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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
To view a list of Blackboard's default Grade Center categories, open your Grade Center and then go to Manage and then Categories. In the last movie, we showed you how to assign columns to a grading period. It's a great way to organize your content. In this movie, we're going to show you how to assign categories to those columns and you can have a column that is both a grading period and a category. This is helpful if you want to automatically drop a student's lowest score. Say I have four quizzes and I want to drop the lowest quiz score.
I need to tell Blackboard what are quizzes or I want to drop the lowest test score. I've got to say this is a test. So what we are going to do is we are going to get into Manage and go into Categories. If you want to, you can create your own. In Blackboard 9.0 or 9.1 it's actually really simple. We are going to create a category. In this case I am going to create one called Classroom Participation.
That lovely 10% column that we all have in our grade books. I can go back and edit anything that I've added. I can also delete anything I've added, although I can't edit or delete the default categories. So if you don't like the names of these, just ignore them and create your own categories. So, now that we've got these categories, let's go and start using them. Let's go and tell Blackboard's Grade Center which particular score columns belong in which categories. There are two ways to do this.
One is you can do it when you create the column. In this case we've created a classroom participation category, but we don't have a column for that yet, so let me create that. We are going to type in Class Part. I am not going to type the whole participation. Remember you want to keep your column names to be between less than 13-14 characters. So class participation. I am just going to do Class Part. Scroll down, do a score. In this case I'll make it worth 100 points.
And here's where we get the interesting part. I can now categorize it when I create it and notice that my new category shows up here on the page. So we've got the built-in categories, but we've got my category that I just created. I am going to click on Classroom Participation. Scroll down. Does it count? Yes. Do I want the students to see it? Yes. Do I want statistics? Nope. click on Submit. So that's one way to go and categorize a particular column.
You could also go click on the button with the two downward facing chevrons to the right of a particular column. Edit the column information for an existing column and then scroll down and categorize it there, but there's a much quicker way. Let me get back into the Grade Center. I am going to go to Manage. I am going to go back to Column Organization. So Column Organization not only allows you to move things around on the page. For example, I've got my Preferred Name showing up here. I might want to try to drag this up here. Let's see what happens.
So now it's at the top of the First Half. It's the first thing that shows up. Notice that I can't drag the columns from the First Half or the grades up to the user information. Even if it's something that I created, and in this case just did it. I'm able to drag Preferred Name up to the User Information because it's not a graded category. It's a text category. So it's going to be sticking up there. In fact I am going to put it actually next to the First Name and Last Name.
So I've got the ability to reorganize. Remember I haven't made any changes yet. Changes have not been saved. I have to click on Submit to save the changes. But let's go down here and start categorizing things. So I want to take my term papers. I've got four of them. So I've got two of them in the first half, two of them currently not in any grading period. And I want to change these from being basically no category to some other category. So let me actually go to the top or the bottom. I am going down to the bottom to do this, and I am going to change the category and now I can re-categorize that.
These are assignments. So I am going to click on Assignment, and it's made the changes. Again the changes haven't been saved yet. I am going to click on Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Quiz 3, Quiz 4. I am going to change those categories to Test. So I've now changed all four term papers from no category to Assignments. I've changed the quizzes to Tests. I am going to go and click on Submit. Now you are not going to notice anything different here.
Categories only show up when you want to start dropping and weighting grades. We'll do that in the next couple of movies. But to sum up, if you want to you can use Blackboard's default categories. There are some built-in, four in Blackboard 9, 9 in Blackboard 9.1. Just go to the Grade Center > Manage and then Categories. You can create your own categories. Then when you're ready to go assign a column to a category, you can do it when you create the column or you can better still go to Manage > Column Information and do it that way.
Once you've set up the categories and you've assigned the columns you are ready to drop scores and add weight and we'll start talking about that in the next movie.
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