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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Before you begin creating assignments for your students to complete inside of Moodle, it's a good idea to take a few minutes and set up some grade categories inside of your Gradebook so when you create an assignment, you're able to assign that assignment to a specific Gradebook category, thus reducing the amount of time that you need to spend setting up and creating and building your Gradebook all along during your course. Moodle will go ahead and take care of all of that for you. Before we get into the Gradebook though, I'd like to quickly jump over to our course syllabi where I've got the Grading section up on screen.
And here you can see we have a few categories. We've got a few exams. We have some assignments that we're going to handout. We have a research project, and that's broken into both a group evaluation score and an individual evaluation score. So we're going to set up all of these different categories within our Gradebook. So back in Moodle, what we're going to do is come over here on the left-hand column in the Settings section and look for the link for Grades and go ahead and click on that. When the Grades section opens, you'll notice that your Settings section now has a new area that has a bunch of links related to the Gradebook.
We'll explore a lot of these in a later chapter specifically on the Gradebook. But for right now, let's go ahead and just set up the specific categories that we need. At the top of the middle section you have a dropdown menu that says Grader report. Go ahead and click on that, and from the Categories and items section, select Simple view. We can go ahead and at the bottom click the button that says Add category and add a Category name. The first category we'll add is Exams.
And for Aggregation, click the dropdown menu, and I like to use the option that is Sum of grades. What this one is going to do is it's going to go ahead and allow me to just enter in the number of points that I want to assign to each exam, and then it'll simply calculate a total of all of those points for me at the end. There are a lot of other options available to you, but for all of these different categories, at least initially, we're going to set Sum of grades. Now we can simply come down at the bottom and click Save changes.
And we can see that we have an Exams category added in our Coral Reef Ecology course. So let's go ahead and add another category. This one is going to be Assignments, and again we're going to hit the Aggregation type and select Sum of grades. And when we scroll down, now because we have a new category created, we automatically get this new area down here called Parent category. And because the Assignments section is one of our major areas, we're going to go ahead and leave its Parent category set to Coral Reef Ecology.
Go ahead and click the Save changes button, and now let's go ahead and add another category. This time we're going to go ahead and we're going to add the Research Projects category. And again Aggregation, we're going to set that to Sum of grades, scroll on down, and hit Save changes. And let's go ahead and add another category. This time we're going to add the Group Evaluation, and once more, Sum of grades. Now this time when we scroll down, under Parent category, we're not going to leave it set to Coral Reef Ecology.
The Group Evaluation is going to be part of the Research Projects. So we're going to go ahead and simply select Research Projects from the Parent category here and hit Save changes. And now when we look in our tree, we've got our Exams, our Assignments, Research Projects, and then Group Evaluation is a subcategory of Research Projects right there. So let's go ahead and scroll down. We need to add one more, the Individual Evaluation, so we'll add one more. There's our Individual Evaluation. Once again we're going to set that Sum of grades, and its Parent category is also going to be Research Projects.
Hit the Save changes button and go ahead and scroll on down. And it now looks like everything is set up inside of our Gradebook the way that we need it. And so we'll come on back up here to the top, and we'll hit the main dropdown menu, and we'll go back to that Grader report that we were looking at initially. And here we can see all of our students. We have categories set up--Exams, Assignments, Research Projects--and we can see the Research Projects spans over top of the Group and Individual Evaluations. And we have a space to be able to add in a grade for each individual student for each different type of grade category.
In later movies when we go ahead and we create assignments, we'll assign those assignments to each of these categories, and then Moodle will take care of adding an additional column here underneath of that area in order to keep track of the grades for the student for that assignment automatically. Now we'll explore more about the Gradebook in a later chapter. But for now we have all the setup done that we need to in our Gradebook, so let's go ahead and use the breadcrumbs and return back to our course.
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