Grade Center Interface

The Full Grade Center

The Blackboard Grade Center is a spreadsheet of rows and columns that allows you to enter and calculate student grades for your course. Each student in the class has a unique row, and every graded item has its own column. Grade Center columns can be reorganized or hidden to simplify viewing and recording. Tests and Assignments created directly withing Blackboard are automatically added to the Grade Center at the time of creation, and other grade items can be added manually. Some Grade Center columns are calculated (such as totals or weighted totals).


  1. Action bar: Rows preceding the grid information containing functions and drop-down lists specific to the current page, such as Create Column, Manage, Filter, Email, Sort Columns By, and Order.
  2. Grade Information Bar: Information about a selected column, such as type of grade and points possible. Point to a Grade Center column title and details appear in the area preceding the grid and following the action bar. In this same row, you can view when data was last saved.
  3. Grid/spreadsheet: Columns, rows, and cells that make up the current view of the Grade Center data.
  4. Scroll bars: Use the horizontal and vertical scroll bars to navigate through the Grade Center columns and rows. When you navigate to another course area and return to the Grade Center, you will see the same rows and columns on the page from the last visit. The view remains in effect until you use the scroll bars again or log out.
  5. Icon Legend: Explanation of the symbols used in the cells.
  6. Edit Rows Displayed: You can change the number of rows appearing in the grid. In the box, type a number between 5 and 50, and click Go.
  7. Checkboxes: Can be used to select specific students to view or to send emails.

The Icon Legend

There is an Icon Legend button on the bottom-right of the Grade Center which provides a description of all Grade Center icons:

Grade Center icon legend

User Unavailable: This user has been made unavailable in your course, meaning that they cannot view or participate in any Blackboard content.
Column Not Visible to Users: This particular grade will not be visible to your students in their My Grades view. Completed: For columns using a Complete/Incomplete grading schema, this symbol indicates a completed assignment.
Needs Grading: A test or assignment has been electronically submitted and needs to be graded by an instructor.
Override: The grade or score that appears in the cell has been manually entered by an Instructor, TA or Grader.
Attempt in Progress: The student is still taking the test and has not submitted it yet.
External Grade: The University does not use this feature of Blackboard, but any column set as External Grade cannot be deleted or edited. There must be one column set as External Grade at all times. In order to delete a column set as External Grade, set another column as External Grade instead, then proceed with deletion.
Grade Exempted for this User: The Instructor, TA or Grader has removed this grade from the total.
Error: An error has occurred, please contact the Help Desk or Educational Technology Center.
Not Participating: This appears when an assignment is a group assignment, indicating students that are not in that particular group.
Anonymous Grading is enabled for this item: Anonymous Grading has been turned on for this assignment. These cells cannot be altered in any way until the criteria for de-anonymization have been fulfilled.


The Grade Center Action Bar

You can perform many actions in the Grade Center using the functions appearing in two rows on the action bar.

Grade Center Action Bars

Grade Center Action Bars

The following functions appear in the first row of the action bar:

  • Create Column: Click to create a grade column.
  • Create Calculated Column: Access a drop-down list with options for creating calculated columns.
  • Manage: Access the drop-down list with options for managing the Grade Center:
    • Grading Periods: A set of Grade Center columns that have been grouped based on a shared characteristic, such as a period of time.
    • Grading Schemas: A grading schema takes the actual points scored on a graded item and compares it to the total points possible for that item to derive a percentage. This percentage is mapped to a range of scores for grade displays, such as A, B, and C or Pass/Fail.
    • Grading Color Codes: User-defined rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Color coding the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly.
    • Categories: Classifications of columns containing similar items, such as “Tests” or “Assignments,” used to organize and view Grade Center data.
    • Smart Views: Custom made views of Grade Center data created by instructors and saved for continued use.
    • Column Organization: Page displaying a table view of the Grade Center with functions to change the order and visibility of columns. From this page, you can also assign columns to grading periods and categories. Changes you make on this page are for your view of the Grade Center only and do not change which columns appear to students in My Grades.
    • Row Visibility: You can hide user rows to reduce the number of rows in the Grade Center grid and help you focus on specific data.
    • Send Email: The Send Email page appears.
  • Reports: Create reports from Grade Center data and access the grade history for all students.
  • Filter: To narrow your view of the Grade Center data, click Filter to expand the field and select an option from the following drop-down lists:
    • Current View: Includes the Full Grade Center view, Smart Views, and Grading Periods. You can select one of the views to use as the default view by clicking the Set Current View as Default icon next to the Current View drop-down list. When you log out and return to your course later and click the right-pointing arrow in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel to access the Grade Center, the view you selected as the default appears in the grid. You can select other views from the Current View drop-down list at any time.
    • Category: Includes all default categories and any you have created.
    • Status

    In some instances, you can make another selection in an additional drop-down list to further narrow the columns and users that appear in the grid.

  • Work Offline: Access features that allow you to work with Grade Center data outside of Blackboard Learn.

The following functions appear in the second row of the action bar.

  • Move to Top: Select one or multiple check boxes for users and click Move to Top to move the rows to the first positions in the grid.
  • Email: Select one or multiple check boxes for users and click Email to display the options of sending to users, observers, or users and observers. After selecting an option, the Send Email page appears.
  • Sort Columns By: Access a drop-down list that allows you to sort the Grade Center items.
  • Order: Sort the data in Ascending or Descending order. The view remains in effect until you sort columns again or log out.

Access Grade Center Contextual Menus

Throughout Blackboard Learn, items that are acted upon by users have contextual menus associated with them. A contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that item.

In the Grade Center, all cells and column headers have a contextual menu. For example, a test column’s contextual menu includes options for Column Statistics and Grade Questions. For a non-grade column, such as First Name, you only have the options of hiding the column and sorting the cells. If an option does not appear in the contextual menu, you cannot perform the action on that column, row, or cell.

Contextual Menu Options for Columns

Each column’s contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that column. The following options are just some that may be available.

 Option Description
Quick Column Information  Displays information about the column in a pop-up window.
Grade Attempts  Provide a grade for an attempt made for this item.
Grade with User Names Hidden  Provide grades for this item without knowing the identity of each user.
Item Analysis Provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Use this information to improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts.
Attempts Statistics Displays the Statistics page for tests and surveys. Each question for a test or survey appears, along with its score information for tests or percent answered for surveys. On the Survey Statistics page, you can view the survey results. The percentage of students who selected each answer appears. You cannot view individual results for surveys.
Download Results Allows you to download Grade Center data for this column as a delimited file that is used in other applications, such as spreadsheet programs or statistical analysis programs.
View All Attempts Displays the View All Attempts page for tests. From this page, you can grade the attempts, grade them anonymously, or grade by question.
Grade Questions Provide grades for all of the responses for a specific question at one time.
Assignment File Download Allows you to select and download files students have attached to their assignments.
Assignment File Cleanup Allows you to select and delete the files attached to an assignment.
Edit Column Information Displays the Edit Column page for this column.
Column Statistics Displays the Column Statistics page for this column. The following appears: Column details, status distribution, grade distribution, and basic statistics, such as range, average, median, and variance.
Set as External Grade The results in the External Grade column are shared with your institution as your students’ grades for your course. You decide which column is set as the external grade. In new courses, the default Total column is the default external grade column, and the external grade icon ( circle with check mark ) appears in the column header.
Hide from Students (on/off) Hide this column from users. If you hide the column, the column remains in the Grade Center grid, but your students will not see it in My Grades. In the grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( circle with diagonal line ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students. Click again to show the column to users.
Clear Attempts for All Users Displays a separate window for clearing attempts for all users. You can clear attempts based on criteria or a date range.
Sort Ascending Display the items in the column in an ascending order.
Sort Descending Display the items in the column in a descending order.
Hide from Instructor View Hides the column from view in the Grade Center. To show the column, point to Manage on the action bar to access the drop-down list and select Column Organization.


Contextual Menu Options for Cells

To see the contextual menu for a cell in the Grade Center grid, move your mouse pointer over the cell. Click the arrow icon to access the contextual menu.

When you access the contextual menu for a user’s name cell, you have options to hide a user’s row, hide other rows to focus your attention on one row, or email a user. You can view which items are visible to a user based on availability and adaptive release rules or which items a user marked reviewed. You can also view the User Statistics page which provides statistical information related to a user’s performance.