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Grading Blogs

Last Modified
15:30, 21 May 2013

You can grade participation in blogs for individuals and groups. You can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are made by an individual or a course group.

After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. You grade students’ blog entries from the blog topic page where you view all entries (and comments made by others) as you determine the grade. The grades you assign show immediately in the Grade Center. You access the blog topic page in the following ways:

  • In the blogs tool, access a blog and click a user’s name.
  • On the Needs Grading page, access a blog’s contextual menu and select Grade All Users.
  • In the Grade Center, locate the column for the blog you want to grade. Move the mouse pointer over a cell containing the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—to access the blog’s contextual menu. Select Grade User Activity.

You can determine whether or not students can view their own grades and feedback in My Grades by editing the column information in the Grade Center. To learn more, see How to Edit, Hide, and Select Options for Columns.

When you edit an assigned grade from the blog topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

Changing a Topic From Graded to Ungraded

You cannot change a graded blog topic to ungraded. The only way to change from graded to ungraded is to delete the graded blog topic from the Blogs listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded topic.

Alternatively, to retain entries, set the blog's Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. In essence, the blog continues to be considered graded by the Grade Center, but any results or grades assigned are ignored.

The Blog Topic Page

The blog topic page is divided into two main sections. You can view the Instructions and entries in the content frame. In the side panel, you can view information about the blog topic or entry, expand the Index, view the legend, and select an individual user’s name to view his or her entries alone in the content frame.

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Collapse and expand sections of the blog topic page using the arrow next to the title.

  1. Instructions you included appear in the content frame. Click the X to collapse the field for more area to view entries and comments.
  2. In the side panel, the About this Blog section displays information about the current selection. In our example, general information about the course blog appears. If you enabled grading for the blog, you see a Blog Grade section in the side panel when you select a user’s name.
  3. View Entries by lists users who have submitted one or more entries. All Course Members is currently selected and all users’ entries appear in the content frame. Select a user’s name to view his or her blog entries alone in the content frame. The most recent entry appears first. Alternately, use the Previous User and Next User arrows to view entries by other users. Click Show Members without Entries to view all users and see who has not submitted an entry.

    Icons designate the status of the user’s activity. The needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—indicates that a user has met the minimum activity for grading you set in the blog’s settings. The in progress icon ( ) appears when a user has some activity, but has not yet met the minimum number required to trigger needs grading status.

  4. The Index section displays the titles of the entries created in the blog topic for the selected time period. Click the minus sign to collapse the title list.
  5. The legend identifies the meaning of the icons used in the side panel. The icons appear next to new entries, comments, items to be graded, and items in progress in the View Entries by or the Index sections.

How to Grade Blog Entries for Individuals

You can begin the grading process for blogs from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, and the Course Tools section in the Control Panel.

While specifying blog settings, if you did NOT select the Show participants in needs grading status box and select a minimum number of entries, the needs grading icon will not appear in the Grade Center or topic page and items do not appear on the Needs Grading page.

The in progress icon ( ) shows in the Grade Center cell and in a blog:

  • For student activity that does not meet the minimum number you set.
  • If you did not select the Show participants in needs grading status check box.

Use the following steps to grade blog entries.

  1. Access the blog topic page and select the blog entry or entries to grade by selecting the user’s name in the side panel in the View Entries by section. The user’s blog entry or entries open in the content frame.
  2. In the Blog Grade section in the side panel, click Edit Grade. The grading field appears in the side panel.

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  3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box, or if you associated a rubric for this graded blog, click View Rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
  4. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to you and the grader  role only. You can also use the spell check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text Editor to access all the text editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments, images, mashups, and multimedia.
  5. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Blog Grade section and to the Grade Center.
  6. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in the View Entries by section to access more blog entries to grade.

    -OR-

    If you accessed the blogs to grade from the Needs Grading page, use the View Previous and View Next arrows on the action bar to proceed to another user’s blog.

The grades appear in the Blog Grade section and in the Grade Center. You can also view the date the entry was graded and the Feedback and Grading Notes. Click Edit Grade to make changes, which are reflected in the Grade Center.

Grading a Group Blog

You grade a group blog using the same steps as for individuals. When the entries are submitted, all group members' names appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon.

When you add a grade for a group blog, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned the same grade, even if a member did not contribute, although you can change this grade.

You can read all the entries for a group blog and add one grade on the blog topic page. Users with entries that need grading are indicated with the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—in the Grade Center and on the blog topic page in the View Entries by section. In addition, the group blog is listed on the Needs Grading page.

Remember, while specifying blog settings, if you did NOT select the Show participants in needs grading status box and select a minimum number of entries, the needs grading icon will not appear in the Grade Center or topic page and items do not appear on the Needs Grading page.

The in progress icon ( ) shows in the Grade Center cell and in a blog:

  • For student activity that does not meet the minimum number you set.
  • If you did not select the Show participants in needs grading status check box.

Students can view their group blog grades in My Grades and on the group blog topic page by selecting their names.

Changing an Individual Member’s Group Grade

You can assign an individual group member a different grade than the group by selecting his or her name to access the View Entries by section. In the content frame, the individual member’s entries and comments appear. After assigning a new grade and feedback for the individual member, the new information appears in the side panel. The individual member's grade and the grade for the group are both shown.

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If you change a group member’s grade and assign a new group grade, the new group grade does not affect the individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade does not appear to the other group members.

The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that was automatically created when you enabled the graded group blog. Grayed out cells appear in the group blog column for course members who are not part of the group.

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How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade

You can revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received. Alternatively, you can edit the grade you changed on the group blog page by selecting the user.

  1. In the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
  2. After you edit a member’s group, the Revert To Group Grade function appears. Click Revert To Group Grade.

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  3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original group grade.
  4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade column. This grade change also appears on the group blog page when the student's name is selected.

Deleting a Group

If you no longer need a group, you can delete it. If the group has gradable items connected to it, the Delete Confirmation page appears. You can retain any group grade columns you need. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns that you want to preserve.

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