Three Types of Columns
In the Grade Center, three types of columns appear: user, grade and calculated. Each column has a contextual menu with options. The options that appear vary depending on the type of column. When you create or edit grade and calculated columns, you can select the appropriate settings to configure the Grade Center to calculate and display the data most useful to you. You also have the abilities to hide and show columns, associate columns with categories and grading periods, and view columns in any order.
Grade Center columns are utilized by course functions outside of the Grade Center. To learn more, see Grade Center Interactions. For example, when you create adaptive release and Retention Center rules, you can select Grade Center grade and calculated columns as rule criteria. To learn more, see Release Content and Retention Center.
Your institution controls whether this tool is available.
In a new course, six default user columns appear in the Grade Center grid:
- Last Name
- First Name
- Student ID
- Last Access
You cannot delete or edit default user columns. You can hide all but the first user column in the grid. If you need to hide the first column, you can rearrange the user columns on the Column Organization page, but at least one user column must show. You can also freeze user columns so they remain in place as you scroll in the grid.
On the Users page, you can make a user unavailable. In the Grade Center, the User Unavailable icon ( ) appears in an unavailable user's column. To learn more, see Manage Users. However, the user's row is not hidden in the grid. Unavailable users cannot access your course.
To sort a column, click the column heading. For example, you can sort the Last Access column. Users who accessed your course most recently appear first in the list. The sorted list remains in effect until you change it or log out.
About Calculated Columns
In the Grade Center, you can calculate grades using calculated columns. Calculated columns combine data from multiple columns to attain performance results. You can share these results with students and your institution.
You can use calculated columns to perform the following tasks:
- Calculate the total grade.
- Weight grades by column, category, or both.
- Calculate the average grade.
- Calculate a minimum or maximum grade.
- Set criteria when creating adaptive release rules and Retention Center rules. To learn more, see Release Content and Retention Center.
You can include a calculated column when creating another calculated column. For example, if you created a calculated column that weighs quiz grades, you can include the column when creating a final grade column.
When you point to a column name, information about that column appears in the Grade Information Bar at the top of the Grade Center grid. Or, point to a column header to access the contextual menu and click Quick Column Information. For calculated columns, Points Possible includes the phrase (may vary by student) because some students could be exempt from a test or assignment or they have not submitted all of the items included in the column's calculation.
Two calculated columns are created by default and appear in new courses—the Total and Weighted Total columns. You can rename, change the settings, determine which columns are included, or delete these default columns.
The results in the external grade column are shared with your institution as your students' grades for your course. You decide which column is set as the external grade. In new courses, the default total column is the default external grade column, and the external grade icon ( ) appears in the column header. You cannot delete the default total column until you set another column as the external grade.
To set the external grade, access a column's contextual menu and click Set as External Grade. The check mark appears in the column header you chose and no check mark appears in the default total column header.
If you copy or restore a course, the external grade column you chose remains as the external grade column.
You can edit most Grade Center columns and change the column's name, settings, what is included in a calculated column's calculation, and whether students can see the column results in My Grades by hiding the column from users. You can also use the options in a column's contextual menu to perform a variety of actions, such as viewing information about the column, sorting the contents, or downloading results.
You cannot edit or delete the following default user columns:
- Last Name
- First Name
- Student ID
- Last Access
You can hide all but the first user column in the grid. You can rearrange the user columns on the Column Organization page, but at least one user column must show. To learn more, see Organize Grade Center Data.
Contextual Menu Options
You can use the options in a column's contextual menu to hide a column from your view in the grid (Hide from Instructor View) or from students' My Grades pages (Hide from Students (on/off)). When you hide a column from your students, you will still see it in the grid.
Each column's contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that column. For example, a test column's contextual menu includes options for Column Statistics and Grade Questions. For a default user column, such as First Name, you only have the options of hiding the column and sorting the items. If an option does not appear in the contextual menu, you cannot perform the action on that column.
Example: Hide a column from users > Change whether students see the column results in My Grades
If you want to hide column results from students in My Grades, click Edit Column Information in the column's contextual menu. On the Edit Column page, click No for Show this Column to Students. You can edit the column again at any time to show the results to your students. Alternatively, you can click Hide from Students (on/off) in a column's contextual menu. When you want to show the column to students, click Hide from Students (on/off) again. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students. You can still view the column in the grid.
Example: Change the grading schema
For each column, you can choose how grades appear to students in My Grades and in the Grade Center grid. Click Edit Column Information in the column's contextual menu. On the Edit Column page, change the grade display in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists. If you choose to share the column results with students, they see grade values based on what you select in the Primary Display drop-down list, such as Score, Letter, or Percentage. The Secondary Display selection is optional and only appears in the Grade Center.
At any time, you can also change the grading schema to display grades based on new grading schemas you create. For example, for a particular test, you want to make an adjustment because of low scores. You can associate a custom grading schema with that test's column to reflect a curve you want to apply to those lower scores. You can create as many test grading schemas as needed to fulfill your grading requirements and associate them with the appropriate columns in the Grade Center.
Example: Change which attempt is used as the score in the Grade Center
When multiple attempts are allowed for an assignment or test, you can edit columns to change which attempt is used as the score in the Grade Center. For example, if you allow students to submit an assignment more than once, click Edit Column Information in the assignment column's contextual menu. On the Edit Column page, select which attempt to use for the score. The default is Last Graded Attempt. If you do not edit the column, the Grade Center automatically uses the grade of the last attempt when more than one attempt is allowed.
You can choose from the following options in the Score attempts using drop-down list on the Edit Column page:
- Last Graded Attempt
- Highest Grade
- Lowest Grade
- First Graded Attempt
- Average of Graded Attempts
Example: Editing column names
While in the Grade Center, you cannot change the Item Name of columns created automatically for gradable items, such as tests, assignments, discussion posts, journal and blog entries, and wiki contributions. You can edit the name of a gradable item in your course and the name will change in the Grade Center. For example, to change an assignment name, you must go to the content area containing the assignment and edit the name there. The name change is applied automatically in the Grade Center.
On the Edit Column page for auto-created columns, you can provide a different name in the Grade Center Name box. The name you provide appears on students' My Grades pages and in the Grade Center grid, but does not overwrite the name of the item in your course. This could cause confusion for students when the names they see in My Grades and the names they see for gradable items in the course do not match.
When you upload grade columns to the Grade Center from an external file, they appear as text columns with points possible equaling zero (0). You may see numbers in the cells, but they are just placeholders. You must edit these columns to include the scores in Grade Center calculations.
- In the Grade Center, access a column's contextual menu and click Edit Column Information.
- On the Edit Column page, change the Primary Display to Score and type the Points Possible.
- Click Submit. The assigned scores appear in the column's cells.
To learn more about external data, see Upload or Download Grade Center Items for Working Offline.
When you create gradable items in your course, the following grade columns are created automatically in the Grade Center:
- Tests, surveys, and Self and Peer Assessments
- Discussion posts
- Journal and blog entries
- Wiki contributions
The only way to delete these auto-created grade columns is to first delete the gradable items in your course. For some, if no student submissions exist when you delete the item, the Grade Center column is deleted automatically or you are allowed to decide whether to delete the column.
Before deleting gradable content in your course, you must carefully consider what the ramifications may be. Student work, such as test and assignment submissions, is deleted along with the deletion of the content item in your course. The action is final. In some cases, you can choose to save the grades assigned in the Grade Center. Even if you retain grade columns in the Grade Center, you can't access the student submissions because they were deleted with the item in your course. Alternatively, make the gradable item unavailable in your course to preserve the submissions and the scores in the Grade Center.
You are not allowed to delete the default user columns and the external grade column. If you set a grade or calculated column as the external grade column, you must select another column as the external grade column before you can delete the first one.