The Blackboard Grade Center is a wonderful tool full of helpful features – so full that it’s often difficult to know where to start. Here’s an overview of all the basics, plus some time-saving tips. The Grade Center can do everything from calculate weighted totals, to score online quizzes, to enable you to grade papers completely electronically. If you’ve never used the Grade Center (or if you’ve been using Excel all these years), take a look and see what Blackboard can do for you.
The Grade Center of every course space begins with several default columns: student names, user names, last course access date, and weighted total. Some types of assessments automatically create a grade center column for you (for example, tests, surveys, assignments, discussion boards, and more). For other types of assessments (exams, papers, participation grades, etc.), you will need to add a column to the Grade Center in order to be able to enter student grades.
Click on the Grade Center sub-menu of the Control Panel area, then click on the words “Full Grade Center” to see the Grade Center. Click the “Create Column” button.
On the following page, enter the name, points possible, and any other information necessary (all options are explained within the page). Click Submit and there is your new column.
There are two basic options for entering grades: fast entry using the spreadsheet view and detailed entry using the Grade Details page. If you are just entering exam grades, for example, you can use the fast entry through the spreadsheet view. Click in the cell, type in the grade, and hit the Enter key to save and advance to the next student.
For assignments and any type of assessment involving additional student feedback, you will need to go to the Grade Details page. Hover your mouse in the cell for a student and click the “action button” that appears; then select the “View Grade Details” option.
On the following page, in the “Attempts” area, look for the “Grade Attempt” button and click it to access student work and the grading and comment sections.
Once you begin using the Grade Center, you may discover that you need to organize it differently from the default layout. Click the Manage button, then select “Column Organization”:
On the next page, you can Hide columns you don’t want to see or Show columns you have previously Hidden. Check the column(s) you want, then select the option you’d like. Mouse over the four-headed compass symbol, then click and drag the column to change the order in which columns appear in the spreadsheet view. In the lower part of the page, click the action button next to any column and change the default sort order. Be sure to click Submit to save your changes.
Note: to delete a column, click the action button next to the column name. This menu contains many useful options, including the “Edit Column Information” to use for modifying an existing column.