Adding Columns to Grade Center

By default, a course shell in Blackboard is automatically populated with the student data as well as a Weighted Total and Total column. Additional columns are added to the Grade Center when tools such as the Assignment Tool and Tests/Surveys are used. For those items for which columns are not automatically added to the Grade Center, it is possible for an Instructor to add columns manually. The following tutorials outline those column types.

Adding a Grade Column

Instructors accepting assignments outside of Blackboard but who still wish to use the Grade Center can manually create grade columns within the Grade Center into which grades can be entered. The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a grade column.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To add a Column to the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Create Column.
  3. In Option 1 Column Information:
    Image illustrating Step 3 Option 1 Column Information when adding a column to the Grade Center
    1. Add a Column Name. (required) – This name will appear within My Grades and the Grade Center unless a Grade Center Display Name is added.
    2. Add a Grade Center Display Name (optional) - This name will only appear in the Grade Center as the column name.
    3. Provide a brief Description of the item. (optional)
      Note: Description text entered here will be visible to students in My Grades.
    4. Select a Primary Display option. (required) – It is important to note that “Grades must be entered based on this selection and will display in this format in the Grade Center and My Grades.”
      Options include:
      • Score (default)
      • Letter - reflects the Dartmouth College grading schema unless modified by the Instructor
      • Text
      • Percentage
      • Complete/Incomplete
    5. Add a Secondary Display option. (optional)
      Note: The Secondary Display appears next to the Primary Display in the Grade Center and is only visible to the Instructor.
    6. Select a Category.
      Note: Applying categories will allow the instructor to leverage the power of the Grade Center, particularly when creating Calculated Columns. If the default categories do not suffice, refer to the tutorials for Creating Categories and Modifying a Column in the Grade Center.
    7. Enter Points Possible. (required)
  4. In Option 2 Dates, enter a Due Date.
    Note: Setting Due Dates within Blackboard provides visual cues for both the Instructor and Students. Assignments that have come past due or are submitted after the due date are identified as Late in the To Do module for students and the Needs Attention and Alerts modules for Instructors.  Due Dates also appear in My Grades for Students and can be used by Instructors to generate various Reports, make grading decisions, etc.
    (See Course HomePage and Notifications tutorials for additional information.)
  5. In Option 3 Options:
    1. Select Yes or No to include the column in the Grade Center Calculations.
    2. Select Yes or No to show the column to the students in My Grades.
    3. Select Yes or No to show statistics for the column to the students in My Grades.
  6. Click [Submit] to finish creating the column.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Adding an Average Column

Instructors using averages as part of the course grade can now create columns within the Grade Center to accomplish this task. It is possible to create an Average Column for Assignments, Discussion Boards, or any column/category combinations as appropriate.  The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a total column.

Quick Start Instructions

To add an Average Column to the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Create Calculated Column.
  3. From the resulting Action Link menu, select Average Column.
  4. In Option 1 Column Information:
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Column Information for adding an average column
    1. Add a Column Name. (required) – This name will appear within My Grades and the Grade Center unless a Grade Center Display Name is added.
    2. Add a Grade Center Display Name (optional) - This name will only appear in the Grade Center as the column name.
    3. Provide a brief Description of the item. (optional)
      Note: Description text entered here will be visible to students in My Grades.
    4. Select a Primary Display option. (required) – It is important to note that “Grades must be entered based on this selection and will display in this format in the Grade Center and My Grades.”
      Options include:
      • Score (default)
      • Letter - reflects the Dartmouth College grading Schema unless modified by the Instructor
      • Text
      • Percentage
      • Complete/Incomplete
    5. Add a Secondary Display option. (optional)
      Note: The Secondary Display appears next to the Primary Display in the Grade Center and is only visible to the Instructor.
  5. Option 2 Dates will present the Date Created information.
  6. In Option 3 Select Columns, select one of the two options below:
    1. Click All Grade Columns. (no further action required)
      Note: Columns with Primary Display set as Text will not be calculated.
    2. Click Selected Columns and Categories.  (Additional steps below)

To select columns and/or categories:
Image illustrating Step 6 Option 3 Select Columns

    1. Select column(s) or category(s) from the Columns to Select and/or Categories to Select areas.
      Note: Select multiple items using CTRL + Click or Shift + Click on the PC or Command + Click or Shift + Click on Mac.
    2. Click the [right directional arrow] to move the selected items to the Selected Columns area.
      Note: Click the red “x” to remove an item from Selected Columns
    3. If using categories,
      • Select an option to weight the columns within this category Equally (default) or Proportionally.
        • Equally will apply the percentage evenly across the columns within the category regardless of varying point values.
        • Proportionally will apply the percentage based upon the points compared to the other columns within the category.
      • Enter a value for dropping a select number of high or low grades. (optional)
  1. Before leaving Option 3, select Yes or No to indicate whether the column should Calculate as a running total.
  2. In Option 4 Options:
    • Select Yes or No to include the column in the Grade Center Calculations.
    • Select Yes or No to show the column to the students in My Grades.
    • Select Yes or No to show statistics for the column to the students in My Grades.
  3. Click [Submit] to finish creating the column.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Adding a Weighted Grade Column

Instructors can create Weighted Grade columns based on categories or on any column combination in the Grade Center. The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a weighted grade column.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To add a Weighted Column to the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Create Calculated Column.
  3. From the resulting Action Link menu, select Weighted Column.
  4. In Option 1 Column Information:
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Column Information for adding a weighted column to the Grade Center
    1. Add a Column Name. (required) – This name will appear within My Grades and the Grade Center unless a Grade Center Display Name is added.
    2. Add a Grade Center Display Name (optional) - This name will only appear in the Grade Center as the column name.
    3. Provide a brief Description of the item. (optional)
      Note: Description text entered here will be visible to students in My Grades.
    4. Select a Primary Display option. (required) – It is important to note that “Grades must be entered based on this selection and will display in this format in the Grade Center and My Grades.”

      Options include:
      • Score (default)
      • Letter - reflects the Dartmouth College grading Schema unless modified by the Instructor
      • Text
      • Percentage
      • Complete/Incomplete
    5. Add a Secondary Display option. (optional)
      Note: The Secondary Display appears next to the Primary Display in the Grade Center and is only visible to the Instructor.
  5. Option 2 Dates will present the Date Created information.
  6. In Option 3 Select Columns, the option exists to add columns and/or categories to be weighted. To select columns and/or categories:
    Image illustrating Step 6 Option 3 Select Columns
    1. Select column(s) or category(s) from the Columns to Select and/or Categories to Select areas.
      Note: Select multiple items using CTRL + Click or Shift + Click on the PC or Command + Click or Shift + Click on Mac.
    2. Click the [right directional arrow] to move the selected items to the Selected Columns area.
      Note: Click the red “x” to remove an item from Selected Columns.
    3. Enter the weighted percentage for each item.

      Note: If using categories,

      • Select an option to weight the columns within this category Equally (default) or Proportionally.
        • Equally will apply the percentage evenly across the columns within the category regardless of varying point values.
        • Proportionally will apply the percentage based upon the points compared to the other columns within the category.
      • If appropriate, enter a value for dropping a select number of high or low grades. (optional)
  7. Check to make sure the Total Weight adds up to 100%.
  8. Before leaving Option 3, select Yes or No to indicate whether the column should Calculate as a running total.
  9. In Option 4 Options:
    • Select Yes or No to include the column in the Grade Center Calculations.
    • Select Yes or No to show the column to the students in My Grades.
    • Select Yes or No to show statistics for the column to the students in My Grades.
  10. Click [Submit] to finish creating the weighted column.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Adding a Minimum/Maximum Column

While a Minimum/Maximum Column is rather uncommon, it can be used by an Instructor to visualize student performance or to determine whether/how to apply grade weighting for example.  The Instructor may also choose to create such a column and make it visible to the students so they can determine their class standing. The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a total column.

Quick Start Instructions

To add a Total Column to the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Create Calculated Column.
  3. From the resulting Action Link menu, select Minimum/Maximum Column.
  4. In Option 1 Column Information:
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Column Information in adding a Total column to Grade Center.
    1. Add a Column Name. (required) – This name will appear within My Grades and the Grade Center unless a Grade Center Display Name is added.
    2. Add a Grade Center Display Name (optional) - This name will only appear in the Grade Center as the column name.
    3. Provide a brief Description of the item. (optional)
      Note: Description text entered here will be visible to students in My Grades.
    4. Select a Primary Display option. (required) – It is important to note that “Grades must be entered based on this selection and will display in this format in the Grade Center and My Grades.”
      Options include:
      • Score (default)
      • Letter - reflects the Dartmouth College grading Schema unless modified by the Instructor.
      • Text
      • Percentage
      • Complete/Incomplete
    5. Add a Secondary Display option. (optional)
      Note: The Secondary Display appears next to the Primary Display in the Grade Center and is only visible to the Instructor.
  5. Option 2 Dates will present the Date Created information.
  6. In Option 3 Select Columns, select the Calculation Type as either Minimum or Maximum.
  7. In Option 3 Select Columns under Include in Minimum/Maximum, select one of the two options below:
    1. Click All Grade Columns. (no further action required)
      Note: Columns with Primary Display set as Text will not be calculated.
    2. Click Selected Columns and Categories.  (Additional steps below)
    To select columns and/or categories:
    Image illustrating Step 7 Option 3 Select Columns for adding a Min/Max column
    1. Select column(s) or category(s) from the Columns to Select and/or Categories to Select areas.
      Note: Select multiple items using CTRL + Click or Shift + Click on the PC or Command + Click or Shift + Click on Mac.
    2. Click the [right directional arrow] to move the selected items to the Selected Columns area.
      Note: Click the red “x” to remove an item from Selected Columns
  8. Before leaving Option 3, select Yes or No to indicate whether the column should Calculate as a running total.
  9. In Option 4 Options:
    • Select Yes or No to include the column in the Grade Center Calculations.
    • Select Yes or No to show the column to the students in My Grades.
    • Select Yes or No to show statistics for the column to the students in My Grades.
  10. Click [Submit] to finish creating the column.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Adding a Total Column

While every course will automatically have one Total Column by default, Instructors can create additional Total Columns to better visualize student performance. It is possible to create a Total Points Column for Assignments, Discussion Boards, or any column combination.  The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a total column.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To add a Total Column to the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Create Calculated Column.
  3. From the resulting Action Link menu, select Total Column.
  4. In Option 1 Column Information:
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Column Information for adding a Total column to the Grade Center.
    1. Add a Column Name. (required) – This name will appear within My Grades and the Grade Center unless a Grade Center Display Name is added.
    2. Add a Grade Center Display Name (optional) - This name will only appear in the Grade Center as the column name.
    3. Provide a brief Description of the item. (optional)
      Note: Description text entered here will be visible to students in My Grades.
    4. Select a Primary Display option. (required) – It is important to note that “Grades must be entered based on this selection and will display in this format in the Grade Center and My Grades.”
      Options include:
      • Score (default)
      • Letter - reflects the Dartmouth College grading Schema unless modified by the Instructor (See Creating Grading Schemas in Grade Center.)
      • Text
      • Percentage
      • Complete/Incomplete
    5. Add a Secondary Display option. (optional)
      Note: The Secondary Display appears next to the Primary Display in the Grade Center and is only visible to the Instructor.
  5. Option 2 Dates will present the Date Created information.
  6. In Option 3 Select Columns, select one of the two options below:
    1. Click All Grade Columns. (no further action required)
      Note: Columns with Primary Display set as Text will not be calculated.
    2. Click Selected Columns and Categories.  (Additional steps below)
      To select columns and/or categories:
      Image illustrating Step 6 Option 3 Select Columns and Categories for adding a Total column.
      1. Select column(s) or category(s) from the Columns to Select and/or Categories to Select areas.
        Note: Select multiple items using CTRL + Click or Shift + Click on the PC or Command + Click or Shift + Click on Mac.
      2. Click the [right directional arrow] to move the selected items to the Selected Columns area.
        Note: Click the red “x” to remove an item from Selected Columns
      3. If using categories, enter a value for dropping a select number of high or low grades. (optional)
  7. Before leaving Option 3, select Yes or No to indicate whether the column should Calculate as a running total.
  8. In Option 4 Options:
    • Select Yes or No to include the column in the Grade Center Calculations.
    • Select Yes or No to show the column to the students in My Grades.
    • Select Yes or No to show statistics for the column to the students in My Grades.
  9. Click [Submit] to finish creating the column.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.

Organizing Grade Center

The interactive view of the Grade Center functions similar to a spreadsheet. Two of the more utilitarian features are that

Moving and Freezing Grade Columns

Within a new course shell, the Last Name and First Name columns and the column headings will automatically be frozen. In the default Grade Center View, the frozen columns and column headings stay in place even when the instructor is scrolling left to right or up and down. In the Accessible View, the spreadsheet is static.
Image illustrating frozen columns and headings in the Grade Center

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To move and freeze columns:

  1. Image illustrating steps 2 and 3.Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click the Action Link button next to Manage.
  3. Select Column Organization.
  4. The Column Organization screen will appear.
  5. Select the column Name you wish to freeze.
    (In this example, Total has been selected.)

    Image illustrating step 5.

  6. Click and drag the selected column up above the dark grey row denoting the frozen columns.
  7. Image illustrating step 6.

  8. Select [Submit] to set the change.

Note: To move columns, simply click and drag the column to the location to which it should appear below the dark grey row denoting the frozen columns.

Important: Do not freeze all columns. Doing so will break the Grade Center.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Show/Hide Grade Columns

There are two ways to Show/Hide columns in the Grade Center:

    • from the Action Link Menu for each column header you can
      • Hide/Show the Column from the Students
      • Hide the Column from the Grade Center
    • from Column Organization you can Show/Hide the column from the Grade Center
      Note: This does not hide the column from the Students.

Quick Start Instructions

To Show/Hide columns from Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click the Action Link button (chevron sign) next to the column header to be Shown/Hidden.
  3. From the resulting drop-down menu, select the appropriate prompt.
    • Show/Hide to Users
      Note: This option will Hide or Show the column in the Student's view of My Grades. The Instructor will still see the column in the Grade Center but an icon will indicate that it is not visible to Students.
    • Hide Column
      Note: This option only hides the column from the Instructor's view of the Grade Center. The Students will still see it in My Grades.

To Show/Hide columns from Column Organization:

  1. On the Column Organization screen, select the check box(es) in front of the columns you wish to show or hide.
    Image illustrating Steps 1 and 2 in Show/Hide Columns.
  2. Select the Action Link button next to Show Hide in the Organize Grade Center Action Bar.
  3. From the resulting dropdown menu, select one of the following options:
    • Hide Selected Columns
    • Show Selected Columns
    • Show Selected Columns in All Grade Center Views
      Note: This is a catch all option which if selected will override the options in instructor created Grade Center Views.
  4. The previously visible or hidden columns will now exhibit the option selected.
  5. Select [Submit] at the bottom of the screen to set the changes.
    Note: Hiding columns in this manner will hide them from the Instructor but not from the Students. Follow the Directions for Hide a Column from the Students.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.

Entering Grades in Grade Center

Once assessments have been turned in for grading it is time to enter the grades into the Grade Center. There are almost always two ways to accomplish this task:

    • Directly from Full Grade Center or
    • Within Grade Details

Which option is selected will depend upon the scenario. For example, if the assignment was submitted through the Assignment Tool, then it will be necessary to grade through Grade Details. If the assignment submission resided outside of Blackboard, then the grade can be manually entered in Full Grade Center.

Adding Grades in Full Grade Center

The Grade Center allows instructors to add grades directly within the cells in the spreadsheet. This is a great timesaver that will allow faculty to enter initial grades and make grade modifications on the fly.
Important: It is recommended that grades be added into the Grade Center only if the column to which the grades are being added has been added to the Grade Center using Create Column. Columns that are attached to a tool in Blackboard such as the Assignment Tool or Tests should be graded through Grade Details.
(See the Adding Grades within Grade Details tutorials.)

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To manually enter grades in the Grade Center:

  1. Select the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click in a cell in which to enter a student’s grade.
    Image illustrating the input of a grade into a cell within FulL Grade Center.
    Note: The Grade Information Bar will appear above the Grade Center displaying the Points Possible for the column being graded.
  3. Input the grade.
  4. Press Enter to submit the grade.
    Note: You can use the arrow keys or tab key to navigate within the spreadsheet and select a new cell.           
  5. Repeat 2 – 4 above until all grades have been entered.
    Note: If Enter is not pressed in Step 3 above a dialog box will appear asking the instructor to save the entry. If this occurs and a save is warranted, select OK to save the grade.

A Grade Was Entered Prompt

Image illustrating the prompt received when Enter is not pressed after a grade entry.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Adding Grades in Grade Details

It is highly recommended that grades be recorded through Grade Details for columns added to the Grade Center by the use of the Assignment Tool and Tests. This will ensure that various functionalities of the Grade Center, specifically Statistics, record and display properly. The instructions here-in will outline the process of adding grades through Grade Details.

Quick Start Instructions

To access Grade Details:

  1. Click on the Action Link button within the cell containing the grade to be deleted.
    Image illustrating Steps 1 and 2 of adding grades via Grade Details.
  2. Select View Grade Details.
  3. In Edit Tab under the Actions column, click View Attempt.Image illustrating the selection of View Attempt.

For columns created with the Assignment Tool,

  1. In Option 3 Grade Current Attempt,
    Image illustrating Step 1 Option 3 Grade Current Attempt associated with adding grades in Grade Details for an Assignment.
    1. Enter the score earned for the Assignment. (required)
    2. Type Feedback to Student in the text editor. (recommended)
    3. Browse for and add any graded documents or rubrics as appropriate. (optional)
  2. In Option 4 Instructor Notes, type any Grading Notes in the text editor. (optional)
  3. Click [Submit].
  4. To move to the next user, click the right or left arrow button next to User.
  5. To move to the next grade column, click on the right or left arrow button next to Column.
  6. Repeat steps 1 - 5 under View Attempt until all grades are entered.

For columns created with Tests,

  1. For questions automatically graded by Blackboard,review the question answers and scoring.
    • If the score is incorrect or requires modification, type the new score in the "out of" field.
    • If the score is correct, no action is necessary.
  2. For questions requiring manual grading such as Essay Questions, Short Answer Questions, and the like,Image illustrating the process of manually grading an essay question through View Attempt in Grade Details.
    1. Review the Given Answer.
    2. Type Response Feedback. (optional)
    3. Type the Student's score for the question into the "out of" field.
  3. Repeat 1 - 2 as necessary until all questions have been correctly graded.
  4. Under Feedback and Notes for Attempt,
    1. Enter Feedback to User into the text editor. (recommended)
    2. Enter Grading Notes into the text editor. (optional)
  5. Click [Submit].

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.

 

Delete or Change Grades in Full Grade Center

The Grade Center provides an instructor with many ways to make changes to grades within the Grade Center. The following set of instructions outlines the process of deleting or changing a grade on-the-fly from within the Grade Center.
Important: It is recommended that grades be added into the Grade Center only if the column to which the grades are being added has been added to the Grade Center using Create Column. Columns that are attached to a tool in Blackboard such as the Assignment Tool or Tests should be graded through Grade Details.
(See the Adding Grades within Grade Details, Delete a Submission Attempt in Grade Details, or Edit a Submission Attempt in Grade Details tutorials.)

Quick Start Instructions

To delete/change a grade from the Grade Center,

  1. Click within the cell containing the grade to be deleted.
  2. Highlight the grade and either remove or change the grade.
  3. Press Enter to save the change and move to the next cell.
  4. Repeat 1 – 3 above until all grades have been updated.

Note: If Enter is not pressed in Step 3 above or if the grade is deleted a dialog box will appear asking the instructor to save the entry. If this occurs and a save is warranted, select OK to save the grade. The prompts appear as follows.

A Grade Was Entered Prompt

Image illustrating the prompt received when Enter is not pressed after changing a grade.

Null this Grade Prompt

Image illustrating the prompt received when a grade has been nulled.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Delete a Grade or Submission Attempt in Grade Details

Instructors can delete, change, override, and revert grades to a previous state within the Grade Details view of the Grade Center. This feature has many uses from resetting an exam for a student locked out after a technology glitch to modifying an attempt within the assignment tool.

Quick Start Instructions

To delete a grade or submission attempt from the Grade Details view,

  1. Click on the Action Link button within the cell containing the grade to be deleted.
    Image illustrating steps 1 and 2 to access Grade Details.
  2. Select View Grade Details.
  3. In Edit Tab under the Actions column, click Clear Attempt.
    Image illustrating the selection of Clear Attempt in Step 3.
    Note: Clear Attempt will automatically delete the submission for that attempt and the associated grade. A warning prompt will appear prior to the attempt being cleared.
  4. Click OK from the resulting prompt to finalize the action.
    Image illustrating the prompt confirming the removal of the attempt.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Edit a Submission Grade in Grade Details

Instructors can easily edit a submission grade within Grade Details. This feature has many uses from modifying a student’s test grade to give credit for a invalid question to modifying an attempt within the assignment tool.

Quick Start Instructions

To edit a grade for a submission attempt from the Grade Details view,

  1. Click on the Action Link button within the cell containing the grade to be deleted.
    Image illustrating Steps 1 and 2 in accessing Grade Details.
  2. Select View Grade Details.
  3. In Edit Tab under the Actions column, click Edit Grade.
    Image illustrating the selection of Edit Grade in Step 3.
    Note: Edit Grade will provide the instructor with a Value field in which to enter a new grade as well as fields to enter Feedback to User and Grading Notes.
  4. To change the grade, highlight the old value and type in the new one.
    Image illustrating Steps 4, 5, and 6 for editing a submission grade.
    Note: If the goal is to delete the grade but not the attempt, change the grade Value to dash (-).
  5. Type Feedback to User in the associated text box. (recommended)
  6. Type Grading Notes in the associated text box. (optional)
  7. Click [Save] to set the changes.
    Image illustrating the results of Saving the attempt edit. 
  8. Click the Grade History tab to view a summary of the grade edits on the submission.
    Image illustrating the Grade History tab.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Exempting Grades in Full Grade Center

Instructors have to option to Exempt a student from a grade item. Exempted items are not added to total grade calculations or any of the statistical data related to an assignment or student performance. The reasons an instructor may choose to exempt a student from an assignment will likely vary. An example of how this could be used is listed below.
Example:
An instructor gives the students a choice of completing Assignment A or Assignment B. If the Assignment Tool is used, Blackboard creates a column for both Grade Items. The instructor could exempt Assignment B for a student who chooses to submit Assignment A. This way the grade for Assignment B would not be calculated into the student’s total grade.

Quick Start Instructions

To exempt a grade from within the Grade Center,

  1.  Select the cell within which a grade should be exempt.
  2. Click the Action Link button for that cell.
    Image illustrating Steps 2 and 3 for exempting a grade in Full Grade Center.
  3. Select Exempt Grade from the resulting menu.
    Note: A square blue icon within the cell indicates the exempted grade. Image illustrating an exempted grade in the Grade Center.

To clear an exemption,

  1. Select the cell within which an exemption should be cleared.
  2. Click the Action Link button for that cell.
    Image illustrating Steps 2 and 3 in clearing an exemption.
  3. Select Clear Exemption from the resulting menu.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Exempting Grades in Grade Details

Instructors have to option to Exempt a student from a grade item. Exempted items are not added to total grade calculations or any of the statistical data related to an assignment or student performance. The reasons an instructor may choose to exempt a student from an assignment will likely vary. An example of how this could be used is listed below.
Example:
An instructor gives the students a choice of completing Assignment A or Assignment B. If the Assignment Tool is used, Blackboard creates a column for both Grade Items. The instructor could exempt Assignment B for a student who chooses to submit Assignment A. This way the grade for Assignment B would not be calculated into the student’s total grade.

Quick Start Instructions

To exempt a grade from within Grade Details,

  1. Click the Action Link for the cell for which you wish to view Grade Details.
    Image illustrating Steps 1 and 2 to access View Grade Details from the Grade Center.
  2. Select Grade Details.
  3. From Grade Details, select the Manually Override tab.
    Image illustrating selecting the exemption option from the Manually Override tab.
  4. Click the check box next to “Exempt user from this item” to exempt the grade.
  5. Type Feedback to User in the associated text box. (recommended)
  6. Type Grading Notes in the associated text box. (optional)
  7. Click Save to set the change.

To clear an exemption,Image illustrating the Clear Exemption option in Full Grade Center.

  1. Select the cell within which an exemption should be cleared.
  2. Click the Action Link button for that cell.
  3. Select Clear Exemption from the resulting menu.

 

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF verion of the quick start instructions.
Overriding Grades (Grade Details Only)

Performing an override records the grade change as intentional and provides the instructor with the option to revert the grade in the future.

Important: While a grade can also be changed or deleted within the Grade Center or Grade Details via Modify Attempt or Clear Attempt these actions do not engage the revert grade option. As such, if a grade is changed via these methods, the option to Revert to the previous attempt will not be available.

Quick Start Instructions

To override grades within Grade Details,

  1.  Click on the Action Link button within the cell containing the grade to be reverted.
  2. Select View Grade Details.
  3. Click the Manually Override tab.
    Image illustrating Steps 3, 4, 5, and 6 for Manually Overriding a grade in Grade Details.
  4. Enter a new grade in the Override Grade field.
  5. Type Feedback to User in the associated text box. (recommended)
  6. Type Grading Notes in the associated text box. (optional)
  7. Select Save to officially override the grade.

Note: Once the override is saved, a Revert button will appear in the Current Grade section of Grade Details.
Image illustrating the presence of the Revert button after a grade has been overridden.

Resources

    • Click Here it access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Reverting Grades (Grade Details Only)

Grades that have been changed using the Manually Override option within Grade Details can be reverted to a previous grade assuming that

    • Grade History is activated
      (See Grade History tutorials) and
    • a previous grade attempt exists.

Important: The Revert button only works when a grade has been changed using Override and does not appear if the grade was changed by deleting, clearing, or modifying an attempt.

Quick Start Instructions

To revert a grade,

  1. Click on the Action Link button within the cell containing the grade to be reverted.
  2. Select Grade Details.
  3. Click Revert to change the grade to a previous one.
    Image illustrating the Revert button.
  4. The system will prompt the instructor to confirm the “Revert this Grade Value?”
    Image illustrating the prompt confirming the grade change.
  5. Click OK to set the change.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Grade Commenting in Full Grade Center

Blackboard allows instructors to leave Feedback to Users and Grading Notes to any grade item within the Grade Center.

    • Feedback to Users is seen by the students in their My Grades view. Instructors can see the feedback given to the students from within the Grade Details view.
    • Grading Notes are seen only by instructors or individuals with roles as Graders within the course such as TA’s, co-instructors, etc. Grading Notes can be useful when a grade override or exemption has been made so everyone involved in grading is aware of why an action was taken.

Quick Start Instructions

To add comments within the Grade Center,

  1. Select the cell to which a comment should be added.
  2. Click the Action Link button for that cell.
    Image illustrating Steps 2 and 3 to access the Quick Comment feature.
  3. Select the Quick Comment option.
  4. In the resulting prompt,
    Image illustrating the Quick Comment text entry prompt.
    1. Type feedback to the student in the Feedback to User field.
    2. Type feedback to graders in the Grading Notes field.
  5. Click [Submit] to set the comments.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.
Grade Commenting in Grade Details

Blackboard allows instructors to leave Feedback to Users and Grading Notes to any grade item within the Grade Center.

    • Feedback to Users is seen by the students in their My Grades view. Instructors can see the feedback given to the students from within the Grade Details view.
    • Grading Notes are seen only by instructors or individuals with roles as Graders within the course such as TA’s, co-instructors, etc. Grading Notes can be useful when a grade override or exemption has been made so everyone involved in grading is aware of why an action was taken.

Quick Start Instructions

To add comments within Grade Details,

  1. Click the Action Link button for that cell to which a comment should be added
  2. Select View Grade Details.
  3. From the Actions column, select Edit Attempt.
  4. Type feedback to the student in the Feedback to User field. (recommended)
    Image illustrating the fields for commenting in Edit Attempt under Grade Details.
  5. Type feedback to graders in the Grading Notes field. (optional)
  6. Click Save to set the comments.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of the quick start instructions.

Grade History and Reports

Under the Reports tab in the Grade Center are the options for Grade History and Reports.

    • Grade History is on by default and keeps track of all grade entries and changes made within the course. This is a very handy tool if any grading mishaps occur.
    • Reports are created on-the-fly. While these reports are not saved within the course they can be printed in hard copy or PDF. Reports can be created for student records, student communications, end of term records keeping among other uses.
Managing Grade History

Blackboard has added a new feature to the Grade Center called Grade History. Every time a grade is changed, overridden, or commented, Blackboard records the change in a log that keeps track of the modifications.

Quick Start Instructions

To access Grade History:

  1. Image illustrating Step 2 Selecting View Grade History from the Reports button.Select the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Once in Grade Center, select the View Grade History link in the Action Link menu under Reports.
  3. Select an option from the Show Entries from Past menu to determine the Grade History data to display. Options include:
    • Image illustrating Steps 3 and 4 in selecting Grade History to view.1 Day
    • 7 Days
    • 14 Days (default)
    • 30 Days
    • 6 Months
    • All
  4. Click [Go] to display the data for the selected timeframe.
  5. Click on the heading by which the Instructor wishes to sort the data.
    Image illustrating filtering data by clicking on the column heading.
    Note: The default sort is by Date. An orange triangle will appear above the column indicating a sort has been applied. Unfortunately, the columns can only be sorted by one filter at a time.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Downloading Grade History

The Grade History can be downloaded to the instructor’s computer as a delimited file. This file in turn can them be opened in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or iWorks Numbers.

Quick Start Instructions


To download the Grade History:

  1.  Click  [Download] in the Action Bar from within the Grade History page.
    Image illustrating the selection of the Download Button in Step 1.
  2. In Option 1 Options on the Download Grade History screen
    1. Select the Delimiter Type.
      Note: The Tab-delimited option is recommended.
    2. Select Yes or No to Include Comments within the download file.
      Image illustrating Step 2 Option 1 Options for downloading Grade History.
  3. Click [Submit].
  4. On the resulting Download Grades screen, select Download.
    Note: The prompts received from this point on are dependent upon the browser settings on the Instructor’s computer.
  5. Once downloaded, the Instructor can open the file in a spreadsheet program of his/her choosing.

Important: While there us an option to Clear Grade History this option is not recommended. Once Clear All Grade History is selected, the action is final and cannot be reversed.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Creating Grade Center Reports

Blackboard has created a tool within Grade Center that allows Instructors to create and print reports of a class and its students. The tool allows the Instructor to select various fields from the database within Grade Center.  Such reports can be useful as mid-term and final reports or grade summaries for faculty course reports. The instructions here-in outline the process of creating a Grade Center report.

Quick Start Instructions

To Create a Grade Center Report:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Reports.
  3. Select Create Report.
  4. In Option 1 Header Information, select the check boxes and update the associated text fields to format the report header.
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Header Information in Creating a Grade Center Report.
    Note: The Custom Text option allows the Instructor to add an additional note or instructions to the report.
  5. In Option 2 Users, use the radio button to select one of the three user options:
    Image illustrating Step 5 Option 2 users for selecting users for whom to creat reports.
    Note: Select multiple users using Shift + click or Control + click for PC or Command + click for Mac.
  6. In Option 3 User Information, select the check boxes to identify the fields that should appear in the report.
  7. Image illustrating Step 7 Option 4 Columns to include in the reports.In Option 4 Columns, select the columns to include in the report. Options include:
    • All Columns
    • All Columns in Category
    • Selected Columns
      Note: Select multiple columns using Shift + click or Control + click for PC or Command + click for Mac.
  8. In Option 5 Column Information, select the check boxes next to the column information to include in the report.
  9. In Option 6 Footer Information, select the check boxes and update the associated text fields to format the report footer.
    Image illustrating Step 9 Option 6 Footer Information in reports.
  10. Click [Preview] or [Submit] to view and print the report.
    Example Report:
    Image illustrating an example report.

Note: Reports are generated “on-the-fly” and as such are not saved anywhere within Blackboard. Once Submit has been selected there are two options:

    • Print the report either directly to paper or to PDF.
    • Select File > Save As within the browser to save the files as either HTML or text.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.

Downloading and Uploading the Grade Center

If an Instructor uses more complex formulas to calculate Student grades it may be prudent to maintain the Grade Center in Excel. While this is possible, it is important to follow the process for Downloading the Grade Center at the beginning of the term and then using the Upload Grade Center feature to bring the grades into Blackboard. The following sections provide the process by which to accomplish these tasks.

Downloading the Grade Center

Blackboard Grade Center allows an Instructor to download a copy of the Grade Center for both archival purposes and for use within an external spreadsheet program. New to Blackboard 9.1, Instructors are given the option to download the file either to My Computer or to the course Content Collection.  The instructions here-in outline the process of downloading the Grade Center.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

To Download Grades from Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Work Offline.
  3. Select Download.
  4. In Option 1 Data, use the radio buttons to select the data to download.
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Data to select for Grade Center download.
    • Full Grade Center - This option is commonly selected as a way to retain an archive of the Grade Center.
    • Selected Column - This option can be used to compare student performance at the column level within a course or across sections of a course. This option may also be used to manually enter grades offline into a spreadsheet which can then be uploaded back into Grade Center.
    • User Information Only – This option is recommended at the beginning of the term as a way to populate Blackboard specific data into an offline grading spreadsheet that will enable grades to be uploaded back into the Grade Center.
  5. In Option 2 Options,
    Image illustrating Step 5 Options 2 Options to select for the download file format.
    1. Use the radio buttons to select the file download format as either Comma or Tab delimited.
      Note: If the Instructor plans to view the downloaded file in Excel, the tab delimited option is recommended as it opens directly within Excel.
    2. Under Include Hidden Information, select Yes or No.
  6. In Option 3 Save Location,
    Image illustrating Step 6 Option 3 Save Location for the download file.
    1. To save to your computer,
      •  Select My Computer.
      • Click [Submit] at the bottom of the page to create the download file.
      • Click [Download] on the resulting page to acquire the file.
    2. To save to the course,
      • Select Content Collection.
      • Click [Browse] to select the location within the Content Collection in which to save the file.
        Note: It is at this phase where the Instructor can create a new folder (recommended) within the Content Collection or simply allow the file to save to the root of the folder.
      • Click [Submit] at the bottom of the Content Collection window.
      • Click [Submit] on the Download screen to complete the process.

Note: Instructors can open the file download in a spreadsheet program and edit it by adding columns and grades. However, if the goal is to upload the file back into the Grade Center it is imperative that none of the student and system data within the spreadsheet be changed.
For more information about this topic see the tutorial on Uploading Grades into the Grade Center.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Uploading the Grade Center

Blackboard Grade Center allows an Instructor to upload data from an external spreadsheet based upon the Grade Center Download file back into the Grade Center. New to Blackboard 9.1, Instructors are given the option to upload this file either from My Computer or from the course Content Collection.  The instructions here-in outline the process of uploading an external spreadsheet file into Grade Center.

Quick Start Instructions

To Upload Grades to Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Work Offline.
  3. Select Upload.
  4. In Option 1 Choose File, choose to either Attach Local File or Copy File from Content Collection.
    Image illustrating Step 4 Option 1 Choose File for Uploading Grades to Grade Center
  5. To attach a local file,

          1. Click [Browse].
          2. Find the desired upload file on the computer.
          3. Click [Open] to select the file.

    To copy a file from the Content Collection,

          1. Click [Browse].
          2. Select the radio button associated with the desired file within the course Content Collection.
          3. Click [Open] to select the file.
          4. Click [Submit] at the bottom of the Content Collection window.
  6. Still in Option 1 Choose File, select the Delimiter Type as appropriate.
    Note: It is recommended that the appropriate option either Comma or Tab be selected as Auto does not work consistently.
  7. Click [Submit] to begin the upload process.
  8. On the Upload Grades Confirmation Screen, review the results.
    Image illustrating Step 7 Upload Grades Confirmation Screen.
    Note: The system will automatically check the Upload box for items in which data has been updated or columns have been added to the file. Uncheck any boxes that should not be uploaded.
  9. Click [Submit] to complete the upload.
    Important: The data from the file upload is added to the Grade Center as Text not as Score or Percentage. As such it will be necessary to Edit Column Information from within the Grade Center for the column to be included in Grade Center Calculations. The remaining instructions outline this final step.
  10. In Full Grade Center, click the Action Link Menu (chevron sign) next to the recently uploaded column and select Edit Column Information.
  11. Image illustrating Step 10 Option 1 Options for Edit Column Information to change Primary Score from Text to Score.In Option 1 Options of Edit Column Information,
    1. Change the Primary Display to Score or Percentage.
    2. Select a Category that reflects the data.
    3. Enter Points Possible.
  12. In Option 2 Dates, enter a Due Date.
  13.  Click [Submit] to update the column information.

For more information about this topic see the tutorial on Downloading the Grade Center.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.

Categories

Adding Categories to columns created in the Grade Center is the key to tapping the full functionality of the Grade Center, particularly calculated columns. The following sections describe not only Managing and Adding Categories but also the process of Modifying a column's Category.

Managing and Adding Categories

The Grade Center allows instructors to associate the grade columns with categories. There are already categories available within the system for each of the tools (Assignments, Tests, Surveys, Wikis, Blogs, etc); however, instructors can also add categories to this list.
Categories are most frequently used within calculated grade columns or as a way to sort the columns in the spreadsheet. Categories are also used in the new Notifications tool in Blackboard 9.1.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

 

To create Categories for use within the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the Full Grade Center link under Grade Center in the Course Management menu.Image illustrating Steps 2 and 3 in Managing Categories.
  2. Click the Action Link button next to Manage.
  3. Select Categories.
  4. The Categories screen will appear.
  5. Click the Add Category button.
  6. In Option 1 Category Information, complete the form by adding a
    1. Category Name (required)
    2. Description (optional)
    Image illustrating Step 6 Option 1 Category Information.
  7. Click [Submit] to add the category to the Grade Center.
  8. Upon returning to the Categories screen, the new category will appear with an Action Link menu that will allow you to Edit or Delete the category.
    Image illustrating the option to Edit or Delete a category
    Note: Once the Category has been created, it can them be applied to columns in the Grade Center. See the Modifying a Column’s Category tutorial.

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.
Modifying a Column's Category

It is possible to associate a category with a column after a column has already been created in one of two ways.

Video Tutorial

Quick Start Instructions

 

To add a category to a single column in the Grade Center:

  1. Image illustrating Step 2 Edit Column Information.Select the Action Link menu associated with a column.
  2. Click Edit Column Information.
  3. Select a category from the Categories dropdown menu.
  4. Click [Submit].

To add a category to multiple columns in the Grade Center:

  1. Select the Action Link button next to Manage.Image illustrating Step 2 Manage Column Organiztion.
  2. From the Action Link menu, select Column Organization.
  3. Select the check box in front of each column for which you’d like to modify the category.Image illustrating Step 3 check box selection to change multiple column categories at once.
  4. Select the Action Link button next to Change Category to.Image illustrating Step 5 category selection.
  5. From the resulting dropdown menu, select the category you would like to assign to the selected columns.
  6. Note in the new view, the category has been changed.
  7. Select [Submit] at the bottom of the screen to set the changes.

 

Resources

    • Click Here to access a PDF version of these quick start instructions.