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Grading in Blackboard: Overview

Grading In Blackboard

Grading in Blackboard

Image of letter grades such as A+ and D-, in colored circles

Blackboard Learn provides robust support for grading students' work. The package can handle most of the kinds of grading used by instructors, so it is rarely necessary to download grades to a spreadsheet for any kind of grade calculations. The main grading features of Blackboard are listed below:

Grading Arithmetic

  • Grades can be entered as points, percentages, or letters F through A+.
  • Conversion between percentages and letter grades can be done automatically, according to a grading schema specified by the instructor.
  • If multiple submissions are allowed for an assignment, the Grade Center can automatically choose the first, last, highest, lowest, or average of submissions as the final grade.
  • Gradable items (columns in the Grade Center) can be grouped into categories specified by the instructor, such as essays, presentations, reaction papers or quizzes. 
  • Calculated columns can be set to summarize individual columns or categories (groups of columns), by total, average, minimum or maximum, or percentage weighting, and can optionally drop or base grading on the highest and/or lowest score within a column or category.
  • Calculated columns can be set as "running totals," meaning that they ignore items not yet submitted or graded, automatically adjusting the calculations to maintain grading proportions. This allows students to see where they stand throughout the semester.

Grading Processes

  • Submissions can be uploaded by students directly to Blackboard, eliminating the handling of paper or emailed submissions, maintaining an automatically time-stamped record of submissions, grades, and feedback to students, and enabling review and revision of grades.
  • Submissions can automatically be marked late, based on the due date/time set for the assignment.
  • Assignments can be set to allow one, a specified number, or unlimited submissions.
  • Instructors can ignore or clear individual submissions.
  • Essays can be checked automatically for plagiarism with SafeAssign, before grading.
  • The Needs Grading process can show the instructor all submissions that need to be graded, and can step the instructor through gradable items ordered by assignment or by student.
  • Directly within the Blackboard Grading tool, essays can be marked up with highlights, underlining, and comments. These markups become part of the submission and are visible to the student, if the student chooses to examine the details of the grade received.
  • Exceptions to the number of allowed submissions can be granted to individual students for specific assignments, allowing additional submissions. 

What's in this Guide?

Click on the tabs above to see information about features of grading in Blackboard. The topics available are:

Categories Tags that can be used to organize Grade Center columns into groups
Schemas Automatic conversion between percentages and letter grades
Columns Details that can be set in Grade Center columns
Calculated Columns Totaling, averaging and weighting other columns to calculate midterm and final grades
Column Organization Reviewing and managing the organization of all columns in the Grade Center
Grading The processes of grading student submissions
Rubrics Using rubrics to grade student submissions
Markups Marking up student essays within Blackboard
SafeAssign Automatic checking for plagiarism
Resubmission Allow a student to make an additional submission for an assignment.