We will be continuing our Moodle instruction, getting into more specific things with a Moodle 2 gradebook tutorial today. The thing is, the gradebook is a powerful, multifaceted tool, so we’ll have to do this in pieces, because there’s a lot to cover.
So, this is more likely than not going to be only the first Moodle 2 gradebook tutorial of many which I will have to produce, if I want to thoroughly educate you in the many advanced and powerful things you can do with Moodle.
Today, I will be getting your feet wet by showing you how easy it is to set up categories in these gradebooks. First of all, this is far more useful than you can begin to imagine, because it’s rather possible to set up these categories to be time segments in an ongoing learning environment. You can set up a semester as a main category, with quarters being sub items within the category, for easy pacing of curriculum in a scholastic fashion, or you can simply divide the work by chapters, with sub items being different things it pertains to, which is useful if you’re training a large group of people whose interests differ within the general topic at hand.
This enables cross training, something very valuable in the business world. So, let’ get started setting up those categories!
The first thing you need to do is to locate the “settings” block, and click “Grades”. The settings block isn’t hard to find, it’ll be a blue and gray panel, tall, with stacked items. It’s designed to attract attention, so to be easy to find!
Grades will have a small rectangular white ion with red checkmarks on it, so it stands out pretty well in and of itself.
Now, find the drop down menu and select “Full View”, or if you want to reduce the fluff, “Simple View” will also work. It’ll be under “Categories and Items”, which is big and bold.
At the bottom of the page will be a button that says “Add Category”. Do so now. Provide a name for the category at this time.
You will then be provided with an extensive series of fields for aggregation settings and category total. Most of these have defaults that are reasonable for most uses, but these various settings allow for innumerable amounts of customization and specialization in your program, and the different outcomes are far too great to get into here.
For now, let’s just look at what these basic categories do, and in the future, we’ll talk about all kinds of different things you can do by tweaking these, because there is some neat stuff this can do.
Aggregation basically governs how grades will average, combine, pass, fail and complete within the course and category, and works closely with the completion tracking that we discussed n our first tutorial. You can set up all kinds of prerequisites, grading averages and combination rules to set the standard you need most.
Category total determines how a group or individual enrolled student’s final grade within the category and course is totaled, logged and represented, which draws from aggregation, and adds some processing and decimal rules to the equation, allowing further customization and open endedness for all manner of training methodologies.
This is just the first Moodle 2 gradebook tutorial, I’d love to take some time to talk about different things you can do with the gradebook, and different models which these settings in a category can create, because despite the fields not being huge, there’s a lot of diversity to be had if you know what to do to what.