Grade Centre

The grade centre in Blackboard is an area that allows you to monitor student progress, grade assignments, tests, and other learning activities. Grade centre columns can be created manually for tests, assignments, projects and/or presentations that do not require submission through Blackboard. If submissions are generated through Bb then a grade centre column for the corresponding test, assignment, and/or activity will automatically be created. (see Creating Assignments and/or Creating Tests

Accessing the Grade Centre 

Step 1. Access the Grade Centre from the Control Panel in any Blackboard course.

Step 2. Expand the Grade Centre section to display the links to the Needs Grading area, the Full Grade Centre and the Smart Views.

Full Grade Centre columns, including students names and gradesNote: The Needs Grading area displays all tests, assignments and/or learning activities that have been submitted through Blackboard and are ready for grading or review. The Full Grade Center link displays all columns and rows in the Grade Center and is the default view of the Grade Center. The smart view links appear as an indented list in the Full Grade Center section. A smart view is a focused look at the Grade Center and shows only the data that matches a set of criteria. You can use smart views to quickly find data when the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns. For example, the default Tests smart view displays only test columns.

The Full Grade Centre page contains the following areas: 

1. Action Bar which includes the following functions:Grade Centre Action Bar, columns and icon legand

Create Column – Creates a column that represents a gradable item in the course.

Create Calculated Column – Calculated columns combine data from multiple columns to attain performance results; choose from Average, Minimum/Maximum, Total, or Weighted.

Manage – Customize and manage the Grade Center, including Grading Schemas, Categories, Smart Views, and Column Organization

Reports – Create a customized, printable report, view grade history, or review student submission receipts

2. Student Information – lists all students registered in the course and is updated daily through Banner.

3. Column Menu – provides access to a column’s settings, including Quick Column Information, Edit Column Information, Column Statistics, Set as External Grade, Show/Hide to Users, Hide Column.

4. Icon Legend – As an activity gets added and recorded into the Grade Center, refer to the Icon Legend for assistance.

5. Work Offline – Download the Grade Center into an Excel spreadsheet to save for future reference. 

A grade centre column will have to be created manually for any assessments (tests, assignments, projects etc) that are completed in class. 

Step 1. On the action bar, click Create Column. Grade Centre Column settings

Step 2. Provide a Column Name. 

Step 3. Leave primary display as a score 

Step 4. Add the points possible. This is the total points for the assessment, not the weighting. 

Step 5. Optionally you can associate a rubric to the assignment

Step 6. Optionally you can add a due date

Step 7. Select the options: If this is a graded assessment you can determine if it will be part of the final grade by including the column in the grade centre calculations. You can also determine whether you want the column to be visible to the students. It is not recommended to show statistics as this can create competition and anxiety for the students. 

After a column has been created, the settings can be easily accessed and edited. 

Step 1. Click the drop-down arrow in the column heading to be edited. 

Step 2. Select Edit Column Information. 

Step 3. Make any required changes to the various areas and options as indicated above. 

Step 4. Click Submit.

By default, Blackboard provides two total columns – one called “Total” and once called “Weighted Total”. If you are using a Loyalist Standard Template you may also see “Marks to Date” and “Final Grade”, these are both weighted totals. Before we get started on creating a calculated column it is important to understand the differences between the various options.

Total Column

The total column is simply the sum of all point values.  This method of calculation can only be used if the mark values of your assessments equal the percent values and everything when added together adds up to 100.  If the mark value of even one of your assessments does not equal the percent value (ie. midterm marked out of 75 marks but is only worth 20% of final grade) then you MUST use a weighted total to calculate your final grades.

There is no set up required, If using a “total” column.

Weighted Total 

The weighted total column is the weighted sum of all point values.  This method of calculation is to be used if the mark values of your assessments do not equal the percent values.  For instance, if your midterm is marked out of 75 but is only worth 20% of the final grade, then you must use a weighted total to calculate your final grade.

Before you begin setting up a weighted total, you must first “delete” the total column from the grade centre.  This is very important because a total column will automatically start calculating a total by adding up the mark values that students have achieved on assessments which will be an inaccurate calculation of their final grade. See delete instructions

Average Column 

The average column displays the average for a selected number of columns. For example, you can display the average for all tests or display the average grade for each student for a grading period.

Minimum/Maximum Column

The minimum/maximum column displays either the minimum or maximum grade for a selection of columns. For example, you can find the minimum score on all tests. You can choose whether or not to show the column to students on their My Grades pages.

After you have created the various grade centre columns for your course you can set up your calculated column. This can be done by editing the default weighted column, or the marks to date and final grades if you are using the Loyalist Standard Template. If these columns do not currently exist in your course you can create a calculated column through the action bar in the full grade centre. 

Step 1. Click on the drop-down arrow of the preferred calculated column and select Edit Column Information.Columns to select with the arrow circled in red to illustrate moving the columns

Step 2. Select the columns that you would like to weight by highlighting the column name under “Columns to Select”, then click on the upper side facing arrow.

Please note that you can select multiple columns at the same time by holding down the “CTRL” key on your keyboard and highlight multiple columns. 

Step 3. Once the columns have been moved over you can input the assessment weighting into the corresponding box provided.

Columns with the percentages added

Step 4. Determine the option for a running total. Note: Marks to date is set to a non-running total, and will only calculate the items that have been marked. All other items are recognized as zero. Final Grade is set as a running total and will calculate an average based on the items that have been graded. If no grade is added the grade is recognized as 100 instead of zero. It is essential to add zero to assignments that do not have any attempts/grade before final grades are added to banner. 

Step 5. Click Submit

Step 6. If you are using the Marks to Date and Final Grade columns in the Loyalist Standard Template, you will need to ensure you edit both columns so they are calculating the same information.