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Manually Edit Grades and Grade Overrides in Moodle

This page describes how to manually change grades in the Grader report by clicking Turn editing on, how changing grades causes overrides, and how to enable or disable grade overrides and locks. It's also possible to edit grades by viewing all grades for a single student, or viewing all grades for a single grade item (see, Edit Grades for Individual Students or Assignments in Moodle).

Manually Edit and Override Grades in the Grader Report

Moodle allows you to enter or edit grades directly in the Grader report. This method is different than grading submissions from within an activity such as an assignment (for more, see Grade Assignments in Moodle).

  1. In the Grader report, click Turn Editing On (at top-right). Grade cells will change to show an entry field and a message appears at the top of the page:

    Notice: Changes you make to this page cannot be saved if gradebook records are updated by another user, or in a different browser window, while this page is open.
    This means that if another grader for this course updates the gradebook while you are editing grades, your changes will be lost. 

  2. Manually input grades into blank cells in the table, or edit grades already recorded for particular activities (such as a quiz).
  3. Click Update to save changes. If you have edited grades linked to a Moodle activity, Moodle will highlight the cells in orange to show that the grade has been overridden.
    Note: If another grader in your course has updated the gradebook while you had editing turned on in the gradebook, to prevent grading conflicts and unintended overrides, you will see a pop-up message:
    ALERT: Your changes have not been saved because the gradebook was updated in another browser window by you or another user while this page was open. Your browser may allow you to view or print your changes if you hit the back button now.

Working with Multiple Graders

Only one grader (instructor or TA) can manually enter grades in the gradebook at the same time. Moodle will not allow you to save changes to a gradebook that has been updated by someone else after you opened the page for editing. (This is to prevent grading conflicts and unintended overrides if multiple graders use a gradebook at the same time.) To avoid this issue:

  • Don't open grading screens in multiple windows on your own computer. For example, don't turn on editing in the gradebook Grader report in one browser window, while entering grades in on the Assignment submission screen, or rating Forum posts in another browser window.

  • If more than one person will need to manually enter grades in a course gradebook, we recommend you agree on a plan to alert each other when you are entering grades, and when you complete a grading session.

Note: More than one grader CAN safely grade Moodle Assignments at the same time IF they work from the Assignment submission screen, grade one student at a time, and do not use the Quick grade feature. For more, see Grade Assignments in Moodle: Enter Grades and Feedback One Assignment at a Time.

About Grade Overrides

Overrides are triggered when you manually edit grades for Moodle activities such as Quizzes, Forums or Assignments, or Category totals in the gradebook. Once saved, these items become highlighted in orange and will display "Overridden" in red text indicating that the grade is overridden. The override prevents further updates to the grade from outside the gradebook.

Grade overrides occur with several types of gradebook activity:

  • Editing Category or Course Totals in the Gradebook
    If you edit cells in a Calculated column, such as a Category total, the calculated column will be overridden and will not recalculate if grade items within the category are changed.
  • Manually Grading Moodle Activities from within the Gradebook
    If you manually edit grades in the gradebook for an activity such as a Quiz, Assignment, or Forum, grades will be overridden and will no longer automatically update if changed from outside the gradebook (for example, if a quiz is re-graded, or assignment is graded from the Assignment submission page).
  • Changing Grades from the Grade Page
    To make changes on the Grade page, users must first select the Override checkbox. This page also includes a column of Exclude checkboxes.
  • Importing Grades from a Spreadsheet
    If you import grades for an Moodle activity or category from a spreadsheet, the grades will be flagged as overridden and will no longer automatically update if grades are changed from outside the gradebook (for example, if a Quiz is re-graded, or an Assignment is graded from the the Assignment submission screen).

In all of these cases, overridden grades can still be changed from the Grader report by further manual editing, but will not change if grades are updated somewhere else in the course.

Note: Grades can also be locked, meaning the value cannot be changed even when editing is turned on in the Grader report. Locks are turned on by editing settings in the grade book (see below) and are not triggered by editing a single grade. 

Reasons to Override or Lock Grades

  • You no longer want grades to be updated by assignments.
  • You want to override a grade received on a quiz.
  • You do not want teaching assistants to change grades after a certain deadline.

Potential Issues When Grades Are Overridden or Locked

  • Overridden Calculated columns will not automatically update when changes to grade items are made.
  • If a grade is overridden in the Grader report, you cannot change a grade or edit comments on the activity grading screen unless you disable the override/unlock the grade.

Enable/Disable an Override or Lock for a Single Student's Grade

Note: If you release an override or remove a lock, grades will revert to the value recorded in the activity or, for a calculated column, the calculated value.

  1. Open the Grader report and click the Turn editing on button. 
  2. Click the edit icon ( ) next to the overridden grade. The Edit grade screen will open.
  3. Check or uncheck the Overridden box and/or the Locked box, then click Save changes. When the Grader report loads the display will change to indicate the state (i.e., previously overridden grades will not be highlighted, or locked grades will not be editable when editing is on).

Exclude Grades from Category Calculations

On the Edit grade page you can exclude grade items from the grade calculations for particular activities. This can be used to excuse a student from a graded activity, or to show students a grade for an activity such as a practice Quiz that will not count towards their final grade.
If the grade is excluded, it will not be part of the aggregation calculation that you have selected for the category. It will also be excluded from any "drop the lowest" category settings you have selected. Once saved, these items become highlighted in orange and will display "Excluded" in red text indicating that the grade is excluded.

Note: A grade item that is excluded from a category calculation is also excluded from the Course Total.

  1. Open the Grader report and click the Turn editing on button. 
  2. Click the edit icon ) next to the grade you wish to exclude. The Edit grade screen will open.
  3. Check the Exclude box, then click Save changes. When the Grader report loads the excluded grade will be marked.

It is also possible to exclude grades by using the Grade page. This can be used to exclude grade items for individual students, or to exclude all students from a single grade item.

Lock/Unlock a Grade Column

To prevent further changes for an entire column, you can lock that column and preserve the currently displayed grades.

  1. Open the Grader report and click Turn editing on (at top-right). Grade cells will change to show an entry field, and settings icons will appear in the table.
  2. In the Controls row, click the edit icon ( ) immediately below the column heading. The Edit grade item screen will open.
  3. Check (or uncheck) the box next to Locked, then click Save changes. The Grader report will reload reflecting the changes made (e.g., highlight color or edit fields).