Faculty: What's New Archives

This book contains information about changes to Moodle.

Grade Book Overhaul

Default "Aggregation" Method

The most obvious change will be seen if you use the default "aggregation" method, that is, how Moodle calculates grades. (If you use weighted grade calculations, you won't see much of a difference.)

The Way We Were

By default, our courses have been set up to use "Sum of grades" to calculate a student's scores. A big disadvantage of this method is that course totals were calculated based on the total points possible for the entire term: if the majority of the possible points were awarded during the last few weeks of the term, students' total scores would show them as failing until the final scores were added. Students could see the percentage of the possible points they earned on an individual assignment, but would have to calculate their actual standing based on the points possible to date in order to be sure they knew where they stood overall.

What's New

"Sum of grades" has been replaced by the "Natural" aggregation method. With this method, items that have not yet been graded are not included in calculating students' final scores: students have a clearer sense of how they are doing in the class overall. The first time you open a course site that was initially set for for "Sum of grades" aggregation, you'll see the following notice—click on Dismiss notice to remove it from your page.

Aggregation notice

As you'll see in the illustration below, each item in the grade book is listed with its "natural" weight. This does NOT mean that you are now weighting your grades. There's nothing that you need to calculate or do with these weights. Moodle has calculated the total possible points for the course based on the items you've created with the points you have assigned, and has automatically calculated the percentage that an individual item contributes to the overall course total. This percentage is shown as the weight for the item.

In the example shown below, four items have been added so far. Based on the total possible for each item and for the course as a whole, Moodle has calculated the weight of each item towards the overall course total of 230 points (100%).

What You Need to Know

  • Each time an item is added, Moodle will recalculate the weights so that they always add up to 100%.
  • You can use the Edit pull-down menu to edit the settings of an item (see more on this on the next page).

Natural adjustment