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Blackboard: The Grade Center

Page Contents

Overview (and How to Enter Midterm and Final Grades in Blackboard)

The Grade Center is where you enter and maintain student grades in your Blackboard course. To access it, go to the Course Management portion of the left navigation menu (underneath the actual course areas), Click on the Grade Center item to expand it, and select Full Grade Center.

At a minimum, you must provide a Midterm grade and a Final grade for students in Blackboard for every course***. Those two grade columns are provided for you in your Blackboard course (along with the Current Grade and Last Access columns).

Each of these is set to allow for any type of grade entry—text, numbers, percentage, etc. To enter your grades simply click on the field under the column you want to grade in, and for the student row you're grading. A fillable field will appear and you just input your grade and hit Enter or Tab.

Below is a video on the basic layout and functionality of the Grade Center, including how to enter grades.

***Remember, this is only the Blackboard step of submitting grades. Most importantly, you must enter your official midterm and final grades in the myMCAD records portal. Here is information on that process.

Browser Compatibility with the Blackboard Grade Center

The Grade Center often does not render properly in Safari. We strongly recommend Chrome or Firefox as your browser when using Blackboard. Need help installing one or both? Contact the Help Desk.

Missing the Horizontal Grade Center Scroll Bar?

If you don't have the side-to-side scroll bar (located just underneath the students/grades grid) showing in your Grade Center view:

Refer to this article for steps on how to get that to appear, so that you can scroll and see all of your grade columns.

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Creating a New Grade Column

1) Inside the Grade Center, click on the Create Column button (NOT the Create Calculated Column botton):

2) In the Create Grade Column interface, enter your column Name, the Points possible (those are the two required fields) and any other applicable information; Click the Submit button:

Here is a video covering the column-creation process:

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Column Organization

To change the order of Grade Center columns, hide columns, or to get a all-in-one view of the columns, use the Column Organization tool. To access it, hover your cursor over the Manage heading and click on the Column Organization option.

To Change the Order of the Columns as They Appear in the Grade Center

1) Hover your cursor over the 4-way arrow icon at the left of the row until your cursor resembles that 4-way arrow.

2) Left click and hold down. Drage the grade item into the desired position. The higher up the position in Column Organization equates to the column being positioned farther left in the standard Grade Center view.

To Hide or Unhide a Grade Column

1) Click on the box next to the left of the grade item:

2) Hover your cursor over the Show/Hide box at the top or bottom of the page and click on Hide Selected Columns or Show Selected Columns for the action you want. The column status will then be displayed:

 

***A note of caution with hiding columns: This can create problems with final grading and calculating points. Online Learning recommends that you delete a column you're not using rather than hiding it.

Here is a video covering Column Organization:

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Removing Unwanted Columns

To delete a grade column you're sure you no longer need, follow these steps.

1) Locate the column to be deleted.

2) Click on the chevron next to the column name and click on the Delete Column option:

If the column you need to delete is designated with the green External Grade check mark:

You need to re-assign that designation to a different column.

Choose the column to make external (note that this designation doesn't mean anything for MCAD purposes, and it any of the columns in your Grade Center can be designated as External), click on the column chevron, and click on the Set as External Grade option:

You can now go back to the column you were going to remove and delete it.

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Grade Comments

If you want to include comments to accompany a student's grade, follow these steps. Note that the grade itself has to be entered before you can insert comments.

1) Identify the column for the grade you want to comment on, and the specific student's grade.

2) Click on the chevron for that grade cell, and click on the Quick Comment option:

3) Enter your comments in the Feedback to Learner field and submit (the Grading Notes would be for your personal use and not visible to the student):

The student will then see these comments when they access the grade in their own Grades view.

Here is a video on entering grade comments:

 

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Assignments and Discussion Board Posts

Discussion Board Forums

If you have set a forum in your Discussion Board to be graded, a Grade Center column is automatically created. Once a student posts in the forum, an indicator will appear for you in two places that the post is ready for grading.

Needs Grading:

1) Under the Grade Center menu item, click on Needs Grading:

2) The Discussion Board grade item to be graded will is displayed. Click on the student's name to access the grading page:

3) In the grading interface, enter the grade and then submit. The grade will then be recorded in the Grade Center:

From the Grade Center:

1) Locate the grade item column.

2) The student's Discussion Board post will appear with the Needs Grading symbol:

3) Click into the grade cell and enter the grade.

Assignments

The process for grading assignments is the same as for Discussion Board posts. When you create an Assignment, a new column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Once a student submits a file, you will see the item under Needs Grading—or the symbol in the Grade Center as described above.

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Students' Grades View

How students see grades is considerably different than the Grade Center for instructors. When they click on the Grades item in a course, they get this interface:

For a grade item that you have included comments with, they will see this symbol next to the grade:

And when they click on the Comments icon:

Here's a video covering students' Grades view:

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Downloading the Grade Center at the End of a Semester

To retain a copy of your student grades from a semester, you can download your Grade Center in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

1) In the Grade Center, hover your cursor over Work Offline and click on the Download option:

2) Keep all the default settings as-is - Full Grade Center, Tab, No Include Hidden Information. Submit:

3) Click the DOWNLOAD button:

4) Save the Excel file on your computer.

5) The resulting spreadsheet will look something like this:

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Additional Resources

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Knowledge Base Category: 

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