Blackboard: How To Tips for Grade Center

Hide Unnecessary Columns

Blackboard, by default, adds several new columns to the Grade Center, including Username, Student ID, Last Access, and Availability. There are two options to hide columns in the Grade Center:

  1. Hide from Students (on/off): Students will not see the column category in their My Grades
  2. Hide from Instructor View: Instructor will no longer see the column in the Grade Center (To show the hidden column in the Grade Center again select Manage, then Column Organization)


To hide these columns in the Grade Center, click on the drop-down arrow next to the title of the column and then select the view(s) that you would like that specific column hidden from.

NOTE: If you are interested in tracking student patterns and Blackboard access to your specific course, leave Last Access shown

Organize Columns

To organize columns in the Grade Center, select Manage from the tabs near the top of Grade Center, then click Column Organization. Click and drag the multi-directional arrows next to each column's name, to reorder them.

By default, new columns added to the Grade Center will appear at the end of the Grade Center. Total and Weighted Total columns will appear near the beginning. Reorder columns in a logical order, such as sequential order by the due date.

NOTE: The order in which students see their individual assignment scores in My Grades is the order of the columns in the Full Grade Center View. Select Manage from the tabs above the Grade Center, then click Column Organization.

Click here to learn more about sorting and organizing in the Grade Center.

Create Customized "Smart Views"

Smart Views is a focused look at the Grade Center that only shows the columns which match a set of criteria. Smart Views can be especially important for instructors who are team-teaching and responsible for grading only a specific "set" of students which does not require them to see the entire Grade Center. 

To set up Smart Views, select Manage from the tabs near the top of the Grade Center, then click Create Smart Views. Click the Create Smart View button. Enter a name for the view and then select the type of view, criteria, and any desired filtering. Click the Submit button to save. The Smart View will appear as a subheading under your Full Grade Center.

Click here to learn more about Smart Views.

Display Name for Grade Center

In addition to the descriptive column names assigned to assessments, a shortened Grade Center display name (not exceeding 15 characters) can be added. The display name will become the column's header within the Grade Center. To change/add a display name within the Grade Center, when adding a new column, enter the shortened column title into the Grade Center Name box.

Use Blackboard Rubrics

Blackboard Rubrics are effectively more helpful when grading as well as help students understand the assignment expectations and grading criteria.

To use Blackboard Rubrics: From the Control Panel, click Course Tools. Click Rubrics then Create Rubric. Provide a name for the Rubric. Optionally, provide a Description. Edit the Rubric Grid and then associate the Rubric with an online assignment, discussion board forum, blog, journal, wiki, or etc.

Provide Feedback on Students Scores

Comments can be added to any assessment in the Grade Center. Add comments to student scores when you want to provide individual feedback or clarification on a score. Comments are visible to students in their My Grades (indicated by a speech bubble).

To provide feedback to a student's assessment, enter the score in the cell then click on the drop-down arrow and select Quick Comment. Enter comments in the Feedback to User box. Optional Grading Notes can also be added. NOTE: Grading Notes are only available for instructors and teaching assistants.

Click here to learn more about providing feedback on assessments.

Automatically Drop the Lowest Grade

An assortment of grade computation features is available, which includes the capability to drop the lowest grade from scores within a given category. Columns containing scores must be assigned to the same category (Click here to learn more about categories in the Grade Center).

To drop the Lowest Grade, click the drop-down arrow next to the title of the Weighted Total column, then click Edit Column Information. Select the categories you wish to include in computing the weighted total grade. NOTE: The percentage weight is for each category. Under Drop Grades for the category, enter 1 in the Lowest Grades box, then click Submit to save.

Send Reminders from the Grade Center

Instructors can send email reminders directly from Grade Center columns to students and group members who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date, if applicable.

To send a reminder directly from the Grade Center, click on the drop-down arrow next to the column title within the Grade Center and select Send Reminder.

Downloading the Blackboard Grade Center to Create Class List and Record of Grades

Go to the Full Grade Center and click on Work Offline (located on the top right side of the screen), then choose Download. From there, Select the Data to Download of your choosing (Full Grade Center, Selected Column, or User Information Only). The remaining default setting is good. Click Submit, then click Download. Find the downloadable file on your computer and open it. You may also use the downloaded file to upload grades back into Blackboard using the same method except this time selecting Upload from the Work Offline.

Page last modified June 18, 2021