Monday, November 22, 2010

Creating A Totals Column in Blackboard

This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a totals column in Blackboard. To view this document as a PDF, click here.

A totals column is helpful to keep students abreast of their progress in the class, especially when there are multiple assessments in the course, often with differing point levels.

While some instructors attempts to normalize scores to 100, others may simply keep a running track of total points. So the course may have 400 total points with the final graded taken as TOTAL POINTS EARNED divided by TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE.

For instance, quizzes, test, presentations, and participation can all be part of a student's grade, but they each have a different point total attached to them. . A TOTAL column keeps track of the breakdown of the grades.

Before we start

If you are unfamiliar with grade center, view this document []
For more information on totals columns, view this site: [htp://]

Go the the Grade Center


Add A TotalsColumn

By default, you may have a TOTAL COLUMN already in your course (see below), if not, add your own.

If a Totals Column Already Exists

The column will look like this. Click the chevron to view the available options.

Edit Column Information


Total Column Options

Enter in the Column Name. Keep in mind items marked with a red asterisk are required.
Column Name: formal name for the column which will be displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered. The maximum field size is 15 characters.
Grade Center Display Name: this text will appear as the column heading in the Grade Center and can only be 15 characters long. The Grade Center is the only are where this name is used.
Description: entering a description will aid instructors or other graders in identifying the column.

Select Display

Primary Display: the format chosen is the only (if no Secondary Grade is selected) format displayed for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. Often times, faculty will want to use the default selection of Score.
Secondary Display: this selection displays the secondary format for this Grade Item in the Grade Center. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses. Most commonly, faculty might use the Percentage display option.

Select Columns to Include in Total

Click on the item to be included in the Total Grade Column. Notice that there are two ways of adding items – by individual column or by category name. We will focus on selecting individual columns. If you have setup categories, it is likely that you don't need this tutorial:)

View Selected Columns

Points for each column will be added together.

Set Option for Running Total

Selecting Yes calculates the sum as a running total to include only the Columns that have been graded.
Selecting No includes all columns in the calculation. Non-graded items are included in the calculations with a value of zero.

Set Options for Grade Center

Include column in Grade Center calculations – if Yes, the column is included in the possible selections of items when creating calculated columns.
Show this column in My Grades – if Yes, the column will appear in My Grades.
Show Statistics (average and mean) for this column in My Grades – if Yes, statistical information with the grade value will be shown to students.
If you need further help, please call the 24 hour Blackboard helpline at 202-274-5665 or toll free: 877-736-2585.

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