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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 create a new Grade Center score column, access your Grade Center. That's down there in your Course Management area. If you have Blackboard 9.1, you'll see Grade Center with these two greater than sign to the right. You can click on that. If you've Blackboard 9.0, you'll click on Evaluation Grade Center. Remember your Grade Center might take a few seconds to load. It is a full-fledged web program. And this is the Grade Center. Let me give you a quick tour. We've got some buttons across the top, we can create a column. We can create a calculated column and there are those two downward facing chevrons.
It looks like, yup! There is more stuff there. Average Column, Minimum Maximum Column. I can go to the Management tools. We actually showed you how to go and change the grading schema, using Manage Grading Schemas. There are also some reports. There's filters and I can even work offline. As I scroll down, I am seeing all of my students right now sorted by Last Name, but I can sort by First Name. Also notice that as I'm hovering over these columns, it showing me the column name in this Grade Information Bar up here.
See Student ID. I can see Last Access. So what I am seeing right now are a type of column called student information columns. So these things come pre- rendered into the program. Last Name, First Name, Username, Student ID, Last Access, Availability. Next thing you are going to see are calculated columns like Weighted Total and Total. That's the final grade. And as we start adding more columns, we'll start seeing grade columns. These two columns over here, the Last Name and First Name, are frozen columns.
What that means is as we scroll left and right, those first two columns will always stay the first two columns. So they're frozen in time, frozen in place. So we've got these default columns already build-in. As you go through your Blackboard and start creating assessments, tests, surveys, self assessments, those will automatically create columns. We'll talk about these tools in the later chapters. And Assignment is going to create an automatic column here. Created discussion forums and threads, created blogs, journals and wikis.
But for most of the time you are going to have to manually create your own columns. And the way you do that is you click on Create Column up here at the top of the page. So I am going to click on Create Column. First thing it's going to do is going to ask me to enter the name of my column. In this case I am going to create a column for the midterm. Okay, so I need to create a brief descriptive name for this column. Don't go crazy with the naming, because it's actually becomes the column header in the Grade Book.
You really only want to use 14 or 15 characters or fewer than that if possible. In this case I'll just type in Midterm. Now I could also put in a Grade Center Display Name. The Grade Center Display Name is what the students see in My Grades. If I don't put anything here, Midterm is going to be what shows up. In this case Midterm is perfectly fine. The description is also something that students can see when they get into their My Grades. And then Blackboard is going to ask me the grades that I enter.
Am I going to enter a Score, in other words, it's going to be a number? Is it going to be a Letter, in other words A, B, C, D or F and in the last movie we showed you how to convert those back into numbers using the grading schema. Text is meaningless. Text is just letters. Those don't count. There is no grade for a text. You can enter a Percentage. Or you can actually have Complete/ Incomplete, which could be a checkbox or just an empty cell. In this case I am going to choose Score. I am not going to change anything. Now I also have the option of doing a Secondary Display.
To the right of My Score on my display as an instructor, students don't see this, I can actually have this show up as a Letter, as a Percentage, or as Complete/Incomplete. The Letter uses the grading schema that we've talked about in the last movie. Or I can choose Percentage. We usually do Percentage. Normally I enter grade as scores with a Secondary Display of Percentage. It will automatically calculate that. We'll talk about Category later. For now let's enter the Points Possible. Notice there is a star there.
That means it is required. So I'll go 100 points. I can actually create a due date here. We'll talk about that in an upcoming movie. And then finally I've got three options and this is really kind to confusing, but let me explain what they're saying here. Include this column in Grade Center Calculations is very simply, does this counts to the student's final grades, yes or no? If you say no, it doesn't count. It's not going to be calculated. I am going to say yes, this counts, this matters. I wouldn't create a Grade Center column if I didn't want the grades to count.
Do I want my students to be able to see this column? Now they are not going to see the entire column. They are just going to see their grades. So really what they're saying here is do you want your student to be able to click on My Grades and see their individual grades? Yes or no, completely up to you. Last one is do you want the students to be able to see the average and median for this particular item? I usually keep this as No, because I've got grades where I might enter a grade today and have half the class graded today, half the class graded tomorrow, and the students are going to get a bad idea of what the average and median is if they come in while I'm in the middle of my grading.
So normally I leave that set to No. And I click on Submit and I've added the Grade Center column... and it doesn't show up. Where is it? What's going on? Well, it turns out that Blackboard's Grade Center, when you add a new grade column adds it to the far right-hand side. Remember I said we could scroll. So we've actually got the Weighted Total, the Total, and then the Midterm shows up over here on the far right-hand column. By the way if I ever need to go back and edit this thing, remember the button with the two downward facing chevrons? Well, it's here.
Click on it and I can go Edit Column Information. It takes me back into the column settings, so I can always change this later. How do I move the Midterm column from the far right-hand side to someplace else? Well, we're going to talk about that in the next chapter. For now what I'd like you to do, this is actually your homework assignment, I'd like you to create a handful of columns to play around within your course. Create four term paper columns, four quiz columns, and a final column. So in effect, you're going to have 10 columns.
4 term papers, 4 quizzes, and the midterm that we just created.
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