Grade Center

Grade Center

Create A Column

Create a Blackboard Gradebook Column Video

Automatic Column
A grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center for the following items (the item needs to be set as a gradable item):

  • Tests and Surveys
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Journals
  • Blogs
  • Wikis

Manual Column
Grade Columns represent gradable items such as tests and papers. Some Grade Center columns are automatically created for you. these include Assignments, Surveys, Tests, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Journals, and Wikis. If you have additional graded items outside of those listed above, you can manually create columns in the Grade Center. These manual columns will not be linked to any items within Blackboard. An example of when you may want to create a manual column is if you are giving an overall grade for class participation.

  1. In the Full Grade Center, click Create Column.
  2. On the Create Grade Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This name becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students‘ My Grades pages. The Grade Center column will only show about 15 characters, so take that into consideration when deciding on a naming convention.
  3. Optionally, type a Description.
  4. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in the Grade Center and to students in My Grades.
    An image of the "Primary Display" menu expanded, with all the options visible.

    • Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
    • Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
    • Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears as 70%.
    • Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a check mark ( ) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.
  5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is None. The secondary value does not appear to students.
    An image of the "Secondary Display" menu expanded, with all the options visible.
  6. You can associate the column with a category by making a selection in the Category drop-down list. The default setting is No Category. Selecting a category is very important if you are weighing your final grades by category.
    An image of the "Category" menu expanded, with all the options visible.
  7. In the Points Possible box, type the total points. Entries must be numeric.
  8. Optionally, select the option next to Due Date and type a date (mm/dd/yyyy) or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar. Due dates you assign will appear on the course calendar.
  9. Select the Options:
    • Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Click Yes to make the column available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
    • Show this Column to Students: Click Yes to display the column to students in My Grades.
    • Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades: Click Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.
  10. Click Submit.
Create A Calculated Column
Create A Calculated Column in Blackboard Grade Center Video

Total Column

The total column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned, related to the possible points.
Keep in mind that there is a Weighted Total column by default in your course.

Example:
Add the points possible of all selected columns to find the total points. Then, add a student‘s earned scores for all selected columns. This is the total earned out of the total points possible. Exempted items are ignored.
Eight Grades: 8/10, 3/5, 2/2, 3/7, 47/50, 20/25, 88/100
Earned Points Value: 171
Points Possible Value: 199
Total Points: 171/199 = 85.93%

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column and click Total Column.
  2. On the Create Total Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name.
  3. Optionally, type a Description.
  4. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in the Grade Center and to students in My Grades.
    • Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
    • Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
    • Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears as 70%.
    • Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a check mark ( ) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.
  5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list.
  6. In the Select Columns section, select what to include in the total column’s calculation. The following table lists the options.
    Option Description
    All Grade Columns Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
    Selected Columns and Categories Select grade columns and categories individually.Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations does not appear in the selection list.Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. Other options appear after you move the category to the Selected Columns box:

    • Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each category from the calculation. If you do not type numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
    • Use only the Lowest -OR- Highest Value to Calculate removes all grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
  7. Calculate as Running Total: Click Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt cells that do not contain data. Click No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
    A display of the "Select Columns" area.
  8. Select the Options:
    • Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Click Yes to make the column available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
    • Show this Column to Students: Click Yes to display the column to students in My Grades.
    • Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades: Click Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.
  9. Click Submit.

Weighted Column
The weighted column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. Instructors can control the visibility of the column in the Grade Center as well as the visibility of the column to students.

Keep in mind that there is a Weighted Total column by default in your course.

Example:
You can create a weighted column that calculates a grade for the term in which the Test category, the Assignment category, and the Discussion category are each given a certain percentage of the term‘s final grade for your course.
(Tests = 40%) + (Assignments = 40%) + (Discussion = 20%) = Final Term Grade

  1. In the Full Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column and click Weighted Column.
  2. On the Create Weighted Column page, type a brief Column Name. This name becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students‘ My Grades pages.
  3. Optionally, type a Description.
  4. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in the Grade Center and to students in My Grades.
    • Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
    • Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
    • Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears as 70%.
    • Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a check mark ( ) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.
  5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list.
  6. In the Select Columns section, select what to include in the weighted column’s calculation and assign percentages for each column or category.
    • Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box.
      • A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations does not appear in the selection list.
    • Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. The following table lists the options that appear after you move a category to the Selected Columns box.
    Option Description
    Weight Columns Select how to weigh columns within the category.

    • Click Equally to apply equal value to all columns within a category.
    • Click Proportionally to apply the appropriate value to a column based on its points compared to other columns in the category
    Drop Grades Removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each category from the calculation. If you do not type numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
    Use only the Lowest -OR- Highest Value to Calculate Removes all grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
  7. Type a percentage for each selection. The percentages of all columns added together must equal 100 percent. After assigning the last percentage, click anywhere in the box to update the percentage below the Selected Columns box in the Total Weight field.
  8. Calculate as Running Total: Click Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt cells that do not contain data. Click No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
  9. Select the Options:
    • Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Click Yes to make the column available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
    • Show this Column to Students: Click Yes to display the column to students on their My Grades pages.
    • Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades: Click Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to students.
  10. Click Submit.
Edit An Existing Column
Edit Existing Blackboard Grade Center Columns Video
  1. Click on the gray down arrow to the right of the column name
  2. Select the option Edit Column Information.
  3. Modify the settings for the grade column as needed:
    1. To edit a Weighted Columns: See “Create A Calculated Column” for a list of the full settings.
    2. To edit a Total Column: See “Create A Calculated Column” for a list of the full settings.

* One thing to keep in mind is that if the Column Name is preset (not editable), that column is linked to a gradable item (Assignment, Discussions, Test, etc.)

Show/Hide A Column from Student View
  1. Click on the gray down arrow to the right of the column name
  2. Select the option Hide From Students (on/off).
  3. If the column is hidden from the students, you will see a Column Not Visible to Users icon to the left of the column name.
Show/Hide A Blackboard Column from Student View Video
Show/Hide A Column from Instructor View
Customize the Blackboard Grade Center Video
  1. Access the Column Organization page by pointing to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select the check boxes on the left side of the screen and click Show/Hide on the Action Bar
  3. Select your option from the drop-down list to either show or hide a column.
    • If a column is hidden, the grade information in that column is still retained.
Re-Order Columns
Customize the Blackboard Grade Center Video
  1. Access the Column Organization page by pointing to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Use the move icon to drag a column to the new location.
  3. Columns in gray are frozen in place on the left side of the Grade Center, so they do not move while scrolling through other columns. You have the ability to customize which columns are frozen by dragging the frozen bar or moving the columns above the frozen bar.
  4. Click Submit to save changes.
Delete A Column
Delete Blackboard Grade Center Columns Video

Automatic Columns

A grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center for the following items (the item needs to be set as a gradable item):

  • Tests and Surveys
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Journals
  • Blogs
  • Wikis

The only way to delete these auto-created grade columns is to first delete the gradable items in your course. For some, if no student submissions exist when you delete the item, the Grade Center column is deleted automatically or you are allowed to decide whether to delete the column on the Delete Confirmation page.

The confirmation page for deleting gradable items.

Manual Columns

  1. Click on the gray down arrow to the right of the column name.
  2. Select the option Delete Column.
  3. If you do not see the option for Delete Column, the column is most likely an automatic column. For more information see Delete A Column: Automatic Columns (above).
Freezing and Unfreezing Columns

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 are scrolled through. This feature is 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 Column Organization page.

If a user freezes more columns than will fit on the screen, the number of columns is automatically reduced so at least one non-frozen column appears on the Grade Center page.

Columns cannot be frozen on the Needs Grading page.

To freeze or unfreeze a column, follow these steps:

  1. Point to Manage on the Action Bar of the Grade Center to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Column Organization.
  3. To freeze a column, drag the bar that states, everything above this bar is a frozen column, below the desired row or drag a row above the bar. You can also move the individual columns above or below the frozen column bar.
    An image of the grade center, with the "Everything above this bar is frozen" line highlighted.
  4. To unfreeze columns, drag the bar above the desired row or drag a row below the bar.
  5. Click Submit to save changes.

Tip: To help ensure consistent views of the Grade Center, freeze any Weighted Grade Columns and Total Points Columns.

Note: When the bottom and right scroll bars are used to navigate through the Grade Center columns, the view remains if the user navigates to another course area and then returns to the Grade Center. The user sees the column from the last visit and can continue from that spot in the Grade Center.

Grading Schema: Check/Check Plus

Blackboard doesn’t have a built-in check, check plus, or check minus feature. However, creating a new grading schema in Blackboard, you can create your own.

  1. Go to the full grade center
  2. Choose Manage → Grading Schemas
    An image of the Gradbook with the "Manage" menu expanded to show "Grading Schema" as the second option.
  3. Choose Create Grading Schema
    An Image of the "Create Grading Schemas button
  4. Choose a name for your schema. Be sure to name it something that you’ll remember.
  5. Decide how many points you want to give to each level of your schema.
    An image of the "Edit Grading Schema" page
  6. Open a word doc and go to insert, and choose the symbol you want to use for your schema. You can copy and paste it into symbol into Blackboard.
  7. Be sure to choose Submit when you are finished, to save the schema.
  8. In the full grade center, select Create Column.
  9. Name the column and then choose your new schema as the primary display.
  10. You do not have to include the points in the grade center calculation if you just want to use this grading schema as a barometer for students to understand their progress.
    The create column page.
  11. If you do choose to assign points to the column, blackboard will show you what the point value is for each symbol.
    A grade center column with a check, check plus, check minus scheme on a 10-point scale.
Blackboard Grade Center Overview Video