Grade Center Overview


The Grade Center Interface

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).


The column of checkboxes that begins each row can be used to select specific students to view or to send emails.

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.

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Types of Columns

1.  Regular Columns

The most basic type of column is created using the Create Column button.

Image of Grade Center action bar

These are the types of columns you want to use for any assignment that is deployed outside of Blackboard. That is, everything except an electronically-submitted Test or Assignment created entirely within the Blackboard environment.

2. Calculated Columns

Calculated Columns derive values from other columns within the Grade Center, and are created from one of the options within the Create Calculated Column button.

Image of the Grade Center action bar
Calculated columns include Total, Weighted Total, Average and Minimum/Maximum. These types of columns are used for determining your students’ cumulative grade within the course. These scores cannot be manually adjusted, so if you wish to attribute a final grade independent of any other columns, you will want to use a Regular Column.

3.  Assessment Columns

Any Assessment made in Blackboard, such as a Test, Assignment, Survey, or Turnitin Direct Assignment, will automatically create a column in the Grade Center.

If you are using Blackboard to allow your students to upload a file through the Assignment tool, or take an online test or survey, then a column will be created in the Grade Center for you upon deployment of that test or assignment. You should not use the Create Column button for these types of grades to avoid duplication. Note: Columns created this way cannot be deleted through the Grade Center, but will be removed if the original test or assignment is deleted.

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Editing Columns

You can modify the settings of any of the above columns with each column’s context menu:

Edit Column Information Button

This will allow you to modify any information that was entered when creating the column – or in the case of Assessment Columns, any grade information that was entered when creating the Assessment. For more information about creating and editing grade center columns, please refer to the Grade Center Columns help page.

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Links to Additional Information

For a more in-depth review of other Grade Center functions, please refer to some of our other help documentation:

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