What is the Blackboard Grade Center?

The Blackboard Grade Center resembles a spreadsheet that was designed to be used as a grade book. Each row represents a user in your course and each column includes information for assessment items such as an assignment, test, graded blog entry, or survey. You can also use columns to calculate grades--both letter and numeric. You can provide grades and comments directly on the Grade Center page, on the Grade Details page, and from a tool, such as the discussion board.

You are able to customize your view of the Grade Center and create grading schemas, grading periods, categories, and columns to present and gather the information you need.

View of the Full Grade Center

By default (although this can be changed), the Full Grade Center displays a student's Last Name, First Name, Username (UTAD), Rocket ID (Rocket Number), Last Access (when the student last accessed this course site), and Availability (whether the student is allowed access this course site) in the first six columns.

The default Grade Center columns also include a Total column that simply sums up the scores contained in any Grade columns.

Any additional columns, beyond these first seven are used to display assessment results (tests, assignments, surveys, etc.), totals and calculated scores, and user defined information.

Benefits for Faculty

In the Grade Center, instructors can provide and manage students’ grades for assignments, tests, discussion posts, journals, blogs, and wikis, and ungraded items, such as surveys or self tests. The instructor can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements they want to grade, such as special projects, participation, or attendance. The instructor can retrieve student submissions from the Grade Center, apply comments, and add file attachments for students to view.

In providing students with timely feedback, it is important to clearly state:

  • How grades will be calculated (Quality Matters 3.3)
  • If grades will be based on a point total, percentage, or a letter grade (QM 3.3)
  • When grades and feedback will be posted (QM 5.3)

Benefits for Students

Frequent feedback from the instructor increases learners' sense of engagement in a course (QM 5.3). Student contributions increase significantly when their participation in course activities counts toward their grade, even in a small way. Blackboard’s Grade Center is compliant with FERPA: students can only see their own personal grades in the My Grades area in Blackboard.

When and How

Before the course starts, it is important for instructors to verify that the Grade Center is set up correctly, that all graded items are included, that the columns are properly organized, and that grade weighting is set up correctly. Contact your Instructional Designer if you need help setting up the Grade Center.