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Downloading grades and editing in Excel

From: Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

Video: Downloading grades and editing in Excel

To download a copy of Blackboard's Grade Center to your computer access your Grade Center and then in the top right- corner click Work Offline and then choose Download, and you can follow the on-screen prompts. Before I do that, let me tell you a few things that you need to keep in mind. When you're doing this you're downloading a copy of your students' grades. Those grades are considered to be non-directory information. They're actually protected here in the United States under a federal law called FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Downloading grades and editing in Excel

To download a copy of Blackboard's Grade Center to your computer access your Grade Center and then in the top right- corner click Work Offline and then choose Download, and you can follow the on-screen prompts. Before I do that, let me tell you a few things that you need to keep in mind. When you're doing this you're downloading a copy of your students' grades. Those grades are considered to be non-directory information. They're actually protected here in the United States under a federal law called FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

You need to make sure that you are a good data steward for that file. You don't want to be posting it online or posting it in a place where somebody kind of get into it and see it. Student grades are considered to be private privileged information. You need to be very careful if you download this file to your computer. One of the benefits still of downloading your Grade Center is it's really easy for you to enter your grades inside that file and then upload it again. You can open up the file in Excel.

My recommendation is before you do this create the score columns in Blackboard. Don't try to create the score columns in Excel. What ends up happening is the file you're about to download is a text file with unique identifiers and these columns, if you create a column in Excel and try to upload it, it's going to upload not as a score column, but as a text column worth zero points. In other words, it's not going to count. You can edit that after you upload it, but why waste your time? Let's actually go through and download this.

I've got my score columns already. I am ready to work offline. I've got a whole bunch of student grades I want to enter. So I am going to click on Work Offline and click Download. Realistically, I usually just take the full Grade Center. I don't want to take part of it, but I could choose just grades for a particular grading period or particular column or just user information. I am going to scroll down. By default this is going to download it as a tab-delimited file. This is actually something that Blackboard recommends and the reason why is, well, the technical reason is that the tab doesn't need the quote signs in the delimited file.

Don't worry about that. The easiest way to think about this is tab-delimited almost always works straight out of box with Microsoft Excel. You could have problems with comma. So use tab. And do I want to include hidden information? In other words, if I've hidden columns from me or my students do I want them to show up here? Sure. Actually, I do in this case. Now I've got to choose where I want to download this. This gets a little confusing, because I might say, okay, well. I want to download this to my computer. Let's browse to where I want to save it.

That's not the Browse button to save it to your computer. That's the Browse button to save it to the course files or the content collection area of your course. If you click on Browse it is going to open a pop-up menu and say, okay, where in your course do you want to save this? That's actually a bad idea. In fact, it's kind of a dangerous idea, because some people might actually be able to see the grades who don't have reason or rights to see that. So click My Computer, but don't click Browse yet. We will do that on the next screen. Now it's going to say okay, we are now ready to save the file.

I am going to click on the Download button and Microsoft Internet Explorer or whatever web browser you're using is saying, okay, what do you want to do? Do you want to open the file? Do you want to save it? in this case, I am going to save it. I am going to save it to my desktop. There it is. So now I can go to my desktop and there is the Excel file. It's a big long list of characters in the name. And it's actually an XLS file, but not really.

I can double-click on it. It will open up a Microsoft Excel, but Microsoft Excel is going to kind of warn me that hey, this doesn't look like an Excel file. Remember, we are downloading it is a tab-delimited file and that's what's causing Microsoft to say, "Wait this doesn't look like an .xls file ,"and it's like yeah, you are right. It's a tab-delimited file. We knew that. I am going to click Yes and now I've got my Grade Center here on my screen. I can actually scroll over in no longer see the student IDs in scientific notation.

I want you to notice now in this first row, I've got Last Name, I've got the First Name, Username, Student ID, but once I start getting into the score columns, I've got the name of the colums and I've got these special characters. It's a pipe and the number 7. The header for each score column contains the column's name, a horizontal line called a pipe, and some sort of column identifier.

This is new to Blackboard 9. It wasn't there in previous versions. The pipe and the column identifier are absolutely required if you intend to upload this back to Blackboard sometime in the future. My recommendation is leave this first row alone. Don't change anything here. Don't change a word. Don't change a number. Don't remove the pipe in the number. Leave that. You need it. The other thing is, and I mentioned this earlier, you really want to create your score columns inside of Blackboard.

The reason why is when you do that it gets the unique identifier. If you go in right now and create a score column, a new column, when you try to upload that from here to Blackboard, Blackboard is actually going to take that column and upload it not as numbers, but as text. You can then go in and actually edit that after you upload, but why waste of time? Before you download it, go and create the column in Blackboard. One last thing I want to show you. Now this isn't actually doing it here, but in some cases, I've got in this case four or five Joneses in my course.

It's a common last name. I want to talk about something called the dual sword issue. Sometimes when Blackboard downloads its Grade Book it's going to show the students' name here alphabetically, but it's not going to the second sort here. So I might actually have Anthony Jones show up above Aiden Jones here. That can cause some confusion. So if you are working offline and you're entering grades, don't just rely on the last name.

Make sure that you're entering the name for the right student as well. This is a known issue in Blackboard that sometimes with common last names-- you get lots of students with the same last names, Jones, Smith, Garcia, Dwayne-- you might see this not ordered properly or the student's first name might not show up exactly in the order that you're expecting. So this could cause you to accidentally give somebody the wrong grades. So let's say on Quiz 1 Aiden actually got a 50 and Anthony got 100, but if I'm not paying attention or if this is not sorted properly, I could actually go and accidentally give Aiden 100 and Anthony a 50.

I could actually enter the wrong scores. So you've got to be really careful. When you enter scores in your Blackboard Grade Center, make sure that you're looking not just at the last name, but the first name and the first name may not actually be in the order that you think it's going to be. Let's get back to Blackboard. I just want to show you one last time to go and download your Grades from your Blackboard Grade Center. Access the Grade Center top right-hand corner, click on Work Offline, and click Download, and then follow the on-screen prompts.

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This video is part of

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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

84 video lessons · 11471 viewers

Patrick Crispen
Author

 
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  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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