How do I Add Categories to the Gradebook?

Valid for Moodle 2.8.  Updated on 8/5/2015.

  1. This material is unrelated to the Moodle version.  Updated on 1/22/2014.Go to your course and then go the the Administration block and under Course Administration click on Grades.

    Course administration block

  2. This will bring up the grade viewer.  It will also open the Grade Administration interface in the Administration block.

    Gradebook admin block

    Click on Categories and Items.  In this example we've already added one item to the gradebook.

    Gradebook with one item
  3. To add a category, click on the Add category button to bring up the grade category dialogue. (This example shows all the options. You may want to click on the Show less... links to simplify the dialogue. The default values for most of the fields are almost always fine). 

    new category interface
  4. The settings in the Grade category section describe the category.  You need to specify the name of the category.  You can also specify how the items in the category are to be aggregated to determine a grade for the category. See's documentation on grade aggregation for more information. You can also specify if items without a grade are to be ignored in determining the category grade or should they be counted as if they are zero. This can be critical if the students can see their grades.

    The settings in the Category total  and Parent category sections describe how the category grade fits into the grade total of the enclosing category.  As such the settings are the same as for any individual gradebook item. Make sure that the Maximum grade is correct. Usually the other fields are fine with the default values. If you are creating a complex structure with multiple levels of subcategories you will need to play with the Parent category setting.

    When done, click on Save changes.

  5. Since we made the course category the parent of our new category (Papers), it is shown contained within the course category. The course total would be calculated based on the First oral presentation item and the Papers total value. 

    Gradebook with Item and Category

Now that the category is in the gradebook, you can assign new activities to that category, or you can manually create new items within the category, or you can move existing items to the category by checking the items Select box and them selecting the category from the dropdown menu right below the Save Changes button.  Remember to click the Save Changes button whenever you make changes to the gradebook.

Notice that the Papers category is indented from the oral presentation even through both are equal parts of the course category. We consider this a confusing bug.

Also remember that, except for the course category, you never actually have to have categories. By playing with item weights you can achieve the same results by just using items and without categories. For courses with simple grading schemes categories are often not needed.

Information on modifying the gradebook layout in available.