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Tips for Managing the Grade Centre and Assignments

Students can access the ‘My Grades’ link on module sites and can also view their grades using the Global Navigation menu through the web or on the Blackboard app.  How you manage the Grade Centre directly affects what is visible to students through these links.

Here are some tips to consider when creating new assignments or when organising the Grade Centre for your module.  If you hit technical problems with grade visibility or grade calculations please check the advice below:

Columns in Grade Centre

  • Columns in the Grade Centre are automatically created when setting up Blackboard or Turnitin assignments and can also be created manually to allow for grading offline work (i.e. performances/vivas). 
  • New columns created manually or via Blackboard assignments are always visible to students by default.  Turnitin columns remain hidden until their assigned post-date.
  • You can hide columns by using the toggle switch; ‘Hide from students on/off’ – Remember students may still be able to see the Total column.

Total Column

  • Each individual column will always feed into the ‘Total’ column in Grade Centre, and the ‘Total’ column is set as the External grade by default (identified by the Green tick on the column header).
  • In order to completely hide grades from students, both the individual columns and the Total column must be hidden. To hide the Total column; click on the drop-down menu and select ‘Edit Column Information’, then select ‘No’ for ‘Show this Column to Students’ at the bottom of the page.
  • Do not select ‘Hide from Instructor View’ as this will only hide the total column from your view, and students will still be able to see this grade.

Weighted Total column

  • You can create a Calculated Columns to show module grades composed of multiple assignments, each individually weighted. 
  • You can select which assignments feed this, and their weight/value giving a much more effective and useful display than the Total Column.
  • Remember to keep this column hidden until you are ready to release grades as well as the columns for individual assignments.
  • You can specify this column as the ‘External Grade’ by using the drop-down menu from the column header.

Calculated Column Errors

  • If you encounter problems with weighted total columns incorrectly calculating grades it is important to check the weighting settings, and the individual assignments that feed the column. 
  • It is essential that all assignments (Blackboard and Turnitin) have a Point value of 100.  This can be set in either the Turnitin or Blackboard assignment settings. Not doing so will affect the weighted total as any assignments with a points value of 0 will not be included in the calculations.

Manually Releasing Grades

  • You can manually release grades by making the appropriate column visible to students using the toggle switch; ‘Hide from students on/off’.
  • Remember, all Blackboard assignments and custom columns need to be made available manually in this way. Turnitin submissions will automatically become available on the post-date. At this time, you should also make weighted total visible if appropriate.

Multiple submissions enabled

  • When using Turnitin; we recommend allowing multiple submission for all assignments unless otherwise advised.  This allows students to view their similarity reports and act on them accordingly before the deadline.

Deadline Times

  • We recommend deadlines to be set to 16:00 on a weekday.  This means that admin and ICT staff will be available to support students should there be any problems with submissions.