     ...enter feedback?
     ...override a grade?
     ...unoverride a grade?
     ...hide a grade?
     ...exclude a grade?
     ...lock a grade?


Under construction...

What is grade Aggregation?
The Aggregation method of a category specifies how the grade should be determined.
The following methods are available:
  • Mean of grades - Grade items are of equal weight
  • Weighted mean of grades - Weights of grade items can be adjusted
  • Simple weighted mean of grades - Weight of each grade item is its maximum grade less its minimum grade
  • Median of grades - The middle grade (or average of middle two grades)
  • Lowest grade
  • Highest grade
  • Mode of grades - The grade that occurs the most frequently
  • Natural - Maximum grade is the sum of the maximum grades of the grade items. Weights of grade items can be adjusted
Notes:
1. In the first three methods listed above, the category grade is a percentage
2. The Simple weighted mean of grades and Natural methods support Extra credit
3. The Natural method is somewhat non-intuitive when weights are used and the grades do not add up to 10 or 100.

As an example, suppose that there are four items in a category with maximum grades of 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
Suppose the student scores the maximum grade in the first two items and zero in the last two.
His grade for the category would be:
Mean of grades50%
Simple weighted mean of grades30%
Median of grades0.5
Lowest grade1
Highest grade2
Mode of grades0
Natural3/10
If, in addition, he has extra credit of one point:
Simple weighted mean of grades40%
Natural4/10
If the grades are weighted 4, 3, 2 and 1 respectively:
Weighted mean of grades70%
Natural (weights adjusted)7/10
See the top and bottom of the Gradebook setup for a course with most of the above categories and the top and bottom of the Single view for the student.

What is grade Calculation?
Grade Calculation is an alternative to grade Aggregation.
The grade for the category is calculated using a formula.
Calculation can do almost everything that Aggregation does.
However its syntax is heavy and awkward.
It is thus best avoided unless absolutely necessary.

When should I use grade Calculation rather than Aggregation?
Sometimes Calculation is unavoidable. For example,
Where can I find examples of grade Calculation?
It seems that grade Calculation is not widely used in other institutions.
A few examples are available here.
The option to use conditional expressions - functions cond and compulsory - and the logical operators & and |, and the relational operators > and < make it much more useful. (These and the maxavg function are all HUJI features.)
Following are some examples that demonstrate these:
  • Reduce the final grade to a failing grade (59) if the student has 49 or less in either the term average or the exam:
    = cond( [[term]] > 49 & [[exam]] > 49, 0.1*[[term]] + 0.9*[[exam]], min( 59, 0.1*[[term]] + 0.9*[[exam]] ) )
  • Average of items. Consider any item without a grade to be an exemption
    = ( [[item1]] + [[item2]] + [[item3]] ) / cond( ( [[item1]] & [[item2]] & [[item3]] ), 3, cond( ( [[item1]] & [[item2]] ) | ( [[item1]] & [[item3]] ) | ( [[item2]] & [[item3]] ), 2, 1) )
    (This would be more simply done using Aggregation and exemptions.)
  • Average of best two of three itemes
    = maxavg(2, [[item1]], [[item2]], [[item3]])
    Average of best two of three items if grade is above 50 in all three. Otherwise, the average of all three items.
    = cond( compulsory( 3, 50, [[item1]], [[item2]], [[item3]] ), maxavg( 2, [[item1]], [[item2]], [[item3]] ) , average( [[item1]], [[item2]], [[item3]] ) )

Where do I configure a category's Aggregation or Calculation?
Aggregation (and other category options) is configured when the category is created, or by clicking on the Edit settings item of the Edit dropdown menu of the category item (above the category's items on the Gradebook setup page.)
Calculation is configured by clicking on the Edit calculation item of the Edit dropdown menu of the category total item (below the category's items on the Gradebook setup page.)

Why should I use grade categories?
Judicious use of grade categories provides lots of flexibility in determining the final grade.
For example, suppose the FinalA and FinalB grades should be a combination of:.
  • The average of the top two out of three assignments
  • The average of the first four quizzes, with the fifth quiz as a bonus
  • Highest of two projects
  • The ExamA or ExamB grade, respectively
with everything graded out of 100.
One would need top-level items ExamA, FinalA, ExamB and FinalB and category Term with subcategories Assignments, Quizzes and Projects.
Configuration would be as follows:
  • Assignments category: Aggregation of Simple weighted mean of grades and Drop the lowest of 1
  • Quizzes category: Aggregation of Simple weighted mean of grades with the fifth quiz marked as Extra credit
  • Projects category: Aggregation of Highest grade
  • Term category: Aggregation of Weighted mean of grades with appropriate weights for Assignments, Quizzes and Projects subcategories
  • FinalA item: Calculation using the Term and MoedA grades
  • FinalB item: Calculation using the Term and MoedB grades
An additional advantage of using grade categories is the ability to narrow the Grader report by closing some of the categories. See How can I...Narrow the Grader Report?

Is there any difference between an empty grade and a grade of zero?
For the purpose of determining a student's grade for a category, an empty grade is normally treated as zero.
Clicking on Show more... below field Aggregation of the category's settings reveals option Exclude empty grades.
If this option is checked, then any grade items for which a student does not have a grade are ignored when determining his grade for the category.
In other words, a student is considered to be exempt from any item in the category for which he does not have a grade.
Note: Grade Calculation does not distinguish between an empty grade and a grade of zero.
(If Calculation is used, then options Aggregation and Exclude empty grades do not appear in the item's settings.)
See How can one exempt a student from a grade item? for a workaround.

For the purpose of determining the class average for a grade item, empty grades are normally ignored.
Empty grades and Excluded grades can be included by toggling the value of field Grades selected for column averages in the Preferences: Grader report page.

How can one exempt a student from a grade item?
If Excluded is checked in the student's grade page for the item (reached by clicking on the edit icon for the student/item when editing is turned on), the student is considered to be exempt from the grade item i.e. the grade item is ignored when determining his grade for the category. (The item is considered to have a weight of zero.)
Alternatively, all empty grades can be considered as exemptions. See Is there any difference between an empty grade and a grade of zero?
Note: Grade Calculation does not support Excluded grades i.e. it treats them as zero.
A simple workaround would be to give a low grade, e.g. 0.0001, instead of a zero and for the calculation to treat a grade of zero as a special case.
See the second example in Where can I find examples of grade Calculation?.

What is Extra credit?
Grade items that are marked as Extra credit work like bonus points i.e. they can raise a student's grade if it would otherwise be less than the maximum for the category.
(Technically, the grade is included in the numerator, but its weight is not included in the denominator, in determining the grade for the category.)
Note: It is supported only by the Natural and Simple weighted mean of grades methods of grade Aggregation.
However, a similar result can be achieved by giving a grade greater than the maximum in some grade item (which is allowed in HUJI Moodle).

What are Scales?
When the Grade type of a category or item is Scale, the Grader chooses the grade from a menu of options.
The options are usually words, orderered from low to high, with the first worth zero points and each successive option one point more.
(If Natural aggregation is used, the first is worth one point. Only No grade is worth zero.)
Note: The contents of column Range of the Single view is misleading for all aggregation types except Natural.
A few example scales are available. New scales can easily be defined.

What are Letters?
The Grade display type (in section Grade item settings of the Course grade settings page) determines what is shown to the Student in column Grade of his Gradebook.
Also, what is shown by the Grader report when editing is turned off.
It is effective for all grades (items and categories). It has nothing to do with how the grades are calculated.
There are several options, including Percentage, Real, Letter and various combinations.
Real is the actual grade. Percentage is the actual grade converted to a percentage. Letter is the actual grade represented as a letter e.g. A, B or C.
Each letter covers a range of percentages e.g. A may be 93% or more. The ranges of the letters is configurable.
Note: The names of the ranges can be anything - not necessarily letters.

Can I use a letter for just some of the grades?
If you mean, "Can I give a grade of e.g. A, B, C, D, E or F?" - Yes! Just define scale F,E,D,C,B,A. F will be 0/6 and A 6/6. (With Natural aggregation, F will be 1/6 and A 7/6.)
If you mean, "Can I give any grade e.g. any percentage, but ensure that the student sees his grade as a letter?" - No. Not for just some of the grades. Only for all the grades. See What are letters?.

Can I simply mark an item e.g. as Pass or Fail?
Yes. Either use a Scale to force the Grader to choose from a preconfigured list of options.
Or set the item's Grade type to Text to ensure that there in no grade, only feedback.
Set Show quick feedback to Yes (in section General of your Preferences: Grader report) to enable yourself to enter feedback directly in the Grader report (when editing is turned on) for all grades.

How can I...?
...Move a grade item or category? Click on its move icon on the Gradebook setup page.
...Edit grades? Click Turn editing on in page header of Grader report page, or go to a student's or item's Single view either through one of the menus or or by clicking on its editstring icon on the Grader report page.
Note: Grades are not automatically saved. Going to another page (e.g. by clicking on the edit icon for a student/item) loses all unsaved changes.
...Narrow the Grader report? Divide the grade items into categories. Then click on the switch_minus, switch_plus or switch_whole icon alongside a category name at the head of the table to toggle between displaying columns for the category only, items only or both category and items.

What is on page...?
...Grader report? The Grader report is really two things:
  • When editing is off, it shows all grades, as seen in the User report or Student view of the Gradebook
  • When editing is on, it is a quick way to edit the grade and/or feedback for any student/item.
...Grade history? The Grade history can be used to check when and how a student's grade was changed and who changed it.
...Overview report? The Overview report is only really useful for a Teacher who teaches the same Students in more than one course. It show a Student's final grade in all the courses in which he teaches the Student.
...Single view? The Single view where one edits grades. Grades can be edited either by student or by grade item.
...User report? The User report is the Student's view of the Gradebook. However, it includes grades that are hidden from the Student. Note: If any of his grades are hidden, the Student's view does not show the Calculated weight and Contribution to course total of the items.
...Gradebook setup? The Gradebook setup is the page for managing the grade categories and items in the course, including category aggregation types (or calculation) and item weights
...Course grade settings? The Course grade settings are various settings effective for all graders in the course. It includes sections:
  • General settings:
    • Aggregation position and Editor for feedback can be overridden in the grader's Preferences: Grader report
    • Min and max grades used in calculation: Useful only if an item's maximum grade is changed after some students were already graded. (The minimum grade is zero and can't be changed in HUJI Moodle.)
  • Overview report: Useful only for a Teacher who teaches the same Students in more than one course.
  • Grade item settings: How the grade is shown in the User report and Grader report when editing is off.
  • User report: Various information that is shown in the User report in addition to the actual grade (as configured in Grade item settings),
...Preferences: Grader report? The Preferences: Grader report are various settings effective for the grader in all courses that he grades. Aggregation position and Editor for feedback override Course grade settings

Why...
...are some grades highlighted in yellow The Assignment, Attendance, Checklist, Database, Forum, Glossary, LTI, Lesson, Questionnaire, Quiz, Scheduler, Scorm and Workshop activities are all integrated with the Gradebook. Normally, grades are assigned in the activity itself. However, a grade can be overridden in the Gradebook. Grades that are overridden in the Gradebook are highlighted in yellow in the Grader report.
...can I no longer change a student's grade in some activity? You may have overridden his grade in the Gradebook.
...can I no longer change a student's grade in both the activity and the Gradebook You may have locked his grade in the Gradebook.
...can a student not see his grade? You may have hidden his grade in the Gradebook.

How can I...?
...enter a grade? In the Grader report when editing is on (if Quick grading is kept as Yes in one's Preferences), or in the item's or student's Single view
...enter feedback? In the Grader report when editing is on (if Show quick feedback has been changed to Yes in one's Preferences), or in the item's or student's Single view.
...override a grade? Editing or deleting a grade in the Gradebook overrides the grade in the activity. It is highlighted in yellow in the Grader report.
...unoverride a grade? In the item's or student's Single view by unchecking the checkbox in column Override
...hide a grade? By clicking on its hide icon in the Grader report when editing is on (if Show show/hide icons has been changed to Yes in one's Preferences).
...exclude a grade? In the item's or the student's Single view by checking the checkbox in column Exclude. It is then marked Excluded in the Grader report
...lock a grade? By clicking on its lock icon in the Grader report when editing is on (if Show locks has been changed to Yes in one's Preferences). If it is locked, the student's or item's name is marked with a locked icon in the item's or the student's Single view
In addition, grade, feedback, override, exclude, lock and show/hide can all be viewed and changed for any item/student by clicking on the grade's edit icon in the Grader report when editing is on.
But see question 11. How do I avoid HTML tags in Gradebook Quick feedback and Assignment Feedback comments in the FAQ for teachers





HUJI Moodle is a service of the System group of the School of Computer Science & Engineering
Configuration, development, management and documentation by Chana Slutzkin