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Grading Schemas

About Grading Schemas

In the Grade Center, when an item is graded, a numeric score appears in the students' cells by default. You can choose to display grades in other ways by using grading schemas. A grading schema takes the actual points scored on a graded item and compares it to the total points possible for that item to derive a percentage. This percentage is mapped to a range of scores and displays a grade, such as a letter (A, B, C) or Pass/Fail. This information is presented in a table format.

The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading schema based on assigning letters to the percentages. Your institution may edit this schema to reflect a general grading schema used for all courses.

You can associate the default grading schema with an individual or multiple columns in the Grade Center. When you grade items, the grade values (letters) appear in the cells in the Grade Center grid and to students in My Grades. You can choose not to show grades to students when creating or editing a column.

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You can make the uppermost value in a grading schema greater than 100%. For example, if a student earns 100% or more, you may choose to assign A+ to those scores.

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You can edit an existing grading schema and save the changes within your course. For example, you can lower the percentages needed to achieve an A, B, C, D, and F. You can also create additional schemas to reflect the multiple ways you want to grade throughout your course. New schemas and any edits to existing schemas only appear in the course you are in. You can create as many schemas as needed.

If your institution makes changes after you edit the default grading schema, your institution's changes are not reflected in your course.

After creation, a grading schema is included as an option in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists when creating and editing columns in the Grade Center.

Example: Letter Grading Schema

For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 88 out of 100 points possible. In a grading schema in which a percentage of 87 to less than 90 equals a B+, a student’s score of 88 results in a B+. In the quiz’s Grade Center column, a B+ is displayed. If you release the column’s grades to students, letter grades appear in My Grades.

Example: Text Grading Schema

For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 78 out of 100 points possible. You create a grading schema based on text terms, such as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. A student’s score of 78 results in Good. In the quiz’s Grade Center column, the term Good appears. If you release the column’s grades to students, the text terms appear in My Grades.

Example: Test Curve Grading Schema

You create a test grading schema and associate it with all test columns. In the test grading schema, you require at least 94% for an A. However, for one particular test, you want to make an adjustment because of low scores. You can associate another custom grading schema with that test's column to reflect a curve you want to apply to those lower scores. In this test curve schema, an A can equal grades scored between 90% and 100%. You can create as many test curve schemas as needed to fulfill your grading requirements and associate them with the appropriate columns in the Grade Center.

How to Create Grading Schemas

Example:

For group projects, you can create a grading schema that differs from the grading schema for assignments submitted by individuals. You can use lower percentages for the same letter grade as other assignments.

Reminder: You can make the uppermost value in a grading schema greater than 100%.

Use the following steps to create a customized grading schema in your course:

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the action bar and click Grading Schemas.
  2. On the Grading Schemas page, click Create Grading Schema on the action bar.
  3. Type a Name. The name appears on the Grading Schemas page and in the drop-down lists for Primary Display and Secondary Display when creating or editing columns in the Grade Center.
  4. Optionally, provide a Description. The description appears on the Grading Schema page and can assist with identifying the schema.
  5. In the Schema Mapping section, two default rows appear with ranges of percentages. You can edit the two ranges to customize a Pass/Fail schema.

    Example: Pass/Fail

    Pass/Fail Schema
    Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered As Will Calculate As
    50% and 100% Pass Pass 75%
    0% and less than 50% Fail Fail 25%

    You can create other types of grading schemas:

    • Click Insert New Row Here—represented by a left-pointing arrow—to insert more rows for additional values. For example, if you are using A, B, C, D, and F for your grades, you need five rows in the table.
    • Click Delete Row to remove a row from the table. At least one row must remain.
    • In the Grades Scored Between boxes, type percentage ranges for the grade values. The percentage range for each grade value must be unique and begin with the lesser value listed first. Also, the values must overlap to avoid gaps that occur when a score falls between two numbers in a range. The range of 80 – 90% includes all grades up to, but not including 90%. The top range does include 100% or whatever your top value is.

      You cannot use the dash symbol as an entry. The dash represents a null value.

      Example:

      A = 90 – 100%

      B = 80 – 90%

      C = 70 – 80%

      D = 60 – 70%

      F = 0 – 60%

    • In the Will Equal boxes, type the grade values:
      • A, B, C, D, and F
      • 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
      • Pass and Fail
      • Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory
      • Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor

        Duplicate grade values are not allowed.

    • In the Will Calculate as boxes, type the percentage values to use if you provide a grade manually. The percentages must fall between the corresponding range of percentages in the first column. For example, grades you score manually as A (90 – 100%) will be calculated as 95%. For an item with 100 points possible, if you change the grading schema from letter grades to numeric scores, 95 is displayed as the grade in the cell instead of A.
  6. Click Submit.

    You can associate the new grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade Center.

Edit Grading Schemas

You can edit existing grading schemas in your course. The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading schema based on assigning letters to percentages. If you want to retain the default grading schema, you can copy it and edit the values. Your institution may edit this schema to reflect a general grading schema they want instructors to use. The edits you make to a grading schema only appear in the course you make the edits in.

If your institution makes changes after you edit the default grading schema, your institution’s changes are not be reflected in your course.

When editing, start from the top and edit the values for the first grade value and move to the next row. Then, delete or insert rows needed. If you navigate to another course area without saving a grading schema, any unsaved changes are lost.

If you associate a grading schema with columns in the Grade Center and edit the schema, the changes appear automatically in the Grade Center. For example, you can edit a text grading schema and change Excellent to Superior. In the Grade Center column, any instances of Excellent now appear as Superior.

How to Copy or Delete Grading Schemas

You can copy or delete existing grading schemas in the Grade Center. For example, if you want to make minor changes to the default letter grading schema, you can retain it by copying it and editing it.

Copy Grading Schemas

  1. On the Grading Schemas page, access a schema’s contextual menu and click Copy.
  2. The copied schema appears in the list with a number appended to the name, such as Letter(2).

Delete Grading Schemas

You can delete the default letter grading schema only if it is not currently associated with a Grade Center column. If no letter grading schema exists, Letter will not be an option in the Primary or Secondary Display drop-down lists when associating schemas to columns.

  1. On the Grading Schemas page, select one or multiple schemas' check boxes.

    If no check box exists for a schema, you have associated it with a Grade Center column.

  2. On the action bar, click Delete. Alternatively, access a schema’s contextual menu and click Delete.
  3. A warning appears stating: This action is final and cannot be undone. Click OK to delete the schema.

How to Associate Grading Schemas

When you create or edit grade columns, you select a grading schema in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists. The schema you select as the Primary Display displays the grade value in the Grade Center and to students in My Grades. The Secondary Display grade value appears in parentheses only in the Grade Center, next to the Primary Display. The secondary grade value does not appear to students.

  1. Access the appropriate column's the contextual menu and click Edit Column Information.
  2. On the Edit Column page, make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. If you create a customized grading schema, it appears in the list. Five default options appear:
    • Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
    • Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
    • Text: Text appears in the column when a text grading schema is created. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor –OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If no text grading schema exists, and you select the Text option, you are allowed to type text in the column’s cells. If you choose to share the column results with students in My Grades, they see the text values for their grades.

      When you convert a numeric score to text without defining a text grading schema, and then return to numeric scoring, values that cannot be converted display a zero after conversion. Therefore, if you want to include text as grades, Blackboard recommends creating a text grading schema and associating it with the appropriate columns.

    • Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70%.
    • Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a check mark ( check mark ) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.

      If you use this grading schema for an assessment column, when a student starts an assessment, a check mark appears in the column with the Attempt in Progress icon ( combo check mark and pie chart ). The Attempt in Progress icon is removed when a student submits the assessment.

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  3. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is None. The same options appear in this list with the exception of the option chosen as the Primary Display and Text. The default Text option does not appear for grade columns as you cannot edit a secondary value from a grade column’s cell. If you create a customized grading schema based on text and have not used it as the Primary Display, it appears in the list. In the Grade Center column, the secondary grade value appears in parentheses. The secondary grade value does not appear to students.

    For self-assessments, you cannot define a Secondary Display because the Primary Display is Complete/Incomplete.

  4. Click Submit.

In the Grade Center grid, you see the chosen grade displays. If you do not choose a grade display for a column, only the default score appears.

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