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Tips for Effective Blackboard Grade Center Use

Tips for Effective Blackboard Grade Center Use Adobe Stock:139910231

By Kristina Wendricks and Mish McIntyre

Did you know that Blackboard Grade Center is a tool that allows you as an instructor to do so much more than just record student grades? Blackboard Grade Center is a robust tool, from color coding gradebook cells for various parameters to creating filters for your Grade Center. We will cover Grade Center tips and more in the series of blog articles, so keep reading!  

This March, we will focus on the Column Organization feature in the Manage menu of Full Grade Center.  

Tip 1: Create Clarity in Graded Assignments with Column Organization 

One of the main ideas in quality online course design is clarity of expectations. You can bring more transparency to your course by setting up an organized Grade Center. Did you know that instructors determine which columns appear and in what order? We recommend organizing columns in chronological order, so students can determine what assessment is upcoming. You can also organize your columns by category. 

To organize your Grade Center columns in chronological order: 

  1. Go to Course Management > Control Panel 
  2. Access Grade Center > Full Grade Center 
  3. Navigate to Manage > Column Organization 
  4. Drag the row from the Compass icon to reorganize columns.  
  5. Do not forget to click Submit to save your changes. 

Tip 2: Be Proactive by Knowing When Your Students Access the Course 

Our second tip is about using the Grade Center to effectively manage student attendance in online/hybrid courses. We know that students must be present to learn. For online/hybrid courses, that boils down to tracking their access. We also track the last day of access for many financial aid and administrative purposes. The Last Access column tracks students' last log in and can help you identify students who are missing, so that you may reach out and offer support. 

By default, CCRI instructors will see the Last Access column in the Grade Center. If you are not seeing this column or need to show/hide additional Grade Center columns, follow the steps below. 

  1. Go to Course Management > Control Panel 
  2. Access Grade Center > Full Grade Center 
  3. Navigate to Manage > Column Organization 
  4. Locate Last Access, check the box next to the title 
  5. Click the Show/Hide button at the top 
  6. Choose Show Selected Columns 
  7. Click Submit 

Show/Hide feature in column organization has a variety of use cases. The Username, Student ID and/or Availability columns are not often used by instructors. Think about hiding those columns to help you manage the Grade Center view. Use the above process except click Hide Selected Columns instead of show.

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