Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Lesser Known Features of the Blackboard Grade Center

[Kudos to the folks at Northern Illinois University.  Their instructional designers do a GREAT job on creating online tutorials and job aides.  Here's a great post from them on the Blackboard grade center.  This comes just in time as we are conducting workshops on Grade Center for faculty as the semester draws to an end.]
Here's the original post.  Click to view the details for each feature.
The redesigned Blackboard Grade Center offers a lot of new features and improvements over the old Gradebook. Below is a list of some of the lesser known, yet very helpful, features that faculty can incorporate to make better use of the Grade Center capabilities and improve their teaching experience.
  1. Extra Credit Assignments:  To learn more about setting up an Extra Credit assignment, view the Extra Credit documentation page at:
  2. External Grade Column:  View information on how to set an External Grade Column at:
  3. Grade Submission Tool:  More information about this tool can be found at:
  4. Column Availability When Entering Grades: More information about modifying a column can be found at:
  5. Smart Views in Master Courses:  More information on Smart Views can be found at:
  6. Hiding Columns in the Grade Center Does Not Hide Them in Students’ View of Grades: More information on removing columns can be found at:
  7. Removing Columns for Automatically Deployed Assessments: If there is no Remove Column link in the drop-down menu for a column, it must be an automatically deployed assessment in Blackboard. Automatically deployed assessments, such as tests and surveys as well as assignments added with the built-in Assignment tool or the SafeAssignment tool, first need to be removed from the Content Area of the course where they have been deployed. Only then, faculty get an option in the drop-down menu for a column in the Grade Center to be removed. More information on how to remove columns from the Grade Center can be found at:
  8. Dropping the Lowest Grade: Learn how to set up a Weighted Total column at:
  9. Grading History: Learn more about the Grade History featured at:
  10. Assessment Due Dates and Grading Periods:  More information about Grading Periods and the Early Warning System can be found at: and at:
For more information on teaching using Blackboard, visit

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