Criterion referenced assessments allow you to identify that a student has achieved the learning outcomes for an assessment task and how well. The level or standard of how well students achieve the learning outcomes is pre-set according to defined criteria.

The criteria can be set out in a marking guide which not only communicates standards but provides vital feedback to students regarding their performance if adequate comments are provided.

This LEO guide focuses on the technical aspects of setting up a marking guide in LEO Assignment, and does not cover how to create a pedagogically valuable marking guide.

Rubric vs marking guide

Depending your preference, another option is to use a rubric.



Marking guide

Format Matrix
rubricicon final 
marking guide icon final 

Standards based grading



Scale - standards of different levels of achievement within a criteria are specified




Can give preset marks according to level

Can give a mark up to a specified maximum

Ability to provide advice for markers per criterion



Ability to create bank of ‘Frequently used comments’



Enabling a marking guide

There are two ways to add your marking guide to Assignment:

  • Method 1 – adding a marking guide when you set up an Assignment
  • Method 2 – adding a marking guide to an existing Assignment

  1. Begin by How to set up an Assignment, filling out the necessary fields.
  2. Expand the Grade field, and under ‘Grading method’ select ‘Marking guide
    Marking guide selected from Grading methods drop down box
  3. Note - It is worth noting that under Grade: Maximum grade, whatever number you have in your marking guide, that the total the student receives will be recalculated to be a proportion of that maximum grade.

  4. Click on ‘Save and Display’ this will open an Advanced Grading page
    save and display button highlighted
  5. There are now two options:
    • Define a new grading form from scratch – this is where you create a new marking guide
    • Create a new grading form from a template – this is where you can use a pre-existing marking guide to save time
    step 2 -options
  6. For this example, we’ll create a new marking guide from scratch. Selecting this option opens the Marking Guide Creation Page.Marking Guide creation page
  7. You are ready to create your marking guide. See the Creating a Marking Guide tab.
  1. Click on an existing assignment link that you have created, this will make the Assignment administration block available.
  2. From the Assignment administration block, select Advancing grading.Selecting Advanced grading from Assignment administration block
  3. This will open a page that allows you to change your Advanced grading option to marking guide, this will then open an Advanced Grading page.
    Marking guide selected in the 'Change active grading method' drop down menu
  4. Follow step 4-6 of of Method 1.
  1. Now you have the Marking Guide Creation Page open you can create your marking guide. Give your marking guide a title – if you are going to use this marking guide again or in another unit, give a title that will be easy to find.
  2. marking guide criterion

    Enter your criteria, description for students and available marks. You also have the option of adding additional advice for markers.

    There are various buttons that allow you to delete (cross symbol), move (arrow symbol) or add a new criterion (addition symbol).

    step5 buttons
  3. A benefit of the marking guide is it allows you to create a comment bank. comments option
  4. Finally the ‘marking guide options’  allow you to hide/show the criterion definitions and marks available.
  5. You then have the option to save your marking guide as a draft or make it ready.

Resources about Moodle Assignment and marking guide:

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