MCCC Knowledge Base

Faculty - How to use the Grade Center


  How to use the Grade Center

Many students like the ability to see their grades throughout the semester. Through Blackboard Grade Center, faculty can create and organize grades easily in Blackboard’s spreadsheet view. Blackboard allows you  to add new columns to the Grade Center for student work that you grade manually and/or did not distribute directly through Blackboard. In  addition, if you use the assignment feature or online exams in Blackboard, these columns are automatically added to your Grade Center.

Note: The icon legend can be accessed by clicking the Icon Legend button. Descriptions of the icons are presented.



Add a Grade Column

Note: Grade columns can be added manually or through the creation of an assessment, i.e, graded assignment, graded discussion board, etc.  

The following is how to create a Grade Column manually.

1. Click the Add Column button at the top of the Grade Center.

2. Enter the name of the column in the Column Name field.  Note: ny field that has an asterisk next to it is required.  In this case, the only required entries are the Column Name and Points Possible.

3. Select how the points will be displayed (score, percentage, etc.).  

  Note:  The secondary display only appears in the Grade Center; it does not appear in the student’s view of their grades.
4. Select a category if desired.
5. Enter the points possible.
6. The creation date will default to the current day. If you want to establish a due date, click the radio button next to it and select the appropriate date.

7. Select the Yes or No radio buttons based upon preferences in section 3:
  • Include this column in the Grade Center calculations
  • Show this column in My Grades (allowing the students to see their own grade)
  • Show statistics (average and median) for this column in My Grades ( Note: selecting Yes means that the students will see this information. )
8. After entering the required information and making your selections, click the Submit button.
9. The new Grade Column will appear in the Grade Center. 

Modify a Graded Column

Note: Once you have created a Graded column, you can modify its properties.

1. Inside the Grade Center, click the chevron at the top of the column you wish to modify. 

2. From the drop down menu, select Edit Column Information.
3. In the window make the necessary changes.
4. When finished, click the Submit button on the Edit Column page. 

Remove a Graded Column

Note: You have the option to remove a grade column.

1. Inside the Grade Center, click the chevron at the top of the column you wish to delete.

2. From the menu, select Remove Column.
3. From the confirmation pop-up window, click the Obutton. 

Hide a Column  

Note: You have the ability to hide any of the columns in the Grade Center.  For instance, you may only want to see the students’ last and first name and the student ID columns. Note that these steps only hide the column from your view in the Grade Center and not from “My Grades” (the student’s view of their grades).

1. Click the chevron at the top of the column that you want to hide. 

2. From the menu, select Hide Column

Hide a Column from Students   

1. Click the chevron at the top of the column that you want to hide.

2. From the menu, select Edit Column Information.
3. Scroll down to the options section of the page.
4. Click No next to Show this Column to Students.

5. If you do not want this column to be included in the Grade Center Calculations, click No.
6. Click the Submit button.   


Un-hide a Column   

1. In the Action Bar of the Grade Center, click the Manage button.   
2. From the drop down menu, select Column Organization.
3. Select the checkbox(es) of the Grade Center columns to be revealed.     
4. Click the Show/Hide button .
5. From the Action Link menu, select Show Column .
6. When finished, click Submit  button.



Needs Grading Feature  

Note: Blackboard gives you the ability to only go into the items that need graded.   

1. Under the Control Panel, click the Grade Center button.   
2. From the drop down menu, select Needs Grading .
3. The following page displays showing the items that need grading.    

4. Click the chevron arrow next to the item.
5. Select the appropriate option you wish to do. 

Note: You have the option to grade all users for an item, view the attempt, as well as additional options depending on the type of item that you are grading

Entering Student Grades manually  

Note: There are two ways that grades can be populated in the Grade Center, manually if the graded column was created manually, or automatically.  To create a column automatically you will need to create an Assessment through Blackboard, such as: assignment, test, discussion board, etc.

Manually Created Column   

1. Click in the cell next to the student in the appropriate grade column.    
2. Type the grade in that cell.
3. Press Enter to save the grade.

Test or Assignment Generated Column  

Note: If the grade was generated from a test, the grade will automatically populate after the student completes it; provided there were no questions on the test that require your attention, such as an essay question. If the test or assignment requires your attention before a grade can be populated, an exclamation point will appear in the cell next to the students for that graded column once they have completed the test.

Follow these steps to populate the grade:

1. Hover your mouse over the cell that has the exclamation point and click the chevron when it appears

2. From the menu, select Attempt (date of attempt)
3. Sc roll to the questions that you need to grade and enter the points the student earned in the field provided.

4. You can enter feedback for the student and/or grading notes just for yourself if desired

5. When you are done, scroll to the top of the page and click the arrow to grade the next student or click Submit.

Overriding a Grade

Note: The Override option allows you to enter a Grade that supersedes the existing grade or grades (in the case of multiple attempts) in the Grade Center.  

For example, you have the option to use Override to make a student’s grade higher or lower. This overridden score would then be used for calculating the total or weighted grade.  To override a student’s grade without comments, click in the cell of the grade you want to override and type in the new grade.

1. In the Grade Center, move the cursor over the desired cell where you want to override the student’s grade

2. Click the arrow in the cell and select View Grade Details
3. Click the Manually Override tab on the Grade Details page
4. Enter the new value in the Override Grade field
5. Type in feedback to the user (student) and grading notes for yourself if desired
6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the Grade Details page 


Clearing the Student’s Attempt

Note: Clearing an attempt allows you to erase a Grade from the Grade Center. For example, if a student’s computer locks up during an exam or submits the wrong attached file for an assignment, you can clear that student’s attempt allowing him or her to retake an exam or resubmit the assignment with the correct attachment.

1. In the Grade Center, move the cursor over the desired cell where you want to clear the student’s attempt

2. Click the arrow in the cell and select  View Grade Details
3. In the Actions column, click the  Clear Attempt button
4. Click the OK button 


Adding a Comment

Note: You can add a comment to a student’s grade in the Grade Center

1. Hover your mouse over the cell that contains the student’s grade

2. Click the arrow key in the cell and select Quick Comment
3. Type in feedback to the user (student) and grading notes for yourself if desired
4. Click the Submit button   


Manage button  

Freezing Panes

Note: You can freeze columns in the Grade Center so that they will always be visible when scrolling in the Grade Center.

1. Click Manage in the Action Bar of the Grade Center then select Column Organization

2. Click and drag the 4 cross arrows next to the darker gray bar that reads “Everything above this bar is frozen column” up or down to adjust which columns will be frozen
3. Click the Submit button 


Sorting the Grade Center

 You can sort both student and graded item columns within the Grade Center: 

Student Information:

Graded Column Information

  • Username
  • Last name
  • First name
  • Student ID #
  •   Display Name
  • Categories
  • Due Date
  • Creation Date
  • Points Possible

Sorting Student Information 

Note: To sort the student information, follow these steps.  In this example, we will move student ID above Username.

1. Click the Manage button in the Action Bar of the Grade Center  
2. From the menu, select Column Organization  
3. To move a column, click the 4 cross arrows next to that column and drag that column to the desired location  
4. To save changes, click the Submit  button   


Sort Graded Column Information

Note: To sort the graded column information, follow these steps. Note: In this example, we will sort the columns by “Creation Date.”
 1. Click Manage in the Action Bar of the Grade Center

2. From the menu, select Column Organization  
3. Click the double arrow next to Category as indicated above and you will be presented with the following 2 options: Set Custom Order (ascending) or Set Custom Order (descending)

4. Select the appropriate option. In this example, we’ll choose “Set custom order (ascending).” The grade center will not be sorted by in ascending order based on the creation date.
5. To save the changes, click the Submit button   

Note: You can also manually move the columns up and down on this page by clicking in the 4 cross arrows to the left of that column and then drag that column to the desired location.


Hiding / Unhiding a Student

Note: Student rows can be hidden from the Grade Center View, reducing the number of rows in the grid. Hidden students are not removed from the Grade Center, and can be revealed at any time.

To hide a student row: 
1. Click the chevron next to the student you wish to hide
2.  From the menu, select Hide Row
To show the student’s row that was hidden:   
1. Click Manage in the Action Bar of the Grade Center

2. From the menu, select Row Visibility
3. Click the checkbox next to the student you wish to show

4. Click the Show Rows button
5. Click Submit 



Note: You can generate reports from the grade center for your students.

1. From the Grade Center view, click the Reports button

2. From the options, select Create Report
3. In the Header Information section, you must enter a Report Name

4. Check any of the appropriate options such as date, course information, etc.
5. In the Users section, select whether or not you want the report for all users or selected users. 

Note : If you select “Selected Users” then you will get a list to select specific students.
6. In the User Information section, select the information you want displayed on the report

7. In the Column Information section, select the column information desired

8. In the Footer Information section, if desired, enter custom text and add a signature line

9. When you are ready, click the Submit

10. If you want to see what the report looks like before submitting, click the Preview button

11. When you are ready, click the Submit button 


Downloading Grades to Excel

Note: Instructors can download and save the grades from the Grade Center as a tab-delimited file for use in Excel.

1. Click the Work Offline button

2. Within the new window, click the Download button
3. Select either the full grade center or a particular column Note: The other options should not need to be changed file

4. Click the Submit button
5. Click the Download button
6. When prompted, open or save the file


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