Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How to Drop the Lowest Grades in the Gradebook

Note:  Blackboard version 9 has an automated way to drop lowest grades in the Grade Center.  This document is for version 7.x

Dropping the lowest grades in Blackboard version 7 involves using the "Running Total" and "Running Weighted Total" column options in the Blackboard Gradebook.

You can drop students' grades from the Blackboard gradebook by first directing Blackboard not to count ungraded items against the students, and then "ungrading" the marks you want not to count.

In this way you can effectively drop student's lowest grades on a series of quizzes, for example.

NOTE: Before carrying out these instructions, download a copy of your gradebook so you will have it is a reference later if you make unwanted changes. Click here for instructions.

Here's how to use the option to drop the lowest grades:

1. In the gradebook, click the "Total" column header
2. Click "Item Information"
3. Click the YES option next to "Exempt items that have not been graded"
4. Click Submit
5. Do the same steps (1-4) for the "Weighted Total" column in the gradebook as well.

Enabling those options for the Total and Weighted Total columns has the effect of dropping all "ungraded" entries in the Gradebook--the ones marked with hyphens (-). It also changes the column names to "Running Total" and "Running Weighted Total" in the Gradebook.

6. Now, to drop the lowest grades, clear the contents of the lowest grade for each student by clicking on the grade itself (in any particular cell of the gradebook table) and selecting View > Clear attempt.

Any cleared grade will appear as a hyphen (-) will no longer be counted against the student in the totals.

Important Note: If you do want an ungraded item (-) to count against a student, you must explicitly enter a zero (0) for the grade. Leaving it ungraded (-) will cause it not to be counted against the student.