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Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points

 
 
Picture of Deirdre Kirmis
Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

Is the only way to create an assignment worth more than 100 points by creating a custom scale? If so, can someone tell me how to create it? I looked at the documentation and it really doesn't make sense.

 
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Floyd Saner - Tail of the Dragon, U.S. 129, NC
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Deirdre,

This is a common question, and there is not a clear-cut, sure-shot answer.

The first approach by many people is to create a custom Moodle Scale with values 0, 1, 2, ... 100, 101, 102... etc.  However that is a bit tedious, and as you have discovered, scales don't function exactly like numbers.  Scales are intended for phrases (e.g. fail/pass,  poor/fair/good/excellent) which are then used in grading and get converted to a numeric value by the grade book.

How you handle this depends on your grading scheme - Do you use percents or points?  Do you use weighting?  In my training sessions, I suggest a number of ways to work with assignments that have more than 100 points.  I then usually end up spending one-on-one time with teachers.  The methods are listed in order of most preferred to least preferred.

  1. The simplest way to work with grading in Moodle is to grade by percent, 0 to 100%.  If an assignment is worth 155 points, enter 100 as the maximum score value and convert each graded score to a percentage.  If you want to weight your assignments by the number of points, use weighted averaging in the grade book and enter the weights as the total points for each assignment.  The first objection is, "But the points do not add up to 100."  The math works out, though.  Moodle's grade book is quite good at that.

  2. Create an assignment on the front page - make the maximum score 100, and treat that as a percent grade.  In the grade book, create a category for that graded item and make the category maximum points equal to the number of points for the assignment, say 155.  Your grade book will show the category and also show the assignment.  Move the assignment into the category.  Grade the assignment by percent.  Students will see the percent grade and the associated points for that percent.

  3. You can add assignments directly in the grade book.  Go to the grade book, select 'Categories and items', and 'Add grade item'.  When you do this, you can put in any number of points as the maximum value.  The downside of this method is twofold: 1) The assignment does not show up on the course page, and 2) you must enter grades via the grade book view.  You then have to create an 'ungraded assignment' on the front page for students to submit assignments.  This becomes messy.

  4. If your organization has its own Moodle server, you can edit the Moodle code to give any range of points.  One institution I worked for did that and extended the 0-100 scale to 0-1000.  I forget which files need to be changed, and there are several, but a good programmer can figure it out.

Good luck!

-Floyd

 

 
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Picture of Deirdre Kirmis
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

Wow, thank you for this answer! We use points for all of our assignments and percentages only for the categories. (Our gradebook had to sync into Renweb's and that's how the Renweb gradebook is usually set up).  With that, I think option 1 here would work for us, using the weighted averaging, but I need to do some testing of how it will sync to Renweb.

How does the "unlimited grades" setting work with all of this, or does it even matter?

 
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Picture of Bob Puffer
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Another option folks have been doing for 8 years is to set the pickable value up to 250 by:

in lib/form/modgrade.php around line 89 change $i=100 to $i=250

in lib/weblib.php around line 2357 do the same

 
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Floyd Saner - Tail of the Dragon, U.S. 129, NC
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks, Bob.  I should have known you would know which files to change!

I hope all is going well for you.

Floyd

 
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Picture of David Codish
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

Many thanks Bob. This is exactly what I was looking for and works fine. Now I just need to remember that if I ever upgrade a version I will need to re-do these changes and hopefully it wouldn't mess up the history.

 
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Floyd Saner - Tail of the Dragon, U.S. 129, NC
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Deirdre,

If you run your own server, Bob Puffer's suggestion should work.  Bob knows a lot about the Moodle grade book code - he has written his own grade book report interface,  https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=gradereport_laegrader

If you use points for all your assignments, then unlimited grades should work quite well.  Graders can enter any number of points for an assignment.  Say you have 2 assignments, one worth 50 points and one worth 30 points.  A student gets 55/50 on the first assignment (5 pts ex cr) and 20/30 on the second assignment.  The grade book will give a category grade of (55 + 20)/(50 + 30) * 100% = 93.75%.

 

 
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Picture of Deirdre Kirmis
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

Is the only way to assign the extra credit points by changing the final grade in gradebook after the quiz results are calculated? (ie: an override) If so, we lose the detail of the actual quiz grade and the extra credit points.

 
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Floyd Saner - Tail of the Dragon, U.S. 129, NC
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Deirdre,

When you override a grade in the gradebook, the original grade is still recorded in the database.  In the case of overriding a quiz grade, the grade book will show the overridden grade, but if you go back to the quiz activity and look at grades there, you will see the original quiz grade.  

You can always revert an overridden grade back to its original value by going to the grade book, turning on editing, clicking the small edit icon in the grade box, and deselecting the 'overridden' check box.

Another way is to create a separate grade item in the grade book for extra credit (use 'sum of points' or 'simple weighted' aggregation) and mark the item as extra credit.  You can then put in whatever number of points you want.

I know it is a bit awkward, but that is what is available.

Floyd

 
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Picture of sean mcclelland
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

I've done a good bit of searching and a lot of testing (trial and error), and I want to share my solution with the community. I didn't have any success with other suggested solutions. I have a very limited access to developers, so implementing a code change to the "core" (as suggested by some) was going to be a challenge.

Moodle doesn't see your scale points as actual points, so you have to fake it. But you have to fake it in the right order, or else your category totals will be completely wrong. This method is tedious but it works, and what the instructor and students see, is the actual score they'll get on the assignment.

  1. create a custom scale
  2. type out, one by one, all of the numbers in your scale, starting at 1, separating each number with a comma
  3. save and apply the scale to an assignment
  4. grade the assignment as usual

If you start at 0, it won't work. If you start at the max number, it won't work. You have to have exactly the same number of numbers in the scale, as your max value, and you have to order them min to max in the list.

See attached, this is an example of a 150 point scale.

I am using this in a gradebook category that's aggregating as "sum." I haven't tried this with other aggregation methods.

Ultimately, it would be REALLY nice if Moodle just allowed you to score activities at more than 100 points. Would have saved me hours and hours of work!


 
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Picture of m angeles
Re: Create custom scale for assignments > 100 points
 

Thank you very much, Sean! I agree, by the way -- moodle should allow any point count for an assignment, test or quiz. I got around the problem by assigning "no grade" for the assignment and then keying the actual score into the gradebook. 

Gratefully,

mary

 
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