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Grade Center

The Grade Center tool lets you perform many different functions related to grading. Within the Grade Center, you can add items, manage items, specify your Grade Center settings, set specific grade weights, download grades, and upload grades. You can also designate percent grades to their corresponding letter grades and vice versa. Blackboard automatically grades tests, so you do not have to go through and grade each exam.

For Tips and Tricks on how to use the Grade Center, please visit the tutorial.
Compare list of Blackboard 6 Gradebook vs Blackboard 8 Grade Center.

Grade Center Quick Reference (PDF)

Adding a Grade Column
View Column Information
Modifying the Grade Column
Viewing Column Statistics
Set as External Grade
Setting Letter Grade Values
Viewing Survey/Test Detailed Statistics
Change Grade From Spreadsheet
Change Grade From Grade Details Page
View a Student's Test Results
Viewing Multiple Attempts on a Survey/Test
Grading Multiple Attempts on a Survey/Test
Assign a Grade to an Essay Question
Clearing Survey/Test Attempts
Exempting a Grade
Dropping Grades
Interactive/Non-Interactive Views
Show/Hide Users
Organizing Grade Center
Freezing/Unfreezing Panes

Hiding a Grade Column From Students
Hiding a Grade Column in Grade Center

Showing a Hidden Grade Column in Grade Center
Adding a Smart View
Setting Default Grade Center View

Adding a Grading Period
Adding New Categories
Adding a New Grading Schema
Total / Running Total
Weighted Total / Running Weighted Total
Weighting Grades
Adding an Average Grade Column
Adding a Minimum/Maximum Grade Column
Downloading Grades
Uploading Grades
Sending Email from the Grade Center
Creating Reports
Viewing the Grade History
Downloading the Grade History



Adding a Grade Column

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Add Grade Column icon.
  3. Type in the column's name in the Column Name field.
  4. Type a description of the item in the Description field.
  5. Choose a Primary Display option from the drop-down menu. The default choice is Score. The format chosen is the primary or only (if no Secondary Grade is selected) format displayed for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. It is the only format shown in My Grades.
  6. Choose a Secondary Display from the drop-down menu. This selection displays the secondary format for this Grade Item in the Grade Center only.
  7. Choose a category from the Category drop-down menu.
  8. Type in the amount of points possible for this item in the Points Possible field.
  9. Enter a due date for the Grade Column or choose none.
  10. Choose a display option in the Display As drop-down menu.

    Display Options:

    • Complete / Incomplete – This option signifies that a Student has completed an item. It is the default option for Surveys.
    • Letter - is a grade that equals a specific range of Percentages. For example, 93% to 100% equals an “A” Letter grade. The following Letter grades are built into the Blackboard Learning System. Instructors may modify these on the Modify Grade Display Options page.
      - 93% to 100% = A
      - 90% to 92.9% = A-
      - 87% to 89.9% = B+
      - 83% to 86.9% = B
      - 80% to 82.9% = B-
      - 77% to 79.9% = C+
      - 73% to 76.9% = C
      - 70% to 72.9% = C-
      - 67% to 69.9% = D+
      - 63% to 69.9% = D
      - 60% to 62.9% = D-
      - 59.9% or below = F
    • Percentage – Percentage is calculated by using the following calculation: (Raw Score/Points Possible) *100.
    • Score – Score is the raw score earned by the Student. There is a limit of 6 digits. For example, 100.00 or 123456.
    • Text – Text allows the Instructor to enter any string as the score for a Grade Center item. It does not have any calculable value. Scores that are entered as Text cannot be set to a numerical range. It is not possible to copy this display option, or modify the possible values.
  11. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Include Column in GradeCenter calculations – the column is included in the possible selections of items when creating Calculated Columns, such as Weighted Grades Columns or Total Point Columns.
  • Show this Column in My Grades – Grades will appear in My Grades, View Grades, and the Report Card module when available.
  • Show Statistics (average and mean) for this column in My Grades – Includes statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.

Viewing Column Information

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
  3. Choose the Column Information link.
    screen image of column information link  

    Column information is displayed.
    Screem image of the Column information window

  4. Click on the Close Menu link.

Modifying a Grade Column

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
  3. Choose the Modify Column link.
    Screen image of the Modigy Column button

  4. Change desired areas (description, category, points possible, due date, display).
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Viewing Column Statistics

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
  3. Choose the Column Statistics link.
    screen image of the contextual menu with column statistics highlighted

  4. To view unavailable students in statistics, check the box next to Include unavailable users in statistics.
  5. Click on the Refresh button.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the OK button.

Set as External Grade

The External Grade tool allows Blackboard to be integrated with a university’s grade reporting system with the Blackboard Report Card Module. Cal Poly currently is not using this tool, so the External Grade option does nothing.Only one item (column) in the Grade Center can have the External Grade option. The Total column should be set as the only External Grade column, as noted by the green checkmark next to the column title "Total".

screen image of the green checkmark denoting set as external grade

If you have accidentally set another grade column as an External Grade, simply select Set as External Grade from the Total column's contextual menu to reset it.

screen image of the total column contextual menu, highlighting set as external grade

Settings - Letter Grade Values

From the Control Panel:

NOTE: there is already a LETTER option created in your course. If your not sure which one to choose, please visit the tutorial on this topic.

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grading Schemas.
  4. Click on the Modify button on the right of the Letter Option.
  5. Modify the percent values.
    screen image of the grading shcema in gradecenter

  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Viewing Survey/Test Detailed Statistics

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the survey/test name to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Attempts Statistics.
    screen image of action link menu in Grade Center

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the OK button to return to the Grade Center.

Enter or Change a Grade From the Spreadsheet:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click the Grade Cell on the Grade Center spreadsheet.
  3. Enter a new grade or edit an existing grade and press Enter.
    Note: Another grade can be entered while the grade in the previous cell is being saved.

Change a Grade From the Grade Center Details Page

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grade Details.
  4. Click Override and enter a new grade.

Options:

  • Feedback to User - Comments entered in the Feedback to User textbox appear to Students and Observers when they access the grades.
  • Grading Notes - Instructor notes are available other users such as TAs and Graders who have access to the Grade Center, not to students or observers.

Viewing a Student's Test Results

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grade Details.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the OK button.

Viewing Multiple Attempts on a Survey/Test

Assessments that are added to the content of a Course can be modified to allow students to have multiple attempts to take the assessment. The instructor can allow unlimited attempts or enter the number of allowable attempts under Modify Test > Test Options within the course. To view a tutorial on how to Modify a Test's Options to Allow Multiple Attempts, click here.

If you as the instructor have modified a Survey/Test to Allow Multiple Attempts, you can view each attempt, no matter how you've chosen to grade the assessment (i.e., average attempt grades, use the highest attempt grade, etc., see the tutorial below for more information). To view all of a student's attempts for a particular Survey/Test:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grade Details.
    screen image of the grade cell contextual menu
  4. Scroll down to the Attempts area.
  5. Click on View Attempt in the Actions Column.
    screen image of the grade details page in the attempts area
  6. View, Clear Attempt, Modify Feedback, and reassign points for each question if so desired.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Grading Multiple Attempts on a Survey/Test

Assessments that are added to the content of a Course can be modified to allow students to have multiple attempts to take the assessment. The instructor can allow unlimited attempts or enter the number of allowable attempts under Modify Test > Test Options within the course. To view a tutorial on how to Modify a Test's Options to Allow Multiple Attempts, click here.

Instructors define the way multiple attempts are scored in the Grade Center by modifying the properties of the column that corresponds to that assessment. To utilize the multiple attempts by modifying the properties of a column, follow these steps:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Locate the Grade Column corresponding to the Survey/Test with the Allow Multiple Attempts Option enabled.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
  3. Choose the Modify Column link.
    screen image of the grade column contextual menu
  4. In the Column Information pane, locate Score Attempts Using.
    screen image of the modify column page
  5. Click on the Score Attempts Using drop-down menu to select which Attempt(s) to use for the final score of the Survey/Test.
    screen image of the score attempts using menu
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Score Attempts Using Menu Options:

  • Grade of Last Attempt - This is the default value and shows the score for the latest attempt in the Grade Center View Spreadsheet.
  • Highest Grade - Shows the score for the highest scoring attempt in the Grade Center View Spreadsheet.
  • Lowest Grade - Shows the score for the lowest scoring attempt in the Grade Center View Spreadsheet.
  • Grade of First Attempt - Shows the score for the first attempt in the Grade Center View Spreadsheet.
  • Average of Attempt Grades - Shows the average of all attempts in the Grade Center View Spreadsheet. The average is calculated by dividing the number of attempts into the sum of all attempts. When necessary, the average will be rounded to two (2) decimal places.

Assign a Grade to Essay Questions

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grade Details.
  4. Click on View Attempt in the Attempts pane.
  5. Assign a Grade to each essay questions by typing the number of points earned in the text field to the right of the essay question header.
    screen image of an example essay question
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Clearing Survey/Test Attempts

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grade Details.
  4. Click on Clear Attempt in the Attempts pane.
    Note: This removal of the grade is permanent and can't be recovered.

Exempting a Single grade

This new option allows the instructor to exclude a grade from all calculations by Exempting it.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button in the grade cell to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Exempt Grade.

Dropping Grades Automatically

This option allows the instructor to drop a grade by using a Weighted Column to automatically drop the lowest grade from a particular Category of Grade Columns, such as the lowest grade a student has scored in a series of Weekly Quizzes.

Note: You must assign Grade Columns to a Category in order to drop grades automatically.

From the Control panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Categories.
  4. Click on Add Category in the Action Bar.
    add category button
  5. Type a Name for the category (ex: Weekly Quizzes).
  6. Click on Submit.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click OK.
  8. Assign the new Category (ex: Weekly Quizzes) to New Grade Columns or Preexisting Grade Columns.
    Note: You must assign multiple (at least more than one) Grade Columns to a Category used to drop grades automatically. If only one Grade Column is assigned to a Category used to drop grades automatically, the corresponding Weighted Column will display a null value.
    1. To assign the new Category (ex: Weekly Quizzes) to a New Grade Column choose it from the Category drop-down menu on the Add Grade Column page.
      screen image of the category drop down menu in the add new grade column window
    2. To assign the new Category (ex: Weekly Quizzes) to a Preexisting Grade Column click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
    3. Click on the Modify Column link.
      screen image of the contextual menu of a grade column
    4. Choose the Category from the Category drop-down menu on the Modify Grade Column page.
      screen image of the category drop down menu in the add new grade column window
    5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
  9. Roll the cursor over the Add Calculated Column button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  10. Click on the Weighted link.
  11. Enter a Column Name and other information into the appropriate fields.
  12. In the Select Columns pane, select the category you created under the Categories to Select box (ex: Weekly Quizzes).
    screen image of the select categories window in grade center
  13. After selecting and highlighting a category, click on the arrow  arrow button  to include it in the weighted grade.
  14. Set the Percentage of the total for each column or category.
  15. Select the radio button next to Equally for Weight Columns.
    Note: Choosing Equally applies equal value to all Columns within a Category. Choosing Proportionally applies the appropriate value to a Grade Item based on its points compared to other columns in the Category. For most purposes you'll want to use Equally.
  16. Enter a 1 in the Drop Lowest Grades text field to drop the lowest grade in the category.
    screen image of the selected columns window
  17. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Interactive/Non-Interactive Views

In order to make the Grade Center accessible to as many people as possible, the Grade Center has two different modes, Interactive and Non-interactive. The Interactive view is the default setting. Non-interactive view displays the Grade Center data in a simplified grid. There is no inline editing and no ability to freeze columns, making it easier to navigate by keystroke and to accommodate screen readers. Interactive view allows columns to be frozen, and has inline editing capabilities.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Switch to Non Interactive View button in the far right corner of the View Bar to switch to the Non Interactive View (The Interactive view is Grade Centers default).
    non interactive view button
  3. Click on the Switch to Interactive View button in the far right corner of the View Bar to switch to the Interactive View.
    interactive view button


Showing and Hiding Users

To Hide Users:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Show/Hide Users.
  4. Place a Checkmark next to the users to be hidden.
  5. Click on the Hide Users button in the Action bar. Users that are hidden will appear grayed out on the Users page and will not appear in the Grade Center View.
    Hide users button

  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

To Show Hidden Users:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Show/Hide Users.
  4. Place a Checkmark next to the users to be shown (users that are hidden will appear grayed out on the Users page).
  5. Click on the Show Users button in the Action bar.
    Show users button

  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Organizing Grade Center

Columns which are Shown in all Grade Center Views will be visible in the Grade Center at all times. If no Grading Periods have been created all other columns will be Shown in Selected Views Only and are only visible in the Full Grade Center View and all appropriate Smart Views. If Grading Periods have been created columns which are not associated with a specific Grading Period will be identified as Not in a Grading Period. Reorder columns by dragging them to the desired location. If Grading Periods have been created, reorder them using the contextual menu. Add or modify Grading Periods on the Manage Grading Periods page. Other bulk actions can be performed using the action bar options.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Organize Grade Center link.
  4. Hold down the mouse button while pointing to one of the gray boxes to the left of a grade item, and drag the item to a new position in the list.
    screen image of change order box in Grade Center

  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Freezing and Unfreezing Panes

Grade Center columns can be frozen in place so they do not move while scrolling through the other data. The columns containing students’ first and last names are frozen by default. Frozen columns remain in position on the left side of the Grade Center while the rest of the columns can be scrolled through. This feature can be used for example to easily match up individual students with their data across the length of the Grade Center. Instructors can freeze and unfreeze any of the columns on the Organize Grade Center page.

From Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Organize Grade Center link.
  4. To Freeze a Column:
  5. Drag the dark gray bar down below the desired row.
  6. Drag a row above the dark gray bar.
  7. To Unfreeze columns:
  8. Drag the dark gray bar above the desired row.
  9. Drag a row below the dark gray bar.
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Hiding a Grade Column From Students

Faculty may wish to have certain Grade Center Columns hidden from students in "My Grades". The following procedure does not hide the Grade Column from the instructor in Grade Center, only from students.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button next to the column name.
  3. Choose the Modify Column link.
  4. Scroll down to Header 3, Options.
  5. Select the No radio button next to Show this Column in My Grades.
    screen image of the options window in modify grade column window
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Hiding a Grade Column in Grade Center

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Organize Grade Center link.
  4. Locate the Grade Center Column you want to display.
  5. Select the Grade Center Column by selecting the check box next to the item, a check mark will appear in the box.
  6. Roll the cursor over the Show/Hide button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  7. Select Hide Selected Columns.
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
    Note: Hiding a Grade Column into this way is strictly for instructor viewing purposes only, it does not hide the Grade Column from students. To hide/show a grade column to students in My Grades refer to the Hiding a Grade Column From Students tutorial.

Showing a Hidden Grade Column in Grade Center

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Organize Grade Center link.
  4. Locate the Grade Center Column you want to display. Hidden Grade Center items are grayed out and have (Hidden) written next to the title.
  5. Select the Grade Center Column by selecting the check box next to the item, a check mark will appear in the box.
  6. Roll the cursor over the Show/Hide button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  7. Select Show Selected Columns or Show Selected Columns in All Grade Center Views.
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
    Note: To hide/show a grade column to students in My Grades refer to the Hiding a Grade Column From Students tutorial.

Adding a Smart View

Smart Views are views of the Grade Center based on a variety of student criteria. This enables Instructors to create certain views of the Grade Center—based on performance criteria for gradable items such as Assessments or Assignments—that quickly track Students. Once built and saved, Smart Views become a selectable list item on the Current View drop-down menu of the Grade Center page, enabling easy navigation from one view to another. Any Smart View can be saved as the default view of the Grade Center. The current default view can be changed at any time.

From the Control panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Smart Views link.
  4. Click on the Add Smart View button in the Action Bar.
    add smart view button
  5. Enter a Name for the Smart View.
  6. Enter a Description of the Smart View.
  7. Select the Type of View by selecting the corresponding radio button.
  8. Select Criteria for the Smart View.
  9. Select the Filter Results by picking which Columns to Display in Results from the drop down menu.
  10. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Type of View Options:

  • Group - allows the instructors to select a Group, which was created in the course Groups are subsections created in the User Management Area of the Control Panel. They are a collection of students selected by the Instructor.
  • Benchmark - allows the Instructor to select Students based on performance
  • Focus - allows the Instructor to select individual Students
  • Investigate - allows the Instructor to select from a full list of Student attributes; this is a combination of the options of the other three Smart Views.

Setting the Default Grade Center View:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Move the cursor over the Current View Action Link menu, and select the desired Smart View.
  3. Click on the Set as Default button to the right of the Smart View name in the View bar.

Adding a Grading Period

Grading Periods are user created segments that can help manage the Grade Center. Grading Periods, for example, can be defined as Terms, Semesters, Quarters, Years, and so on, and can have date ranges that further define them. Grading Periods are not created by default. If desired, they must be defined by Instructors. To add a Grading Period:

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Grading Periods.
  4. Click on Add Grading Period in the Action bar.
    add grading period button

  5. Type a Name for the Grading Period
  6. Select Grading Period Dates Range.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Associate Columns - If a date range has been specified, checking Associate Columns will associate all Grade Columns and Calculated Columns that were previously created with Due Dates to the corresponding Grading Period.

 

Adding a New Grade Center Category

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select Categories.
  4. Click on Add Category in the Action Bar.
    add category button

  5. Type a Name for the category (ex: Weekly Quizzes).
  6. Click on Submit.
Adding a New Grading Schema

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Grading Schemas link.
  4. Click on Add Grading Schema in the Action Bar.
    grading schema button

  5. Type the name of the new display option in the Name field.
  6. Type in the desired numbers and letters in the appropriate Add Symbols and Values fields.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Total / Running Total

Total displays the students total points even if all the items are not completed. Although the Running Total will allow you to see the students current grade (not all items completed), the student will only see the total in the My Grade view.

Depending on the options chosen, the Running Total or Total grade percentage will be displayed.

Note: It Grade Center is modified to calculate a running total or running weighted total, do not leave a null value for a graded item that received 0 points or was not completed. Grade Center will simply exempt the null value rather than including the 0 points in the calculated running total or running weighted total.

screen image of a null cell and a cell with 0 points

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button button on the Total column to open the contextual menu.
    screen image of the total column in grade center

  3. Select Modify Column.
  4. In the Select Columns pane choose to Calculate as Running Total Yes or No.
    Note: Recommended to choose NO. Choosing Yes (with Null Values) will cause an incorrect final letter grade tabulation for students. Choosing No, will not allow student to see (without manual calculations) their current grade during the quarter.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Weighted Total / Running Weighted Total

The Weighted Total can display the students final grade percentage or letter grade. Although the Running Weighted Total will allow you to see the students current grade (not all items completed), the student will only see the total in the My Grade view.

Note: It Grade Center is modified to calculate a running total or running weighted total, do not leave a null value for a graded item that received 0 points or was not completed. Grade Center will simply exempt the null value rather than including the 0 points in the calculated running total or running weighted total.

screen image of a null cell and a cell with 0 points

Depending on the options chosen, the Running Weighted Total or Weighted Total grade percentage will be displayed.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Action Link action link button button on the Weighted Total column to open the contextual menu.
    screen imge of the weighted total column

  3. Select Modify Column.
  4. In the Select Columns pane choose to Calculate as Running Total Yes or No.
    Note: Recommended to choose NO. Choosing Yes (with Null Values) will cause an incorrect final letter grade tabulation for students. Choosing No, will not allow student to see (without manual calculations) their current grade during the quarter.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Weighting Grades

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Add Calculated Column button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Weighted link.
  4. Enter a Column Name. This is a formal name for the column, and is displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered.
  5. Enter a GradeCenter Display Name. This appears as the column header in the Grade Center. The Grade Center is the only area where this name is used.
  6. Enter a Description.
  7. Select a Primary Display option from the drop-down menu. The default choice is Score. The format chosen is the primary or only (if no Secondary Grade is selected) format displayed for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The selections are based on the Grading Schema, and there are default selections.
  8. Select a Secondary Display from the drop-down menu. This selection displays the secondary format for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses. The options, including the default or the options created by Grading Schema, are the same as the primary display choices.
  9. Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu. This will designate to what Grading Period the column is associated.
    Note: Grading Period and the drop-down menu will not display unless Grading Periods have previously been created.
  10. Select the items to be included in the Weighted Grade Column, and enter the percentages for each column or Category to be included in the Weighted Grade.
    1. Columns to Select – A list of all columns in the Grade Center. Select the Column and click the arrow arrow button to add it to the Weighted Grade column.
    2. Categories to Select – A list of all Categories in the Grade Center. Select the category and click the arrow arrow button to add it to the Weighted Grade column.
      screen image of the select items pane in grade center

  11. After all columns and Categories have been selected, enter the Percentage for each selection. When a Category has been selected, several other options appear:
    1. Select a Grading Period for the Category using the drop-down menu. This will only appear if a Grading Period has been created. Only columns within the selected Grading Period will be included in the Weighted Grade.
    2. Select how to weigh columns within the Category Equally or Proportionally. Choosing Equally applies equal value to all Columns within a Category. Choosing Proportionally applies the appropriate value to a Grade Item based on its points compared to other columns in the Category.
    3. Decide whether to Drop high or low grades within the Category or use the lowest or highest value in the category.
      screen image of weight options in grade center

  12. Calculate as a running total – Select Yes to calculate the weight as a running total to include only the Columns that have been graded. Select No to include all items.
  13. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Include Column in GradeCenter calculations – the column is included in the possible selections of items when creating Calculated Columns, such as Weighted Grades Columns or Total Point Columns.
  • Show this Column in My Grades – Grades will appear in My Grades, View Grades, and the Report Card module when available.
  • Show Statistics (average and mean) for this column in My Grades – Includes statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.

Adding an Average Grade Column

An Average Grade column displays the average for any number of quantities including all grade columns, grade columns in grading period, and selected gradable columns and categories. For example, an Instructor can display the average for all Tests, or display the average grade for each Student for a grading period. Any Categories that contain items that are set to No for the Include in Grade Center calculations setting will ignore those items when figuring the Average Grade. Any Columns with Text as the primary display cannot be averaged.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Add Calculated Column button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Average link.
  4. Enter a Column Name. This is a formal name for the column, and is displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered.
  5. Enter a GradeCenter Display Name. This appears as the column header in the Grade Center. The Grade Center is the only area where this name is used.
  6. Enter a Description.
  7. Select a Primary Display option from the drop-down menu. The default choice is Score. The format chosen is the primary or only (if no Secondary Grade is selected) format displayed for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The selections are based on the Grading Schema, and there are default selections.
  8. Select a Secondary Display from the drop-down menu. This selection displays the secondary format for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses. The options, including the default or the options created by Grading Schema, are the same as the primary display choices.
  9. Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu. This will designate to what Grading Period the column is associated.
    Note: Grading Period and the drop-down menu will not display unless Grading Periods have previously been created.
  10. Select the columns to be included in the Average Grade column. Possible selections include:
    1. All Gradable Columns
    2. All Gradable Columns in a Grading Period - Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu; this will only display if a Grading Period has been created.
    3. Columns to Select – A list of all Columns in the Grade Center. Select the Column and click the arrow to add it to the Average Grade column.
    4. Categories to Select – A list of all Categories in the Grade Center. Select the category and click the arrow to add it to the Average Grade column.
      screen image of the selected columns pane
  11. If you did not add a Category, move on to step 12. If a Category has been selected, several other options appear:
    1. Select a Grading Period for the Category using the drop-down menu. This will only appear if a Grading Period has been created. Only columns within the selected Grading Period will be included in the Weighted Grade.
    2. Select how to weight columns within the Category Equally or Proportionally. Choosing Equally applies equal value to all Columns within a Category. Choosing Proportionally applies the appropriate value to a Grade Item based on its points compared to other columns in the Category.
    3. Decide whether to Drop high or low grades within the Category or use the lowest or highest value in the category.
      screen image of the column/category options pane
  12. Calculate as a running total – Select Yes to calculate the weight as a running total to include only the Columns that have been graded. Select No to include all items.
  13. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Include Column in GradeCenter calculations – the column is included in the possible selections of items when creating Calculated Columns, such as Weighted Grades Columns or Total Point Columns.
  • Show this Column in My Grades – Grades will appear in My Grades, View Grades, and the Report Card module when available.
  • Show Statistics (average and mean) for this column in My Grades – Includes statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.

Adding a Minimum/Maximum Grade Column

A Minimum or Maximum Grade column displays either the minimum or maximum grade for a selection of Columns including all grade columns, grade columns in grading period, and selected gradable columns and categories.This column can be displayed to the Students or just the Instructor. For example, an Instructor can display the average for all Tests, or display the average grade for each Student for a grading period. A column that is set to No for the Include in Grade Center Score Calculations setting will not display in the selection list. Any Columns with text as the primary display cannot be displayed as the Minimum or Maximum.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Add Calculated Column button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Average link.
  4. Enter a Column Name. This is a formal name for the column, and is displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered.
  5. Enter a GradeCenter Display Name. This appears as the column header in the Grade Center. The Grade Center is the only area where this name is used.
  6. Enter a Description.
  7. Select a Primary Display option from the drop-down menu. The default choice is Score. The format chosen is the primary or only (if no Secondary Grade is selected) format displayed for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The selections are based on the Grading Schema, and there are default selections.
  8. Select a Secondary Display from the drop-down menu. This selection displays the secondary format for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses. The options, including the default or the options created by Grading Schema, are the same as the primary display choices.
  9. Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu. This will designate to what Grading Period the column is associated.
    Note: Grading Period and the drop-down menu will not display unless Grading Periods have previously been created.
  10. Select the Calculation Type Minimum or Maximum.
  11. Select the columns to be included in the Minimum/Maximum Grade column. Possible selections include:
    1. All Gradable Columns
    2. All Gradable Columns in a Grading Period - Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu; this will only display if a Grading Period has been created.
    3. Columns to Select – A list of all Columns in the Grade Center. Select the Column and click the arrow to add it to the Minimum/Maximum Grade column.
    4. Categories to Select – A list of all Categories in the Grade Center. Select the category and click the arrow to add it to the Minimum/Maximum Grade column.
      screen image of the minimum/maximum slected columns/categories pane
  12. If a Grading Period has been created, a selected Category will display a drop-down menu allowing you to choose All Grading Periods or select One Grading Period to be included in the Minimum/Maximum calculation.
    screen imag of the options for a selected category in the minmax pane
  13. Calculate as a running total – Select Yes to calculate the weight as a running total to include only the Columns that have been graded. Select No to include all items.
  14. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Include Column in GradeCenter calculations – the column is included in the possible selections of items when creating Calculated Columns, such as Weighted Grades Columns or Total Point Columns.
  • Show this Column in My Grades – Grades will appear in My Grades, View Grades, and the Report Card module when available.
  • Show Statistics (average and mean) for this column in My Grades – Includes statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.

Download Grades

The Blackboard Grade Center file can be downloaded to your computer as a backup file or for adding grades in Excel. If you wish to use Excel to modify the Blackboard Grade Center, you MUST download the Bb Grade Center file first, do not change anything in the Excel file except the grades for one item, then Upload the file back into the Bb Grade Center with the instructions below.

Note: The exported .csv file cannot not be changed (new columns, complex equations) or it will not upload back into Blackboard. Also only one column at a time can be uploaded.

Note: The Total and Weighted Total columns are included in a Grade Center download. However, these columns will not be included in a Grade Center Upload, because they are generated by calculations within the Grade Center. The Instructor cannot manipulate the data for these areas.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Download link.
  4. Using the radio buttons, select the Data package to download.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.
  6. Read the instructions on the Download Grades screen.
  7. Click on the Download button to save the file on your computer.

    If you are unable to download a file (link) by clicking on it...Depending on the browser (IE, Safari, or Firefox) computer (Mac or PC), and mouse you can download it by:
    • Right-Click on the link: Download to Disk.
    • Right-Click on the link: Save Link Target As.
    • Right-Click on the link: Save Link As.
    • Option/ Alt, Left-Click : Save Link As.
    • Control, Left-Click: Download Link to Disk.
    • Control, Left-Click: Save Link As.
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the OK button.

Data Package Download Options:

  • Full Grade Center - Contains all columns and associated data
  • Selected Column - Using the drop-down menu, select one column and its data. Check the box to include comments for the column. Select to Include comments for this Column if desired.
  • Student Information Only - Only columns containing student data such as User Name are included.
  • Selected Grading Period - From the drop-down menu, select a Grading Period. Grading Periods must be created before they can be chosen.
  • Download by Smart View - This is only an option if the Instructor is viewing a Smart View.

Options:

  • Include Hidden Information - Enable this option to include Hidden information which includes columns and students that have been hidden from the view being downloaded.
  • Delimiter type - Comma provides a .csv file, while Tab provides a .xls file.
    Note: If the downloaded .csv file will not open in Excel, try the .xls file.
Upload Grades

If you used Excel to modify the Blackboard Grade Center, you MUST download the Bb Grade Center file first, do not change anything in the Excel file except the grades for one item, then Upload the file back into the Bb Grade Center with the instructions below. Blackboard will most likely not except an Excel file uploaded into it's Grade Center.

Note: The exported .csv file cannot not be changed (new columns, complex equations) or it will not upload back into Blackboard. Multiple grade items can be modified at one time.

Note: The Total and Weighted Total columns are included in a Grade Center download. However, these columns will not be included in a Grade Center Upload, because they are generated by calculations within the Grade Center. The Instructor cannot manipulate the data for these areas.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Manage button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Click on the Download link.
  4. Click on the Browse button to find the Grade Center to upload.
  5. Select the Delimiter type of the Grade Center being uploaded.
    Note: Selecting Auto will attempt to detect the Delimiter Type but does not work well and is not recommended for use. Instead, always use the Comma / Tab Delimiter Type.
    screen image of the upload grade center screen

  6. Place a checkmark in the Upload column next to the Grade Center column you want to upload. Grade Center displays a match checkmark and column name for the Grade Center column being uploaded to one that exists all ready in Grade Center. If no difference is detected in the new column, Grade Center displays a message and you will not be able to checkmark the column to upload it.
  7. Review the Data Preview Column to ensure the correct data is being uploaded. Data that appears incorrect can denote an improperly formatted file. The Data Preview will only show a sample of the data in each column in the file.
    screen image of grade center upload confirmation page

  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Sending Email from the Grade Center

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Roll the cursor over the Email button in the Action Bar to open the contextual menu.
  3. Select the Type of recipients, Selected Students, Selected Students and their Observers,Observers for Selected Students, or Other.
  4. Enter text in the Subject and Message fields on the Send Mail page.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Set Message Options:

  • Return Receipt - Checking this will ensure the sender receives an e-mail with the message, " This message was sent to the following recipients: xxx".

Add Attachments:

  • Attach a file– Use this option if you want to send a file with the email.

Creating Reports

Instructors can create printable Reports for their Courses and Students. For example an Instructor can create a Report, like a progress report, that contains all of the grades from a particular marking period for a defined group of Students in a class, such as special-needs students or transfer students. This Report can then be printed, and handed out to each Student. Reports can display all or a number of Students, Groups; and Grade Columns or Calculated Columns, a Grading Period, or all of the columns in a Category. Reports can also include a signature line, date, Course Information, and so on.

Note: Reports print one Student per page.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Reports button in the Action Bar.
    reports button

  3. Enter a Name for the report.
  4. Place a Checkmark next to the Header Information you want to include in the report, and type Information into the appropriate text fields.
  5. Select the Users to be included in the report.
  6. Place a Checkmark next to the User Information you want to include in the report.
  7. Select the Grade Column or Calculated Column to be included in the Report.
  8. Place a Checkmark next to the Column Information to be included in the Report. This is the information that is associated with a particular Grade Column or Calculated Column. This information was created during the creation of a column. The Column Name and current grade will display automatically in the Report, and these cannot be removed.
  9. Place a Checkmark next to the the Footer Information to be included in the footer of the report.
  10. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Preview button to open the Report in a new browser window, leaving the Report creation browser open as well.
  11. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button. This will display the report in a new browser window, but the Report creation browser will return to the Grade Center page.
  12. Print the report using the browser window’s print function.

User Options:

  • All Students - This will include all students in the Course on the Report.
  • All Students in Group - Select a Group to be included in the report. A Group must be created before it can be chosen when creating a Report.
  • Selected Students - Select one or more students in the course. To choose more than one students, press and hold Ctrl + click the names.

Column Options:

  • All Grade Center Columns - Select to include all of the Grade Center columns in the Report.
  • All Columns in Grading Period - Select to display all of the columns of a particular Grading Period in the Report.
  • All Columns in Category - Select to display all of the columns of a particular Category. Select a Category to display the Category’s columns.
  • Selected Columns - Select the desired columns to be displayed in the Report.
  • Include hidden Columns in Report - This displays any column that was hidden from the Grade Center view.

Viewing the Grade History

The Grade History page in the Grade Center acts like a log file that records all of the changes that occur to grades within a Course. The Grade History page displays all the data for grade submissions within a set date range.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Grade History button in the Action Bar.
    grade history button

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the data parameter from the drop-down menu Display Entries from Past.
  4. Click on the Go button.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Download the Grade History

From the Control Panel:

  1. Click on the Grade Center link in the Assessment section.
  2. Click on the Grade History button in the Action Bar.
    grade history button

  3. Click on the Download button in the Action Bar.
    download grade history button

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Submit button.

Options:

  • Delimiter type - Comma provides a .csv file, while Tab provides a .xls file.
    Note: If the downloaded .csv file will not open in Excel, try the .xls file.
  • Include Comments - Select Yes to include any comments in the download file.

More Information

Q: Can I sort my Grade Center items?
A: Yes, use the Sort Columns menu to sort your Grade Center by lay out position, category, due date, creation date, points possible and display name.

Q: How can I quickly add all my Midterm One grades for my 50 students?
A: There are two ways to quickly add grades. 1) you can click on a grade cell and tab through and enter the grades. 2) you can download the Grade Center, modify in Excel and upload it back into Blackboard.

Q: What happens if I click on the Action Link in a grade cell?
A: Clicking on the action link in a grade cell presents you with the contextual menu options for that grade cell item.

Q: How do I upload an Excel file of my grades to the Grade Center?
A: Blackboard needs a special format for the Grade Center to function. The easiest way to import your Grade Center into Blackboard is to create a Grade Center in Blackboard with all of your items. This Grade Center should not contain any student specific grades, just the items. Use the Download Grades tool to save the empty Grade Center as a .csv file on your computer that both Excel and Blackboard recognizes. You can then open the file in Excel and enter your grades for each student. Finally, use the Upload Grades tool to import the grades back to Blackboard.
Note: The exported .csv file cannot not be changed (new columns, complex equations) or it will not re-upload back into Blackboard. Also only one column at a time can be added re-uploaded.