Grade Centre

What

Grade Centre is the centralised place where all marking is done in Blackboard. There are two main areas in the Grade Centre, ‘Needs Marking’ and ‘Full Grade Centre’.

Needs Marking

Needs Marking only shows unmarked attempts students made to the Grade Centre. Filters can be applied based on what there is to mark. For more information about ‘Needs Marking’ click here.

Full Grade Centre

The full grade centre has the full functionality of grading in Blackboard. It is represented as a table with students as rows and columns to represent either assessments or calculations. There are many aspects to the Full Grade Centre and thus we have broken it down into the following sections:

How

Grading and Calculations

Attempts

Whenever a student submits work to be assessed, their attempt will be represented in the full grade centre as a yellow exclamation mark attempt. Some attempts will be automatically graded (such as tests) and a value will be assign in the cell. The attempts that need grading will be represented as a yellow exclamation mark. A date will also be associated to an attempt to represent the date the student completed that activity.

To view an attempt for a student, hover the cursor over the yellow exclamation mark and click on the down arrow that appears. Then in the pop up menu, click on the attempt you want to view. For some activities, multiple attempts may be presented here.

grade_centre_attempt

Each activity have their own page in which to grade.

Calculation Columns

Once grading has been done, calculation columns can be created. To create a calculated column hover your cursor over the ‘Create Calculated Column’ button.

grade_centre_calculated

For more information on calculation columns or how to set up these columns please contact us on extension 8360 or email learningtechnologies@aut.ac.nz

Changing/Overriding Grades

Leader, Lecturer, and Grader are allowed to change grades in a course. When grades are changed, calculated column will re-calculate based on the change. Note that when a grade is changed or removed, an entry is made in the Grade History. Grades can be changed by going into the attempt by the student and adjust the value(s) that was recorded there.

It is possible to override the final grade for an assessment but preserve what the student achieved before. Do note that a grade override for an assessment takes precedence over all other graded attempts which includes any attempts a student submits after an override grade is assigned until the overridden grade has been reverted.

To override a grade

  1. Go to “View Grade Details” in the Grade Centre
    grade_centre_viewgradedetail
  2. On the ‘Grade Details’ page, click the ‘Manual Override’
  3. Type a new grade in the ‘Override Grade’ text box.
    grade details
  4. Optionally, provide feedback to the student that explains the grade change in ‘Feedback to User’ and in ‘Grading Notes’ for yourself and other staff. Use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, links, multimedia, and mashups.

When a grade is overridden, an orange triangle appears in the Grade Centre cell.

unit2quiz

Note that when you assign a grade to a cell with no attempt for an assessment Blackboard treats it as an overridden grade.

To Revert an Overridden Grade

You can use the Revert function to clear an override grade and display the previously assigned grade, if one exists -OR- the needs grading icon.

  1. In the Grade Centre, locate the cell containing the student’s override grade to revert.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over the cell to the contextual menu.
  3. Click ‘View Grade Details’.
  4. On the ‘Grade Details’ page, click the ‘Revert’ button. A warning message appears asking you to confirm the action.
    grade details1
  5. Click OK. The override grade is cleared. The action will be recorded on the ‘Grade History’. Whatever was in the Grade Centre cell before assigning the override grade appears again: the previously assigned grade -OR- the needs grading icon.

Hiding/Revealing Grades

To hide or reveal grades of assessment items to students in the student’s My Grades area, click on the down arrow on the column header and click ‘Hide From Students (on/off)’.

grade_centre_hide_from_students

When a column is hidden to students it will be represented by this icon notivisible. Students will not see that assessment item in their My Grades area.

grade_centre_hidden

mygrades_hidden

For Turnitin, if marking has been done in GradeMark, make sure the Post Date is set to the date in which you want to reveal the comments and grade to the student. The option ‘Reveal grades to students only on post date’ also needs to be set to ‘Yes’.

It is recommended that staff set hide columns initially and only release the marks or module total when they’re ready.

If you’re hiding columns, be sure to hide the Grade Centre’s automatic ‘Total’ column. Students may be able to work out their marks by subtracting their known grade(s) from the Total column.

Smart Views

A Smart Views in the Grade Centre allows custom filters to be applied for given criteria. For example, you can filter students to a specific group or filter all students who have scored below 70 on their midterm exam etc. More than one smart view can be created and they can be added favourites which then can be easily accessed underneath the Full Grade Centre.

To access Smart Views, go to the Full Grade Centre, hover the cursor over ‘Manage’ and click ‘Smart Views’.

grade_centre_smart_view

The next page shows you which Smart Views are currently in the course. Here you can edit or copy existing Smart Views, set Smart Views as favourites and create new Smart Views.

To set a Smart View to be a favourite
Click on the star for the Smart View in the ‘Add as Favourite’ column. Smart Views favourites appear underneath the Full Grade Centre.

smart_views_pagesmartview

To edit/copy a Smart View
Hover the cursor over the Smart View and then click on the down arrow that appears to the right and then click on ‘Edit’. This will show the criteria for the Smart View. If you want to copy the Smart View instead, click ‘Copy’.

smart_views_edit

To create new Smart View
Click on the the ‘Create Smart View’ button. Enter a name for the Smart View.

There are five different selection criteria for a Smart Views. These are:

  • Course Group
    • Filter the Grade Centre to show only show students based on the selected groups. Note that groups must be made before hand.
  • Performance
    • Filter the Grade Centre to show only students based on their performance on a grade in single column.
  • User
    • Filter the Grade Centre to show only selected (or all) students. This option is best used if you want to also filter which columns you want to show specifically for the selected students.
  • Category and Status
    • Filter the Grade Centre to show only students based on a list of criteria. This may maybe only show columns that are categorised as tests for group one.
  • Custom 
    • Filter the Grade Centre to show only students based on multiple criteria.

For more information on Smart Views please contact us on extension 8360 or email learningtechnologies@aut.ac.nz

Grading Schema

Before you can grade a student using an A, B, C etc, a grading schema needs to be applied to a column first. Grading schemas translate a score into a grade. In Blackboard is done by the percentage the student achieved from the total amount the assessment is out of. For this reason, to use a grading schema, an assessment needs to be out of a number otherwise a percentage cannot be calculated.

Percent range for each grade needs to be calculated before creating a schema in Blackboard.

Lets take for example a grade range from of D, C, B, A. You have an assessment that is worth 10 marks. Assuming students can only get whole numbers then the break down of marks to percentages is:

10 10 100%
9 10 90%
8 10 80%
7 10 70%
6 10 60%
5 10 50%
4 10 40%
3 10 30%
2 10 20%
1 10 10%
0 10 0%

Now you can assign the grade to each percentage. For example:

10 10 100% A
9 10 90% A
8 10 80% B
7 10 70% B
6 10 60% C
5 10 50% C
4 10 40% D
3 10 30% D
2 10 20% D
1 10 10% D
0 10 0% D

Therefore:

‘A’ will be 90% to 100%
‘B’ will be 70% and less than 90%
‘C’ will be 50% and less than 70%
‘D’ will be 0% and less than 50%

In Blackboard this will look like:

schema_example

Create a Schema

The official Grade Map 1 schema from Arion is represented in Blackboard as follow:

Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered as Will Calculate as
89.5% and 100% A+ A+ 94%
84.5% and Less Than 89.5% A A 87%
79.5% and Less Than 84.5% A- A- 81%
74.5% and Less Than 79.5% B+ B+ 77%
69.5% and Less Than 74.5% B B 72%
64.5% and Less Than 69.5% B- B- 67%
59.5% and Less Than 64.5% C+ C+ 62%
54.5% and Less Than 59.5% C C 57%
49.5% and Less Than 54.5% C- C- 52%
0% and Less Than 49.5% D D 0%

Below is how you would create the above schema in Blackboard.

Apply a Schema to a Column

  1. Click the down arrow on the column you want to apply a schema to then click ‘Edit Column Information’.
    schema_edit_column
  2. Locate ‘Primary Display’ and click the down arrow of the drop down. Click the schema you want to apply to this column
    schema_primary_display
  3. The score will now change to a grade represented by the schema
    schema_applied

‘Primary Display’ is what students will see in their My Grades. If the student got an ‘A’ in the Grade Centre then they will see an ‘A’ in My Grades. You can specify a ‘Secondary Display’ if you want see, for example, what the percentage was for that grade. This is done in the same place where you set ‘Primary Display’. Secondary display appears in the Grade Centre in brackets. For example if ‘Percentage’ was set for ‘Secondary Display’ it will appear in the Grade Centre as, A (95%). Secondary display does not show for students in My Grades. It is used as a guide for lecturers in the Grade Centre.

Marking using Grades

If a grading schema is applied to a column you can directly enter a grade for a student rather than putting in a score. Note that when this is done, Blackboard translate that grade into a score. This is done by the ‘Will Calculate as’ column in the schema. For example if we have an assessment that is out 10 and we are using a grading schema that has the following:

Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered as Will Calculate as
89.5% and 100% A+ A+ 94%

If an ‘A+’ was enter as a grade for the student, Blackboard will calculate 94% of 10 and input that as a score. This means that the student will get 9.4 out of 10. Since 9.4 out of 10 falls in the 89.5% to 100% range, the student will see A+. Since the student got 9.4 this may cause mis-calculations in calculated columns. Knowing this it is a good idea to select ‘Score’ or ‘Percentage’ as your ‘Secondary Display’ when setting up the grade column. The ‘Secondary Display’ is not visible to students, but is helpful for Lecturers/Course Leaders in understanding the number value associated with a grade.

Download Grade Centre

The Grade Centre can be downloaded as an csv file or an xls file.

To Download Grades from Grade Centre

  1. Click on the Full Grade Centre link under Grade Centre in the Course Management menu.
  2. Click Download Grade Centre.
  3. Select Download.
    grade_centre_download
  4. In Data, use the radio buttons to select the data to download.
    Untitled

    • Full Grade Centre – This option is commonly selected as a way to retain an archive of the Grade Centre.
    • Selected Column – This option can be used to compare student performance at the column level within a course or across sections of a course. This option may also be used to manually enter grades offline into a spreadsheet which can then be uploaded back into Grade Centre.
    • User Information Only – This option is recommended at the beginning of the term as a way to populate Blackboard specific data into an offline grading spreadsheet that will enable grades to be uploaded back into the Grade Centre.
  5. In Options,
    5
    a. Use the radio buttons to select the file download format as either ‘Comma’ or ‘Tab’ delimited. Note, if the Instructor plans to view the downloaded file in Excel, the tab delimited option is recommended as it opens directly within Excel.
    b. Under ‘Include Hidden Information’, select Yes or No.
  6. In Save Location
    6

    • Select ‘My Computer’.
    • Click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page to create the download file.
    • Click ‘Submit’ on the resulting page to acquire the file.

Do note instructors can open the file download in a spreadsheet program and edit it by adding columns and grades. However, if the goal is to upload the file back into the Grade Centre it is imperative that none of the student and system data within the spreadsheet be changed.

Column Organisation

Column Organisation gives you an overview of all the columns in the Grade Centre as well as let you re-arrange the order that the columns appear. You will be able to show columns that are hidden in the Grade Centre here.

Grading Colour Codes

It is possible to colour code cells in the Full Grade Centre based on criteria. To colour code your Grade Centre

1. Hover the cursor over ‘Manage’ and click ‘Grading Colour Codes’
grade_centre_colour_code

2. On this page check the check box for ‘Enable Grading Colour Codes’ then specify the criteria you want for your Grade Centre. In the image below it is specified any attempt that needs marking will have a yellow cell and any grades below 50% will have a white cell with red text.
colour_code1

3. When done click ‘Submit’ and then Grade Centre will look like below.
colour_code2

Other Resources

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