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Grading in Blackboard: Columns

Grade Center Columns

Each column in the Grade Center holds the grades for a given unit of a gradable course work, such as a quiz, test, or essay. Characteristics recorded in each column determine how grades are entered, displayed, and used in grade calculations. 

A Column in the Grade Center is created automatically if you set up a way for students to turn in work through Blackboard, specifically Assignments, Tests, Gradable Discussion Board Posts, and Gradable Wiki Pages. In most instances, the column created will have little more than a name and a total number of points, so it might be necessary to edit the column to add more detailed specifications. You'll have to create a new column in the Grade Center for student work that is turned in outside of Blackboard, such as tests given on paper in the classroom or in-person presentations or performances. 

To specify the details of a gradable item, you'll need either to create a column or edit an existing column. To create a column, go into the Full Grade Center and click on the Create Column tab. To edit the details of an existing column, locate that column in the Full Grade Center, click on the chevron (down-arrow in a circle) the right of the column name, then click on Edit Column Information. Either way, a screen will appear allowing you to view and/or change the details of a grading column.

The most important details, listed from top to bottom as they appear on the screen, are:

DETAIL DESCRIPTION
Column Name The name identifying the column
Grade Center Name An optional override column name that appears only in the full display of the Grade Center
Primary Display The format in which the instructor will enter grades, and in which grades will be displayed to both the instructor and to students. Usual settings are "Score," "Percentage," or the name of one of the Grading Schemas defined in the course. 
Secondary Display A second and optional grade display format, not visible to students. Usually set to "Score," "Percentage," or the name of one of the Grading Schemas defined in the course. 
Score Attempts Using If students are allowed to submit an assignment multiple times, this setting determines which submission score is displayed and used in Grade Center calculations. Defaults to Last Graded Attempt. Can be set to First Graded Attempt, Highest Grade, Lowest Grade, or Average of Grades. 
Category An optional tag that can be used to describe the column and to group the column together with other columns. Grade Center calculations can be applied to an entire category, as well as to an individual column.
Points Possible The raw number of points possible on a unit of gradable work. For tests, this is usually the total number of possible points. For grading by percentages, this number is usually set to 100.
Associated Rubrics The optional name of the Grading Rubric that will be used to grade submissions. 
Due Date The Due Date (and time) of a unit of gradable work. Work submitted after the due date is automatically labeled as "Late" in the Needs Grading display. 
Include in Grade Center Calculations Defaults to Yes, meaning that the column is included in any grade center calculations that refer to the column or to the category with which the column is associated. Turning this setting to No excludes the column from all grade center calculations.
Show to Students Defaults to Yes, meaning that students can see their grades in the column when they display their own grades. Changing this setting to No hides the column from all student displays.
Show Statistics.  Defaults to No, meaning that students have no option to see statistics that describe the performance of the class as a whole. Setting this to Yes will allow students to see things like the number of submissions and the mean class score.