Thursday, December 15, 2016

Letter Grades in the Blackboard Grade Center

Blackboard can display grades as numbers, percentages, text, and letters according to a customizable grading schema.

Internally, Blackboard stores all grades in the Grade Center as numbers, but they can be displayed as letters and entered as letters if desired.

The way a column displays grades is decided by the primary and secondary display options, which can be set using the “Edit Column Information” settings from the column heading drop-down under Grade Center > Full Grade Center in your Blackboard course.

Students can see only the primary display schema.  The secondary one is for the instructor’s reference only.

The way Blackboard maps letters to numbers is fully controllable by the instructor using the Manage > Grading Schemas option in the Grade Center.

There you will find a schema called “Letter” that you can edit.

When you edit the schema you will see the percentage ranges for each letter, and you will see what numeric percentage value Blackboard will use to calculate if you enter a letter for a grade.

You can make any adjustments necessary.

When you enter grades into cells in the Grade Center, you enter values according to the column’s primary display schema.  So if it’s set to score or percentage, you must enter a number.  If it’s set to letter, you must enter a letter.

As a general rule, we recommend entering grades as numbers since that way you will always be able to understand the calculations that result from them.

If you prefer displaying grades as letters, you can always change the primary display to letters later when you are done entering the grades, for the students to see.

We hope this helps explain letter grades in Blackboard. For more information on Grading Schemas in Blackboard, please see the Blackboard documentation here.