The Gradebook in Moodle is like the memory of the Learning Management System. It is the place that Grade information is transferred from a completed graded activity into a set structure, stored and then retrieved using various reports.
The basic usage of the gradebook is quite straight forward and often, people do not customise it, and just use it out of the box or zipfile so to speak.
But if you look into the Gradebook and seek to customise the “storage” and “retrieval” of information within the gradebook there is a lot of options that are quite powerful and very useful in many many use cases.
So when I heard a few months back that Rebecca Barrington @bbarrington had written a book on the Moodle 2 Gradebook I hoped I would get a review copy, which luckily I have – thank you Packtpub. Here is the review.
Book Review: Moodle Gradebook by Rebecca Barrington
Unlike most of the Moodle books, this is a shorter more focused book with 128 pages, however this is quite sufficient to target the different aspects of the gradebook. The book is targeted at course instructors rather than admins. The book has 8 chapters which are:
- Introduction to the Gradebook
- Customising the Grades
- Adding Graded Activities
- Assigning Grades
- Using Calculations
- Organising Using Categories
- Reporting with the Gradebook
- Additional Features for Progress Tracking
The introduction is a great primer about the gradebook, providing a strong overview of what the key features are and how it can be used. It is short and to the point and leaves the reader ready to target the areas which are of most interest to them.
The following chapters explain the different types of grades, including numeric grades, letter grades, custom scales and outcomes. They then go through the steps of how to use the different grading methods with activities and assignments. I really liked the explanation of Rubrics and how they work with Moodle 2.
One thing to note here is that this is for Moodle 2.2 and people using Moodle 2.3 will have a second Advanced grading method and a different quick grading view, maybe Packt will have a 2.3 version as well?
The chapter on calculations is great (and the largest chapter in the book). It provides a nice progression of explanations and contextualisation even when handling some of the tougher aspects of the gradebook. I love that there are four examples and not just instructions.
One chapter which is a MUST read for everyone is the chapter which covers excluding assessments from the final course grade. Great explanation.
The chapter on the reporting side of the gradebook is really clear and provides good explanations on all the options available.
Rebecca does a wonderful job explaining the activity tracking and course completion in the final chapter.
The book provides a concise overview of the surface of the gradebook and of the depth of configurations available and how and why you would want to do so.
If you are serious about utilising the gradebook then this is a book to keep on your desk.
The book is available in epub, kindle, pdf and print.
About the Author
I met Rebecca at the Moodlemoot in Dublin this year, where she took part in the Programme Committe. She has been using Moodle for over seven years whilst working at South Devon College. She provides a range of support, training and information guides for teaching staff and uses Moodle in her own teaching, including a qualification about virtual learning environments.