Grade Center Roadmap

The articles linked in this Roadmap will get you started working in the Blackboard Grade Center, whether you’re setting up your first course, or if you just need a refresher. Each section contains links to articles and documentation to help you through each step in building your Grade Center, from learning about each component, to using categories column organization and customization, and even setting up weighted columns and reports.


1.Introduction to the Grade Center
2.Parts of the Grade Center
3.Understanding and Creating Columns
4.Grade Center Customization and Management
5.Grading Assignments and Assessments
6.Additional Tools
7.Get Help

1. Introduction to the Grade Center

The Grade Center in Blackboard Learn is more than just a way to record students’ grades. It is a dynamic and interactive tool, allowing you to record data, calculate grades, and monitor student progress. You can generate reports to communicate information to administrators and other stakeholders. You can determine which assigned grades to show to your students in My Grades, including columns displaying performance results. In the Grade Center, you can provide and manage your students’ grades for assignments, tests, discussion posts, journals, blogs, and wikis, and for ungraded items, such as surveys or self tests. You can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements you want to grade, such as special projects, participation, or attendance.

If you are new to using the grade center, these articles will introduce you to what it is, how it functions, and some best practices to get the most out of the tools included.

2. Parts of the Grade Center

  • Grade Center Interface: This article will walk you through an overview of all the grade center components available to help you achieve your grade center goals.

3. Understanding and Creating Columns

  • Grade Center Columns: This article will teach you about the different types of columns, how they work, how you can use them to your advantage, how to create both grade and total columns, and the relationship between grade center columns and ‘My Grades.’

4. Grade Center Customization and Management

    The articles found in this section will explain many ways for you to organize and manage your grade center through various tools.

  • Grade Center Column Organization: allows you to view all the columns in the Grade Center on one page. You can quickly reorder the columns, and the changes you make appear in the Grade Center grid.
  • Grade Center Categories: In the Grade Center, you can use categories to group related columns together and organize the data.
  • Grade Center Rubrics: A rubric divides the assigned work into parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each part, at varying levels of skill. You can use a rubric to communicate the assignment requirements and acceptable performance standards.
  • Grading Schemas: In the Grade Center, when an item is graded, a numeric score appears in the students’ cells by default. You can choose to display grades in other ways by using 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 and displays a grade, such as a letter (A, B, C) or Pass/Fail.
  • Smart Views: As you provide and view grades, you are obtaining information about how students are performing in your course. You can tailor your view of student progress by creating smart views. A smart view is a focused look at the Grade Center. It shows only the columns that match a set of criteria, and the view is saved for continued use.

5. Grading Assignments and Assessments

    The articles in this section will explain the nuances of entering grades and how to access and grade assessments.
  • Enter Grades: will explain where and how grades can be entered for standard columns, assignments, and assessments.
  • Grading Assessments: will explain how to access test results, ways they can be graded, and other important assessment information.

6. Additional Tools

  • Working Offline: To eliminate potential double entry of Grade Center data, you can perform offline grading and import grades into the Grade Center. You can also upload grades from external sources such as an Excel spreadsheet or a comma separated values (CSV) file. You must format data specifically to upload correctly and to synchronize with existing Grade Center data.
  • Sending Email from the Grade Center: From the Grade Center, you can communicate with students and their observers. This form of direct contact allows you to actively communicate with relevant parties while engaged in grading in the Grade Center. Your immediate feedback can quickly lead to intervention if required, promoting positive outcomes for students.
  • Anonymous Grading: Enabling anonymous grading during the creation stage allows you to eliminate grading bias for high-stake assignments.
  • Delegated Grading: You can assign specific users in your course to grade particular sets of student assignment submissions.
  • Test Item Analysis: 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. You can use this information to improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts.

7. Get Help

  • The CSSD Help Desk is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days each year at 412-624-HELP (4357). They are able to solve many common Blackboard issues.
  • The Learning Management System (LMS) Consulting team oversees the administration of Blackboard and the administration of technology training programs for faculty and staff. Our team partners with faculty to facilitate and enhance teaching and learning through the appropriate integration of technology. LMS Consulting provides individual and departmental consulting and training opportunities for faculty and staff.
    Location: Alumni Hall, Room B23
    Business Hours: 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday
    Contact Information: 412-648-2832 /
  • LMS Support regularly offers workshops for instructors and staff on many aspects of Blackboard and other instructional technologies, from introductory sessions to more advanced topics.