When using essay responses to test students, grading is not able to be automated through Moodle. However, the process of grading can be made easier through the use of rubrics and marking guides. Adding a rubric to free-response questions offers the students a model to better address the content you’re looking for, as well as provide you as the instructor with a consistent model to grade responses.
Rubrics allow the instructor to set criteria for grading, and create different levels pertaining to different aspects of the assignment and their associated point values. This is useful for creating a grading system that is consistent, ensuring that students are all being graded based on the same elements of their assignment. This is especially useful when grading as a team, allowing all graders to be provided with specific instructions on what is being asked of students, and how student success should be measured.
To add a rubric, you must enter the settings of your assignment and under “grading method”, select “rubric”. It should be noted that the numerical values you assign to criteria in your rubric will be recalculated as that proportion of the maximum grade, so it is important to pay attention to the “maximum grade” setting within the assignment settings.
To edit the contents of this rubric, go to the “rubric editor” through the advanced grading link, under “settings” From here, you should select “define a new rubric from scratch”, and type in a name and a description. From here, the criterion can be edited, added, and assigned values as needed. When complete, either save the rubric and make it ready for use in the assignment, or save it as a draft.
Marking guides are another advanced grading method used in place of a rubric and serve as a simple alternative to rubrics. Unlike rubrics, marking guides do not give you the option to rank criterion by more than one level, rather providing the criterion and one description of expectations, which the instructor is able to provide written feedback on, and grade accordingly.
To add a marking guide to your assignment, go to the administration menu in your assignment, and select “advanced grading”. From there, under “grading method”, select “marking guide”. Once the marking guide has been selected, you must alter the definition of your marking guide to suit your needs. This involves giving your marking guide a title and description, naming your criteria, defining descriptions for students and graders, and set point values to these criteria. Once this is complete, you can save your marking guide as a draft, or save it and display it to students.