Assignment Activity: Using the Grading Guide Grading Method [Faculty]


The Assignment activity allows you to create and use a grading guide as an advanced grading method. Students can have access to the grading guide before submitting their assignments as well as after. You have the option to provide comments for each criterion and overall comments.

In a grading guide you define each criterion, provide a description for students and for graders, and then indicate the range of scores possible for the criterion. If you would rather use specific criteria descriptions with assigned points, see Assignment Activity: Using the Rubric Grading Method [Faculty].

This Guide Will Help You to:

  • Select grading guide as the advanced grading option

  • Create a grading guide

  • Edit a grading guide

  • Reuse a grading guide

  • Grade with a grading guide

  • Seek further assistance

Select grading guide as the advance grading option

You may select grading guide as the method when you set up an assignment or you may go back into the assignment settings to create it before students have submitted any assignments.  

For more information about assignments, see Assignment Activity [Faculty]

  1. Select the assignment to apply the grading method

  2. Select Advanced grading in the course navigation menu

  3. Using the drop-down menu to the right of Change active grading method to, select Grading guide

Advanced grading screen with dropdown menu with the following choices: Grading guide, Rubric, and Simple direct grading

  1. Select either Define new grading form from scratch or Create new grading form from a template

Create a grading guide from scratch

  1. In the assignment, select Advanced grading from the top navigation menu

  2. On the new page, click Define new grading form from scratch

  3. In the Name field, name of grading guide

  4. In the Description field, provide instruction or details about the guide

  5. Select the criterion name to edit it. (It will open up a box for typing into.)

  6. Select the Click to edit links to provide an explanation for students and graders.

    • Description for students - Tell students what is required

    • Description for graders - give graders advice

  7. Select the Click to edit link to allocate a maximum grade for this criterion. It will open up a box for typing into.

Note: Moodle will scale the points to the maximum you set within the assignment settings if the criterion scores do not add up to that same total.

Portion of grading guide showing a criterion labeled Relevant Content with Description for students, Description for graders, and Maximum score information

  1. Select the button to add one or more criteria and then repeat the process as above.

Note: In the Frequently used comments section, you can add comments that you use frequently with this grading guide. This allows you to click on these statements rather than having to re-write them over and over while grading student work.

  1. Select either:

    • Save grading guide and make it ready

    • Save as draft

    • Cancel

Edit a grading guide

You can modify or update the grading guide at any time.  If you have already used the grading guide to grade assignments, you will need to review those assignments and update the graded assignments as needed.

  1. In the assignment, select Advanced grading from the activity navigation menu.

  2. On the new page, click Edit the current form definition

Warning:If you have already used the grading to grade, a warning message will appear. You will need to regrade student attempts if you wish to change their grades in the gradebook.

Warning that reads as follows: You are about to save significant changes to a grading guide that has already been used for grading. The gradebook value will be unchanged, but the grading guide will be hidden from students until their item is regraded.

  1. When you have completed the updates, select:

    • Save -  make the grading guide ready for use

    • Save as draft - you will remain on the editing page 

    • Cancel - changes will be discarded

Reuse a grading guide

  1. Select the new assignment for which you want to use a grading guide

  2. In the activity navigation menu, select advanced grading

  3. Select Create new grading form from a template

Advanced grading screen with grading guide selected as type and the two following choices are available: Define new grading form from scratch and Create new grading form from a template.

Note: To use a grading guide from a another course that you created, select the include my own forms check box, search for the name and then select search.Arrow pointing to the checkbox labeled include my own forms and there is a text box to type search terms into with a search button to the right.

  1. On the new page, find the desired rubric

  2. Select Use this form as a template

Use this form as a template option with a checkmark above it and a Back button below it.

  1. Select Continue to confirm

Grade with a grading guide

  1. Select the assignment ready to be graded.

  2. Select the Grade button

  3. For each criterion, you will type any feedback comments in the large text box provided in the grading guide.

One criterion in a grading guide is represented with the description for students, description for graders, and a feedback box to leave customized comments.

Note: You can insert frequently used comments. This allows you to select these statements rather than having to re-write them again.These are created in the grading guide settings.

 Insert frequently used comment window with list of comments to choose from and a Cancel button at the bottom right

  1. Add points dependent on student work and the criterion

Arrow pointing to box to enter points within a criterion in a grading guide and Insert frequently used comments button at the top

  1. You can also add overall comments in the Feedback comments box at the bottom of the grading guide. These can be viewed in the assignment and in the gradebook.

Text box to place customized comments and feedback for students in a grading guide

Warning: The Feedback comments text box will only appear if you checked the Feedback comments check box under Feedback types in the Edit settings page for the assignment.

  1. Repeat the steps above for all criteria. 

  2. Select Save and show next to move to the next student

Arrow pointing to Save and show next button with a Save changes button to the left of it and a Reset button to the right of it

Note: Selecting Notify student will send a notification to the student that their assignment has been graded.

Seek Further Assistance

For additional assistance, please contact the ITRC at (208) 282-5880 or

For more information please visit,


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Article ID: 50342
Thu 3/15/18 1:24 PM
Sun 11/5/23 10:33 AM

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A rubric defines general criteria and then provides detailed descriptions for each specific point level possible for that criteria.