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Methods for Delaying Moodle Grade Releases

By July 1, 2019 No Comments

Often teachers will want to wait until an assignment is graded for the entire class before releasing the grades to all students. There are two ways to do this in Moodle: Marking Workflow and Hiding Grades until a date. These two methods are outlined below.

Method 1: Marking Workflow

Marking “Workflow” works only for the Assignment activity in Moodle. Basically, instructors or other authorized users (such as teaching assistants) can set several steps in the grading process. This allows instructors to determine when students can view grades depending on workflow progress.

Step 1: Enabling Marking Workflow

As an instructor, open up the assignment for which you want to enable “Marking Workflow” and go to settings. Note: This can also be done when setting up the assignment.

Open up the settings page for that assignment and look under the “Grade” heading. Near the bottom of that section, change the “Use Marking Workflow” section to “Yes.”

Step 2: Setting the Marking Workflow state while grading

There are 6 marking workflow states:

  1. Not graded– The grade item has not been marked yet.
  2. In grading– The process of grading has begun.
  3. Grading completed – The marking has been completed and is waiting for review.
  4. In review – The marking is being reviewed (presumably by the instructor of the course after a TA has graded it).
  5. Ready for release – The grade is ready to be released.
  6. Released – The grade and feedback is released to the student and they can see it.

In many situations, not all of the states will be used. In the case of a single instructor grading with no review, it might be best to limit the states used to “In marking” and “Released”. Keep in mind that students are able to see what state the workflow is in, so using other states besides these two may generate questions.

The states can be set for each student, for several students at once, or for the whole class at once. Be sure that quick grading is checked so that the status of each student’s grade can be viewed and changed quickly.

To do this, open up the assignment and click on the “View all” submissions button. If you click on Grade, you will see a page for each individual student which you can also use to grade and set criteria, but only for one student at a time. When the “View all” submissions page is open, make sure that Quick grading is enabled; look for the checkbox at the bottom of the page under “Options,” as shown below.

 Scroll back up to the student listing and notice that you now have a Status column in addition to being able to assign a grade. All the students should have the status “Not marked.” Changing the status for individual students involves using the dropdown in the Status column and set it to the appropriate state. 

Changing the status for all students or several students at the same time is also possible and easy. Check the box to the left of the user’s picture as shown below and pointed to by the green arrows.

Moodle gradesIn “With selected” menu, you can choose “Set grading workflow state” and then click the Go button.

Click OK in the insuing popup window which will take you to the following page:


The appropriate workflow state can be indicated for the listed students using the dropdown menu. If the grades are to be released to the students, teachers can also choose to notify students that their assignment has been graded from this page. Click on “Save changes” and you are done!

Method 2: Temporarily Hiding Moodle Grades

Grades can also be hidden until they are either manually unhidden or until a particular date. This method will work for any grades in the gradebook.  One use case would be to hide quiz grades until after the cut off date for the quiz. 

This method could also be used for assignments, but the grader would need to remember to either manually unhide the grades or set the grade to unhide automatically if there is a set date that all assignments will be graded..

Hiding the grades in the gradebook:

  • From the course menu, choose Grades
  • Then go to the Grader report (if not already there) and Setup
  • This should give you a list of the items in your gradebook, and you will want to edit the one you want to hide.
  • Click on Edit and then Edit settings
  • Under the Grade item, click on show more

  • Near the bottom, you should see the “Hidden” settings

  • Click on Hidden to hide the grade until you uncheck this setting  Or…
  • Enable and set the Hidden until Date/Time. After this date, the grade will be released.

As most teachers know, grading student work can be a time-consuming process that can take several days. It is often a good idea to hold off on releasing grades to any students until everything is ready. Fortunately, Moodle has built-in methods for handling this dilemma. Also, with regards to the Grading workflow method, there are other use-cases for which it can be extremely helpful. For instance, professors with teaching assistants can review grades that they have submitted before releasing to the students, especially for new TAs without much grading experience.

Have fun with these features and let us know if you come up with any other use cases and how we can help you implement this method or others for Moodle functionality.

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