Assignment: Using the Grading Guide Grading Method Moodle ISU


The Assignment activity allows you to create and use a grading guide as an advanced grading method. The students can have access to the grading guide before submitting their assignments as well as after. You have the option to provide comments for each criterion and overall comments.

A grading guide is a modified rubric. In a grading guide you define each criterion, provide a description for the students and for the graders, and then indicate the range of scores possible for the criterion. With a rubric you define the criterion and then create a description for each specific point level of grading.

This guide will help you to:

Select Grading Guide as the Advanced Grading Option

You may select grading guide as the method when you set up an assignment or you may go back into the assignment settings before students have submitted any assignments.  

For more information about assignments, see Assignment

To set grading guide as the grading method:

  1. Turn editing on. For more information, see Moodle ISU Overview


  1. Locate the assignment.
  2. From the Edit dropdown menu, Select Edit settings.


  1. Scroll down to the Grade section.
  2. In the Grade option, Enter the maximum possible score.

Note: The gradebook will adjust the weights of the grading guide to match the total score indicated.

  1. From the Grading method dropdown menu, Select Grading guide.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page.

To save:

  1. Click Save and return to course to be taken to the course homepage.
  2. Click Save and display to be taken to the assignment.
  3. Click Cancel to delete and changes to the settings.


Create a Grading Guide

After you have selected the grading guide option, you will need to create the rubric.

  1. Click on the name of the assignment.


  1. In the Administration block, Click Advanced grading.


  1. Click Define new grading form from scratch.


Note: If you would like to reuse a grading guide, rather than create a new one, see the Reusing a Grading Guide section below.

  1. In the Name text field, Type the name of the grading guide.

Note: Using a unique and specific name for your grading guide will help you search for it if you want to use it for another assignment or course.

  1. In the Description text box, Type a description providing additional information on how the grading guide will be used to assess the students’ work. The students will be able to see this description.

  1. In the Grading guide section, Click Click to edit criterion name
  2. In the text box that appears, Type or Copy/Paste the title of the criterion name.

  1. In the Grading guide section, Click Description for Students
  2. In the text box that appears, Type or Copy/Paste the title of the first criterion.

  1. In the Grading guide section, Click Description for Graders
  2. In the text box that appears, Type or Copy/Paste any information or details you or your grader would like to have for that criterion during grading. Students will not see the information in this box.

  1. In the Grading guide section, Click Maximum mark
  2. In the text box that appears, Type the maximum score or mark for this criterion.

Note: Moodle will scale the points to the maximum you set within the assignment settings if the criterion scores do not add up to that same total.

  1. Click Add criterion to add additional criteria.

  1. Repeat steps 6-14 until you have completed the grading guide.
  2. In the Frequently used comments section, you can add comments that you use frequently with this grading guide. This allows you to click on these statements rather than having to re-write them over and over.

  1. In the Grading guide options section, Check the options you would like to enable.


  1. When you have completed the grading guide, Click Save grading guide and make it ready.


Note: You can also use the Save as draft or Cancel buttons to save a grading guide in progress or to clear the options and start over.

Editing a Grading Guide

A grading guide may be edited at any point.

  1. Click on the name of the assignment.


  1. In the Administration block, Select Advanced grading.


  1. Click Edit the current form definition.


  1. Make the necessary edits.
  2. When you have completed the grading guide, Click Save.

Note: If the assignment has already been graded, a warning will appear to remind you to check the assignments graded before you updated the grading guide..

Reusing a Grading Guide

Any grading guide you create may be reused for any assignment in any of your courses.

  1. Create the new assignment.
  1. For more information on creating assignments, see Assignment
  1. Click on the name of the new assignment.
  2. In the Administration block, Click Advanced grading.
  3. From the Change active grading method to: dropdown menu, Select Grading guide.


  1. Click Create new grading form from a template.


  1. Check the Include my own forms checkbox.
  2. In the text box, Type a portion of the name of the grading guide you previously created.


Note: Using a unique and specific name for your grading forms make it easier to find them in a search.

  1. Scroll to find the grading guide you would like to use.
  2. Under the title of the grading guide, Click Use this form as a template.

test guide template.jpg

  1. Click Continue (or the Cancel button if you selected the wrong grading guide).

save template.jpg

Note: The grading guide is now ready to use in your new assignment.  If you would like to edit it, see the previous section Editing a Grading Guide.

Grade with a Grading Guide

  1. Click on the name of the assignment.


  1. Click on View all submissions.

  1. In the Grading table, find the student you would like to grade.  
  2. In the Grade column, Click Grade.

  1. In the Submission status section, you will see an overview of the status along with a link to any files that have been uploaded.

  1. In the Grade section, for each criterion, you will Type any comments in the large text box.

Note: The following items: Grading workflow state and Grader allocation must be enabled in the assignment settings before use. The steps below describe how to use them.

  1. In Grading workflow state, Select where the status of the grading sits.
  1. Not graded - the grader has not yet started.
  2. In grading - the grader has started, but has not yet finished.
  3. Grading completed - the grader has finished, but might need to go back for checking/corrections.
  4. In review - the grading is now with the teacher in charge for quality checking.
  5. Ready for release - the teacher in charge is satisfied with the grading, but is waiting before giving students access to the grading.
  6. Released - the student can access the grades/feedback.

  1. From the Allocated Grader dropdown menu, you can Select a person to grade this submission.

  1. In the Feedback comments text box, you can leave comments in regards to the assignment overall.

To save:

  1. Click Save changes to save and finish grading.
  2. Click Reset to delete any changes you made.

For more information, see Marking guide

Note: In previous versions of Moodle, this was referred to as using the marking guide, but it is now known as the grading guide in the US version.

For additional information, contact the ITRC - (208) 282-5880 or email

This work was done by Instructional Technology Resource Center at Idaho State University and is licensed under the Creative Commons Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 United States or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.