How do I grade discussion forums?

You can grade in the Discussions tool either:

Important: In order to grade in Discussions, you must have added a gradebook item in the Gradebook or Gradebook Classic for each forum or topic to grade.

Go to Discussions.

Select Discussions from the Tool Menu in your site.

Grade posts by forum or topic.

Select Statistics & Grading.

On the Discussions main page, select the Statistics & Grading tab.

Select Statistics & Grading by Topic.

Select a forum or topic to grade.

Select either a forum title or a topic title to grade that forum or topic.  In the example pictured above, the topic Week 2 - Cartoons... and other funny stuff! is being selected to grade.

Note: The grading process is the same whether you grade at the forum or topic level. However, most faculty prefer to grade by topic, since a forum may contain several different topics and each student may post more than one message in the same topic.

Select a gradebook item if one is not already selected.

If you already selected a gradebook item when creating or editing the forum or topic you are grading, this item will appear by default in the Select a Gradebook item drop-down menu.

If you did not select a gradebook item when creating or editing the forum or topic, choose one from the drop-down menu.

View statistics for the forum or topic.

A list of site participants will display, with the following summary statistics for each user in the current forum or topic:

  1. Participant's name,
  2. Number of posts authored,
  3. Number of posts marked as read,
  4. Number of unread posts,
  5. The percentage of posts the person read.

You may sort the participants by selecting any of the column headings: Name, Authored, Read, Unread, or Percent Read.

Tip: For more information regarding the numbers of read and unread posts shown in these columns, see What makes a forum post count as read?

View posts.

  1. To view someone's posts in the forum or topic, select the author's name.
  2. A pop-up window will open showing the message(s) posted by that author. The Word Count in each post is also shown.
  3. Select the Close Window button at either the top or bottom of the pop-up window to return to the grade entry screen.

Enter points.

Enter points into the boxes in the grade entry column.  The column heading includes the topic's Title, followed by the number of points possible in parentheses (e.g., Week 2 - Cartoons... and other funny stuff! (10.0 points possible)).

Note: Instructors and site administrators will be included in the participant list, but N/A will display in the grading column for them instead of a grade entry box.

Add Comments (Optional).

  1. To add comments, select Show Comments to expand the comment boxes.
  2. Enter your comments into the boxes provided.

Note: Grades and comments will be available to students in the Gradebook or Gradebook Classic, not the Discussions tool.

Apply Grade to all Ungraded.

Apply Grade to all Ungraded.

To apply a single score to all ungraded items:

  1. Enter the score to be applied in the text box above the table listing site participants.
  2. Select Apply Grade to all Ungraded.

Tip: This is a useful option to assign a grade of 0 to all students who did not post or the same grade to everyone who did.

Submit grades.

Submit grades.

After you have entered all of the grades and/or comments, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Submit Grades to save your changes and send the grades to the gradebook.

Grade posts by student.

Select a student while viewing posts.

When you are viewing posts in Discussions either in a topic or a conversation, each student's name is linked to their posting statistics. Select a student's name.

Or, to access a list of all site participants, select Statistics & Grading.

On the Discussions main page, select the Statistics & Grading tab.

Select a student.

A list of site participants will display, with the following summary statistics for each user:

  1. Participant's name,
  2. Number of posts authored,
  3. Number of posts marked as read,
  4. Number of unread posts,
  5. The percentage of posts the person read.

You may sort the participants by selecting any of the column headings: Name, Authored, Read, Unread, or Percent Read.

Select a site participant's name to access posts authored and read by that participant.

Tip: For more information regarding the numbers of read and unread posts shown in these columns, see What makes a forum post count as read?

Next to the Subject of the post you would like to grade, select the Grade link.

Note: When you select the Grade link, the post will be displayed in the grading window that pops up.  You can also select the post's Subject to display the post individually, or the [display in conversation] link to display the post in its thread.

Enter and submit a grade and/or comments.

In the Grade Forum Message window:

  1. If you already selected a gradebook item when creating or editing the forum or topic you are grading, this item will appear by default in the Select a Gradebook item drop-down menu along with boxes to enter a grade and comments.

    If you did not select a gradebook item when creating or editing the forum or topic, choose the gradebook item where grades will be recorded from the drop-down menu.
  2. Enter a grade in the corresponding text box.
  3. If desired, add Comments.
  4. Select Submit Grade.

View confirmation.

The Grade Forum Message window closes and a confirmation message indicating a successful grade submission briefly displays on the screen.