Structured feedback

Assignment feedbacks ::: assignfeedback_structured
Maintained by Tony Butler, Ruslan Kabalin
An assignment subplugin that enables teachers to provide individual feedback comments on any number of configurable criteria.
Latest release:
174 sites
23 fans
Current versions available: 3

The structured feedback plugin enables teachers to define any number of criteria on which to provide individual feedback comments for a student's assignment submission. Criteria are configured in a dedicated 'Feedback criteria' section of the standard assignment config form, and the plugin is enable/disabled automatically depending on whether any criteria have been defined.

The configured 'criteria set' can then be saved for easy reuse in other assignments. Given the appropriate permissions the teacher can also choose to share their saved criteria sets with other teachers within the same Moodle site. A simple AJAX interface is provided for teachers to manage their saved criteria sets, all accessed from within the assignment config form.


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Tony Butler (Lead maintainer)
Ruslan Kabalin: Maintainer
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  • Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 10:43 PM
    Hi Christoph,
    I can't find any way to do this via the user interface. I was hoping that using the browser developer tools to remove the 'disabled' and 'readonly' attributes from the form element would work, but although that lets you update the value, it doesn't save the change when you submit the form.
    So I'm afraid the only option would be to edit the value in the database, if you have access to it. The SQL query to access the criteria data would be:
    "select, apc.value from mdl_assign_plugin_config apc
    join mdl_course_modules cm on cm.instance = apc.assignment and = {the id from your assignment URL, e.g. 5 for /mod/assign/view.php?id=5}
    join mdl_modules m on = cm.module and = 'assign'
    where apc.plugin = 'structured'
    and apc.subtype = 'assignfeedback'
    and name = 'criteria';"
    Be aware, though, that this value is a JSON-encoded string representation of all the configured criteria for this assignment, so you would need to (very carefully) find and fix the typo, leaving everything else as it is, and then update the record with whole resulting string. I'd recommend trying this on a test site first if possible.
    Sorry I can't offer a simpler solution.
  • Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 6:16 PM
    Hi Tony,
    I had a feeling about this. Many thanks for the help anyhow.
    So I just have to doublecheck every feedback criteria before releasing the assignment to the public wink
  • Tue, Jun 11, 2019, 2:49 AM
    Hi again,

    In the assignment settings there is a dropdown menu for the transferring feedback module to the grading section. When I select "structured feedback" none is transferred (the feedback section of my trainee remains empty). If I select feedback as comment (not sure about the correct wording, my version is German) it sets the feedback Comment correctly, but no structured feedback is transferred to the grading sheet.

    Any chance to get them both transferred?

    Thaaaaanks smile
  • Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 6:37 AM
    Hello again Christoph,
    Unfortunately it seems I neglected to include the functions necessary to support the export of structured feedback to the gradebook. I have now added them and released a new version of the plugin (v3.5.1) which supports Moodle 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7.
    Hope this helps.
  • Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Hi Tony,

    Really nice plugin, thanks for all your work on this! I am wondering whether anyone has ask you to consider producing a 'structured assessment' add-on. Ie a potential extension for the 'online text' option whereby a student could select a form template from a set of presets and and then complete this as a component of an overall submission? So it could be used in combination with a file upload to add a coversheet onto a set of docs for example.
  • Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 12:58 AM
    Thanks Simon. Nothing like that has been suggested, and I wouldn't have time to develop it at the moment, but it does sound like an interesting idea.
  • Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 6:53 PM
    Hi Tony
    We really like this plugin and are looking at using it within a UK HE context. Do you have plans for a 3.9 release? Would you be interested in any partnership in developing this?
  • Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 7:38 PM
    Thanks Ken.
    I've tested the existing 3.5.1 version of the plugin in Moodle 3.8 and 3.9, and it seems to work fine, so I'm going to update the plugin details here to reflect that it supports these releases. If you do find any bugs (with any Moodle release) please report them at and I'll fix them as soon as I can.
  • Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 7:41 PM
    Thanks Tony, and thanks also for the really quick response to the question.
  • Sun, Jul 12, 2020, 12:59 AM
    Hi Tony again,

    your plugin still really helps a lot to keep track of our students. With my previous issue, I am not quite sure if it was really an issue of your plugin or moodle itself. If I (now) understand correctly, by the time a feedback is given, moodle pushes this feedback to the gradebook. With the feedback_plugin_for_gradebook switch set to "structured feedback" all the following gradebook entries will be made with the structured feedback, however, older feedbacks remain with "classic" contents.
    My intention is to have both feedbacks (text feedback and structured) displayed in one gradebook. However, I doubt moodle is able to provide this, correct? I already started to get into the gradebook code to collect both data sources, maybe you have a clue where to start or how to modify the grade_report_user class... If not, I will get into this and provide any successful result here if wanted wink
  • Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 6:40 PM
    Hi Christoph,
    Yes, it is a limitation of Moodle core that you can only select one feedback plugin to push data to the gradebook, and this can only be set on a site-wide basis via the feedback_plugin_for_gradebook setting, as far as I'm aware. However, a possible workaround for your case would be to simply create an additional criterion in the structured feedback plugin called 'General comments' and disable the default 'Feedback comments' plugin. That wouldn't help with your existing assignments though.
    I haven't done any work on the core gradebook code so can't offer any help there I'm afraid.
  • Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 10:49 PM
    Hi Tony,

    THAT's actually the easiest way... Thanks for the heads up. Although it was a bunch of work to go through 30 assignments, duplicate them, modify the categories and re-grade all students manually, this came out as the best solution to my problem. Many thanks!! Sometimes it needs pragmatic solutions wink
  • Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 3:17 AM
    No problem Chris, glad you got it sorted.
  • Wazza
    Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 8:03 PM
    What is the difference between this plugin and the Rubric/Marking guide option?
  • Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 12:30 AM
    Hi Richard,
    The main difference is that those are advanced grading plugins -- so there's some kind of grade calculation involved -- whereas this is just a feedback plugin which can be used with simple grading. Our academic staff wanted the functionality to provide individual feedback comments on bespoke criteria, while also retaining the flexibility of being able to award a single overall grade. A lot of them were also put off by the (perceived) complexity of configuring an advanced grading plugin, using its own separate interface, so it was important that the feedback criteria for this plugin could be defined using a simple interface that actually sits within the assignment config form.
    So really this is all about keeping things straightforward and familiar.
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