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How do I manage marking and the release of grades using ‘Marking workflow’ in a Moodle Assignment?

Marking workflow is a feature of the assignment activity that comes with Moodle natively. With marking workflow, marks and grades go through a series of workflow stages before being released to students.


The Turnitin assignment activity doesn’t support marking workflow.

The benefits of using ‘Marking workflow’

The article How do I make sure feedback and marks are hidden from students? explains how to ensure that grades are hidden from students until you choose to release them and this is essentially done by hiding the activity from your students.

The benefits of using Marking workflow:

  • There is no need to hide the activity, meaning that a dropbox doesn’t just disappear from the student’s view of the course;
  • You could begin marking work submitted by students whilst other students are still submitting to the dropbox (knowing that you won’t be revealing any grades/feedback until you specifically choose to do so);
  • You have more granular control over making grades/feedback available to students;
  • When multiple markers are involved, updating the status is a good way to communicating within the marking team what the current status is with the each of the submissions;
  • If the workflow state is kept up-to-date, it can be useful to filter the submissions table on a particular marking workflow state to just show the list of submissions that are, say, Not marked or In review.

The different workflow states

With Marking workflow, there are six different states:

  • Not marked (default)
  • In marking
  • Marking completed
  • In review
  • Ready for release
  • Released

If the Assignment activity is still accessible to students (i.e. not hidden), students will not see their grade/feedback (unless the workflow status is set to Released) but *will* see the workflow state to which their their work is currently set.

Regardless of whether marking has been completed, if the ‘Marking workflow state’ has not been updated then it will be set to Not marked; this could potentially lead to a little confusion so – whilst not essential – it may be useful to update this as you progress through the marking process.


Updating the ‘Marking workflow state’ of a student’s assignment submission to Released will make the grade and feedback visible to that student.

Enabling marking workflow

When setting up a Moodle assignment activity, we recommend that you set ‘Marking workflow’ to Yes. This will give you full control over when grades are released to students as well as helping you to keep track of the marking status for each submission, particularly if more than one person is marking submissions.

Screenshot of the Moodle Assignment settings page. 'Marking workflow' is highlighted.
Figure 1. Enabling marking workflow in the assignment settings.

Updating the marking workflow state

There are two places where you can update the marking workflow state for one or multiple submissions:

From the grading page for an individual submission

You might like to change the grading status as you mark each submission. In the individual grading screen, directly beneath where the Grade is entered, the Marking workflow state can be selected from a drop-down list:

Moodle screenshot of the grading page for an individual assignment. The Marking workflow state field is highlighted.
Figure 2. Updating the marking workflow for an individual submission.

Once you’ve selected the appropriate new ‘Marking workflow state’ from the drop-down list, click on Save changes or Save and show next to confirm the change.

From the ‘View all submissions’ page

Method 1: Using quick grading

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the ‘View all submissions’ page, and within the ‘Options’ settings section, ensure that ‘Quick grading’ is ticked:
Moodle screenshot of the 'Quick grading' setting within the 'View all submissions' page of a Moodle Assignment activity.
Figure 3. Enabling ‘quick grading’ from the submissions list.
  1. Once selected, the page will reload and return to the top of the table. As well as being able to directly enter grades against submissions, you are also able to quickly set (A, below) the ‘Marking workflow state’ against each submission.
Moodle screenshot showing how the Workflow state can be updated using 'Quick grading'
Figure 4. Changing the workflow state in the submissions list.
  1. Once you’ve updated the grades/marking workflow states, click on Save all quick grading changes (B, above) to confirm the changes you’ve made.

Method 2: Using bulk actions

  1. Within the submissions table, select individual submissions for which you wish to set the ‘Marking workflow state’ by ticking the checkbox to the left of the submission (A, below) or tick the checkbox beneath ‘Select’ (B, below) to select all submissions in the table.
Moodle screenshot showing how to select multiple submissions as part of the process to bulk update the marking workflow state.
Figure 5. Setting marking workflow in bulk.
  1. From the ‘With selected…’ drop-down list, select Set marking workflow state (C, above)
  2. Click on Go (D, above)
  3. Click on OK in the pop-up message to confirm this action:
Moodle screenshot showing a message to confirm the selection of the submissions.
Figure 6. Confirming that you want to change the workflow.
  1. On the next page, scroll to the bottom of the page and from the ‘Marking workflow state’ drop-down list (A, below), select the appropriate workflow state. If you wish to notify students, select Yes from the ‘Notify students’ drop-down list (B, below) and finally click on Save changes (C, below) to confirm.
Moodle screenshot showing how to bulk update the Marking workflow state for selected submissions.
Figure 5. Changing the workflow state and notifying students.

The configuration displayed in the above screenshot will enable the selected students to view their grades and feedback and will send out a notification to inform them of this.

Updated on May 12, 2021

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