Add Grade Columns

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For the most part, Grade Center columns need to be added manually. In some cases, Blackboard adds Grade Columns automatically.  This will occur when:

  • You distribute and collect assignments through the Create Assignment tool;
  • You select “Grade Forum” or “Grade Threads” when creating a new Discussion Board; or
  • You create a Test or Survey.

Any work for which a Grade Column is not automatically created can be included in the Grade Center by adding a Grade Column.

       a.  Select Rubric associates a rubric that has already been created in the Rubrics area of Course Tools.
       b.  Create New Rubric opens a pop-up window to allow immediate creation of a new associated rubric.
       c.  Create From Existing uses a previously created rubric as a template to create a new associated rubric.

  1. In Grade Center, click Create Column.
  2. Type a name for the assignment or test in the Column Name box. You can also add a shorter Grade Center Display Name that will be displayed as a column heading in your Grade Center spreadsheet.
  3. Fill in the Description text box with any information you would like your students to see about this item. 
  4. Select a Primary Display. This will dictate what kind of mark or grade you are able to enter and what will be displayed to students on their My Grades page:

    a.  Score shows the number of points the student received out of the total possible.
    b.  Text allows you to enter a string of text (maximum of 32 characters)
    c.  Percentage converts the student’s score to a percentage of the points possible. You may enter the grade as a score or as a percentage; if you enter the grade as a score, Blackboard will convert scores to percentages.
    d.  Letter** converts a numerical grade to a letter grade, or allows you to enter a letter grade. Letter grades are assigned a numerical value based on the settings in the Letter Grade Display.
    e.  Complete / Incomplete displays “Complete” if instructors have entered any mark for the item (the mark itself will be visible to the instructor).

  5. Choose an optional Secondary Display (for example, if you wish to view the Percentage equivalent of a Score).  This will be shown in the Grade Center only, not in students’ My Grades.
  6. If you are organizing your Grade Center items by category, select the relevant assessment Category (from Assignment, Survey, Test or Discussion) from the drop-down menu.  If not, leave the category as No Category. 
  7. Enter Points Possible.  This represents the scale used to mark the assignment (e.g. /5 or /100) and not the relative weight of the assignment within the course (to set the relative weight of assignments, see Define Weighted Total). Entries must be numeric.
  8. Click Add Rubric if you would like to use the built-in rubric feature. Select one of these options:
  9. Add an optional Due Date.  This Due Date will be displayed in the Grade Centre and in My Grades.
  10. Select Column Options

    a.  Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations.  If “Yes,” recorded marks will automatically be used in calculating students’ total course grades.
    b.  Show this Column to Students.  If “Yes,” students will be able to see the grade they have received for this assignment in My Grades.

    NOTE: Although the default is “Yes” we recommend that you hide columns from students until grades are entered by selecting “No.” Once grades are entered you can then make this column available to Students (see Hide or Show a Grade Column to Students).

    c.  Show Statistics for this column to Students in My Grades.  If “Yes,” students will be able to see the class median and average for the assignment.

  11. Click Submit.

**Using Letter Grades in Grade Center – Cautions & Considerations

  • The default settings for letter grades in Blackboard reflect the undergraduate grading scheme outlined in the UofT Grading Practices PolicyIf your division or department uses another grading scheme (e.g. the UofT graduate grading scheme), make sure that you modify the grade definitions BEFORE you assign marks to your students.  You can change the numeric values of letter grades in the Grade Center by manually adjusting the letter grade schema (see Edit Letter Grade Schema).
  • Grade Center calculates numeric grades to two decimal places and does not round up when calculating letter grades.  A number grade of 79.5% will therefore be entered as a B+ instead of an A-. If you wish to change this setting, see Edit Letter Grade Schema.
  • To make sure that letter grades are being converted to number grades correctly, choose Percentage as your Secondary Display.  This will allow you to quickly verify the conversion.