Best Practices for the Grade Center
The Blackboard Grade Center allows instructors to record grades, track student work, create reports, and add comments and feedback to students throughout the semester. The grade center can be used to track assessments such as quizzes, assignments, discussion forums, attendance, blogs, journals, and wikis.
Let Blackboard create the grade columns.
A grade column is automatically created when you create graded activities, such as assignments, quizzes, discussions, journals, blogs, and wiki posts. Grade center columns can be manually created for any assessment or activity which does not use Blackboard tools. Assignments that are handed in during class time are an example. Feedback can still be given to students electronically and you’ll have a backed up, and automatically calculated, grade book. Students can also easily keep track of their progress throughout the course when all assignments are included in the grade center.
Use Consistent Column Names
Use column names that are consistent with the naming of course assessments.
- Grade Center Columns should match exactly what the activity, assignment, or assessment is named in the course.
- If you have a long assessment name, use the Grade Center “display name” to abbreviate the name.
Columns in the grade center can be easily reordered, hidden, deleted, and categorized through the Column Organization feature. Organize your columns in a sequential order, such as due date or the weeks in which the assessments are due.While the horizontal scrolling nature of the grade center can make it difficult to view all columns, the Column Organization tool features a layout that is clear and easy to use to view the grade columns and their details.
Delete unused/unwanted columns
Delete any unused columns to prevent confusion for you and your students. The Column Organization screen shows the grade column name, date created, point values, and grading category. If there is no delete option, and you do not plan to use that assessment for the current semester, you need to find where the assessment is delivered in the course and delete it from that location. Hint: If you do not know where to find a test located in a content area (common with a course copy when outdated tests are added from multiple course copies), look under the Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, Pools > and look at the Deployed column.
If you plan on offering extra credit in your course, access the following instructions for a simple way to add an extra credit column to the grade center. Adding a separate column, instead of adding extra points to individual assignments, will help keep a more defined view of the course and assignment grades.
Creating Extra Credit Grade Columns
If you ever want a print student records, you can create a report by navigating to the Full Grade Center. Then navigate to the Report button and click Create a Report. Give the report a name and choose which students, and grade columns, should be included. You can print or save the report.
Providing Assessment Feedback
You can easily provide feedback and annotate student assignment submissions directly within your browser, without the need to download individual files. Students are then able to see your feedback and comments in their My Grades section.
Navigate to a student’s grade cell. Click the cell’s action chevron to View Grade Details, Exempt Grade, and View Attempt. View Grade Details allows you to clear or ignore submission attempts. View Attempt will open the student’s submission.
Inline Grading with New Box View
Grade Center Icons
- The exclamation point (!) icon in a student’s grade cell means the attempt needs your attention. This alert means you can grade the student submission. The notification can also mean the student submitted the assessment after the course deadline.
- The clock icon in a student’s grade cell means there is an attempt in progress by the student.
- The double hyphen (–) means the student has not yet made an attempt.