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The Grade Center

Manually adding columns and grades to Grade Center
How do students view their grades in Blackboard?
Downloading and backing up a Blackboard Grade Center
Weighting grades in the Grade Center
Including extra credit in Grade Center calculations.
Submitting final grades to the Registrar
Performance Dashboard

Manually adding columns and grades to Grade Center

When an instructor deploys a test or adds an assignment using the features within Blackboard, these are automatically added as items in Grade Center. If you added a test, depending on the type of questions (barring short answer and essay) and whether or not the test requires instructor feedback, Blackboard will automatically grade the test and enter a score for each student who has taken the test. For items that are not included as part of the Blackboard course site tool set, such as Attendance or projects/assignments that will be graded outside of Blackboard, columns can be added manually to Grade Center:

Video Tutorial for Creating a Column in the Grade Center

Video Tutorial for Entering Grades in the Grade Center

How do students view their grades in Blackboard?

Students view their grades through the front end of a course site. In the Navigation Menu a student clicks on Tools from the Course Menu.  Among all the available tools, students have access to a link entitled "My Grades". All available items with their respective grades and instructor feedback are located here. It's important that, as the instructor, you don't hide the My Grades tool or disable the link through the "Tool Availability" section.

Video Tutorial for My Grades (Student View)

Downloading and backing up elements in Blackboard Grade Center

Let us be very clear about Grade Center: It is NOT recommended that you use Bb Grade Center as your only tool for recording students' grades.  Blackboard is meant to be a communication tool.  It is a great way to let the students know how they are doing, but, as with anything electronic, it is not wise not to have a back-up, regardless of how you record students' grades.  We highly recommend a hard copy of the grades.  We all know, computers crash, technology stalls, and digital storage can accidently be wiped clean.  Now, if you don't take our advice, it is highly fact, let's make that a mandatory recommendation, that you back up your electronic Gradebook on a regular basis, (weekly, if not every time you add in student grades) and most definitely at the end of each semester as you close out your course site.

Video Tutorial for Downloading the Grade Center

Weighting grades in Grade Center.

WARNING: There are inherent problems in the method used for determining weighted grades within the Blackboard Grade Center; so, instructors are advised to use weighting with caution. As per Blackboard Help - The Adjust Grade Center Weights page lists the points possible for each item [e.g. exam grade] - the weighting formula assumes that each item has the same points possible. If items have different points possible, for example a quiz may have 20 points possible and a test may have 100 points possible, weighting them will not give an accurate measure of student performance.

Grades can be weighted by Item or Category. To weight grades:

Video Tutorial for Creating a Weighted Column

Including extra credit in Grade Center calculations.

Extra credit cannot be included if you are using weighted grades. If you are using the Total Score, however, you can include extra credit: From within the Gradebook, add a new column and name it ‘Extra Credit' or similar. Assign it ‘0' points and select display as ‘Score'. Manually add the extra credit points for each student. Those students who do not earn extra credit or for whom it does not apply will not be penalized.

Submitting final grades to the Registrar.

An instructor can easily submit final grades (at the end of semester) through Blackboard. The final grade submission process electronically dumps grades into Jenzabar, the management system.

To submit final grades through Blackboard:

Instructors cannot resubmit grades electronically through Blackboard. If any changes need to be to a student's grade this must be done in person, with the Registrar.

Performance Dashboard

Performance Dashboard is a great tool that tracks student's participation and work progress. An instructor can view the last time a student accessed the course site; how many times they have used the Discussion Board and what Forums they have participated in; information on items that are defined by Review Status or Adaptive Release. From the Control Panel click on Performance Dashboard under Evaluation to review such information on student progress.



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