In our Moodle based professional development courses at eclass4Learning we emphasize collaboration and construction of knowledge through active forum participation. Many course participants who are new to online learning desire guidance in how to participate in online discussion. One way to provide course participants with this information is through the use of a rubric within Moodle. The rubric is a precise way to set expectations prior to forum participation and it is a great tool for the instructor and student to use for communication over the quality of forum posts.
Currently in Moodle a rubric cannot be directly selected as an advanced grading option with a forum. However, there is an easy work around for this if you would like to assess student forum participation using a rubric directly within Moodle.
All that you need to do is create a Moodle Assignment for the sole purpose of attaching the discussion rubric. It doesn’t matter which assignment type you select since it is not an actual assignment for students but rather a means for including a rubric to assess forum participation. Create this assignment in a hidden section of your Moodle course and select Advanced Grading. It is very important that you make sure the “eyeball” for that assignment is open so that the assignment is visible to Moodle as shown in the screenshot below:
When the eyeball is open on an assignment, the assignment will appear in the Moodle gradebook even though it is in a hidden section of the course:
If you want to avoid having two grade items appear in the grade book for the same forum, select no ratings in the forum settings:
Perhaps you would like to encourage students to rate their own forum participation using a rubric. Currently, in Moodle, there is not a direct way for students to assess themselves on the rubric as the instructor does. One solution is to enter the rubric criteria into the Workshop activity and set that activity to allow students to self-assess. Another option is to use the ability in Moodle to change role permissions on an individual activity. In my next blog, I will discuss how to use this ability to change permissions for an individual activity so that each student may mark the rubric within Moodle for self-assessment just as the instructor does.