To eliminate potential double entry of Grade Center data, you can perform offline grading and import grades into the Grade Center. You can also upload grades from external sources such as an Excel spreadsheet or a comma separated values (CSV) file. You must format data specifically to upload correctly and to synchronize with existing Grade Center data.
To synchronize external data to Grade Center data, unique identifiers are necessary for each student and for each column in the Grade Center. The unique identifier used for each student is the student's user name. The unique identifier for each column is a column ID number. Column ID numbers are generated by the system and should not be changed or deleted. Columns that do not have column ID numbers in an uploaded file will create new columns in the Grade Center.
Columns that you add to the Grade Center from an external file are added as text columns with points possible equaling zero (0). Text columns cannot be included in calculated columns, such as weighted, total, average, and minimum/maximum. To learn more, see Calculating and Exempting Grades. Convert text columns to other columns types and add points possible by editing the column after the upload.
Each data file you upload to the Grade Center requires a header row with one record per line subsequently.
The format of the data file uploaded to the Grade Center is determined by the type of delimiter you use to parse the data into separate columns. Data files are tab delimited with a file extension of XLS or comma delimited with a file extension of CSV.
Data in each column of comma-delimited files (file extension of CSV) must be contained within a quote character, the most common being quotation marks ( " " ). Data in each column of tab-delimited files does not require a quote character.
Blackboard recommends using tab-delimited files for uploading into the Grade Center to avoid having to use quote characters and because tab-delimited files open directly in Microsoft Excel. Tab-delimited files will also open directly in Microsoft Excel.
To obtain a file that is formatted correctly for uploading, download the full Grade Center first and open it in a text editor or spreadsheet application. Existing columns will have column ID numbers that must be included in future uploads.
Batch files are TXT files that hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if the worksheet is saved as a CSV file.
Review the Data Preview column to be sure the correct data is being uploaded. Data that appears incorrectly can denote an improperly formatted file. The data preview will only show a sample of the data in each column in the file.
Any file you upload that contains an "Incomplete" for a grade entry will be set to null, with no grade or text displayed. Any file you upload that contains "Complete" for a grade entry will be set to an override grade of the maximum points possible (100% for a grade item) in a column that has the primary display of Complete/incomplete. Any file you upload that contains a numeric entry will be a numeric entry.
You can download full or partial data from the Grade Center. Once downloaded, grades and comments accessed through the Quick Comment feature or Manual Override page can be changed and added offline and later uploaded to the Grade Center.
|Full Grade Center||Contains all columns and associated data. Comments will not be included, and you cannot add them offline.|
|Selected Grading Period||From the drop-down list, select a grading period. You must create grading periods before they are chosen.|
|Selected Column||From the drop-down list, select one column and its data. Select the check box to Include comments for this Column, which will download comments from the Quick Comment feature or Manual Override page. You can edit included comment text offline.|
|User information||Columns containing student data such as username are included.|
After the file is downloaded and opened in the appropriate editing software, you can make changes. If you download the full Grade Center, you can change and add grades, and save the file for uploading. If you downloaded a single column, you can add or change grades and comments, and save the file for uploading.
Comments will be downloaded only when you select a single Grade Center item and the option to include its associated comments. The comments downloaded and uploaded will be for the grade (accessed in the Quick Comment feature or Manually Override page) and not the attempt (accessed in the View Attempt or grading pages).
Four comment-related columns are included in the downloaded file. If you added comments online, those will be included in the download. Otherwise, you may add comments offline and upload them to the full Grade Center to appear in the Manually Override or Quick Comments areas.
Add or edit comments in the Grading Notes and Feedback to User columns.
Links within comments to rich media, such as images or sound files, should be inserted and edited online.
When your editing to grades and comments is complete, save the file, return to the full Grade Center, and click Work Offline > Upload.
|Grading Notes||Grade Center column-specific comments visible only to an instructor or TA.|
|Notes Format||Smart Text, Plain Text, or HTML.|
|Feedback to User||Grade Center column-specific comments visible to students.|
|Feedback Format||Smart Text, Plain Text, or HTML.|
|Smart Text||Automatically recognizes a link, the ENTER key as a paragraph tag, and accepts HTML tags.|
|Plain Text||Displays text as it is written in the text area. Plain text does not render HTML code. HTML code will appear as text.|
|HTML||Displays text as coded by the user using HTML tags.|