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Natural Aggregation Method and Interface Changes

Basic overview
 
The latest version of Moodle includes a new gradebook aggregation method, "Natural” weighting. This is the new default in course sites and it is the recommended method for setting up your gradebook. It combines the flexibility of each of the previous aggregation scenarios in one easy-to-use method with a simplified interface. 
 
How it works
 
When you enter Gradebook setup in a newly-created course site, Natural weight will be your default course aggregation method. You can add grade items or categories at the bottom of the page, as in previous versions, while graded activities such as assignments created in your course site will automatically appear. Your categories/items will have four columns - name, weight, max grade, and an “Actions” column for editing a category or item.
 
 
The max grades of each of your items will add up to the course total. If you want to use weights in your calculation, click the check-box next to each of the items and enter your adjusted weights. (You can set weights for individual items, but usually you will weigh all or none of the items in a category).
 
 
 
Tip: If you are going to set weights, it is best to first create all of your categories in the gradebook (or all items, if you are not using categories). The system will automatically adjust your weights to add up to 100%, so setting weights is easiest once all relevant items are present to be weighted.
 
 
Editing a gradebook item
 
If you need to edit a category or item, just click the Edit drop-down in the Actions column. This will allow you to Edit the grade item settings, make the item visible or invisible to students,  as well as reset the weights in the category. For categories, you can change the category settings, including aggregation method if you wish to use a different one.
 
 
Gradebook settings
 
To simplify the interface, many of the gradebook settings are now accessible from a tab on the gradebook setup page, rather than a separate settings tab in the entire gradebook. Click on Gradebook setup first, then click Course grade settings.
 
 
 
User report 
 
The user report includes an option for a column that displays the “contribution to course total.” This shows the student how much their score on an item ended up counting for their total grade (added up, this column equals the student’s total percentage in the course).
 
 
 
 
Various scenarios for switching to Natural weighting
 
I am used to using "Sum of grades"
 
Use natural weighting without any adjusted weights; it will work in the same manner as sum of grades use to work.
 
 
I am used to using "Weighted mean of grades"
 
Use natural method and set the weights for the categories or items as desired, adding up to 100%.
 
 
I am used to using "Mean of grades"
 
Use natural method and set all the weights equal to each other.
 
 
I am used to using "Simple weighted Mean of grades"
 
Use natural weighting and leave all weights as is, with no manual adjustments necessary (this calculates the same as sum of grades above).
 
 
Extra credit
 
When adding an extra credit item or category, you must first create the item and add it to the Gradebook setup page, then click Edit settings under the Action dropdown and choose Extra Credit.
 
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