Activities vs Resources in a Moodle course (May 7, 2014)

Instructors can "turn editing on" in order to add activities or resources   edit on
With Editing on, instructors can click to "add an activity or resource" At the time this page was created there were 21 possible resources and 8 possible "resources" that could be added to a course. Each one can be added any number of times. For example a course could have many "Assignments" and many "Forums"   add_1

A scrollable drop down menu will appear. The top part of the list consists of "Activities"



- as explained below every resource is a gradable item. It could be graded by the instructor.

However, instructors are not required to enter grades for every activity/gradable item. If an instructor does not enter a grade for an activity/gradable item, it will, with default settings, have no impact on the final course grade calculated for that student by the gradebook..

- Every 'activity" permits a student to interact with that resource so as to leave something in the course that the teacher could grade. For example, and "assignment" permits uploading a file. A "forum" permits the student to post comments in a discussion.

- If a "resource" is added to a course, a gradable item will be automatically added to the course gradebook.

See explanation later in this table about assigning a gradable item to a gradebook "category"


  actiivities 1
The rest of the activities that could be added:   activites 2

The bottom part of the list consists of "Resources"

Resources are things the student can view or listen to, such as an MS Word document, a video, or a web link.

Unlike "activities", resources do NOT allow the student to interact with them and do not allow the student to use them to leave anything in the course that an instructor could view or grade.

If a an instructor creates a resource, such as uploading an MS Word file, that instructs the student to create a gradable item (such as asking them to make a class presentation) and the instructor wants to grade that item in the gradebook, then the instructor will have to create that gradable item in the gradebook.

Creating a gradable item is done completely separately from adding a "resource" to a course.


When a "activity" is added to a course and the instructor plans to enter grades for that activity, it should be assigned to a "Category"

If no appropriate category exists at the time the "activity" is added to the courses, it can still be added. The instructor can then use the gradebook to create the appropriate category and then assign the previously created activity/gradable item to that category

  This is part of the setup process when an activity is added: select
The screen capture at right shows the part of the gradebook where a new categry is created.   create category
Once a category exists, the instructor can drag any gradable item into that category or out of that category   drag

Bottom Line:

  • Activites are gradable items
  • Gradable items can also be created in the gradebook
  • Every gradable item should belong to a category if it will ever be graded.
  • Categories can be created in the gradebook
  • Gradable items can be dragged into categories, or assigned to categories with settings... though finding the setting can be tricky.

Clicking the "edit" gear next to a gradable item in the gadebook will permit some settings to be changed


If the gradable item is associated with an activity in the course, then some settings can only be changed by clicking the "edit" gear next to the activity on the course home page. The gear is only available with Editing turned on.

This can be confusing when you are trying to change a setting.