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Grade Center

This section deals with functions found in the Control Panel area labeled Grade Center

Grade Center

The Grade Center is a very complex tool with extensive functionality.  We highly recommend training before attempting to use the Grade Center if you are not already familiar with it. If you do not understand how it works, it is easy to make mistakes such as displaying grades to students that you thought you had hidden from their view, or to unintentionally assign a letter grade with a numerical value higher than the student earned.

Official grades are NOT entered through Blackboard. To submit your official grades on-line, log on to PeopleSoft Student Administration at with your Net-ID and LDAP password.

Control Panel: Grade Center

Complete Grade Center Instructions

Instructional Videos

Pitfalls and "Gotchas"

Setting Up the Grade Center and Planning Assessment

Missing Scroll Bars

video fileGrade Center Instructional Videos 

Blackboard Grade Center 101  (YouTube Video, 37 minutes)

Setting Up the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 4 minutes, 45 seconds)

Create Grade Center Column  (YouTube Video, 3 minutes, 26 seconds)

How to Customize the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 31 seconds)

Instructors can customize their view of the Grade Center by hiding columns to focus on specific data and reduce scrolling. Hidden columns are not deleted from the Grade Center, and you can show and reorder them at any time. This tutorial will show you how to customize the view of the Grade Center by hiding a column, accessing the Column Organization page, showing a hidden column, and reordering columns.

Hide Columns in the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 1 minutes, 41 seconds)

Hiding Columns in Grade Center can be tricky. You can hide them from yourself, but students might still have access. This tutorial shows you how to hide columns from yourself or from the students or both.

Color Code the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 1 minutes, 46 seconds)

You can use Grading Color Codes to apply background and text color to items in the grade center that meet specific criteria. Adding color rules to the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. This tutorial will show you how to enable color coding in the Grade Center, and set color coding options.

How to Create a Smart View of Grade Center Data   (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 6 seconds)

Smart Views are limited displays of Grade Center data based on selected criteria. The Blackboard system generates a number of useful default smart views. Instructors can also create their own by adding a set of criteria that reflects specific student activity and achievement in the course. This tutorial will show you how to create a smart view, set smart view criteria, and add a smart view to the control panel for quick access.

How to Download and Upload Grades from the Grade Center (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 39 seconds)

Note: At Princeton, the button to do this is labelled Upload/Download rather than Work Offline.)

Weighting Grades in the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 4 minutes, 15 seconds)

What is a Weighted Average  (YouTube Video, 12 minutes, 49 seconds)

Extra Credit in Blackboard Grade Center   (YouTube Video, 5 minutes, 45 seconds)

How to Use Grade Details to See Attempts and Assign Grades  (YouTube Video, 1 minutes, 28 seconds)

From the Grade Center, instructors can view Grade Details to see attempts, assign grades, and view the grade history. This tutorial will show you how to select a grade and view the grade details.

Anonymous and Delegated Grading   (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 35 seconds)

When creating an assignment, you can enable anonymous grading to ensure impartiality. You can also share grading responsibilities with teaching assistants, graders, and other instructors. Additionally, you can allow multiple graders to grade the same assignment to further promote reliability in grading.

This tutorial will show you how to add an assignment, enable anonymous grading, and delegate grading responsibilities.

How to Create a Rubric for Grading Student Work  (YouTube video3 minutes, 7 seconds)

Learn how to create a rubric for assessing and grading student work. Using a rubric to grade your students allows you to set specific criteria for achievement and share expectations with your students. Using a rubric helps keep grading consistent and fair.

How to Grade Using a Rubric   (YouTube video3 minutes, 23 seconds)

Rubrics can be linked to many types of graded content. Instructors use rubrics to ensure consistent evaluation and can show rubrics to students to clarify expectations. This tutorial shows you how to access a rubric that has been associated with a graded discussion and how to use that rubric for grading.

Some Common Grade Center Pitfalls and "Gotchas"

Delegated Grading Issues

Instructors cannot hide grader comments in delegated grading from the Students, even if the option "Show Graders' Feedback and Rubrics (if applicable) to student" on the reconcile grades page is unchecked.  There is no work-around at present.

"Hide Column from Grade Center" Does Not Hide Grades from Students

Selecting Hide from Grade Center from the contextual menu only makes the grade column invisible to those who can edit the Grade Center, not to the students. If you wish to make a grade column unavailable to students in the My Grades tool,  you must select Hide from Students.

Making an Assignment Grade Column Unavailable to Students Does Not Make Their Scores Unavailable

If the grade is for a Blackboard Assignment, even selecting No for Show the Column to Students will not prevent the student from seeing the number of points earned when they view the Assignment page itself. Either make the Assignment unavailable or create a separate column to enter to grades for said Assignment.

Hiding a Student Does Not Make the My Grades Unavailable to That Student

Selecting Hide User from the contextual menu next to a student's name only makes the user invisible to those who can edit the Grade Center.  My Grades cannot be made unavailable on a user-by-user basis, only course-wide.

My Grades (Student View of Grades) Is Available By Default

If you do not wish your students to be able to view any grades you enter in the Grade Center, you must make My Grades unavailable for the course site. To do so:

  1. Edit mode is ON
  2. Click Tools in the Course Menu.
  3. Next to My Grades, click the Hide Link button.

Column Statistics Do Not Include Override Grades

This issue is particularly problematic with Assignments, because if you enter the grade in the cell where an exclamation point (!) exist to indicate the Assignment has been submitted, the grade is considered an override. To avoid this issue, place your cursor in the cell of the first grade you wish to enter, click the chevron that will appear and select View Grade Details. On the subsequent page, under Attempts, click the Edit Grade button, then enter the grade and click Save. Now, to get to the next student you want to enter a grade for, use the Jump to User feature at the top of the page.

Giving Students More Points Than Desired

When a student does not do an assignment or take a test, thus earning a grade of "0", entering the letter grade of "F" will assign the student 55 points towards the calculated average in the Grade Center. Instead of entering "F", enter "0" if you want the grade calculated as "0". It is also a good idea to select Score or Percentage as your Secondary Display when setting up the grade column, if you select Letter as your Primary Display.  The Secondary Display is not visible to students, but is helpful for instructors in understanding the number value associated with a grade. 

It is also possible to change the grading schema for your Grade Center, so that letter grades have the numerical value you desire -- see Creating Grading Schemas (pdf).  The default grading schema is as follows:

Grades Scored Between
Will Equal
Grades Manually Entered as
Will Calculate as
% and  100% A+
94 and  Less Than  97 A
90 and  Less Than  94 A-
87 and  Less Than  90 B+
84 and  Less Than  87 B
80 and  Less Than  84 B-
77 and  Less Than  80 C+
74 and  Less Than  77 C
70 and  Less Than  74 C-
67 and  Less Than  70 D+
64 and  Less Than  67 D
60 and  Less Than  64 D-
0 and  Less Than  60 F


Complete Grade Center Instructions

Grade Center Features and Navigation

Customizing the Grade Center  Describes how to organize and customize the Grade Center by filtering, sorting, freezing panes, and hiding and revealing data.

video fileSetting Up the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 4 minutes, 45 seconds)

video fileCreate Grade Center Column  (YouTube Video, 3 minutes, 26 seconds)

video fileHow to Customize the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 31 seconds)

Creating Smart Views  Describes how to create and save Smart Views, which are custom made views of Grade Center data that is pertinent to ongoing grading activities.

video fileHow to Create a Smart View of Grade Center Data   (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 6 seconds)

Sharing Grade Center Data (pdf)  Explains how recorded assessment data and other information in the Grade Center may be shared  with Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graders, Students, and other interested persons.


Setting Up the Grade Center and Planning Assessment

Using Grading Schemas  The default grade schema in Blackboard (the numerical values for letter grades) may not be the ones you, your department or program prefer.

Categories  How to use existing categories for grades, such as tests, surveys,
assignments, discussion board; and how to create Instructor defined categories.

Creating and Managing Grading Periods  How to divide the Grade Center into Grading Periods, such as semesters, quarters or other delineations

Grade Center Columns  How to create and manage Grade Center columns.

video fileCreate Grade Center Column  (YouTube Video, 3 minutes, 26 seconds)

Sending Email from the Grade Center (pdf)  How to use the Grade Center to communicate directly with Students using Email.


Using the Grade Center

Entering Grades   How grades are entered into the Grade Center including automatically scored grades, multiple attempts, uploading grades from an external source, and manually entering grades.

Adding Comments to a Grade Entry  How to add comments to any grade entry in the Grade Center.

Changing Grades   How to change recorded grades, including overriding grades.

Grade History   How to use the Grade History to view all grades that have been edited and by whom. How to download the Grade History file.

Deleting and Reverting Grades  How to delete a grade, revert a grade back to an ungraded state and null a grade.

Exempting Grades  How to exempt students from grades.

Download and Upload the Grade Center  How to upload items into the Grade Center from an external file. (NOTE: The instructions on the site tell you to look for the Work Offline button, however, here at Princeton, the button is labeled Upload/Download.

video fileHow to Download and Upload Grades from the Grade Center  (YouTube Video, 2 minutes, 39 seconds) Note: At Princeton, the button to do this is labelled Upload/Download rather than Work Offline.)


Missing Scroll Bars

Usually when the scroll bars are not displaying in the Grade Center, the solution is to just increase your screen resolution. On small screen devices, such as handhelds, tablets, and netbooks, the Grade Center will not function properly, no matter what. 

However, sometimes if you are using Firefox on a PC, you may not see the scroll bars in the Blackboard Grade Center because the PCs scroll bar settings need to be adjusted.To resolve this issue:

Windows 7

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Select Appearance and Personalization
  3. In top right-hand search box, type "windows color"
  4. It will bring up Personalization and a list. Select "Change window colors and metrics".
  5. Click on the Item Dropdown (default says Desktop) and select "Scrollbar" and change to 19.

Windows XP

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Display Properties.
  3. Click on the Appearance tab.
  4. Select the Advanced button.
  5. Select the Scroll Bar from the item drop down list.
  6. Change the setting to 19.
  7. Submit.

Windows Vista

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. Select the Window Color and Appearance option.
  4. Click on the Advanced button.
  5. Select the Scroll Bar from the item drop down list.
  6. Change the setting to 19.
  7. Submit.


User Manual

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737