I recently purchased a home that was built in 1963 and have started changing out a few light fixtures. I have come across a wiring method I have never seen before where the ground wires are attached to one another outside of the box. This seems off to me; was this ever standard procedure? I have been able to pull them back into the box, and connect them with the new fixtures ground wires to the grounding screw on the mounting bracket that came with it. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Having the ground wires pulled outside the electrical box like that is one of the biggest kludge jobs I have seen in a long time. This certainly is not the way it is supposed to be done.
You did the correct thing pulling the grounds inside the box. In the box you connect them together and then pigtail that connection the that screw in the back of the box.