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Revisiting How to Allow Student Self-Assessment on a Moodle Rubric

A number of months ago, I made a blog post describing how it is possible to have students mark the rubric within Moodle just as a teacher does. The original post Student Self-Assessment Using a Rubric in Moodle is available at The steps detailed in that blog-post do work given two conditions: 1) you must be logged in as a Moodle admin to override the non-editing teacher permission of access to all groups and 2) you must not have any other groups in the course other than the single member groups you create with students for the self-assessment activity. The second condition of a course not having other groups is not always very realistic!

The original post was intended for teachers who want to use the rubric in Moodle for self-assessment. In brief summary, I discussed the following steps for allowing students to grade themselves using the rubric:

• Locally assign the role of non-editing teacher to students on a specific assignment so that students now have the ability to grade.

• Locally, override the permission that a non-editing teacher has to access all groups.

• Use the auto-create groups feature of Moodle to create and use separate groups of one member only on the assignment.

In originally writing the directions for this, I was logged-in as Moodle administrator.  However, It is always important to write directions for a specific role such as the teacher role in Moodle while logged in with that role. The above steps work if you have administrative rights in Moodle. Had I been logged-in with teacher rights only, I would have found that teachers in the standard default role for Moodle do not have the ability to override the ability of the non-editing teacher to access all groups. This step is crucial for preventing students from seeing, editing or grading the rubrics of other students.

Another important step in evaluating what a student will see and do in a course is to log-in as a student within the course. Although I did log in as a student to test the steps, I neglected to consider the likelihood that in most Moodle courses there would be other groups aside from the auto-created groups of one. When other groups exist in the course, students see members of those other groups when they access assignment submissions. This is demonstrated in the screenshot shown below. Although the student is the only member of  “Self-Assessor Group 11”, this same student also belongs to the group Period 1 which would be a very typical grouping strategy in a course. To save on a visit to the doctor buy generic Cialis online from


This second issue of students seeing other groups can be easily controlled by the teacher. All the teacher needs to do is create a grouping and then place the auto-created groups of one in that grouping. In the screenshot shown below there are fifteen single member groups. These consecutively numbered single member groups are placed in the grouping titled “Use for Self-Assessment.”



After creating the groups of one member only and placing those groups within a grouping the teacher would then return to the assignment and use the Common module settings of separate groups, select the appropriate grouping and check Available for group members only as shown in the screenshot below:


When the auto-created groups of one are placed in a grouping, separate groups are selected and the assignment is made available for group members only, the student will not have access to other groups or students as shown in the image below:


The first issue of overriding the permission of the non-editing teacher to see all groups is a more complex and involved process. There are likely a number of approaches that could be used at the administrative level. The method I’m going to suggest requires a Moodle administrator to do the following:

• Duplicate the role of the non-editing teacher.

• Rename this duplicated role with a function related title such as Self-Assessment Role

• In the Self-Assessment Role change the permission level of Access all groups to Prohibit as shown in the screenshot below:

Prohibit Access All Groups

• The last step is allowing the teacher to assign this role:


Once this new role has been created and assigned as a role that teachers can assign, teachers will be able to set up student self-assessment with a rubric in their courses. Teachers will need to locally assign students to the role created that denies access to all groups. In the screenshot shown below this role is titled Self-assessment role:

Assign Role

As I noted in the first post on using the rubric in Moodle for self-assessment this is not the only way to have students practice self-assessment in Moodle. Although this method for self-assessment is initially more complicated in setting up, if anything it certainly demonstrates how versatile and powerful Moodle can be in offering many options for student engagement and interaction.

Finally, this follow-up post was written in response to reader feedback that when following the original directions, students could still see other group members. I want to thank Karim who shared comments on the original blog. Karim found that students were still able to see other group members when following the directions in the original blog post. Karim, shared a solution of placing the groups of one in a grouping and offers a slightly different approach by overriding student permissions instead of non-editing teacher permissions. Remember the key in both solutions is that by default the teacher role in Moodle cannot override the specific permissions required to allow for student self-assessment on the rubric. Whether a teacher chooses to override the permissions on the student role or non-editing teacher role, a Moodle administrator must first decide on a way to have teachers override either the default permission of allowing a student to grade an assignment or prohibiting a non-editing teacher from having access to all groups.  To see Karim’s comments and solution, check out the original blog post at and see the comments below the post.

Sue Bradtke

[email protected]

Sue teaches the <a href=""> Moodle Jumpstart Course </a>, <a href="">Creating Effective Flipped Classrooms Course</a>, and <a href="">Differentiation & Assessment in Moodle Course </a> for <a href="">eClass4learning</a>.

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