Moodle 3.2: Use Natural Weighting in the Gradebook

Applies to: Moodle 3.2.

Natural Weighting is a gradebook aggregation method. It is the default method used with Moodle at the University but you can Use Weighted Categories and Items in the Gradebook instead or in addition.

At its most basic level, natural weighting functions as a sum of all grades/scores. Items and categories of small point values naturally contribute a small amount to the total course sum, and similarly, items and categories of a large point value naturally contribute greatly to the total course sum.

This article covers:

When to use Natural Weighting

  • Activities can have different point values.
    • Example: One quiz is worth 10 points while another is worth 15 points.
  • The point value of each activity is relative to the activity's importance and natural weight.
    • Example: Weekly quizzes worth 10 points have less weight than the final exam worth 150 points.
  • The Total Course Points is the sum of points of all graded activities.
  • Activities can be organized into categories or not.

Requirement for using natural weighting

You do not need to change any settings when using natural weighting. However: you need to be sure to assign points for all activities based on how important they are in the course (e.g., more important items in the course should be given more points).

You should Ignore category or item weightings entirely when using natural weighting solely. Do not select any of the grade item checkboxes.
Gradebook using solely natural weighting; optional categories highlighted; Weights and columns highlighted to point to checkboxes

Extra Options

The following options are available whether you are using natural weighting or weighted categories and items.

Running Course Total

The option to Give Students a Running Total of their Grade (Exclude Empty Grades) is the default for ALL categories, including the primary course level category.

This option excludes activities that have yet to be graded from the course total. The student's course percentage or grade is calculated using the points they have earned at their current point progress, divided by the maximum points possible.

NOTE: At the completion of each activity, the instructor should add zeros for students who did not complete the activity. See Enter Grades and Feedback in the Gradebook.

Extra Credit

You can give extra credit to an activity. Points will be added above the course or category total.

Drop the lowest grade(s) or Keep the highest grade(s)

At the end of the semester, you can Drop the Lowest Grade(s) or Keep the Highest Grade(s) for a group of activities. The activities must all be within the same category and have the same point values.

  • The category total adjusts to count only those items you've selected.
  • The category total line indicates the dropping or keeping of X number of items.