In this resource, we’ll describe how to grade the posts and replies for a Standard forum for general use.

There are currently 5 forum types available in Moodle.

  • A single simple discussion: This is a single discussion topic that everyone can reply to. Only one discussion can be created; no additional topics can be added under a single simple discussion.

  • Each person posts one discussion: Each student can post exactly one new discussion topic to which everyone can then reply. Each discussion can have multiple replies.

  • Q and A forum: In a Q and A forum, you post a question and your students respond with possible answers. This forum requires students to post their perspectives BEFORE they can view other students' posts. After the initial post, students can view and respond to others' posts.

  • Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format: An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time and in which discussion topics are displayed on one page with "Discuss this topic" links.

  • Standard forum for general use (this is the default forum type): This forum type is an open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time. There can be one or more discussions in this forum, and anyone with permission can post multiple discussions.

FORUM TIP: Keeping track of unread forum posts

From the top right of the page in Moodle, click the drop-down arrow next to your name and then click Preferences.

Click Forum preferences under User account.

Next to Forum tracking, select Yes: highlight new posts for me. Next to When sending forum post notifications, select Do not mark the post as read.

Click Save changes.

Forum setting

Additionally, in your forum, update the Subscription and tracking setting. Next to Read tracking under Subscription and tracking, select Optional.

When you have selected the correct settings, you will be able to see how many unread posts are listed for the forum. This makes it easier for you when it’s time to grade them.

Ratings settings and the aggregate type

The aggregate type defines how ratings are combined to form the final grade in the gradebook. We recommend selecting Sum of ratings, but you can select a different aggregate type that may better meet your course needs.

  • No ratings: The activity will not appear in the gradebook.

  • Average of ratings: The mean of all ratings.

  • Count of ratings: The number of rated items becomes the final grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.

  • Maximum rating: The highest rating becomes the final grade.

  • Minimum rating: The smallest rating becomes the final grade.

  • Sum of ratings: All ratings are added together allowing you to assess the quality and quantity of posts at the same time. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.

For more guidance on the settings to use for a forum, review the resource: Due date settings required for Moodle graded items.

Grading a Standard forum for general use

Navigate to your Moodle course.

From the course home page, click the Forum name.

Click one of the student’s posts to begin grading.

Follow any grading guidance or rubrics you provided to students and grade the posts and replies accordingly. In the example below, the students could get up to 3 points for the initial post and then 1 point each for replying to 2 classmates.

For the initial post, click Rate…, and then click the applicable score. The results are instantly saved.

If classmates are required to reply to each other’s posts, then you can grade the classmates’ replies after grading the student’s initial post.

To move to the next post to grade it, click the post name at the top or bottom of the page.

Alternatively, you can click the forum name in the breadcrumb trail to return to the forum.

Then, click the next student’s post and grade the initial post and any replies.

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