Grade Center

Grade Center is a feature of Blackboard that calculates students' grades for you and gives students a way to track their performance in your course throughout the semester.

What is Grade Center?

Grade Center allows you to set up a gradebook for your course, view scores for activities Blackboard automatically grades, and enter scores. You can also give feedback on manually graded activities. It functions like a spreadsheet in which each graded activity has its own column and students are listed in rows.

When you create an assignment or exam/quiz in Blackboard, the system automatically adds a column for its grade item in Grade Center. For discussions, you have the option to create a grade column in a forum’s settings. In addition, you can create grade items manually within Grade Center.

How do I access Grade Center?

You’ll find a link your course’s Grade Center in the left-hand navigation menu; it’s under the Course Management heading.

How do I start using Grade Center?

Read through this tutorial to explore the basics of Blackboard’s Grade Center.

Navigate Grade Center
When you click Grade Center in the course menu, a few different options appear:

  • Needs Grading displays all outstanding items, i.e., assignments, discussions, manually graded quizzes, etc. that students have submitted but you haven’t graded yet.
  •  Full Grade Center shows every grade item’s column in your Grade Center and gives you access to all of its settings.
  • Assignments and Tests show only these two types of grade items.
Create Grade Center columns
Some grade columns are created when you set up an assessment, but others must be created manually.

  • Assignments: Blackboard automatically creates a grade column.
  • Discussions: Blackboard gives you the option to create a grade column in a discussion forum’s settings.
  • Tests and quizzes: Blackboard automatically creates a grade column.
  • All other assessments: You need to manually create a grade column.

To manually create a grade column,

  1. Click Full Grade Center in the course menu.
  2. Click Create Column in the menu above the grades table. The Create Grade Column page will open.
  3. Enter a name in the Column Name textbox.
  4. Enter the number of points the graded activity will be worth in the Points Possible textbox. (See the note below about other grade column options.)
  5. Click the Submit button at the bottom-right corner of the page. Your new grade column will appear as the right-most column in your grades table.
NOTE
Only a name and a points value are required to create a grade column; for an explanation of other grade column settings, visit the Blackboard Help site.
Organize the Grade Center
Your course’s Grade Center can become disorganized for a couple of reasons: New grade columns automatically get added to your Grade Center as the last column on the right regardless of when activities are due, you might add a new graded or extra credit activity in the middle of the term, etc. However, you can reorder grade columns in your course’s Grade Center to make it easier to navigate.

Reordering columns in Grade Center

  1. Click Full Grade Center in your course’s menu. (If you don’t see this, click Grade Center first so all of its menu options are visible.)
  2. Click Manage in the menu above the Grade Center table. It’s dropdown menu will open.
  3. Click Column Organization on the menu’s options. A list of every column in your Grade Center will be displayed.
  4. Click and drag the directional arrow icon to the left of a column’s name to change its order in the list.
  5. Click the Submit button on the bottom-right side of the page when you’re done making changes.
Delete grade columns
  1. Click the down arrow to the right of the grade column’s title to display its options menu.
  2. Click Delete Column. A confirmation pop-up window will open.
  3. Click the OK button. The window will close, and the grade column will no longer be in your course’s Grade Center.
NOTE
If you don’t see the Delete Column option in a grade column’s menu, then it’s still associated with an activity in your course (i.e., a quiz, discussion, assignment folder, etc.). You’ll need to delete the activity before you can delete the grade column.
Create a weighted grade column
You can create a Weighted Total Column in your course’s grade center, and Blackboard will do all of the math for figuring out your students’ grades.

With a weighted total column, you can select multiple grade columns or categories, then set the value of each of them as a percentage of students’ overall course grade. You can also opt to have Blackboard automatically drop students’ grades for a series of assignments, e.g., you could require 6 quizzes during the semester but drop students’ lowest quiz score.

View Video
UMS’s training center has a series of tutorials on Blackboard’s Grade Center, including creating weighted grade columns. Note that you might be prompted to log in with your UMS credentials to access these tutorials.
To create a weighted grade column,

  1. Go to the Full Grade Center in your course.
  2. Find the Weighted Total column in the grades table, then click the down arrow to the right of its name. A menu will appear.
  3. Click Edit Column Information. The Edit Weighted Column page will open.
  4. Select what type of grade will be displayed for students in the Primary Display dropdown menu. (By default, this option is set to percentage, but you can opt to display a score or letter grade instead.)
  5. Select the grade columns and categories that will be calculated in the weighted column in the Select Columns section. (You may need to scroll down the page to find this section.) To select an item, simply
    1. click on its name, then
    2. click the right-arrow icon next to the Selected Columns box.
  6. Enter a percentage for each item. (See the note below about options for weighting categories.)
  7. Click the Submit button at the bottom-right side of the page when you are done.
NOTE
When you add a category to a weighted column, you can opt to have Blackboard automatically drop students’ highest or lowest scores through the “Drop Grades” option, or you can have Blackboard calculate the weighted grade using only students’ highest or lowest score through the “Use only the” option.
Screenshot showing the location of the Edit Column Information option
Steps 2 & 3: Locating the Edit Column Information option
Screenshot showing how to select columns and categories for the weighted column and specify their percentages
Steps 5 & 6: Selecting columns and categories for the weighted column and specifying their percentages

Where can I learn more about Grade Center?

Blackboard provides a wealth of online information that you can consult if you want to learn more about Grade Center. You can also meet with one of CTEL’s learning designers if you’d like more personalized assistance.

Video Tutorials

Check out the Blackboard Learn: For Instructors YouTube playlist for short videos on its features.

Text Tutorials

If you prefer reading text tutorials, visit the Grading section of the Blackboard Help site.

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