Moodle 3.2: Gradebook Calculation Methods

Applies to: Moodle 3.2.

The Moodle gradebook calculates grades in two ways: natural weighting (based on the point value of individual assignments) or category/item weighting (based on setting up different weighted percentages for various categories and items).

Natural weighting

The default grade aggregation method in Moodle 3.2 gradebook is Natural.

At its most basic, the Natural aggregation method sets weights to reflect the number of points assigned to an item. For instance, if a class has a total of 200 points available, one assignment in the site that is worth 20 points will automatically be weighted at 10% of the class total.

Scales such as stars, letter grades, and poor-excellent are available in Moodle, but they are not counted in the grade calculations.

See Use Natural Weighting in the Gradebook for more detailed information on setting up the gradebook with natural weights.

Item and category weighting

The Moodle Gradebook setup page has checkboxes next to the weights of items and categories. When an instructor or designer checks these, they are able to alter the weights. The sum of the categories and items that are not in categories must total 100%. Items within categories must also add up to 100% for that category.


  • You create a Discussion category in which you insert fifty items worth ten points each. You set the Discussion category to be worth 5% of the grade. Each of the fifty items within this category will be worth 2% of the category.
  • Your class has a Homework category with twenty items worth a varying numbers of points each. You set the category of Homework to be 15% of the total grade. Each of the twenty items within can be set to weights of 5 to make them all weigh the same, regardless of the number of points available. Or the weights can be different to make the different assignments worth more or less relative to each other. In either case, the sum of the weights of the items must equal 100.
  • You also have two papers. Each one will be graded on a 100 point rubric, but the first paper is weighted 15% of the course total while the second paper is weighted 25% of the course total.
  • You have a large Final Exam that is worth 40% of the total grade weight. It is 250 points.
  • With weighting, the number of activities and points are independent of the weights you assign the items or categories. However, the sum of all category weights must equal 100%.



Homework category (20 items)


Paper 1 (100 pt rubric)


Paper 2 (100 pt rubric)


Discussion points (50 items)


Final Exam (250 pts)


See Use Weighted Categories and Items in the Gradebook for more information on using this type of gradebook calculation.