Join Patrick Crispen for an in-depth discussion in this video Inline grading, part of Blackboard Essential Training.
I want to be honest at the outset, some of the things we're about to look at in this movie may not yet be available at your institution. I'll make sure to point out what's standard and what's optional. So, we have our assignment, we've downloaded the student files, how do we assign grades? The low tech way, the way that works at every Blackboard institution is to go to the grade center, like we have here, and just start entering grades. We talked about entering grades two chapters ago. You click the cell, enter the grade and then hit Enter or Return, not the arrow key. That gives you an error message if you do that.
It may take a second or two to save each grade, and remember Blackboard's grade center is a full fledged web spreadsheet program. It's probably going to take a while to load, and it's probably going to be the slowest page in Blackboard. So, that's the easy way to enter grades but what if you not only want to enter grades but also return marked up and graded assignments to your students? We downloaded the files and we've made comments and we want to send those back to our students. Service pack 10 introduced some new ways to grade assignments, ways that some institutions have not yet enabled simply because they are still evaluating the associated privacy issues. Instead of going to the Grade Center, under the Grade Center click Needs Grading.
This feature has been available in Blackboard for a while. And in the top left corner, there's a Grade All button. This is an easy button to overlook. In fact, it's so easy to overlook, that I've seen a lot of instructors miss that button and choose Grade All Users, or Grade Anonymously instead. By hovering over and then clicking on Grade All Users. You don't need to do that. Click on Grade All. By the way what is the difference between Grade All Users and Grade Anonymously? Grade Anonymously shows you the assignment, but not who did it.
But, since most students put their names in the assignments, that kind of defeats the purpose. So, I'm going to click on Grade All. This is where things get different. If your institution is running an older version of Blackboard. You'll see a screen that lets you download the student's attempt file. Enter a grade, key in some feedback. And enter some private grading notes visible only to you, your TAs, or graders. Under Grade Current Attempt, you'll click Browse My Computer, to attach a file. Click Save and Next to move on to the next student's assignment. I can't show you that here, because we're running the new version.
And if your institution has enabled Blackboard's new grading features, when you click on Grade All you'll see what we get here. It's a Crocodoc screen showing the student's submitted paper on the left. Let me scroll down so that's a little clearer. And this is just that loren epsum file we played around earlier. So you've got a Crocodoc screen showing you the student's submitted paper on the left. And instead of requiring instructors to download student submitted files to view or edit those submissions like we showed you in our last movie, instructors will now be able to view student-submitted files in line.
In other words, in your web browser. No special plugins, no applets, no client-side applications. The supported documents are going to be Word documents,. doc, . docx, PowerPoint files, ppt, pptx, and Excel files, xls, xlsx, and of course pdf. If your students upload any other file types, Crocadoc, instead of displaying it, is going to show you an icon that lets you download the file. To enter a grade in the light gray box, not the dark gray box.
See I got a little no sign here. In the light gray box click and enter the grade. So I'm going to give this student a 90. I can also click here and give some grading notes if I click on that. These are sort of private notes visible only to me, other instructors in the course, TAs and graders. The students never actually get this. (BLANK_AUDIO) Further down I can download the student's submission. By the way, batch downloading which we covered in the last movie is actually much quicker. You can key in some feedback. I could do well done.
You can put in a little smiley face, and you can even attach a file. I'm going to click on the paper clip icon>Browse my Computer and find the file to return to the student. This is the file that I downloaded, marked up and I'm now going to give back to my students. And if I scroll down and click on Submit. This submits the student's grade and takes me to the next student that needs to be graded. Before I do that let me show you the really cool part. Annotation tools are included with the Crocodoc inline viewer, enabling you to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings and annotations directly on this screen on the left, on the inline viewer.
So what I can do is I can click on Comment and notice that I've got the ability to add a point comment, an area comment. I can sit there and say why is this red? And I can start giving students feedback now. Marking up documents is pretty self explanatory but there are a few gotchas you need to be aware of. The Draw tool takes a little getting used to, especially if you've never drawn with a mouse before. Removing and editing marks can be a challenge.
I have a tip. My recommendation is, I would want you to download a copy of the marked up student's paper, for grade challenges. There's a problem. All individual student downloads have the same file name when you do this. Which makes it easier for you to accidentally overwrite a student's file. So be careful when you download each of these student files. You'll have to rename it. Another issue is that inline text does not wrap. If the text is off the page it's gone. You can do a print with PDF markup.
You can show comment and forums document markups, summarize content. The other issue is that the sessions here on Crocodoc expire in 60 minutes. So if it's going to take a long time to grade it, I'd download it and just grade it in a Microsoft Word. One last problem with Crocodoc. There are different Crocodoc tools in different browsers. In other words, IE has color and font tools, Chrome doesn't. That said, this is a nice step forward, and if you don't like the inline markup, or if your institution hasn't enabled it, you can always download the students' files.
We talked about that in the last movie. Mark them up off line and then just upload them to the students in Needs Grading. So that's how to create and grade assignments in Blackboard. In our next two chapters, we're going to find out how to create and deploy online tests.
- Accessing a course
- Creating announcements
- Viewing the roster
- Working with modules
- Adding new menu items
- Enrolling students and others
- Making content available to students
- Entering grades
- Downloading and editing grades in Excel
- Creating assignments and collecting papers
- Creating online tests
- Adding discussion forums and groups