Q: Why does Grade Center not always alphabetize first names correctly? A: Blackboard has been working on the issue with alphabetization in Grade Center. If there are more than one student in a course with the same last name, Grade Center will alphabetize last names but not always first names. Currently a request is in to development to fix this, but for now this is the workaround until development changes the default to do it automatically:
When in the Grade Center for a course, click on first name and it will sort all the names alphabetically by first name, then click on last name and it will sort them all by last name. You will then see that all the names are correctly sorted by last name, then first name even when there are multiple students with the same last name.
NOTE: any time you navigate away from the Grade Center you will need to go back in and do this sort again.
Q: What is the difference between weighting grades equally or proportionally? A: Weighting grades equally means that the percentage assigned to the category will be divided equally among the columns in that category regardless of the points possible for each column. Proportionally means that the percentage will be divided proportionally according to the points possible for each column. For example, if there are two tests in the Test category, one worth 50 points and the other 30 points, weighting grades equally will mean that each test will receive the same percentage of the grade while weighting proportionally will give the test worth 50 points more of the percentage than the test that is only worth 30 points.
Q: How do I add extra credit into the Grade Center? A: There are three different ways to add extra credit to a student’s grade in the Grade Center:
The simplest way is to add the extra points to a column that has already been created for another assignment or quiz. For example, if a student earned seven extra credit points, you would choose another existing column like a 100-point homework assignment. (Let’s say that student had earned 90 points out of 100 possible.) Then you would add the seven points onto that assignment so that it would give the student 97 points for that column. Remember when using this method with weighted grades, you want to make sure that you add those extra points to a column with the same weight you would assign the extra credit so that the weights in the class are not calculated incorrectly. It is also important to inform students that this is how extra credit is being added so that they realize that one of their assignments will have a higher score than was actually received. This will also help them remember where they are able to view how much extra credit they have received.
The second way to add extra credit can only be used when NOT weighting grades. Begin by adding another grade column. Assign this column zero points possible. This will be the column that all extra credit will be recorded in. Next, you need to modify your total column. To do this, find the total column, click the down arrow to view the options for the column and select Modify Column. Under Option 3 Select Columns, there is an option that allows you to choose which columns to include in the total. You will need to select the last option, Selected Grade Columns, Calculated Columns, and Categories. A new option will appear to allow you to select which columns to include into the total. Select all the columns in your Grade Center that need to be included in the total including the extra credit column and move them over to the Selected Columns window using the small right arrow. NOTE: Do NOT select any extra total columns in the grade center; this will add any points in that total column to the total column you are modifying therefore doubling the total points for the student in that course.
The third option should be used if weighted grades are being used. Begin by adding another column and assigning the column one point possible. This will be the column that all extra credit will be recorded in. Using this option will give students who receive extra credit an extra point possible if you are using a running total. Therefore, if the total points possible for the class is 250 points, anyone who receives extra credit will receive their grade out of 251 points. If you are not using a running total, one point will be deducted from students who do not receive any extra credit. Another way around this as well is to simply give each student a single point in the extra credit column. This will put everyone on the same level whether or not they complete any extra credit.
It is important to remember to add this column, if weighting grades, to the weighted column and assign it a weight so that the extra credit points will be calculated into the final grade. The extra credit column can NOT be added to a category that is being weighted. It must be added and assigned a weight as a single column.
Q: What is the difference between using a running total and not using a running total? A: A running total will calculate only the columns that have been attempted. It will ignore columns that have not been completed. For example, with a running total, the Final Exam will not count against students throughout the semester because they have not taken the exam yet. You will see a small dash in the individual cell when there has not been an attempt made on the assignment. It is also important to remember that the dash needs to be replaced with a 0 if the assignment was not completed. If the column is not a running total, all columns will be taken into consideration in the total column regardless of whether or not the student has completed the assignment. This is often while the majority of a class will have a failing grade until about half way through the semester.
Q: Where is the running total or not running total option for a total or weighted total column? A: To change whether or not a total or weighted total column is running total you must modify the columns. To do this, find the calculated column in the Grade Center, click the down arrow that allows you to see the options for the column and select Modify Column. Under Option 3 Select Columns, there is an option, Calculate as Running Total. If that option is selected as Yes, the column will be a running total. If that option is selected as No, the column will not be a running total.