When configuring settings for an LTI tool, administrators can set "Accept grades from the tool" to "Delegate to teacher". While this does allow teachers to enable or disable grading on individual instances of the tool, the default behavior for new instances is to check the box for "Accept grades from this tool" in the Privacy section of the settings. This creates confusion because grading should be an "opt in" feature of the LTI experience because the LTI experience is not by its nature an assessment - it is an interoperability standard that can facilitate many different types of uses and tools. Moreover, the relevant checkbox is currently hidden behind a section labeled "Privacy", which is not an intuitive word to describe whether something is gradable or not. Finally, if instructors forget to "opt out" of grading, an unexpected column will appear in the grade book, causing additional confusion among students.
The improvement being suggested here is to leave "Accept grades from this tool" unchecked by default for new instances of a tool when "Delegate to teacher" has been set by the administrator.
Steps to reproduce:
- Configure a new LTI tool in Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage tools
- In the Privacy settings, select "Delegate to teacher" for "Accept grades from the tool"
- Begin to add a new instance of the LTI tool to a course
- Open the Privacy settings and deselect "Accept grades from the tool" to avoid having a new column added to the grade book. (two extra clicks)
What I expect to happen:
Upon adding a new instance of an LTI tool, "Accept grades from the tool" is deselected by default. I can add grading to the experience if it's necessary.
Many instances of LTI tools do not require a grading connection to be established in order to be used in Moodle, as grading is something that should be added to an individual LTI experience on a case-by-case basis. VoiceThread is an example of a tool that can be added multiple times to a course but may only rarely use grading. Other LTI products are similar: they can be added multiple times in a course but likely many of those will not need grading. However, when grading has been set "Delegate to teacher" by the administrator, Moodle assumes that grading will always be desired for new instances of an LTI tool. Arguably, this is not a good assumption since LTI is not the same as an Assignment. Therefore, constantly requiring instructors to opt-out of the grading setting means adding extra clicks and, because this particular setting is easily missed by being hidden within the Privacy area, Moodle is creating a situation where forgetting to opt out results in unexpected grade book behavior.
For comparison, both Blackboard and Canvas treat LTI tools as non-graded items unless the instructor specifically enables grading in the tool settings (Blackboard) or adds the tool as the submission mechanism for an Assignment (Canvas).