Combating Implicit Bias in Grading

Blind Grading Overview

How to Use it

Grading assignments, papers, quizzes, or exams can become subject to any number of implicit biases such as gender, racial, or class. When approaching the grading process, seemingly innocuous patterns such as a student who always gets an A on assignments, or a student who isn’t very talkative can unknowingly affect us. To help combat the initial gut reaction we could have as we begin grading, Moodle has developed a method of grading in which student names are removed from the grading view for faculty. This method is called Blind Grading.

When blind grading is enabled, teachers will not see the names of students who have submitted their assignments. Student names are replaced with randomly generated Participant numbers. Once assignments have been graded, it is possible for teachers to see who submitted which assignments by clicking “Reveal student identities” in the the drop down menu of the grading form.

Blind Grading is included as an option for grading when setting up the Assignment module.

How to Use it:


To setup an assignment to be graded using blind grading:

  1. Follow the steps to setup an assignment as you normally would.
  2. A suggestion might be check the option to display the description on the course page and state something like the following:

blindmarking (This assignment will be graded using blind grading. Please do NOT include your name in the title of your submitted assignment)




  1. Under the Grade settings, turn on Blind Grading by setting the toggle to Yes.

5. Click Save and Return to Course

Grading Assignments
  1. To grade an assignment with blind grading enabled click on the assignment link, then click on the view/grade all submissions link.

Submissions will look like the following (with student submissions, obviously):

 2You can then grade the assignments as you normally would.

 3. To reveal identities of students after grading, Click on Grading action on the grade form.

 4. Select Reveal Student Identities.

Why can’t students see feedback when Blind Marking is used?

If you use Blind Marking to conceal student identities when assessing in the Assignment module, it waits until all submissions are marked, and Reveal student identities is clicked, to enter final grades into the Gradebook. Only at this point does it release Rubric marks/comments and inline feedback for student view (if Advanced Grading: Rubrics and Inline Comment Feedback are used in the Assignment).

**If students can’t see comments or feedback, check to make sure you’ve revealed student identities to finalize the grading process for Blind Grading.


To setup a quiz to be graded using blind grading, simply setup the quiz as you normally would. Moodle hasn’t developed a quick fix method for blind grading through the interface yet.

However, a unique user role has been created within Moodle for this very purpose. It is the Blind Quiz Grader Role.

Grading Quizzes (used for Essay questions)

To grade a quiz with blind grading enabled, you will first need to switch your role from Teacher to Blind Quiz Grader. This role has all the capabilities the Teacher role has, minus the ability to view student identities while grading a quiz. *Also, grading must be done in Manual grading mode in order to not see student names.

To change your role:

    1. Click on your Name in the upper-right of your Moodle course.
    2. Click Switch role to… and choose Blind Quiz Grader on the next screen.



To grade the quiz:

  1. Click on the quiz
  2. Click the Settings (wheel) icon for quiz settings.
  3. Click on Manual Grading under Results.
  4. Click on the question you wish to grade
  5. You will be taken to this screen to grade the essay. (notice student name is missing)

  1. Return to your normal role when you are finished grading all quiz questions to reveal student names, or simply go to the gradebook.