Grade Center

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The Grade Center in the Portal assists course staff with managing student assessments and feedback. The Grade Center can track and calculate grades for a variety of assessment types such as tests, surveys, assignments, and discussion boards. The Grade Center also provides an easy method of downloading a class list. It is customizable to meet the needs of each course.

Course Roles and Grade Centre Access: Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Graders only.  Students access their grades from their My Grades page. The Course Builder role does not have access to the Grade Center.

 

My Grades

Students should understand that My Grades in their Portal course allows them early access to preliminary grades, it does not represent their official final marks. For more information on University of Toronto policies and guidelines regarding the posting and distribution of grades, please review Q and A about FIPPA for Instructors on the website of the Vice-President and Provost.

Official grades are posted on ACORN

The Repository of Student Information (ROSI) is the official Student System of Record recognized by the University of Toronto for student grades. ACORN (Accessible Campus Online Resource Network) is the student facing view into ROSI.

eMarks

Instructors in some divisions may submit their marks/grades to ROSI via eMarks. eMarks is a collection system for instructors that feeds grades into ROSI. eMarks is supported at the departmental/ divisional level. Instructors should contact their department or division for support and technical questions about eMarks.

 

Table of Contents

My Grades

Official grades are posted on ACORN

eMarks

Getting Started

Accessing the Grade Center

Full Grade Center
Needs Grading

Setting Up the Grade Center

Manage the Grade Center

Enter Grades

Download Information from Grade Center

View Grade History

Send Reminder for Assessments

Troubleshooting

U of T Assessment and Grading Practices Policy

See Also

Support Contacts

 

Getting Started for Course Staff

The links below give Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and Graders the basic steps to setting up and managing the Grade Center.

1. Access the Grade Center

2. Hide Total and Weighted Total Columns

3. Create Grade Columns

4. Enter Grades Manually

5. View Grade Details

6. Download Grades

 

Access the Grade Center

The Grade Center can be accessed within any given course through the Grade Center submenu under the Control Panel on the left. Expanding this submenu will display links for the Full Grade Center, Needs Grading and Smart Views which are explained in the next section. Instructors, TAs and Graders have access to the Grade Center. Students and Course Builders do not have access to the Grade Center.

Access the Grade Center

Expanded Grade Center Menu

 

Full Grade Center

The Full Grade Center provides a complete view of all the students and assessments in your course. This information is displayed as a chart or spreadsheet, with rows representing students and columns representing either student information or assessments. Columns can also be used to calculate grades.

The Full Grade Center is the default view of the Grade Center and is the starting point for the tasks and actions described on this page.

 

Needs Grading

The Needs Grading page is a simplified view of the Grade Center. This page can assist course staff who have a heavy grading load by only displaying student submissions that are ready for grading. In order to start grading you can click on individual attempts under User Attempt, or click on Grade All button. The columns can be sorted or filtered depending on your needs.

Apply Filters to narrow the list by Category, Item, User, and Date Submitted. If a filter is applied, only the filtered items appear in the list and in the queue.

For example, make selections in both the Category and User drop-down lists to display tests submitted by a particular user. Click Go to display the filtered items on the Needs Grading page. The filtered list remains in effect until you edit the filter choices or log out. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.

The total number of items to grade appears above the list of items. Once attempts have been graded, they do not appear on the Needs Grading page and the number of items updates to reflect the current number of items that need to be graded. If the list is filtered, the number reflects how many items match the current filter settings.

Available as of May 8, 2017

When you allow multiple attempts, you may choose to grade only one of those attempts per student. The Needs Grading page automatically displays only the attempts that need grading based on which attempt you chose to grade (e.g. Last Attempt).

Last Attempts in Needs Grading page

You can choose to display all of the attempts from each student or group. Select the check box for Show attempts that don't contribute to user's grade and then select Go. The total number of items you need to grade increases to include the previously hidden attempts.

Needs Grading - Show All Submissions

For each student or group, all attempts appear. Each attempt that you don't need to grade appears with the Does not contribute to user's grade icon.

Needs Grading - All Submissions

Note: If you allow four attempts and choose to use the last attempt for the grade, you'll see whatever attempt is last as the one to grade. So, if a student has made three attempts, the third attempt is currently the one to grade. If you grade that attempt, the student can still make another attempt. The next attempt will appear as ready to grade because it's the fourth and last attempt.

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Set Up the Grade Center

In the Grade Center you can:

Create Grade Columns

Grade Columns can be created manually (e.g. participation marks) or or are automatically added when you create assessments directly in the Portal course such as when:

  • You distribute and collect assignments through the Blackboard Assignment tool;
  • You select Grade Forum or Grade Threads when creating a new Discussion Board;
  • You create a Test or Survey; or
  • You enable grading in other Blackboard tools such as Blogs, Journals, and Wikis.

All other columns must be created manually. See Manual Columns and Automatically-added Columns below for more information.

Manual Columns

To Add a Grade Column manually:

  1. In the 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).

      **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. 
  1.  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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Click Add Rubric if you would like to use the built-in rubric feature.
  5. Add an optional Due Date.  This Due Date will be displayed in the Grade Centre and in My Grades.
  6. 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 all grades are entered for this particular assignment, 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.

     
  7. Click Submit.

Automatically-added Columns:

Assessment-Based Columns that are created automatically when you add an assessment in the Portal course may also be edited and hidden or shown to students and course staff.

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Calculated Columns

Calculated columns combine values from multiple columns to calculate and display specific results.
By default, the system creates two calculated columns that appear in new courses: Total and Weighted Total.

You can change a calculated column's settings and change what is included and the calculation will update automatically.

Note: A calculated column with Text as the primary display is not included in the column's calculation.
Note: You cannot type in a calculated column's cell to edit the calculated grade. No menu appears in these column's individual cells.
Note: In the settings for calculated columns, Points Possible includes the phrase “(may vary by student)” because some students may be exempt from one of the included tests or assignments.

The following calculated columns can be created in the Grade Center:

Create Calculated Columns:

Create Calculated Columns

Total Coumn

The Total column generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned, related to the points allowed. You can select which columns and categories are included in a Total column's calculation. When you create a Total column, you can include other calculated columns.

A Total column is created by default and appears in all new courses. You can rename it, change the settings, change which columns are included in this total, or delete the column.

In order to create a Total column:

  1. In the Full Grade Center, in the horizontal menu, click on Create Calculated Column and select Total Column from the drop-down menu.
  2. On the Create Total Column page, type a brief name and an optional description. The name becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students' My Grades pages. If the name is too long to display clearly in the Grade Center, add a shorter name in the Grade Center Name box.
  3. Make a selection in the Primary Display menu as described in the step #4 of creating Manual Columns.
  4. Optionally, Choose a 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.
  5. In the Select Columns section, select what to include in the column's calculation:
    • All Grade Columns:  Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center
    • Selected Columns and Categories: Select grade columns and categories individually.
      Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and select the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box.
      Note: A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations doesn't appear in the selection list.

      If you are using categories, select the categories in the Categories to Select box and select the right-pointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. Other options appear after you move the category to the Selected Columns box:
      • If grading periods exist, make a selection in the Grading Period menu.
      • Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each category from the calculation. If you don't type numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
      • Use only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate removes all grades from the calculation except for the lowest or highest score.
  6. Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt cells that don't contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a value of 0 if no grade exists. The result can make grades appear artificially low.
  7. Select the Options:
    • Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
    • Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students in My Grades.
    • Show Statistics for this column to Students in My Grades:.  If “Yes,” students will be able to see the class median and average for this column.
  8. Select Submit

Weighted Column

The weighted column generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When you create a weighted column, you can include other calculated columns and other weighted columns.

A default weighted total column appears in new courses which can be used to define Weighted Total. You can rename it, change the settings, change which columns and categories are included, or delete this column. The default weighted total column displays no results until you select the columns and categories to include in the calculation.

In order to create a Weighted Total column,  access the Create Calculated Column menu in the Grade Center and select  Weighted Column. On the next page, type a brief name and an optional description. Then follow the steps 3 to 8 described in the Define Weighted Total section below.

Average Column

The average column displays the average for a selected number of columns. To create an Average Column access the Create Calculated Column menu in the Grade Center and select Average Column. Then follow the steps 2 to 8 described in the Total Column section. For Weight Columns, select how to weigh columns within the category:

  • Select Equally to apply equal values to all columns within a category.
  • Select Proportionally to apply the appropriate value to a column based on its points compared to other columns in the category.

Minimum/Maximum Column

The minimum/maximum column displays either the minimum or maximum grade for a selection of columns. In order to create a Minimum/Maximum Column access the Create Calculated Column menu in the Grade Center and select Minimum/Maximum Column. Then follow the steps 2 to 8 described in the Total Column section. In the Select Columns section, select Calculation Type: Minimum or Maximum.

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Hide or Show Columns to Students

We recommend that you hide the Total and Weighted Total columns from students. Both of these columns may reveal final grades; however, final grades should only be communicated to students via ROSI/ACORN.

To do this, click on the contextual menu (downward arrow) which can be found next to the name of each column (for example, next to Total and Weighted Total).  Select Edit Column Information. Scroll down to Options, and next to Show This Column to Students select No, and Submit.

Hide Total Column

You can also hide, or show, columns to students when you Create Grade Columns. On the Create Grade Column page, scroll down to Options and next to Show This Column to Students select Yes or No as per your preference, and Submit.

Columns that are invisible to students will display an icon, featuring a grey circle crossed through with a red line, in the column header.
Columns that are visible to students have no icons in the column header.

Hide Columns From Course Staff

Hiding columns from course staff may make it easier to view and manage the Grade Center. For example, you may want to hide columns you have already graded.

To hide columns from course staff, go to your course's Grade Center and:

  1. Click on the contextual menu (downward arrow), which can be found next to the name of the column you wish to hide.
  2. From the menu, click Hide from Instructor View.
    Hide Columns from Course Staff

    Note: Hide from Instructor View makes the column invisible to the course staff and not the students.

To restore columns:

  1. Click on the Manage button, then select Column Organization.
  2. Scroll down and select the column you would like to restore.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click on Show/Hide, then Show Selected Columns, and hit Submit.

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Define Weighted Total

Once columns for all graded work have been added to the Grade Center, you can use the Weighted Total column to define the respective weight of each piece of work in the overall course grade and automatically calculate a Weighted Grade.

The Weighted Grade displayed in this column will be automatically calculated based on the marks entered for individual assignments in the Grade Columns and the information entered here. In the Grade Center:

  1. Click on the contextual menu (dropdown arrow) to the right of the Weighted Total column. Select Edit Column Information from the drop down menu.

    NOTE: By default this column is shown to students. We recommend hiding the weighted total from students.
     
  2. Column Name and Description have default values.  You can change these if you wish.
  3. Select Primary Display and Secondary Display (see Create Grade Columns for details about display options).
  4. Under Columns to Select click on the Grade Column you wish to weigh.

    NOTE: If you have organized some of your Grade Columns into Categories, the Categories to Select option allows you to allocate a portion of the final course grade to an entire category of assessments (e.g. journal entries or discussion board posts), drop grades within a category before calculating a weighted total, or use only certain grades within a category when calculating a weighted total.
     
  5. Use the arrow to move this Grade Column or Category to Selected Columns. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each Grade Column or Category you wish to include in calculating the final grade for the course.

    After you move a category to the Selected Columns box,  the following options appear:
    • Weight Columns:  Select how to weigh columns within the category. Select Equally to apply equal value to all columns within a category. Select Proportionally to apply the appropriate value to a column based on its points compared to other columns in the category.
    • Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each category from the calculation. If you don't type numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
    • Use only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate removes all grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.

    For each Grade Column or Category, enter the percent of the total final grade for the course allocated to that assignment, test, or exam.  The percentages of all columns added together must equal 100 percent. After you assign the last percentage, click anywhere in the box to update the percentage located below the Selected Columns box in the Total Weight field.

    To delete a column or a category in the Selected Columns box, click the red X.

    Define Weights

    Note: If you delete a column that is included in the calculation for a weighted column, the percentage assigned to the deleted column is removed. In the Selected Columns box, the Total Weight will no longer equal 100%. The system doesn't update percentages in the Selected Columns box, but the grade that appears in the weighted column in the Grade Center is based on 100%.

  6. Select whether or not you wish to Calculate as Running Total. If “Yes,” only graded assessments will be used in calculating the total displayed under Weighted Total.  If “No,” ungraded assessments will be assigned a value of 0.
  7. 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. We recommend hiding the weighted total from students.
    c. Show Statistics for this column to Students in My Grades.  If “Yes,” students will be able to see the class average and median for the assignment.
     
  8. Click Submit.

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Add a Rubric

If you would like to grade assignments based on pre-defined evaluation criteria, you may choose to add a Rubric that can be accessed from the Grade Center.

Before adding a Rubric in the Grade Center, please see Creating a Rubric.

Once you have created your Rubric, add it to the grade column of your choice by following these instructions:

  1. Find the column you would like to associate your Rubric with. Click on the contextual menu (dropdown arrow) to the right of the column name and select Edit Column Information.
  2. Scroll down to Associated Rubrics and click on Add Rubric, and then on Select Rubric. A pop-up window will display
  3. Check the box next to the Rubric you want to add, and press Submit.
    Note: To remove the association of a Rubric to the Grade Center column, click on the red X (Remove Rubric Association) next to the name of the Rubric.
  4. If you would like to show the rubric to students, select the appropriate option under Show Rubrics to Students:
    • No: Students can't view the rubric.
    • Yes (With Rubric Scores): Students can view the rubric when you make the item available, including possible point or percentage values.
    • Yes (Without Rubric Scores): Students can view the rubric when you make the item available, but they can't see the possible point or percentage values.
    • After Grading: Students can view the rubric only after you've finished grading their submissions.
      Add Rubrics
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and press Submit.

To grade an assignment using the Rubric:

  1. Hover the mouse over the cell for the particular student and assignment you wish to grade. 
  2. Click on the contextual menu (dropdown arrow) in the cell and select Grade User Activity.
  3. On the right side of the window, under Grade by Rubric, click on the Rubric name to view the rubric on the page, or click on the icon to view the Rubric in another window.
  4. Assign marks as per the Rubric, and the Raw Total will be displayed. If you wish, you may edit the grade by clicking in the box next to Change the number of points to.
  5. Click on Save Rubric, and then Submit.

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Manage the Grade Center

Instructors, TAs and Graders can customize the way data in the Grade Center is displayed to make information easier to enter and review.  This includes the ability to:

  1. Hide or Show Grade Columns to Instructors, TAs and Graders;
  2. Organize the Grade Center;
  3. Add Smart Views;
  4. Create Grading Categories;
  5. Edit Letter Grade Schema;
  6.  Create Grading Periods;
  7. Colour Code the Grade Center and Manage Grading Colour Codes in the Grade Center.

Watch a video on how to customize the Grade Center.

Reorganize or Reorder Columns

You can customize the way Grade Center is displayed using the Column Organization page. The Column Organization page displays rows representing Grade Center columns.  You can manipulate these rows to re-order, hide and show columns in your Grade Center views.

To change the Grade Center display using the Column Organization page, in Grade Center, mose over the Manage button on the top menu and select Column Organization.

Column Organization

On the Column Organization page, you can modify the ways columns are displayed and grouped in several ways:

Items that have a Arrows symbol to their left indicate that they can be dragged and dropped in any one of the sections on the Column Organization Page.

Reorder Columns

You can change the order in which columns will be displayed by clicking on the arrows to the left of the column's name and dragging items into their desired order.

  1. Shown in All Grade Center Views indicates columns that will always be visible to the instructor and TA whether they are viewing the Full Grade Center or the data for a particular Grading Period or Smart View.

    You can select additional columns to be Shown in All Grade Center Views (for example, the Total or Weighted Total) by dragging and dropping these columns from the Not in a Grading Period into the Shown in All Grade Center Views box or by clicking on the checkbox next to the column you wish to add and selecting Show Selected Columns in All Grade Center Views from the Show/Hide button.  
     
  2. Frozen Columns will always remain visible on the screen even when a Grade Center user has scrolled across columns. You can freeze additional columns by dragging and dropping them into the Frozen Columns box.
    Frozen Columns
  3. You can modify the Grading Period of a test or assignment (see how to creat Grading Periods) by:
    a. Clicking the checkbox next to the relevant assignment; and
    b. Selecting the Grading Period with which you wish to associate these assignments from the Change Grading Period To button.
     
  4. You can change the Category of a test or assignment (see how to create a new Category) by:
    a. Clicking the checkbox next to the relevant test or assignment; and
    b. Selecting the relevant assessment Category from the Change Category To button.
     
  5. You can Hide or Show Selected Columns (see Hide Grade Columns above) by:
    a. Clicking the checkbox beside the columns you wish to show or hide; and
    b. Selecting Hide Selected Columns or Show Selected Columns from the Show/Hide button. 
     
  6. Once you have completed all your changes, click Submit.

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Create Smart Views

A SMART VIEW is a focused look at the Grade Center. It shows only the data that matches a set of criteria. Smart Views are useful to quickly sort data when the Grade Center includes a large number of students and columns.

With Smart Views, you can view the progress of the following:

  • An existing group
  • Student performance for a particular item
  • Individual students

The default Smart Views appear on the Smart Views page in the Grade Center. Favorite Smart Views appear in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel as an indented list under Full Grade Center. Smart Views can be tagged as Favorites so they appear in this list for quick access.

In order to create Smart Views:

  1. Go to Control Panel.  Click on Grade Center and select Full Grade Center.

    NOTE: Favorite Smart Views can be added to the Grade Center section of the Control Panel as an indented list under Full Grade Center for quick access. Assignments and Tests are the Smart Views that appear by default in the Control Panel and can be removed.
    Smart Views
     
  2. Click Manage to access the drop-down list and then select Smart Views.
  3. On the Smart Views page, click Create Smart View.
  4. On the Create Smart View page:

    a. Type a Name for the Smart View. Adding a Description is optional.
    b. Select the Add as Favorite check box to make the Smart View a favourite. The Favorite Smart View will appear in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel in the indented list under Full Grade Center.
     
  5. There are 5 types of views with a set of criteria.  Select the Type of View for your Smart View:

    a. Course Group: Groups must be created using the UT Manage Groups tool before they can be used as selection criteria.
    b. Performance: Student performance on a single item (or method of assessment), such as a mid-term exam.
    c. User:  A Smart View based on individual students.
    d. Category and Status: Based on a category, such as Assignment or Test, student or students, and grade status, such as Completed or Not Attempted.
    e. Custom: A query for selecting students using a combination of attributes.

    a. Course Group:  For Type of View, select Course Group. Select the Criteria for the Group, for Condition, select Equal to, and then select the Value of the Group, which is the Group Name.
    b. Performance: For Type of View, select Performance.  Select the User Criteria (columns from the Grade Center) from the drop-down list. Select the Condition for the criteria. Possible conditions include the following: Equal to, Greater than, Greater than or Equal to, Less than, Less than or Equal to, Between, or Status Equals. Type or select the Value for the Condition. Note: All Conditions require a number except Between, which requires two numbers, and Status Equals, which requires a selection for the status of the grade.
    c. User: For Type of View, select User. Select All Users from the Users drop-down list to include results for all Students, or select Selected Users from the drop-down list and select the individual students needed. Hold down the CRTL key to select multiple users. 
    d. Category and Status: For Type of View, select Category and Status. Under Categories, select a category from the drop-down list, such as Assignment or Test. Under Users, select All Users from the drop-down list to include results for all students, or select Selected Users from the drop-down list and select the individual students needed. Hold down the CRTL key to select multiple users. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list.  The following choices are possible:
    • All Statuses
    • Completed
    • Edited Manually
    • Exempt
    • In progress
    • Needs Grading
    • Not Attempted

    e. Custom: For Type of View, select Custom. Instructors can create a Smart View by building a query based on a combination of attributes. For example, an Instructor teaching a multi-disciplinary course may have two items that account for the major proportion of the semester’s grade, a Mid-term Exam, and a Final Exam. In the course, the Instructor has two groups of students: biology students, and Management students, as well as select students in a group named at risk students. This translates into five criteria:

    Group Value & Description

    1. Mid-term Exam grade less than 60 (failure cut off)
    2. Final Exam grade less than 60 (failure cut off)
    3. Biology student group
    4. Management student group
    5. At risk students group (students who have been identified by student services as at risk for dropping out of the program.)

    Click Add User Criteria for additional rows.

    The Instructor is interested in seeing which students scored below a 60 on either exam, what group the students are in, and if they are at risk. This data gives the Instructor information about whether there is a difference in the failure rates of Biology students, Management students and at risk students.

    To add a complex formula, the Instructor must manually edit the formula in the Formula Editor box. The first formula the Instructor adds is this: ([1 or 2] AND [3 or 4]) AND 5.

    This displays all Students from the At Risk group (5) with scores less than 60 on the Mid-term Exam (1) or Final Exam (2) with the group Biology (3) or Management (4).

    The second formula the Instructor adds is this: (1 or 2) AND (3 or 4 or 5).

    This displays all students with scores less than 60 on the Mid-term Exam (1) or the Final Exam (2) and are either in the group Biology (3) or Management (4) or at risk (5).

  6. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list. The following choices are possible: All Columns: Select all Grade Center columns, None: Do not select any Grade Center columns, All columns shown to users: Select all columns that are shown to users. Columns that have been hidden are not shown, All columns hidden from users: Select all columns that have been hidden from users, Selected Columns Only: Select columns from the list of columns that appears, Selected Categories Only: Select categories from the list of categories that appears, Selected Grading Periods Only: Select Grading Periods from the list of Grading Periods that appears.
  7. Click Submit.

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Create Grading Categories

In the Grade Center, categories can be used to group related columns together and organize the data.

With categories, you can perform these tasks:

  • Filter your view of the Grade Center (e.g. view only assignment columns in the Grade Center grid).
  • Calculate grades (e.g. assign a weight to a category when you define weighted total).
  • Create a smart view. (e.g. create a smart view that only displays columns associated with the Test category).

By default, these eight categories are created in the Grade Center:

  • Assignment
  • Blog
  • Discussion
  • Journal
  • Self and Peer
  • Survey
  • Test
  • Wiki-when the tool is available and you created a gradable wiki

When you create a gradable item from the list, a grade column is created automatically for the item in the Grade Center. The column is associated automatically with the correct category.

Create Categories

You can create as many categories as needed to organize your Grade Center data. The Categories page in the Grade Center displays the default categories and those you create. Each category's row displays an optional description and the grade columns associated with that category.

When you manually create a grade column, you can associate it with a default or custom category. If you don't, it defaults to No Category.

In order to create a new category:

  1. Go to Control Panel.  Click on Grade Center and select Full Grade Center.
  2. Click Manage to access the drop-down list and then select Categories.
  3. On the Categories page, select Create Category and type a name and an optional description.
  4. Click Submit.

To edit or delete a category you created, click on the contextual menu (downward arrow) which can be found next to the name of the category.

Edit Categories

Note: You cannot delete a category that has columns associated with it.

If you didn't associate columns with a category when you created it, you can associate it with a category by editing the column's settings:

  1. In the Full Grade Center click on the contextual menu (downward arrow) to the right of the column's header, and select Edit Column Information.
  2. On the Edit Column page, select the category from the Category drop down menu
  3. Click Submit

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Edit Letter Grade Schema

The default settings for letter grades in Blackboard reflect the undergraduate grading scheme outlined in the UofT Grading Practices Policy. If your division or department uses another grading scheme (e.g. the U of T 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.

  1. In the Grade Center, hover your mouse over the Manage button and select Grading Schemas;

  1. On the Grading Schemas screen, click on the contextual menu button (downward arrow) to the right of Letter and select Edit;

    Edit Letter Schemas

  1. Edit the Schema Mapping as required:
    1. Delete any unnecessary rows by clicking on Delete Row;
    2. Add additional rows by clicking on the Insert Rows arrow;

  1. Modify the Grades Scored Between and the Will Equal columns to reflect your grading scheme.

  1. Click Submit.

N.B. The system alows the uppermost value in a grading scheme to be over 100%

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Create Grading Periods

The Grade Center has features that allow Instructors, TAs and Graders to customize the way data in the Grade Center is displayed to make information easier to enter and review.  This includes the ability to create Grading Periods in the Grade Center.
 
Grading Periods are used to sort Grade Center Columns into sections based on the due date of tests and assignments. You can then enter and review data for a Grading Period instead of the entire Grade Center. To create a grading period:

  1. In the Grade Center, hover your mouse over the Manage button and select Grading Periods.
  2. On the Grading Periods screen, click Create Grading Period. 

  3. Enter a Name and an optional Description for the Grading Period.
  4. Click on Range and enter the Dates you wish to associate with the Grading Period.  These dates should span the due dates of any tests and assignments you wish to include in this Grading Period.
  5. Click Associate Columns.  This will automatically include all Grade Columns with due dates that fall within the dates identified above in this Grading Period, and will allow you to use the Grading Period to organize the Grade Center.
  6. Click Submit.

NOTE: Once you have created your Grading Periods, you can choose to view only the Grade Columns associated with a particular Grading Period:

  1. In Grade Center, click on the drop down menu next to Current View and select the Grading Period you would like to view. If you cannot see the Current View drop down menu in the Grade Center, click on the Filter button.
    Filter Grade Center View
  2. If you would like to set a particular Grading Period as your default view (so that you will see this Grading Period automatically each time you enter Grade Center), click Set as Default next to the Current View button.

Colour Code the Grade Center

Colour Codes in the Grade Center are visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. An instructor can create rules and apply colour to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. For example, you can use yellow to highlight graded items with failing scores so students and columns that require attention are prominent. Also, you can assign colours to the grading statuses such as In Progress, Needs Grading, or Exempt.

By default, colour coding is not enabled in the Grade Center and must be enabled by instructors. Colour coding can be enabled in any Grade Center view. Once you define and save the colour rules, the colour coding applies to all views. This setting persists when the course is copied and restored.

Watch a video on how to color code the Grade Center.

Note:  If you create a rule that contains some of the same information as another rule, the system generates a warning, allowing you to edit your criteria.

In order to colour code the Grade Center:

  1. Go to Control Panel. Click on Grade Center and select Full Grade Center.
  2. Click Manage to access the drop-down list and then click Grading Color Codes.
  3. Check box for Enable Grading Color Codes.
  4. In the Color Coding Options section there are 2 options to select colour codes:

    a. Colours can be defined for each Grading Status (e.g., In Progress, Needs Grading and Exempt). Click on the contextual menu button (downward arrow) to access the Swatch Color box. Select a colour in the Swatch Color box and click Apply to save.
    b. In the Grade Ranges section:
    • Click Add Criteria to create a colour rule.
    • In the Criteria drop-down, select Between, More Than, or Less Than.
    • Type a percentage in the box or boxes.
    • For Background and Text, click the contextual menu button (downward arrow) to access the Swatch Color box.
    • Select a colour and click Apply to save it.
    • Optionally click Add Criteria to create an additional Grade Ranges field.
    • Click Submit.
  5. The Full Grade Center page appears with a green bar along the top with a success message stating that the colour coding is updated. Colours based on your rules appear in the affected cells.

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Enter Grades

Grades and comments can be provided directly on the Full Grade Center page, on Needs Grading page, and from a tool, such as the Discussion Board. Grades can be entered into the Full Grade Center in various ways.  You can:

Grade Center also allows you to review grades entered or changed by Instructors, TAs, and Graders (see View Grade History).

Enter or Change Grades Manually

Enter a Grade

To manually enter grades into the Grade Center, or to override or change a grade that has already been entered, click on the cell in which you want to enter or change a grade. Type in the value and press Enter to save the grade.

Enter Grades

NOTE: If you do not press Enter you will be prompted to select OK to enter the grade.

Add Comments to Grades

Adding comments to grades allows Instructors, TAs and Graders to provide constructive feedback to students. Instructors, TAs and Graders can also use this feature to leave notes about the grading process or decision to share with other instructors, TAs, or graders.

Note: A grade must be entered into a cell before comments can be added.

To add a comment:

  1. Move your cursor to the cell to which you’d like to add a comment.
  2. Click the down arrow action link on the right hand side of the cell.  Select Quick Comment from the drop-down menu.
  3. To add a comment that will be visible to the student, enter text into the Feedback to User textbox.
  4. To add a comment that will be visible to Instructors, TAs and Graders, enter text into the Instructor Notes textbox.
  5. Click Submit to save and share comments.

Quick Comment

You can also enter or edit grades and comments through View Grade Details.
 

View Grade Details

You can view the details of a particular student's grade in order to:

  • view Test and Assignment attempt history
  • enter a grade and provide feedback
  • clear or ignore Test and Assignment attempts
  • override a grade
  • exempt a grade
  • view grade history

To do any of the above tasks:

  1. Go to the Full Grade Center.
  2. Move your cursor to the cell which you would like to view.
  3. Click on the down arrow to the right of the cell and select View Grade Details.
    View Grade Details
  4. From this page, you can enter grade, provide feedback, override the grade, exempt the grade, view column details, or view the grade history.
    View Grade Details - Manual Columns
    Note: Any files that you upload must not contain spaces or special characters in the file name. Only numbers, letters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_) are permitted.

    For the cells containing submitted attempt, you can view and grade the attempt, provide feedback, override the grade, exempt the grade, view column details, view the grade history, and clear or ignor the attempt.
    View Grade Details - Submitted Attempts

You can also use commenting and mark-up tools to provide feedback through Inline Grading.

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Exempt Grades

You can exempt a grade from a student's record and the grade is ignored in all Grade Center calculations. The grade cell displays the Exempt icon. You can also apply an exemption before a grade is assigned.

If you assigned a grade and then exempted it, the grade remains available on the Grade Details page. You can also exempt a grade on the Grade Details page.

Access the cell's menu and select Exempt Grade. You can clear the exemption with the Clear Exemption option in the cell's menu.

Clear Exemption

Upload Grades

Full or partial records can be downloaded from Grade Center (see Download Information from Grade Center). Once downloaded, grades can be filed and stored, added or changed offline, and later, uploaded to the Grade Center to update student grades.

To add or change grades in a downloaded file, locate the Grade Center file and open it as a spreadsheet.  The document should look much like the online Grade Center View, with the same columns and existing data. Add or change grades in the relevant cells, and save the updated document.

Note: Do not make any changes to column headings.  Each heading contains a unique identifier that must remain the same in order for the upload to work properly.

Note:When saving a changed Grade Center file, make sure to keep your file in a Unicode Text (*.txt) file format. Click Yes if you receive a prompt when saving.

Note: Only Excel files that were originally downloaded from Grade Center can be uploaded to Grade Center. It is not possible to upload a file originally created by an Instructor, TA or Grader.

In order to upload information to Grade Center:

  1. In Grade Center, click Work Offline and select Upload from the drop down menu.
  2. Browse to locate the file on your local computer or the Content Collection (if the file has been uploaded to Content Collection).
  3. Select the Delimiter Type. Auto will attempt to automatically detect the delimiter used in the selected file.
  4. Click Submit to upload the selected file.
  5. An Upload Grades Confirmation screen will appear with a list of the Grade Columns that will be uploaded.  This screen will help you review the information to be uploaded, and will allow you to select columns to upload. (Note: Don’t be alarmed if you see red lines; they are there for shading and don’t indicate a problem with your data.)
    -  The Match column verifies that the columns in your file match the existing Grade Columns in Grade Center.
    -  The Data Preview column displays a sample of the data in that column.
    -  You may receive a Some Invalid Data message if data was entered in an incorrect format (e.g. if text instead of numerical data was entered).  If you receive this message, click Cancel at the bottom of the screen and review the data in the original file.
    -  If you wish to upload only certain information (e.g. a single column representing one assignment), use the check boxes under Upload to de-select any data you wish to exclude from the upload.
  6. Click Submit to confirm and upload the file.  You can review the changes in Grade Center.

Upload Scantron Data into the Grade Center

The University of Toronto has developed a tool to help import data from Optical Scanning machines into your course's Grade Center.  The tool is designed to identify students in Blackboard by their Student ID number, so your file must contain a column of student numbers and a column of grades, and be saved as either a Comma Separated Values (.CSV) file or a Microsoft Excel (.XLS) file in order for it to function correctly. You can find information on test scanning here.

Activate the UT Opscan Upload tool

The Opscan Upload tool is present in all Blackboard courses, however it is not available by default. To use the tool you must first make it available by taking the following steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel. Click on Customization and select Tool Availability.
  2. On the Tool Availability page, you will see a long list of tools with checkboxes. Near the bottom of the list is UT Opscan Upload, check the box in the column labeled Available.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. The UT Opscan Upload tool will now be listed under Course Tools in the Control Panel.

Using the UT Opscan Upload Tool

Note: For ease of use it is recommended that you create a Grade Center column before uploading your data.  In order to upload the Scantron data:

  1. Go to Control Panel, expand Course Tools and select UT Opscan Upload.
  2. From the drop down menu select the Grade Center column you wish to upload your marks into.
  3. Use the Browse button to locate your file.
  4. Click Submit.  If your file contains a large number of students this process might take a few minutes.
  5. Using the drop down menus across the top of the page select which column contains the Student Numbers and which column contains the Grade. You can only select one column for each.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. Once the upload has completed you will be presented with a report displaying successful and unsuccessful matches, which can be saved for identifying potential problems or missing data.

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Download Information from Grade Center

To ensure that student records are complete and secure, you may wish to download your Grade Center records frequently throughout the semester.  In particular, you may wish to download the Grade Center each time a set of marks for a test or assignment is entered.

You can download Grade Center data for the entire course or for a particular Grade Column representing a particular test or assignment.  
Downloading Grade Center data will provide you with a record of all current Grade Center Data.  It will NOT save comments on individual grades unless you are downloading only a particular column; it will also NOT save Grade History or Grade Details.  Finally, downloading Grade Center data will NOT save your Grade Center settings, Grading Periods, or Smart Views.

To download information from Grade Center:

  1. In the Full Grade Center, click Work Offline.
  2. Select Download.
  3. Select Data To Download:

    a. Full Grade Center.  This will download all user and assignment information.
    NOTE: If you download the Full Grade Center, comments on individual grades are NOT saved in the download.  To save comments, see Select Column below.
    b. Select Column.  This allows you to download the grades (and comments, if you check “Include Comments for this Column”) for one assignment, or to download grade totals or weighted totals.
    c. User Information Only.  This will download your class list (see View and Download Your Class List).

  4. Select the Delimiter Type: Comma or Tab (recommended – can be opened directly as an Excel or compatible spreadsheet).
  5. Select whether to Include Hidden Information.  Hidden information refers to the columns and users, if any, that have been hidden on the Grade Center View (see Hide Columns from Course Staff). It does not refer to information not visible to students in My Grades (see Hide or Show Columns to Students).
  6. Select the Download Location.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. If you have chosen to download grades to your computer, a Download Grades screen will appear. Click Download to save the file to the location specified on the previous screen.

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View Grade History

Particularly if multiple TAs, Graders or Instructors are each adding and changing data in the Grade Center, you may wish to review recent changes to Grade Center data through the View Grade History tool or review changes to a particular student's grade through View Grade Details. The Grade Details page acts as a log file for each cell.  All changes to that grade are recorded, and all notes and comments are visible.

The Grade History page provides a record of all updates made in the Grade Center.  This record can be sorted to provide a chronological overview of changes; to review changes made by a particular user; or to review changes made to a particular student record.

In the Grade Center, click Reports and select View Grade History.

You can now:

A. Download the Grade History

  1. From the Grade History page, click Download.
  2. Under Options:
    a. Select the Delimiter Type: Comma or Tab   (Recommended – can be opened directly as an Excel or compatible spreadsheet).
    b. Select whether you wish to Include Comments on grades.  This will download Feedback to User and Instructor Notes in addition to the grade data in each Grade Column.
  3. Click Submit
  4. Click Download and then choose to Open or Save the file
  5. Click OK

B.  Display the Grade History for a particular date range

  1. From the Grade History page, select the drop down menu for Show Entries from Past and then select the date range for which you wish to view the Grade History.
  2. Click Go to change the display.

C. Sort information in the Grade History

From the Grade History page, click on the title of the column you wish to sort.

Note: Click on the title of the column again to reverse the sorting of the column.

D. Clear the Grade History

  1. From the Grade History page, click Clear Grade History.
  2. Click OK on the notification pop-up.

Note: Once cleared, information in the Grade History cannot be restored.

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Send Reminder for Assessments

Available as of May 8, 2017

In the Full Grade Center page, on specific columns, there is an option to send a reminder email to students who have neglected to submit specific assessments (i.e. the empty cells in a grade center column).

This option will be available for any outstanding (not submitted) assessments that were created in Blackboard, such as:

  • Assignments
  • Tests
  • SCORM package interactions that students are expected to complete

It will also be available for any Grade Center columns you created (through the Create Column option in the Full Grade Center).

It will not be an option for "Turnitin.com Assessments" as those do not generate a Grade Center column.

Note: this feature is not available for interactive coursework such as Discussion Boards, Journals, Blogs and Wikis.

Sending a reminder to students who have not submitted or completed an assessment:

  1. In the Full Grade Center, navigate to the top of the column for the assessment for which there are missing assignments
  2. Click on the downward grey arrow to the right of the column header and a pop-up menu will appear
  3. Select the Send Reminder option

    Send Reminder
     
  4. Then a confirmation message should appear, select "ok" if you wish to proceed.

    Send Reminder Confirmation
     
  5. Then you should see a green banner at the top of the window confirming that a reminder email message has been sent to the students whose corresponding cells are empty in that Grade Center column.

    Send Reminder Confirmation Message
     
  6. As an Instructor, you should also receive a copy of the email message.

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Troubleshooting

1. The Grade Center is missing students or columns.

If the Grade Center is missing any student or grade column, they may be hidden from the Grade Center view. Hidden students or grade columns are not deleted from the Grade Center and can be revealed at any time.

NOTE: If a grade column is not made invisible to students, they would be able to see their grades even if the grade column is hidden from the Grade Center view.

Make a Student Row Visible:

  1. Go to the Full Grade Center
  2. Mouse over Manage option on the top menu
  3. Select Row Visibility
  4. In the Row Visibility screen, check the Status column for each student. Any user whose status is Hidden will not apear in the Grade Center
  5. Check off the box to the left of hidden student you wish to display
  6. Click the Show Rows button
  7. Click Submit

Make a Grade Column Visible

  1. Go to the Full Grade Center
  2. Mouse over Manage option on the top menu
  3. Select Column Organization
  4.  If there is any grayed out column including (Hidden) to the right of its title, it will not apear in the Grade Center
  5. Check off the box to the left of hidden column you wish to display
  6. Mouse over Show/Hide button
  7. Click Show Selected Columns
  8. Click Submit

NOTE: If you are using Mac, and you do not view all of your grade columns in the Grade Center view after making them visible, see question 2 below.



2. I am on a Mac and cannot scroll horizontally to see columns to the right.

If you are using a Mac, the default setting is for scroll bars to not be visible until you begin scrolling. You can set scroll bars to always display within Mac OS X through the System Preferences:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and click System Preferences
  2. Click the General icon
  3. On the General preferences screen, under Show Scroll Bars, select the button next to Always

Mac Scroll Bar

 

3. A student has submitted the incorrect file for an assignment.

If a student has submitted an incorrect file for an assignment and only one attempt has been allowed, you can clear or ignore the student's attempt, or allow an additional attempt so that they can re-submit the assignment. In order to do so:

  1. Go to the Full Grade Center
  2. Locate the cell containing the student’s submission
  3. Mouse over the cell and click the grey circle to the right of the cell to open the contextual menu
  4. Select View Grade Details
  5. On the Grade Details page, click one of the following buttons:
    1. Clear Attempt will remove the student’s submission from the Grade Center
    2. Ignore Attempt will ignore the attempt but will keep the submission. An ignored attempt is not included in Grade Center calculations and is not counted against the maximum number of attempts
    3. Allow Additional Attempt will allow the student to submit an additional attempt

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University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy

 

See Also

Assignments: Collect completed assignments electronically and (optionally) grade them online.

Tests and Surveys: Measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students.

Discussion Board: Promote discussion with and among students, address course-related topics and questions, and optionally grade discussions.

Blogs: Encourage students to express their ideas and share the knowledge and materials collected. You can also choose to grade Blogs.

Journals: Provide a personal space for students to communicate privately with you. Students can use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyze course-related materials. See how you can grade Journals.

Wikis: Use Wikis to promote student engagement and effective collaboration between multiple writers. See how to grade Wikis.

Turnitin: Check for textual similarities and deter plaigarism in written assignments.

Remark: Create customizable survey or test forms compatible with any printer and scanner.

iClicker: Increase student engagement and quickly assess student understanding in large classrooms.

peerScholar: Create assignments with a focus on peer or self assessment, reflection, and revisions.

Crowdmark: Create assignments that can be efficiently and collaboratively graded by multiple course staff.

Anonymous Grading: Enable Anonymous Grading during the assignment creation stage to prevent grading bias for important forms of assesments.

 

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