Technology Enhanced Learning Team


Advanced grading (Marking guides and Rubrics)

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For: StaffApplication: Grading & Feedback


Advanced grading methods in QMplus enable various assessment forms to be used for calculating grades. Two advanced grading methods available in QMplus are Marking guides and Rubrics. Both grading methods are more complex than the simple direct grading method (available by default), but once set up, they can save markers’ time when marking students work online.

Marking guides are simple lists of criteria that can be shared with students and/or other markers, to define what areas are being marked. Guides are a bit more flexible than rubrics, in that teachers can enter comments for students within each criterion and then assign a mark whereas rubrics have pre-defined levels for the teacher to choose from. Marking guides also allow staff to save frequent comments that can be easily entered (and tailored) in the comments box.

Another advanced grading method available in QMplus is the BTEC grading method, but this method of marking is mainly used with the vocational criteria assessed assignments as found in secondary and further education in the UK (see Moodle Docs on BTEC for more information)

Using Marking Guides

Marking guides allow teachers to set up various criterion for the assignments and then enter comments for each criterion. Each criterion is also given a maximum mark.


  • Descriptions: Marking guide criteria can be given a description which can be shown or hidden from students. A separate description can be entered for teachers to see – so if there are multiple markers (maybe student teachers, or teaching assistants) there can be separate notes for them.
  • Frequent Comments: Marking guides also allow teachers to set up ‘frequent comments’ to save time when marking the assignment, when there are common mistakes or feedback that you need to give to the students.
  • Templates: QMplus allows users to create a new marking guide from scratch or use a template (if any have been shared).

To set up a marking guide for a new assignment, select ‘Marking guide’ as the ‘Grading Method’ under the ‘Grade’ section of the assignment creation page.

marking guide - grading method

To set up a Marking guide for an assignment that you have already created, you will need to click on the ‘Advanced Grading’ link under the ‘Assignment Administration’ block. From the ‘Advanced Grading’ page, select ‘Marking Guide’ from the drop down menu.

marking guides

For more information about creating and using the Marking Guide, please read this Moodle Doc:

There is a great video on YouTube, from TechnologyTerri at Hopkins, that explains the Marking Guide in more detail and gives some uses based on a real example.


Using Rubrics

A Rubric is another advanced grading method available in QMplus. A rubric consists of a number of criteria (e.g. writing style, spelling, grammar, references etc.) and each criteria has a set of achievement levels (e.g. excellent – 5 points to poor – 0 points).

For each assignment, the marker will choose an achievement level for each criterion – for example, Excellent Writing Style (5 points) and Spelling (5 points), Good Grammar (3 points), but Poor Referencing (0 points). The score is then calculated by the sum of all criteria.

You can read more about Rubrics from our Using a Rubric guide or on the Moodle Docs

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at Queen Mary University of London.

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