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Table of Contents

Setting Up the Grade Center

Last Modified
11:04, 24 Jan 2014

You already know you invest a great deal of time planning and creating lessons, matching lessons with learning objectives, and then assessing whether those objectives have been met. Assessing learning objectives is accomplished in many different ways—through exams, projects, papers, group work, participation, and more. Assigning value to student work and configuring a grading schema to display grades to students is unique for every instructor and for every course.

Customizing the Grade Center

All Grade Center functions are initiated on the Grade Center page. This view is customizable, allowing you to sort items in ways to maximize efficiency and to view student information with a minimum of scrolling. You can also create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Color rules provide visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly.

You can customize your view using grading periods, creating additional categories and moving columns to them, and showing or hiding columns in the Grade Center to reduce scrolling. You also can customize a grading schema to interpret Grade Center scores.

By default, the columns for students’ first and last names appear first. Columns for gradable items and calculations of those items appear across the page. You decide which columns appear and in what order. Icons appear in cells and headings to signify the availability of students, the visibility of items to students, and the status of gradable items.

The Grade Center is populated with students when they are enrolled in your course or section. To learn more, see Enrolling and Managing Users.

Your institution controls whether this tool is available.

About Grading Schemas

In the Grade Center, when an item is graded, a numeric score appears in the students' cells by default. You can choose to display grades in other ways by using grading schemas. A grading schema takes the actual points scored on a graded item and compares it to the total points possible for that item to derive a percentage. This percentage is mapped to a range of scores and displays a grade, such as a letter (A, B, C) or Pass/Fail. This information is presented in a table format.

The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading schema based on assigning letters to the percentages. Your institution may edit this schema to reflect a general grading schema used for all courses.

You can associate the default grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade Center. When you grade items, the grade values (letters) appear in the cells in the Grade Center grid and to students in My Grades.

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You can edit an existing grading schema and save the changes within your course. For example, you can lower the percentages needed to achieve an A, B, C, and so on. You can also create additional schemas to reflect the multiple ways you want to grade throughout your course. New schemas and any edits to existing schemas only appear in the course you are in. You can create as many schemas as needed.

If your institution makes changes after you edit the default grading schema, your institution's changes will not be reflected in your course.

After creation, a grading schema is included as an option in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists when creating and editing columns in the Grade Center. Default grading schemas in the drop-down lists include: Score, Letter (A, B, C), and Percentage.

Letter Grading Schema

For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 88 out of 100 points possible. In a grading schema in which a percentage of 87 to less than 90 equals a B+, a student’s score of 88 results in a B+. In the quiz’s Grade Center column, a B+ is displayed. If you release the column’s grades to students, letter grades appear in My Grades.

Text Grading Schema

For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 78 out of 100 points possible. You create a grading schema based on text terms, such as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. A student’s score of 78 results in Good. In the quiz’s Grade Center column, the term Good appears. If you release the column’s grades to students, the text terms appear in My Grades.

Test Curve Grading Schema

You create a test grading schema and associate it with all test columns. In the test grading schema, you require at least 94% for an A. However, for one particular test, you want to make an adjustment because of low scores. You can associate another custom grading schema with that test's column to reflect a curve you want to apply to those lower scores. In this test curve schema, an A can equal grades scored between 90% and 100%. You can create as many test curve schemas as needed to fulfill your grading requirements and associate them with the appropriate columns in the Grade Center.

How to Create Grading Schemas

Each new course has a default letter grading schema. You can create additional grading schemas to reflect the multiple ways you want to grade throughout your course. You can create as many schemas as needed. Any schemas you create in your course can only be used in the course you create them in.

 

For group projects, you can create a grading schema that differs from the grading schema for assignments submitted by individuals. You can use lower percentages for the same letter grade as other assignments.

Use the following steps to create a customized grading schema in your course.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Schemas.
  3. On the Grading Schemas page, click Create Grading Schema on the action bar.
  4. On the Create Grading Schema page, type a Name. The name appears on the Grading Schemas page and in the drop-down lists for Primary Display and Secondary Display when creating or editing columns in the Grade Center.
  5. Optionally, provide a Description. The description appears on the Grading Schema page and can assist with identifying the schema.
  6. In the Schema Mapping section, two default rows appear with ranges of percentages. You can edit the two ranges to customize a Pass/Fail schema.

    Pass/Fail

    Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered as Will Calculate as
    Pass/Fail Schema
    Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered As Will Calculate As
    50% and 100% Pass Pass 75%
    0% and less than 50% Fail Fail 25%

    To create other types of grading schemas:

    • Click Insert New Row Here—represented by a left-pointing arrow—to insert more rows for additional values. For example, if you are using A, B, C, D, and F for your grades, you need five rows in the table.
    • Click Delete Row to remove a row from the table. At least one row must remain.
    • In the Grades Scored Between boxes, type percentage ranges for the grade values. The percentage range for each grade value must be unique and begin with the lesser value listed first. Also, the values must overlap to avoid gaps that occur when a score falls between two numbers in a range. The range of 80 – 90% includes all grades up to, but not including 90%. The top range does include 100%.

      You cannot use the dash symbol as an entry. The dash represents a null value.

       

      A = 90 – 100%

      B = 80 – 90%

      C = 70 – 80%

      D = 60 – 70%

      F = 0 – 60%

    • In the Will Equal boxes, type the grade values, such as:
      • A, B, C, D, and F
      • 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
      • Pass and Fail
      • Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory
      • Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor

        Duplicate grade values are not allowed.

    • In the Will Calculate as boxes, type the percentage values to use if you provide a grade manually. The percentages must fall between the corresponding range of percentages in the first column. For example, grades you score manually as A (90 – 100%) will be calculated as 95%. For an item with 100 points possible, if you change the grading schema from letter grades to numeric scores, 95 is displayed as the grade in the cell instead of A.
  7. Click Submit.

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    You can associate the new grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade Center.

How to Edit Grading Schemas

You can edit existing grading schemas in your course. The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading schema based on assigning letters to percentages. Your institution may edit this schema to reflect a general grading schema they want instructors to use. If you choose to display students’ scores as letter grades, you can edit the default letter schema. The edits you make to a grading schema only appear in the course you make the edits in.

If your institution makes changes after you edit the default grading schema, your institution’s changes will not be reflected in your course.

If you want to retain the default grading schema, you can copy it and edit the values.

Use the following steps to edit a grading schema in your course.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Schemas.
  3. On the Grading Schemas page, access a schema’s contextual menu.
  4. Select Edit.
  5. On the Edit Grading Schema page, type a new Name and optional Description. The name appears on the Grading Schemas page and in the drop-down lists for Primary Display and Secondary Display when creating and editing columns in the Grade Center. The description appears on the Grading Schema page and can assist with identifying the grading schema.
  6. In the Schema Mapping section:

    Start from the top and edit the values for the first grade value and move to the next row. Then, delete or insert rows needed. If you navigate to another course area without saving a grading schema, any unsaved changes are lost.

    • Click Insert New Row Here—represented by a left-pointing arrow—to insert more rows for additional values.
    • Click Delete Row to remove a row from the table. At least one row must remain.
    • In the Grades Scored Between boxes, type the new percentage ranges for the grade values. The percentage range for each grade value must be unique and begin with the lesser value listed first. Also, the values must overlap to avoid gaps that occur when a score falls between two numbers in a range. The range of 80 – 90% includes all grades up to, but not including 90%. The top range does include 100%.

      You cannot use the dash symbol as an entry. The dash represents a null value.

    • In the Will Equal boxes, type the new grade values.

      Duplicate grade values are not allowed.

    • In the Will Calculate as boxes, type the new percentage values to use if you provide a grade manually. The percentages must fall between the corresponding range of percentages in the first column. For example, grades you score manually as A (90 – 100%) will be calculated as 95%. For an item with 100 points possible, if you change the grading schema from letter grades to numeric scores, 95 is displayed as the grade in the cell instead of A.
  7. Click Submit.

You can associate the edited grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade Center.

If you associate a grading schema with columns in the Grade Center and edit the schema, the changes appear automatically in the Grade Center. For example, you can edit a text grading schema and change Excellent to Superior. In the Grade Center column, any instances of Excellent now appear as Superior.

How to Copy or Delete Grading Schemas

You can copy or delete existing grading schemas in the Grade Center. For example, if you want to make minor changes to the default letter grading schema, you can retain it by copying it and editing it.

Copying Grading Schemas

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Schemas.
  3. On the Grading Schemas page, access a schema’s contextual menu.
  4. Select Copy.
  5. The copied schema appears in the list with a number appended to the name, such as Letter (2).

Deleting Grading Schemas

You can delete the default letter grading schema only if it is not currently associated with a Grade Center column. If no letter grading schema exists, Letter will not be an option in the Primary or Secondary Display drop-down lists when associating schemas to columns.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Schemas.
  3. On the Grading Schemas page, select one or multiple schemas' check boxes.

    If no check box exists for a schema, you have associated it with a Grade Center column.

  4. On the action bar, click Delete. Alternatively, select Delete from a schema’s contextual menu.
  5. A warning appears stating: This action is final and cannot be undone. Click OK to delete the schema.

How to Associate Grading Schemas

When you create or edit grade columns, you select a grading schema in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists. The schema you select as the Primary Display displays the grade value in the Grade Center and to students in My Grades. The Secondary Display grade value appears in parentheses only in the Grade Center, next to the Primary Display. The secondary grade value does not appear to students.

  1. Access the Grade Center.
  2. To associate a schema, click the appropriate column header to access the contextual menu.
  3. Select Edit Column Information.
  4. On the Edit Column page, make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. If you create a customized grading schema, it appears in the list. Five default options appear:
    • Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
    • Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
    • Text: Text appears in the column when a text grading schema is created. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor –OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If no text grading schema exists, and you select the Text option, you are allowed to type text in the column’s cells. If you choose to share the column results with students in My Grades, they will see the text values for their grades.

      When you convert a numeric score to text without defining a text grading schema, and then return to numeric scoring, values that cannot be converted display a zero after conversion. Therefore, if you want to include text as grades, Blackboard recommends creating a text grading schema and associating it with the appropriate columns.

    • Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70%.
    • Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a check mark ( check mark ) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.

      If you use this grading schema for an assessment column, when a student starts an assessment, a check mark appears in the column with the Attempt in Progress icon ( check mark in progress paper ). The Attempt in Progress icon is removed when a student submits the assessment.

      Image illustrating associated text

  5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is None. The same options appear in this list with the exception of the option chosen as the Primary Display and Text. The default Text option does not appear for grade columns as you cannot edit a secondary value from a grade column’s cell. If you create a customized grading schema based on text and have not used it as the Primary Display, it appears in the list. In the Grade Center column, the secondary grade value appears in parentheses. The secondary grade value does not appear to students.

    For self-assessments, you cannot define a Secondary Display because the Primary Display is Complete/Incomplete.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Click Submit.

In the Grade Center grid, you see the chosen grade displays. If you do not choose a grade display for a column, only the default score appears.

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About Categories

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

With categories, you can:

  • Filter your view of the Grade Center. For example, you can filter using the Assignment category and view only assignment columns in the Grade Center grid.
  • Calculate grades. For example, you can assign a weight to a category when calculating final grades using a weighted column. To learn more, see Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns.
  • Create a smart view. Smart views are views of the Grade Center based on a variety of student criteria. For example, you can generate a smart view that only displays columns associated with the test category. To learn more about smart views, see Using Smart Views in the Grade Center.
  • Create a report. You can create a printable report that displays statistics of performance for all of the columns in a certain category. To learn more, see Working With Grade Center Reports.

By default, the following categories are created in the Grade Center:

  • Assignment
  • Blog
  • Discussion board
  • Journal
  • SafeAssignment (when the tool is available and a SafeAssignment has been created)
  • Self and Peer Assessment
  • Survey
  • Test
  • Wiki (when the tool is available and a wiki has been created)

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

 

You create a gradable discussion forum titled “Week 1 Discussion.” A grade column with that name is included in the Grade Center. The column is associated automatically to the Discussion category.

You cannot edit the name and description or delete seven of the default categories, but you can move a column from one category to another category. When they appear, you are allowed to edit the name and the description of the SafeAssignment and Wiki categories, but you cannot delete them. You can also create an unlimited number of categories to organize grades. You manually associate columns to categories on the Column Organization page or by editing an individual column's settings.

How to Create and Manage 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 any you create. Each category’s row displays an optional description and the grade columns associated with that particular category.

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When you create a grade column, you can associate it with a category. If you do not, it defaults to No Category. You can also create custom categories before manually creating grade columns. Then, when you create a grade column, you can select the appropriate custom category. For example, you can create a Group category and associate the group participation and attendance grade columns to it.

After you create a new category, you can do the following:

  • Associate new columns to the category when creating the columns.
  • Move existing columns to the category.

Use the following steps to create a category.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Categories.
  3. On the Categories page, click Create Category on the action bar.
  4. On the Create Category page, type the category Name and an optional Description. The description can help differentiate categories and explain a category’s purpose.
  5. Click Submit.

Sorting, Editing, and Deleting Categories

On the Categories page, you can sort the list, and edit and delete categories you created. You cannot edit the name and description or delete seven of the default categories. When they appear, you are allowed to edit the name and the description of the SafeAssignment and Wiki categories, but you cannot delete them.

To sort the Title column, click the column heading or caret. If many categories exist, click Show All to display all categories on one page. Click Edit Paging to change the number of items to view per page.

To edit or delete a category you created, access its contextual menu and select Edit or Delete. Alternatively, select one or multiple check boxes or select the check box in the header row and click Delete on the action bar. You cannot delete a category that has columns associated with it.

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How to View a Category and Associate Columns

In the Grade Center, you can view the columns associated with a category in two ways. You can filter the view of the Grade Center and select a category, or you can view all categories and associated columns on the Column Organization page. If you did not associate columns with a category when created, you can manually associate columns on the Column Organization page or when editing a column’s settings. For example, you can create a category for a group project and associate the columns that pertain.

Using the Filter Function

  1. In the Grade Center, click Filter on the action bar to expand the Filter field.
  2. In the Category drop-down list, select a category. The columns associated with the category appear in the grid. The view remains in the Grade Center until you change it or close your browser.
  3. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.

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Using the Column Organization Page

On the Column Organization page, you can:

  • Move one or more columns to a category, a different category, or no category.
  • Show and hide columns in the Grade Center grid.
  • Change the order of grading period tables and columns.

Use the following steps to view and associate columns with your categories.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Column Organization.
  3. On the Column Organization page, view each column’s association in the Category column. To sort a column, access the column’s contextual menu and set an ascending or descending order.
  4. To move a column to a category, a different category, or no category, select its check box. For example, you can move a column from the Discussions category to a category named Extra Credit. Select multiple check boxes to move multiple columns to a category in one action.
  5. On the action bar, point to the Change Category to… drop-down list and make a selection.
  6. Click Submit. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window warns you to save the changes.

    Image illustrating associated text

    After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the Category column.

Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see in My Grades. For example, if you choose to hide a column using the Show/Hide drop-down list on the action bar, the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s settings to hide a column from students in My Grades or select Show/Hide to Users in a column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_not_visible.png ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students.

How to Associate Columns Manually

You can also associate a column with a category, a different category, or no category by editing the column's settings from the Grade Center grid.

  1. In the Grade Center, access the appropriate column header's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit Column Information.
  3. On the Edit Column page, make a selection from the Category drop-down list in the Column Information section.

    Image illustrating associated text

  4. Click Submit.

    After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the Category column on the Column Organization page.

How to Create and Manage Grading Periods

Grading periods are user-created segments that help you manage the Grade Center. Defining grading periods and associating Grade Center columns with them allows you to effectively organize and report on Grade Center data. You can filter the Grade Center by grading periods to display only the columns in the segment. For example, you can configure the Grade Center to display only the first quarter’s columns, reducing searching and scrolling.

You can create grading periods to group Grade Center columns together by a period of time, such as terms, semesters, or quarters. You can also create grading periods to group columns together by a shared characteristic, such as all the gradable columns for a group project or a research paper. When you create grading periods based on a date range, you can select a setting to automatically associate all existing columns with due dates that occur in the date range. You can also manually associate one or multiple columns to a grading period.

By default, the Grade Center has no grading periods established. You can associate any column with a grading period except user columns. You cannot associate a column with more than one grading period simultaneously.

You can use grading periods to:

  • Filter your view of the Grade Center. For example, you can filter using the first quarter grading period and view only the pertaining columns in the Grade Center grid.
  • Calculate grades. For example, you can create a total column that calculates a grade for the columns in the first quarter. To learn more, see Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns.
  • Create a report. You can create a report that displays statistics of performance for all of the columns in a grading period. To learn more, see Working With Grade Center Reports.

You can create an unlimited number of grading periods to organize your columns. After you create a grading period, you can do the following:

  • Associate a new column with a grading period during or after column creation, if at least one grading period exists.
  • Associate existing columns with due dates that occur in a date range with a new grading period.

Use the following steps to create a grading period.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Periods.
  3. On the Grading Periods page, click Create Grading Period on the action bar.
  4. On the Create Grading Period page, type a Name.
  5. Optionally, provide a Description. The description can assist with identifying the grading period.
  6. Select the Grading Period Dates.
    • Select None to manually associate columns with the grading period. For example, you can create a grading period named "Group Project." Later, you can manually associate the columns for the project.
    • Select Range and type a date range that is used to associate columns that have a due date within that range. Alternatively, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar to select dates. Each grading period must have unique dates.

      This only applies to existing columns that you have assigned due dates to. You must associate new columns with the grading period during or after column creation, if at least one grading period exists.

  7. Optionally, select the check box for Associate Columns to associate all existing columns with a due date within the assigned date range.
  8. Click Submit.

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You cannot associate Grade Center columns with more than one grading period. A newly created grading period with the same or overlapping date range will override the settings of an existing grading period. All columns associated with the existing grading period will become associated with the new one.

Grading periods appear in the list on the Grading Periods page and on the Column Organization page. If you chose to automatically associate columns with due dates with the grading period, the columns appear in the grading period table on the Column Organization page.

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Sorting, Editing, and Deleting Grading Periods

On the Grading Periods page, you can sort, edit, and delete grading periods. To sort the Title column, click the column heading or caret. If many grading periods exist, click Show All to display all on one page. Click Edit Paging to change the number of items to view per page.

To edit or delete a grading period, access its contextual menu and select Edit or Delete. Alternatively, select one or multiple check boxes or select the check box in the header row and click Delete on the action bar. All Grade Center columns associated with a deleted grading period are reset and will not be associated with a grading period.

If you change the date range for a grading period and select the Associate Columns check box, all of the existing columns with due dates that match the new date range will be associated with the grading period.

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How to View a Grading Period and Associate Columns

In the Grade Center, you can view the columns associated with a grading period in two ways. You can filter the view of the Grade Center and select a grading period, or you can view all grading periods and associated columns on the Column Organization page. If columns were not associated automatically with a grading period based on due dates, you can manually associate columns on the Column Organization page or when editing a column’s settings. For example, you can create a grading period for a group project and associate the columns that pertain.

Using the Filter Function

  1. In the Grade Center, click Filter on the action bar to expand the Filter field.
  2. In the Current View drop-down list, select a grading period. The columns associated with the grading period appear in the grid.
  3. Optionally, click Set Current View as Default ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/button_current_view.png ) to lock the view. In the grid, you will see the grading period’s columns each time you access the Grade Center. You can change the default view as often as you want. For example, when the second quarter begins, change the default view from the first quarter grading period to the second quarter grading period.
  4. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.

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Using the Column Organization Page

On the Column Organization page, you can:

  • Move one or more columns to a grading period, a different grading period, or no grading period.
  • Show and hide columns in the Grade Center grid.
  • Change the order of grading period tables and columns.

Use the following steps to view and associate columns with your grading periods.

  1. On the action bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Column Organization.
  3. On the Column Organization page, any grading periods you created and their associated columns appear in the corresponding table, such as Quarter 3. To sort a column, access the column’s contextual menu and set an ascending or descending order.

    If no grading periods exist, columns not associated with a grading period appear in the Not in a Grading Period table. If grading periods exist, the last table is named Shown in Selected Views Only and columns not associated with a grading period appear in the list.

  4. To move a column to a grading period, a different grading period, or no grading period, select its check box. Select multiple check boxes to move multiple columns to a grading period in one action.
  5. On the action bar, point to the Change Grading Period to… drop-down list and make a selection.
  6. Click Submit. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window warns you to save the changes.

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    After submitting, the column is associated with the new grading period or no grading period and appears in the appropriate table.

Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see in My Grades. For example, if you choose to hide a column using the Show/Hide drop-down list on the action bar, the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s settings to hide a column from students in My Grades or select Show/Hide to Users in a column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_not_visible.png ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students.

How to Associate Columns Manually

You can also associate a column with a grading period, a different grading period, or no grading period by editing the column's settings from the Grade Center grid.

  1. In the Grade Center, access the appropriate column header's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit Column Information.
  3. On the Edit Column page, make a selection in the Grading Period drop-down list in the Dates section.

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  4. Click Submit.

    After submitting, the grading period appears in the appropriate table on the Column Organization page.

Grading Periods and Grade Calculations

When you create calculated columns, you can use grading periods to display a variety of calculations, such as the average grade for a time period or the total points earned on a project consisting of several grades.

Before You Begin

Be sure the columns needed for grade calculations are included in the appropriate grading periods.

Create an average column for a grading period

To calculate an average grade for all columns in the first quarter grading period, you create an average grade column named “Quarter 1 Average.” Columns you associate with the grading period are included automatically in the average calculation.

Calculate a grade based on all columns in a grading period

For the first quarter grading period, you create a calculated column named “Quarter 1 Total” using a total points calculation that includes all the grade columns for the first quarter. This column calculates a grade based on the relationship between the first quarter’s total points possible and each student’s points earned.

Calculate a grade based on select columns in a grading period

For the first quarter grading period, you create a calculated column for the research paper assignments named “Quarter 1 Research Total.” This column calculates a grade based on the relationship between the total points possible for the research assignments and each student’s points earned.

Calculate a grade based on more than one grading period

You have created grading periods for the first two quarters and associated columns with them. Therefore, you cannot create a semester grading period and associate the same columns that are associated with the first two quarters. However, you can create a column that calculates a semester grade quickly and easily. If you create two calculated columns for the first and second quarters that display the grades for their respective grading periods, you can create a calculated column for the semester using the two quarter calculated columns in its grade calculation.

How to Hide and Show Users in the Grade Center

You can hide user rows to reduce the number of rows in the Grade Center grid and help you focus on specific data. When you hide user rows, the data is retained and you can show them at any time. You can hide user rows using the hide functions in a user's contextual menu or from the Row Visibility page. On the Row Visibility page, you can also show hidden user rows.

If you have made a user unavailable on the Users page, the User Unavailable icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_user_unavailable.png ) appears in the user’s first cell in the Grade Center. However, the row is not hidden in the grid. Unavailable users cannot access your course. To learn more about setting user availability, see Enrolling and Managing Users.

Hide User Rows Using the Contextual Menu

  1. In the Grade Center, move your mouse pointer over a student's name cell to access its contextual menu.
  2. Select Hide Other Rows to remove all but the user’s row from view.

    -OR-

    Select Hide Row to hide the user's row.

  3. When hiding one user’s row, a message appears stating that the row has been successfully hidden.

    If you chose to hide all but one user’s row, show all rows again by selecting Show All Rows in the user’s contextual menu.

    grade_center_set_up_hide_show_users_show_all.png

Show/Hide Users on the Row Visibility Page

On the Row Visibility page, you can show one or more hidden user rows. You can also hide multiple user rows simultaneously. Hiding or showing rows on this page only affects your view of the Grade Center grid and does not affect student availability.

To sort a column, click the column heading. For example, click the Status column heading to sort the column so all hidden users appear first in the list.

  1. On the action bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Row Visibility.
  3. On the Row Visibility page, select the check boxes for the users to show or hide. Select the check box in the header row to select all users.
  4. On the action bar, click Hide Users or Show Users.
  5. Click Submit.

User rows that are hidden appear in italic text and do not appear in the Grade Center grid.

How to Color Code the Grade Center

You are able to create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Creating color rules in the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. 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 colors to the following grading statuses: In Progress, Needs Grading, or Exempt.

By default, color coding is not enabled in the Grade Center, and to use color coding you need to enable it in any Grade Center view. After you define and save the color rules, the color coding applies to all views. This setting persists when the course is copied and restored.

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.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section and select a view.
  2. On the action bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Grading Color Codes.
  4. On the Grading Color Codes page, select the check box for Enable Grading Color Codes.
  5. In the Color Coding Options section:
    • For each Grading Status, click the down pointing arrows icon in the Background Color column to access the Swatch Color box.
    • In the Swatch Color box, select a color and click Apply to save it.
  6. In the Grade Ranges section:
    • Click Add Criteria to create a color rule.
    • In the Criteria drop-down, select Between, More Than, or Less Than.
    • Type a percentage in the box or boxes.
    • For Background Color and Text, click the down pointing arrows icon to access the Swatch Color box.
    • Select a color and click Apply to save it.
    • Click Add Criteria to create an additional Grade Ranges field.
  7. Click Submit.

    Image illustrating associated text

    The Grade Ranges section allows you to preview your color choices in the Indicator Preview column. If you do not approve of a color choice, click the Reset icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_reset.png )—represented by two circling arrows.

The Grade Center page appears with a success message stating that the color coding is updated. Colors based on your rules appear in the affected cells.

Image illustrating associated text

Managing Grading Color Codes in the Grade Center

You can choose to turn color coding on and off or edit the color rules you created. After you enable color coding, the Hide/Show Color Coding function appears on the action bar in the Grade Center.

How to Turn Color Coding On and Off

In any view of the Grade Center, click Hide Color Coding on the action bar to remove all defined colors from the cells. The color rules are retained.

Click Show Color Coding on the action bar to reapply the defined color to the affected cells.

How to Edit Grading Color Codes

At any time, you can edit the colors chosen or delete existing criteria. You can also create additional criteria.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Grading Color Codes.
  3. On the Grading Color Codes page, clear the check box for Enable Grading Color Codes to remove all defined color from the cells in the Grade Center. The color rules you created remain on the Grading Color Codes page and you can reapply them at any time by selecting this check box again.

    When you disable color coding, no function for showing or hiding color coding appears on the Grade Center action bar.

  4. Select a new color or click the Reset icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_reset.png )—represented by two circling arrows—to remove a color rule.
  5. Edit existing Grade Ranges criteria.

    You can preview your color choices in the Indicator Preview column.

  6. Click Delete Criteria to remove existing criteria. Removing criteria is final. Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the deletion.
  7. Click Add Criteria to create an additional Grade Ranges field.
  8. Click Submit.

About Organizing the Grade Center Data

The Column Organization page allows you to view all the columns in the Grade Center on one page. You can quickly reorder the columns, and the changes you make appear in the Grade Center grid.

On this page, each column in the Grade Center grid becomes a row. For example, the Last Name column in the grid becomes the Last Name row on the Column Organization page. The first column in the grid is the first row on this page. The order of rows on this page is the same as the order of columns in the grid.

On this page, you can organize the Grade Center columns in the following ways:

  • Reorder columns quickly using the drag-and-drop function.
  • Freeze or unfreeze columns in the first table. If you freeze a column, it remains stationary when scrolling through the Grade Center view.
  • Hide or show multiple columns.
  • Change a grade column's category or grading period.

Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see in My Grades. For example, if you choose to hide a column on this page, the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s settings to hide a column from students in My Grades or select Show/Hide to Users in a column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_not_visible.png ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students.

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How to Access the Column Organization Page

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Column Organization.

Understanding the Column Organization Page

On the Column Organization page, the rows are organized in tables. You can move most rows to any table, and you can reorder grading period tables.

  • The first table holds rows that pertain to user information, and you cannot move them into another table. This table is always first and cannot be moved, but you can reorder the rows in this table.
  • The last table holds rows that are not associated with a grading period. This table is always last and cannot be moved, but you can reorder the rows in this table.
  • Other tables appear when you create grading periods. The tables display the grading period names, such as Quarter 1 or First Term. You can move most rows—except user rows—to grading period tables and reorder existing rows. If you have more than one grading period table, you can reorder them, but they cannot appear first or last on the page.

Image illustrated by text below

  1. Use the functions on the action bar to show or hide columns, move columns to categories and grading periods, remove columns from categories and grading periods, or move columns into the first and last tables. Select one or multiple columns’ check boxes and make a selection from a drop-down list. Hidden columns do not appear in the Grade Center grid, but all data is retained. You can show hidden columns at any time.

    From the Grade Center grid, you can also hide a column using its contextual menu and selecting Hide Column. The column is only hidden from your view, not from students in My Grades.

  2. The first table, Shown in All Grade Center Views, is always first and cannot be moved. The columns in this table pertain to user information, and you cannot move them into another table. If shown, these columns always appear on the left side of the grid. You can also freeze columns in the first table. To change which columns are frozen and remain stationary when scrolling in the Grade Center view, drag the bar that states: Everything above this bar is a frozen column. Alternatively, drag a column above the bar to freeze it. Columns in gray are frozen in place on the left side of the Grade Center. Use this feature to easily match up individual students with their data across the Grade Center.

    If you freeze more columns than fit on the Grade Center grid, the number of frozen columns is reduced automatically so at least one non-frozen column appears in the Grade Center view.

    You can reorder the columns in the first table or move columns from other tables to this table. If you move a column to the first table, it appears in all views of the Grade Center. For example, you can move the total column to the first table. Then, if you change your Grade Center view to only show a single grading period, the total column appears also. Carefully consider which rows you move to the first table. For example, if you filter your view to show only the Assignment category, but you moved a test column to the first table, it will appear with the assignment columns in the grid after the filter is applied.

  3. Reorder grading period tables using the move icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_drag_drop_two_arrows.png )—represented by a double-headed arrow or a handle. Expand and collapse the contents of a table using the plus and minus icons.
  4. Drag a column to a new location using the move icon ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_drag_drop_four_arrows.png )—represented by four arrows. Alternatively, select one or more columns’ check boxes and make a selection in one of the drop-down lists on the action bar.
  5. Reorder the grading period tables -OR- columns in a table using the keyboard accessible reordering tool ( File:en-us/Learn/Sandbox_for_SP_12/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/080_Grade_Center/002_Setting_Up_the_Grade_Center/icon_keyboard_accessible_reordering.png )—represented by two arrows. In the Reorder box, make a selection and use the up and down arrows to adjust the order. Click Apply.
  6. Sort columns. Access the column’s contextual menu and set an ascending or descending order.
  7. The last table is named either Shown in Selected Views Only and columns not associated with an existing grading period appear in the table -OR- if no grading periods exist, the table is named Not in a Grading Period and all grade and calculated columns appear in the table.
  8. IMPORTANT! Click Submit to save changes. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window warns you to save the changes. Columns now:
    • Appear in the order you set.
    • Are associated with the categories, grading periods, no category, or no grading period as chosen.
    • Are shown, hidden, or frozen as chosen.

    After submitting your changes, you are returned to the Grade Center grid.

After you make your changes, all new columns created in the Grade Center appear last in the grid and in the last table on the Column Organization page. However, if you associate a new column with a particular grading period while creating it, then the new column appears in the Grade Center grid with the other grading period columns and in the appropriate grading period table on this page. If you create a gradable group item from the group homepage, such as a gradable discussion forum or blog, the new column appears with the other group columns in the grid. However, if group columns are rearranged and moved to other tables and then a new group column is created, the new group column appears first in the last table.

If two users (an instructor and a grader) are editing the Column Organization page at the same time, the changes made and saved by the first user are overwritten when the second user saves his or her changes.

Related Tutorials  video  Customizing the Grade Center View (Flash video | 1m 39s )  |  video  Creating Smart Views (Flash video | 3m 12s )  |  video  Color Code the Grade Center (Flash video | 2m 34s )

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