Blackboard - Overview of the grade center

The Grade center in Blackboard gives the lecturer an overview of assessment results in each course.

Norsk versjon - Blackboard - Oversikt over vurderingssenteret

Topic page about Blackboard |  Pages labeled with Blackboard  

The grade center is presented as a table showing all the assessments of all the students in the course. Here, the lecturer can see all results, and also give grades directly. The columns of the table can be altered to fit the evaluation methods of the course, and to make the most important grades easily accessible to the lecturer.

Overview of the grade center #

Overview of the grade center

This picture shows the full grade center as it appears before it has been adjusted.
(1) shows data about the students; Last name, First name and Username. The columns to the right of this, (2), shows all assessment activities of the course. Use the scrollbar at the bottom to navigate through the activities.

Above the table we find more alternatives;

  • (3) Create Column
    Here you can create a new column for assessments which are not done digitally in Blackboard. E.g oral presentations or assignments handed in on paper. This way all of the assessments done by the students in the course are collected in one place.
  • (4) Create Calculated Column
    This column can calculate Average Column, Minimum/Maximum Column, Total column and Weighted Column of one or more assessment columns. This enables you to make a column which calculates e.g when the students have enough approved assignments.
  • (5) Manage
    Gives several options for managing the table. The most important are Grading periods (categorize assessments by their due date), Grading Schemas (enables you to set the view of the grading in the table. E.g set the preffered score for separating Approved/Not approved) and Smart Views (Makes it possible to create a view with pre set settings so that you only see the assessments of the students you want, e.g you can Track low scores or Compare two columns).
  • (6) Work offline
    Makes it possible to Download the entire table so that you can work with it offline. The table will be downloaded as an excel sheet. After doing this, you can Upload the changes securing that the grade center is always updated. By ticking the boxes at the left end of the table, you can move the students to the top, or Email (7) them.


You can also grade directly in the grade center. This is done by clicking in one of the cells of the table, and writing the score you want to give this student for this assessment.

Overview of the grade center

At the bottom of the table we find a button called Icon Legend. This button shows a list of all the icons used in the table and what they represent:

Overview of the grade center

Hiding assessments from students and categorizing assessments as Compulsory #

  1. By clicking the arrow to the right of each assessment activity, we get a drop-down menu with more choices for the column:

    Options for the column
  2. Options for the column
    • Edit Column Information (1) shows more options for the column.
    • Hide from Students (on/off) (2) hides this assessment activity from the students until you have turned this on again. This way students won't get consecutive updates about their results.
  3. By clicking Edit Column information we get this picture:

    making assessments compulsory

    At Category (1) we can choose Compulsory assignment (2). Press Submit (3) to make this assessment compulsory.
  4. The assessment will now be marked as Compulsory to the students.
    Note that all compulsory assessments are to be mentioned in the course description.

Manually graded column #

You can create columns for activities that are not submitted in Blackboard. Perhaps the students handed in on paper and you do not want to create an assignment in Blackboard or maybe you want to create an attendance list? Then you can create a new column and grade there directly.

  1. Creating a new column

    In the Full Grade Center we click Create Column.
  2. Creating a new column

    Fill in a Column Name (1) and optionally a Description (3). The name will show up in both the Grade Center and in My Grades. If the name turns out to be long it is recommended to write an abbreviation under Grade Center Name (2).
  3. Creating a new column
    • Under Primary Display (4) we can choose Approved / Not approved if we want. This changes the feedback the students receive.
    • Define the number of Points Possible (5). In this case it is natural to set this as 1 (where 0 = not approved and 1 = approved).
    • Under Dates we can set a Due Date (6). However, because we in this example are creating an attendance list we will not set a due date. Setting a due date here would cause it to show up in the students calendar, which is desirable in other cases.
  4. Creating a new column

    Finally under Options (7) you can choose where the column should be visible. Press Submit (8) to create the column.
  5. To register grades you can now simply input a 0 or a 1 directly in the newly created column. When you press enter Approved/Not approved will show up instead.

    Creating a new column

Creating a Total Column #

Total columns can be used to check if the students have enough approved assignments in the course. The total column adds all the scores from the chosen assessments, and shows this added score either as a number or as approved/not approved. In many ways, the grade center can be seen as an interactive spreadsheet, and the total column is an example of a function we recognize from excel.

  1. To create a total column simply hover over Create Calculated Column (1) and click Total Column (2):

    Creating a Total column
  2. We set a Name (1) and choose our Primary Display (2). In this example we want Approved/Not approved.

    Creating a Total column
  3. We choose Selected Columns and Categories (3), and get a list of Columns (4) and Categories (5) to select for our total count. The list in (6) shows the assessments we have chosen here.

    Creating a Total column

    We click Submit to finish.
  4. In the grade center we can now see that the total column has appeared on the right hand side of the table:

    Creating a Total column

    We can now click Manage and Grading Schemas.
  5. Creating a Total column

    At Grading Schemas we can change the score limit for Approved/Not approved. We click the arrow to the right and choose Edit.
  6. Creating a Total column

    At Schema mapping we can choose the required percentage for approved/not approved. We choose 75%.
  7. Creating a Total column

    Since there were only three assignments chosen in this example, they all have to be approved in order for the total column to show approved. Since exercise 3 is not approved here, the total column shows Not approved.

Look through already graded assignments #

  1. In order to view assessments already graded, click the little arrow (1) next to the assessment of the student you want to view. We then choose View Grade Details (2).

    Look through already graded assignments
  2. Here we have several options. By clicking View Attempts we get to view the assignment:

    Look through already graded assignments
  3. We now recognize the grading tool from the first time we graded this.

    Look through already graded assignments

See also #

Tip for Mac-users!
If you are having trouble viewing all of the columns in the grade center, and you are missing scollbars you can try the following settings for your Mac:
Under System Preferences -> General -> Show scroll bars, select Always.

Contact #

Orakel Support Services can help if you have questions or if you encounter difficulties.

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