Skip to main content
pdf?stylesheet=default
Blackboard Help

Delegated Grading

This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your institution controls which tools are available.

You can assign specific users in your course to grade particular sets of student assignment submissions. Roles with default grading privileges include instructor, teaching assistant, and grader. Your administrator can assign the reconcile privilege to other roles as needed.

The users who help you grade are called delegated graders and they provide provisional grades. Delegated graders follow the same grading steps that you do. However, the group of assignment attempts that they see are based on the options you choose. After all delegated graders provide grades and feedback, one or more instructors review the grading to determine a final grade or reconcile it.

Why use delegated grading?

Grading and feedback from more than one grader promotes reliability, improves consistency, and removes bias. You can assign blind graders, who can't see each others' ratings, to the same set of submissions. You will have more than one critique of the same sample of work. You can use all of the blind graders' ratings to determine the assignment's final grade.

Whenever fairness and impartiality in grading are an institutional requirement or a concern, use blind graders to control bias among graders as much as possible.

For large classes, you can divide up the grading tasks among teaching assistants and other graders. For a merged course, you can assign each grader a class section.

More on delegated grading examples

Should I allow graders to collaborate?

You can allow graders to view each other's grades and feedback. When graders know your students well, their growth and past performance should influence grading. Collaborative grading is also appropriate for small classes where students are encouraged to discuss the assignment at all stages of creation. The goal is collaboration at all levels, including grading.


Delegated grading workflow

Use these steps to enable and grade with delegated grading.

  1. Enable delegated grading
  2. View grading alerts
  3. Access and grade submissions
  4. View reconcile grade alerts
  5. Reconcile grades

At the time of assignment creation, you can also enable anonymous grading so that graders don't see students' identities. You can also enable the SafeAssign option to prevent plagiarism.

More on anonymous grading

More on SafeAssign


Watch a video about anonymous and delegated grading

This video explains how to create an assignment and select the grading options of anonymous and delegated grading.

Video: Anonymous and delegated grading


1. Enable delegated grading

On the Create Assignment page, choose the graders to help with grading tasks.

In the Grading Options section, after you select the check box for Enable Delegated Grading, you can view a list of potential graders. Use the Show menu to filter the list.

  1. Use the menu next to each grader's name to assign submissions to grade:
    • All Submissions
    • Random Set: Grade a random set of the selected number of students. If you assign multiple graders to grade a random set, students are distributed evenly before any student is included in multiple random sets.
    • Groups: Grade all students who are part of the selected course groups.
    • None
  2. All instructors in a course can see what other graders are assigned. If you want other roles to also view scores, feedback, and notes added by others, select the check box in the View Settings column.
  3. In the Reconcile Grades column, view who can determine the final grade and feedback for each student. All instructors can reconcile grades.

To help with the accuracy and consistency of grading, ask all delegated graders to use a rubric when they provide grades.

Disable delegated grading

Use caution before you disable this setting. In older versions of Blackboard Learn, when you clear the check box, you have no chance to change your mind.

After you create an assignment with delegated grading enabled, you or other privileged users can disable it.

When you clear the check box for delegated grading, a warning appears. If you choose to continue, other graders' feedback and scores will no longer be shown to you, other graders, or students. If you want to keep the delegated grading setting, select Cancel.

You won’t see this warning if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.


2. View grading alerts

Example: You select two delegated graders and assign each grader a random set of submissions. Each grader sees only the attempt submissions that are part of their individual random sets.

Users are notified when delegated assignment submissions are ready to grade. Alerts appear in these areas:

  • Needs Grading page
  • Grade Center grid: The Needs Grading icon appears only in the cells that the grader is assigned to grade
  • Notification modules
  • My Blackboard > Updates page
  • Individual email notifications, if enabled
  • SMS, voice, and daily digest email notifications, if enabled

3. Access and grade submissions

You can access assignment submissions that you're assigned to grade in the Grade Center and on the Needs Grading page. If anonymous grading is also enabled, student names are hidden.

Both access options open the Grade Assignment page where you view submissions and grade as you normally do. Graders can view how many gradable items are in their queues.

Each instructor has the ability to view what other graders provided for scores, feedback, and notes. Other graders don't see this information unless you allowed it.

After you provide a grade, the Needs Reconciliation icon appears in the Grade Center cell. No score appears until the instructor role reconciles the grade.

Multiple attempts

When you allow multiple attempts, you may not need to grade all of them. In the grade cell's menu, each attempt appears with one or two icons. If you chose to use the first or last attempt for the grade, the attempt you need to grade appears with only one icon—the Needs Grading icon. If you have a large class and grading workload, you'll know which attempts need your attention.

The other attempts in the grade cell's menu appear with the Does not contribute to user's grade icon and the Needs Grading icon.

You won’t see the "Does not contribute to user's grade" icon if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.

You can also use the Filter function to control which attempts appear in each grade cell's menu. The default view shows each attempt made. Open the Filter field and clear the check box for Show attempts that don't contribute to user's grade. Then, you'll see only the attempt you need to grade in each grade cell's menu.

Important: If you allow four attempts and choose to use the last attempt for the grade, only the Needs Grading icon appears with the last submitted attempt. So, if a student has made three attempts, the third attempt appears with only one icon—the Needs Grading icon. If you grade that attempt, the student can still make another attempt. The next attempt will appear with only the Needs Grading icon because it's the fourth and last attempt.

For some gradable items such as assignments, you can also select Grade Attempts in a grade column's menu and start grading. Attempts that aren't part of a student's grade calculation appear with the Does not contribute to user's grade icon. You can navigate to the attempt that appears with only the Needs Grading icon.

You can also filter your grading workload for multiple attempts on the Needs Grading page and view attempts on the Grade Details page. If you enabled anonymous grading for an assignment, multiple attempts are managed in the same ways. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.

More on multiple attempts and anonymous grading


4. View reconcile grade alerts

After delegated graders begin providing grades, instructors receive notifications that grades needs reconciling. These alerts appear in these areas:

  • Needs Grading page: Needs Reconciliation appears at the top of the table
  • My Blackboard > Updates page
  • Grade Center grid: Needs Reconciliation icon appears in the cells
  • Notification modules
  • Individual email notifications, if enabled
  • SMS, voice, and daily digest email notifications, if enabled

5. Reconcile grades

The instructor role reviews all grades and feedback made by graders and determines the final grades. Regardless of how many student attempts an instructor role is assigned or even if none are assigned, all instructors can reconcile grades.

Your administrator can assign the reconcile privilege to other roles as needed.

The Reconcile Grades page is accessible from the Needs Grading page and a cell's menu in the Grade Center.

The instructor role selects Reconcile Grades from the grade column's menu. Other grader roles who have graded attempts see the Needs Reconciliation icon in the Grade Center, but do not have access to the Reconcile Grades page.

On the Reconcile Grades page, the instructor role can view all the grades and feedback that all graders assigned and see who has grading to perform. For large classes, filter the list by status and grader. On this page, you accept the grades set by another -OR- review grades assigned by multiple graders and set the final grades.

  1. Show Grader Progress: View the progress of all graders, what the grader assigned for the average grade for the assignment, and the number of attempts.
  2. Show Detail View icon: View existing grades, feedback, and the optional rubric. You can hide all the graders' feedback, add new feedback, and determine the final grade.
  3. Add Grader icon: Open a window to add one or more graders for this student.
  4. Final Grade column: Use the student's menu to assign the final grade. Or, use the Final Grade menu in the column header to reconcile grades in bulk for highest, lowest, or the average of the graders' scores.

Reconciled grades appear

After you reconcile grades, the Needs Reconciliation icons are replaced with the scores you assigned. You can view the scores and feedback each grader assigned on the student's Grade Details page in the Grade History tab.

Students see their reconciled scores and feedback in My Grades. They can also select the name of the assignment to view the feedback from all graders on the Review Submission History page.

When you reconcile grades, instructors have the option to not show delegated graders' feedback to students and provide their own.


Send reminders about missing coursework

You can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if you assigned one. You receive a success message at the top of the screen when the email is sent.

You can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.

You won't see this menu option if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn.


Delegated grading and content exchange

Delegated graders and settings are carried over to a new course when you use these content exchange functions:

  • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy)
  • Copy Course Materials into a New Course and select the check box for Include Enrollments in the Copy
  • Archive/restore—users and settings are part of an archived course

Without enrollments

When you copy a course without enrollments into a new course, the delegated setting is brought over as enabled for all existing delegated grading assignments. The instructor who copies the course is set to grade all submissions and reconcile grades.

When you copy or import a course without enrollments into an existing course, the delegated setting is brought over as enabled for all existing delegated grading assignments. All current users who can reconcile are also set to grade all submissions.