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Grade Forum Contributions in Moodle

The Forum activity in Moodle allows teachers to grade individual forum posts made by students. Grades in the Forum activity are referred to as Ratings.  When instructors and TAs assign a rating to selected posts in a specific forum, the ratings are then aggregated according to the forum's settings and displayed in the Moodle gradebook as a single grade item.

Configure Ratings for a Forum Activity

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on.
  2. Next to the forum you want to configure click Edit (at right) then Edit settings. The Forum Edit settings page will open.
  3. Scroll down to and click Ratings to open the Ratings options.
  4. From the Aggregate type drop-down menu, select an aggregation method:
    • No ratings (default): Posts cannot be graded.
    • Average of ratings: The grade is the average of all the ratings assigned to a particular student's posts in this forum.
    • Count of ratings: This setting counts the number of ratings given to a student in a particular forum. This is useful in cases where students are required to make a certain number of posts.
    • Maximum rating: Students receive the highest rating from any of their individual posts as their final grade for the forum activity. This is useful in cases where you want to count only the best work from participants toward their grade.
    • Minimum rating: Students receive the lowest rating from any of their individual posts as their final grade for the forum activity. This is useful in cases where you want to encourage a high level of quality for all student posts.
    • Sum of ratings: This setting adds all the ratings assigned to a student's posts in the forum and uses the total as their final grade for the activity.
  5. From the Scale drop-down menu, select Point to choose a number for the maximum rating to allow for each post or select Scale to use a preset or custom scale to rate posts.
    Note:
    • For the Sum of ratings aggregate type, select the maximum for the sum of all ratings (the total grade for the activity), not the maximum for each rating.
    • To learn more about using a Scale to rate forum posts, see Standard & Custom Grading Scales in Moodle, or contact the Instructional Media Lab for assistance at (413) 545-2823 or instruct@umass.edu.
  • To allow ratings to be assigned only for posts made within a certain date range, check Restrict ratings to items with dates in this range, and select the appropriate dates in the From and To ranges that appear (you can also click the Calendar icon (calendar icon) to select the date range).
    Note: Do not use this setting or the Restrict access setting to enforce a Due date for your students. Instead, use the forum's permissions to manually prevent students from posting after a certain date. For more information, see Close a Forum and Prevent Further Student Posts.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.
  • Rate Individual Posts

    1. On your course page, click the name of the forum to grade. The Forum page will open.
    2. Click the title of a student's post. The Discussion thread will open. 
    3. Under the body of the post, from the Rate... drop-down menu, select a number or scale value. Your rating will be immediately applied and the resulting total will display next to the drop-down menu. The number of instructors who have rated the post will also be shown within parentheses to the right of the rating.
      Note: To clear out or undo a rating, select the Rate... option again from the drop-down menu.
    4. Continue on to the next post and repeat Step 3.

    Use the Student Activity Tool to View & Grade Forum Contributions

    The Student Activity tool, located in the Administration block on your course page, provides easier access to report types frequently used by instructors. It collects several different types of reports on one page so that an instructor can track overall student contributions more easily. For example, you can use this utility to get an overview of the number of posts made and discussions started by each student. To learn more about this utility, see Use the Student Activity Tool to View Reports.