Skip to main content
Continuing Online Operations
Loyola is continuing online operations while we prepare for reopening safely in the fall. Coronavirus resources

Grading in Blackboard: Schemas

Working with Grading Schemas

A Grading Schema is a way of translating between percentages and letter grades such as A- and C+. Every course in Blackboard starts out with a default Grading Schema called "Letter," which looks like this:

Screen Shot of the Default Letter Schema in Grade Center

The left half of the display shows how percentage values are converted into letter grades, assuming that the grade in a particular Grade Center column is entered either as a raw score or as a percentage. The right half of the screen specifies the process in reverse (what percentage value is used in calculations if the instructor enters grades in a Grade Center column using letters with plusses or minuses).

An instructor can and should edit the default Letter Schema to match the grading policies for the course as described in the course syllabus.

If convenient, it is also possible to create additional schemas, associating different schemas with different Grade Center columns. For example, you might create a copy of the Letter Schema, call the new schema "LORA," and then change the cutoffs so there are no A+ or D- grades (as required when recording final course grades in the LORA Student Information System). You could then associate the LORA schema with whatever Grade Center column holds the final course grade (often the Weighted Total column), so you can display those grades in a form ready to enter into LORA. 

Such a LORA Schema might look like this:

Screen Shot: Hypothetical LORA Grading Schema

To associate a Schema with a column in the Grade Center, go to the Full Grade Center, locate the desired column, click on the chevron (down-arrow inside a circle) to the right of the column, then click on Edit Column Information. On the screen that appears, look for the Primary Display and Secondary Display.

Screen Shot: Primary and Secondary Display Settings in a Grade Center Column

The Primary Display is here set to Percentage. The Primary Display controls the format in which the instructor enters grade values into grade center and also determines what students see when they look at their own grades. The Secondary Display defaults to None. If some other value is selected, each grade value is shown to the instructor (in the Full Grade Center) in two formats, one specified by the Primary Display setting and one specified by the Secondary Display setting. Students can NOT see grades in the Secondary Display format.

Note that the list of options you can use to specify the Display Format includes the names of the Schemas defined in the Grade Center for this course. Specifically, the default Letter schema and the recently created LORA schema are included and can be selected. 

If my Weighted Total column is set to a Primary Display of Percentage and a Secondary Display of Letter or LORA, the Instructor (but not the student) will see something like this when looking at that column in the Full Grade Center:

Screen Shot: Weighted Total Column with Primary and Secondary Display