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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.
So we have got a Grade Center with four quizzes, four term papers, a midterm and final and class participation. We are going to talk about dropping scores and since that can get kind of confusing I actually went through and cleared out the Grade Center, so there is no grades in here right now. What I am going to do right now though is for jabrown I want to give him some scores. So it turns out that Jay never actually showed up for quiz number 1, so he doesn't have a score for that. We will leave it blank for now. For Quiz number 2, well, he showed up but didn't do very well. He got a 50.
I am going to scroll over to the right and he on Quiz number 3 did much better. Actually hit the ball out of the park. He got 100. Scroll over a little further and quiz number 4 he got 100 as well. So those are his grades. Let's just say that for the sake of argument I've decided that for all the students in my class I'm going to allow them to drop the lowest quiz grade. So I have got four quizzes. I want to drop the lowest quiz grade.
It turns out that dropping scores, dropping them well, is a four-step process. Step number 1 is you need to create categories in your Grade Center or use some of the categories that are already built-in. We talked about that in a previous movie. The next thing you need to do is assign your grade columns to those particular categories, and we actually did that in a previous movie. What you need to do now is we need to create a new score column which is going to add up all the quiz scores and do the sort of arithmetic necessary to drop the lowest grade.
You might be tempted to click on Create Column. Don't do that. Create Column is where you enter grades. We want to have Blackboard figure this out for us. So I am going to click on Create Calculated Column and I am going to create a new total column. In this case, I can going to call it-- let's call it CUMQUIZ. Make a note for myself. 3 highest quiz scores. Primary Display of Score. Secondary Display of let's say Percentage.
I am not going to assign it to a grading period. Now right now we were creating a column and this column is going to create a sort of total for everything in the course and we don't want to do that. We only want the quizzes. So in this case, I am going to choose Selected Columns and Categories. I am going to scroll down. I could if I wanted to go and take Quiz 1, I am going to Shift+Click Quiz 2, Shift+Click Quiz 3, Quiz 4, and move those over. But the reason why I had to do categories is I want you to notice if I scroll down and click on Test, it already has Quiz 1, Quiz 2, and Quiz 3 and Quiz 4.
So I can just click and move that over to the right. I click on the greater than sign. So I don't have to manually choose individual columns. If I have done categories, it just makes it a little easier at this step. So it's now going to ask me, okay, am I going to be playing around with grading periods? Nope. And I've got two choices. I can drop grades or I can only use the lowest value, if you want to penalize your students, or calculate just the highest value. In this case, I'm going to drop grades. I don't want to drop the highest grades. Again, I don't want to penalize my students. In this case, I want to drop the lowest grades.
I am not dropping the three lowest grades. I'm only dropping the one lowest grade, but I could do any number here if I wanted to. So if I had 16 quizzes I could drop five of the lowest quizzes. So far so good, so what I've done is I've chosen the columns. In this case, I did it through Categories. Scroll down. And now let's talk about this Calculate as Running Total, because this can get a little confusing. You remember that Jay has four grades. Actually he only has three.
He has nothing for the first test, which you and I would consider to be zero. He's got a 50, 100 and 100. Because that first score column is empty, Calculate as Running Total, if it's set to Yes, doesn't count it. It is if the student never needed to take the test. So when we go to drop Jay's lowest quiz scores we are not dropping the lowest four quiz scores. We are dropping only those scores that have grades in them right now.
So he has nothing for the first one. It's empty. He is got a 50, 100 and 100. If I have Calculate as Running Total as Yes, Jay is going to have 100 because it's going to drop the 50 and its going to take the 100 and 100, average them together, and Jay's grade is going to be 100 for all the quizzes. That could be a problem for some people. My recommendation is say No. No means that all the columns count. There is no such thing as an empty column being forgiven.
If the student doesn't have a grade it counts it as a zero if I set it as No. And in this case zero and 50 and 100 and 100, if I drop to 0, 50 plus 100 plus 100 divided by 3, that's an 83%. Again, if I set this as Yes, Jay's got 100% average on the quizzes. However, if I set it as No, he's going to have an 83 because it counts that first column as a zero because it's empty. I am going to scroll down a little further. It's going to say, Include this Column in the Grade Center Calculations? Sure.
Show it to students? Sure. And then Show Statistics, Yes or No. I am going to click on Submit. So step number one, create or find a category for the Grade Center column. Step number two, assign the columns. Step number three, create a new calculated column. You are not going to create a column; you are going to create a calculated column, in this case, a total column. You have to choose what particular columns are going to be calculated. You have to decide whether or not you are going to allow excused absences.
Now it almost looks like we are done, but we are not. There is one more step. It's a huge step. I'm actually going to scroll over and I want you to see something. It sure does look like the Total column is right, but it's wrong. It's absolutely quite wrong, because the Total column is counting the quizzes twice and that's a problem. What I need to do is I need to tell the Total column no longer count those four quizzes. Count the CUMQUIZ column instead.
So what I am going to do is I am going to go in to the Total column. I am going to click on Edit Column Information. I am going to scroll down and instead of having the Total column count every column in the Grade Center, I'm only going to have it choose specific columns. In this case, I'm only going to include the CUMQUIZ column. I am going to include the Midterm. I am going to include the Final. I am going to include Classroom Participation. I'm also going to include the four term papers.
I'm not including the quizzes. The reason why is the quizzes already count in the CUMQUIZ category. So that fourth step, going back here and modifying the total column, if you are going to be dropping scores remember you don't want to count these grades twice. So you want to go and exclude the columns that are no longer being counted and use the new Total column. Calculate as Running Total? In this case No. In other words, if you didn't do it you get a zero. Include it in the grade columns? Do I want to show this to students? We actually turn this off earlier in an earlier movie.
I will turn it back on here so the students can see their final grade. I am going to click on Submit. And now everything is fine. If I want to move that CUMQUIZ to another place, I can go and do Manage Column Organization. So when we are talking about dropping scores, dropping them well, it's a four-step process. Step number one, create or find a category for the grades center columns you wished to drop. Step number two, assign the columns to that category. Step number three, create a new calculated score column, figure out which columns you are going to count, which grades you are going to drop, whether or not an empty cell count is zero or is just ignored.
And then finally, modify the total column to include this new column, the new calculated column, rather than the old ones.
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