12 Whole Forum vs. Rating Grading Methods

There are two main ways to grade discussion forums:

  1. Ratings
  2. Whole Forum Grading

Ratings are a more efficient way to grade discussion forums if you are actively participating in the discussion with the students and grading simultaneously; whereas, Whole Forum Grading is better for analyzing individual students’ posts within a different grading interface. One of the primary differences between the two methods is that Whole Forum Grading allows for an attached rubric to grade from; whereas, ratings rely on manual grade inputs as you are viewing each student’s posts. It is important to know that you should only use one grading method. If you use two by accident, duplicate entries will appear in your grade book.

Here is a brief overview of how to use the Ratings method for grading discussion forums:

If you would prefer to explore the Whole Forum Grading method, feel free to enable this feature by following the steps provided below:

Whole Forum Grading is a relatively new Grading Interface that was introduced to us in Moodle v3.8. To enable this, follow the steps below:

1. Navigate to your course

2. Turn Editing On

3. Navigate to the Forum that you would like to change

4. Select the Edit menu inline with the Forum activity, and select Edit Settings:

Edit forum settings button / drop-down menu.


5. When a Forum is created, the default grading method is Ratings, you will want to turn this off. Navigate to the Ratings drop-down menu and change the Aggregate type to No Ratings:

Ratings options drop-down menu


6. Just above this drop-down menu, navigate to the Whole Forum Grading menu:

Whole forum collapsible menu within forum settings.


7. Once you expand this menu, select type as Point:

Type of grade drop-down menu within forum settings.


8. Then, choose the point value or Maximum Grade that you would like the assignment to be worth:

Maximum grade menu within forum settings.


9. Lastly, scroll to the bottom and select a Save option:

Save option buttons.

Feel free to take it a step further and equip your discussion forum with a custom or prescribed rubric.


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Moodle Faculty Certification Course by Tyler Graham is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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