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Grade Center​ FAQ

Grade Center

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Why should I apply Categories to a Grade Column?

​Applying Categories will allow the Instructor to leverage the power of the Grade Center, particularly when creating Calculated Columns. Actions such as Dropping the Lowest Grade or Weighting grades are more easily applied when Categories have been applied. If the default categories do not suffice, refer to the tutorials for Creating Categories.

If I have Students submit Assignments through Blackboard, can I enter the grades for those assignments directly into the Grade Center or should I use enter grades in Grade Details?

Great question! When an Assignment or Test is created using the tools in Blackboard a column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Columns that are attached to a tool in Blackboard such as the Assignment Tool or Tests should be graded through Grade Details.
It is recommended that grades only be added directly into the Grade Center column if the column into which the grades are being added was been added to the Grade Center using Create Column.
See the Adding Grades within Grade Details  and Adding Grades in Full Grade Center tutorials for more information.

Why would I need to Exempt a Student from a particular Grade Center item?

Exempted items are not added to the total grade calculations or any of the statistical data related to an assignment or student performance. The reasons an Instructor may choose to exempt a student from an assignment will likely vary.
One of the most common examples is where an Instructor gives students a choice between completing Assignment A or Assignment B. The Instructor could Exempt Assignment B for the Student who chooses to submit Assignment A. This way the grade (or lack of a grade) for Assignment B would not be calculated into the student’s total grade.

Can I download the Grade Center and upload grades back into the Grade Center?

Most certainly! If an Instructor uses complex formulas to calculate Student grades, it may be prudent to maintain a Grade Center in Excel or Numbers. While this is possible, it is important to follow the process outlined in the Downloading the Grade Center tutorial at the beginning of the term to maintain data compatibility between Blackboard and the external data source. When it is time to bring grades back into the Grade Center, simply follow the instructions outlined in the Upload Grade Center tutorial.

Why doesn’t the Total Column reflect the grades I just uploaded into the Grade Center from my Excel/Numbers document?

There are two possible reasons for this anomaly.

  • ​The data from a file uploaded into the Grade Center is added as Text not as Score. As such it will be necessary to Edit Column Information for the uploaded columns and change the Primary Display to Score.
  • The Total Column may be set to include selected columns in the Grade Calculation. If this is the case, it will be necessary to Edit Column Information for the Total Column and select the recently uploaded columns to be added into the calculations.

See the Uploading the Grade Center and the Creating a Total Column tutorials for more information.

Why should I set Due Dates when creating columns in the Grade Center?

Setting Due Dates within Blackboard provides visual cues for both the Instructor and Students regarding the status of items due.

  • Items that have come past due or are submitted after the due date are identified as Late in the To Do module for students and in the Alerts modules for Instructors.
  • Due Dates also appear in My Grades for Students and, when associated with tools such as the Assignment Tool or Tests and Surveys, can be used by Instructors to generate various Reports, make grading decisions, etc.

See Course HomePage and Notifications tutorials for additional information.

Do Students see the Secondary Display that I set within a Grade Column?

No. The Secondary Display within a Grade Column is only visible by the Instructor. For example, if an Instructor wants to show the Students the raw score but they themselves want to also see the Percentage, the Primary Display would be set to Score for the Students to view while the Secondary Display would be set to Percentage for the Instructors edification.

Can Students see the Instructor Notes entered into the Comments or Grade Details section of the Grade Center?

No. Instructor Notes are only visible to individuals with grading privileges within Blackboard. This includes Teaching Assistants, Graders, and Instructors.

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