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I earlier described the Blackboard's grade centers kind of like a simplified version of MIcrosoft Excel for the Web and that's true. But unlike Microsoft Excel where the spreadsheet columns are there just by default In Blackboard's Grade Center you have to manually create each score column, although you'll see in later chapters that when you create gradeable items within your course, things like assignments, surveys, tests and some discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis. Blackboard will automatically create a grade center score column for those.
But, how do you manually create a score column, a column into which you can manually enter your students' grades? Well, let's open the Grade Center. I'm going to scroll down again. Click the Grade Center. I can do full grade center and click the short cut link arrow. Remember Blackboard's Grade Center is a full fledged web spreadsheet program's probably going to be the slowest page in Blackboard so patience is a virtue. To create a new grade center score column just click Create Column. The column name is required, you do need to be brief but descriptive.
You only got of a 14 or 15 characters or fewer. This is what's going to show up as the column name both in the Grade Center and in your students' My Grade which we look at in the beginning of this chapter. So, I'm going to create something called Midterm. The Grade Center name is optional. It's a private name for the column that will display as the column header in the grade center and nowhere else. 15 characters or fewer, I just don't use this. Having different names for the same grade center columns is confusing, I usually just leave this blank.
This description. Is completely optional, it helps instructors, TAs and graders figure out what this column represents. It's a midterm, I know what it is. Now we get to go and see how the grades are going to display. The primary display is The grade format shown in the grade center and two students and by default it's going to be a score. It's sort of a raw numeric score. I can also change that if I want to. I can change it so that the primary display is letter A, B, C, D and F which we talked about in our last movie.
Text can be used in multiple ways you could just type short text notes 40 characters or fewer that aren't worth or calculated sending points at all you can right things like well done or study more. Or, if you have set up a custom grading schema, which we refered to in our last movie, you could use this text for something that converts back to a letter score, but that's a lot of work. Percentage works just like you would think. Student scores divided by total possible score and shwn as a percentage.
Complete, incomplete is, well, if you did it, you passed, and you get a check mark. Any additional grading schemas you created would also show up in this pull down list. But in this case, we're just going to choose Score. The secondary display only the shows in the Grade Center. It shows to the right. Of the primary display in parentheses. And I usually do a primary display of score and a secondary display of letter. But that's going to be completely up to you.
We'll talk about categories in the next chapter, but it's a great idea to assign a category to every column you create. We'll show you how to create your own custom categories in the next chapter but since this is a midterm and a midterm is a test I'm going to choose Test and now of course we have to put the points possible. Obviously this is required. And it has to be numbers. It has to be numeric. And notice that this is raw points not percentage. If you want a midterm worth 256 points knock yourself out, write 256.
I'm just going to do 100. I'm going to scroll down, it's going to show me that the date this is created is today. And it gives me the option of doing a due date. Due dates are cool, and they're actually going to become increasingly more so in future versions of Blackboard. Get in the habit of using them now. And you'll see in the next chapter how creating due dates makes setting up grading periods a heck of alot easier. Since this midterm will be on October first at 10:00AM. Let's put that.
So I want to choose October first. I have to jump forward a couple months. October first and it's going to be at 10:00AM. Done. Now I'm going to scroll down and I've got three options. The first option is. Do I want to include this column in the Grade Center calculations? And by default this is yes. And this should always be yes. A common end-of-the-semester problem that I've seen is that when your Grade Center doesn't add up It's usually because you accidently said no.
It says, don't count this. If you're creating a score column, you want it to count. So, yes, leave that as yes. Show this column to the students. In other words, do you want these scores to appear on your students' My Grades. This is yes by default. If you ever want this to be no, you'll have to turn this off here, and in the Total column, and possibly even the Weighted Total column, if you're using weighted final grades. I'll show you more about that in the next movie. Show Statistics is, do you want the students to be able to see the average and the median for this column? This is no by default, and I usually just leave it as no.
By the way, before we click on Submit, let me scroll back to the top of the page and notice that more help is available. Click on that and it opens up a really helpful pop up menu. I'm now ready to click on Submit. And we've now created a Score column, but I want you to notice something. The Score column's kind of in a strange place. It's added to the far right of the grade center, and that kind of gets confusing. Any new column you add goes to the far right, but you can always move these.
If you go to Manage> Column organization. You can actually move these to wherever you want it. So I can take the midterm and have it show up earlier. I'll come back and show you this a little closer, a little later. If I ever need to go and change this, I can go and edit the column information. And that's really all you need to know. That's how to create a score column. Lather, rinse and repeat. For each score column you need to create just click on Create Column, follow the on-screen prompts.
And now, finally, we are ready to integrate and we'll do that next.
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