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Blackboard Help

Navigate Grading

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. The gradebook is always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

Access the Grade Center

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about accessing grades.

You access the Grade Center from the Control Panel. Expand the Grade Center section to display the links to the Needs Grading page, the Full Grade Center, and the smart views.

More on accessing the Grade Center with JAWS

On the Needs Grading page, you can begin grading assignments, group assignments, tests, blog and journal entries, wiki page saves, and discussion posts.

More on the Needs Grading page

The Full Grade Center link displays all columns and rows in the Grade Center and is the default view of the Grade Center.

The smart view links appear as an indented list in the Full Grade Center section. A smart view is a focused look at the Grade Center and shows only the data that matches a set of criteria. You can use smart views to quickly find data when the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns. For example, the default Tests smart view displays only test columns.

More on smart views

You can customize your view of the Grade Center and create grading schemas, grading periods, categories, and columns to present and gather the information you need.

More on customizing your view

Grade Center functions

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about grading functions.

You can perform many actions in the Grade Center with the functions appearing in two rows at the top of page.

These functions appear in the first row:

  • Create Column: Create a grade column.
  • Create Calculated Column: Access a menu with options to create calculated columns.
  • Manage: Options include grading periods, schemas, categories, color coding, row visibility, email, and column organization.
  • Reports: Create reports from Grade Center data and access the grade history for all students.
  • Filter: Narrow your view of the Grade Center data. Select Filter to expand the field and select an option from these menus:
    • Current View: Includes the Full Grade Center view, smart views, and grading periods. You can select one of the views to use as the default view with the Set Current View as Default icon.
    • Category: Includes all default categories and those you have created.
    • Status
    • Show attempts that don't contribute to user's grade: The default view in a grade cell's menu shows each attempt made. You can clear the check box and see only the attempt you need to grade in each grade cell's menu.

      More on filtering attempts

  • Work Offline: Work with Grade Center data outside of Blackboard Learn.

These functions appear in the second row:

  • Move to Top: Select one or more check boxes for users and select Move to Top to move the rows to the first positions in the grid.
  • Email: Select one or more check boxes for users, select Email, and make a selection.
  • Sort Columns By: Access a menu with options to sort the Grade Center items.
  • Order: Sort the data in ascending or descending order. The view remains until you sort columns again or log out.

Access Grade Center menus

Throughout Blackboard Learn, items may have menus with options that are specific for each item.

In the Grade Center, all cells and column headers have a menu. For example, a test column's menu includes options for Column Statistics and Grade Questions. For a non-grade column, such as First Name, you only have the options to hide the column and sort the cells. If an option doesn't appear in the menu, you can't perform the action on that column, row, or cell.

Point to a cell or column header to see the Click for more options icon. Select the icon to access the menu.

You won't see some menu options if your institution uses an older version of Blackboard Learn or disables some functions.

Menu options for columns

Each column's menu displays options specific for that column. These options may be available.

Column Options
Option Description
Quick Column Information Displays information about the column in a pop-up window.
Send Reminder You can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework.
Grade Attempts Provide a grade for an attempt made for this item.
Grade with User Names Hidden Provide grades for this item without knowing the identity of each user.
Item Analysis Provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Use this information to improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts.
Attempts Statistics Displays the Statistics page for tests and surveys. Each question for a test or survey appears, along with its score information for tests or percent answered for surveys. On the Survey Statistics page, you can view the survey results. The percentage of students who selected each answer appears. You can't view individual results for surveys.
Download Results Download Grade Center data for this column as a delimited file that is used in other applications, such as spreadsheet programs or statistical analysis programs.
View All Attempts Displays the View All Attempts page for tests. From this page, you can grade the attempts, grade them anonymously, or grade by question.
Grade Questions Provide grades for all of the responses for a specific question at one time.
Assignment File Download Select and download files students have attached to their assignments.
Assignment File Cleanup Select and delete the files attached to an assignment.
Edit Column Information Displays the Edit Column page for this column.
Column Statistics Displays the Column Statistics page for this column. Statistics include column details, status distribution, grade distribution, and basic statistics, such as range, average, median, and variance.
Set as External Grade The results in the External Grade column are shared with your institution as your students’ final 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.
Hide from Students (on/off) Hide this column from users. If you hide the column, the column remains in the Grade Center grid, but your students will not see it in My Grades. In the grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon appears in the column header for any column hidden from students. Select again to show the column to users.
Clear Attempts for All Users Displays a separate window where you can clear attempts for all users. You can clear attempts based on criteria or a date range.
Sort Ascending/Sort Descending Display the items in the column in an ascending or descending order.
Hide from Instructor View Hides the column from view in the Grade Center. To show the column, select the Manage menu and select Column Organization.

Menu options for cells

To see the Click for more options icon, point to the cell in the Grade Center grid. Select the icon to access the menu.


When you access the menu for a user's name cell, you have options to hide a user's row, hide other rows to focus your attention on one row, or email a user. You can view which items are visible to a user based on availability and adaptive release rules or which items a user marked reviewed.

You can also view the User Statistics page which provides statistical information related to a user's performance.

Grade Center icon legend

In the lower-right corner of the Grade Center, select Icon Legend to view the icon descriptions. Icons can appear in the Grade Center cells, attempt menus, column headers, on the Grade Details page, and on the Needs Grading page.

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

ULTRA: Watch a video about the gradebook

This video explains the grading interface in Ultra.

Video: Gradebook

ULTRA: Access the gradebook

Instructors, you're in the right place!
Students, view grade information specific to students.
Administrators, view grade information specific to administrators.

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing grades.

See what you need to grade in all your courses, or drill right into a course and get started.

Global Grades page

Do you want to see everything that needs grading in all your courses?

In the list where your name appears first, you have access to all your courses' grading tasks on the global Grades page. Select an item's title to open it in a layer. Choose a submission and start grading!

All your grading tasks are organized by course. No need to navigate to each course to see what's ready for grading. Want more details? Select a course, and view all the coursework and management functions.

The page only displays information if you need to take action. You see items that are ready to grade or which assignments and tests are overdue for how many students.

If you participate in courses as an instructor and a student, the page shows information for both roles.

Original and Ultra Course Views appear together in alphabetical order.

In the Original Course View, you complete your grading tasks in the original Grade Center interface.

Course gradebook

Ready to dig in and start grading?

Inside your course, you can access the course gradebook on the navigation bar. Select the Grades icon to access all the coursework that is specific to the course you're in.

The gradebook is populated with students when they're enrolled in your course. You can grade coursework, manage items, and post grades from two views:

ULTRA: Item list

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about grading functions.

The item list is your default view of the course gradebook. You can view all the coursework you have assigned and your grading progress. You can also access the management functions.

Determine your view. Change from item list to the student grid view in the upper-left corner.

Open items. Select an item's title to open a new layer. See whose submissions need grading and who hasn't received their grades yet.

Check your progress. See how many submissions you need to grade and grades you have to post. A Complete icon indicates you have no outstanding grading tasks for that item.

Manage grades. Select the More options menu icon to access an item's management functions, such as Overall and Delete.

Add a row. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add a row for these:

  • Add Item: Add a row for coursework, such as a participation grade. Your title is limited to 255 characters. Choose the grade unit, such as points or letter.
  • Add Calculation: Add a row for a calculation, such as an average assignments grade.

ULTRA: Student grid

The student grid shows the scores students have earned. Select a cell to begin grading.

Assign and manage grades. Click anywhere in a column to access the management functions or assign a grade. Select the cell or grade value to edit an existing grade or add a new entry. After you assign a value, click anywhere outside the grade area to save.

View submissions. If a submission exists, select View in the menu to view the student's work. The View option is disabled if no submission exists.

Add a comment. You can add feedback on a student's submission directly from the gradebook. Select Comment and type your feedback in the box that appears.

Post grades. When you're ready to release grades to students, select the Post option in the column header. All grades you've assigned for this column are posted for students to see. If you want to post one at a time, click within that student's cell and select Post in the menu. Posted grades appear with a Posted message in the column.

Add items or calculations. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add an item or calculation.

You can quickly view your grading progress for a gradebook item in each of the column's headers. The number of graded submissions appears, along with the number of grade you've posted. When all of the submissions have been graded and posted, the column header reads All Graded & Posted with a green check mark.

ULTRA: Gradebook settings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about grading settings.

You can make basic settings that fit your grading methods, such as editing the grading schema.

From your course gradebook, you can add or make changes to your existing settings. Select the Open Settings icon to access the Gradebook Settings page.

Gradebook Settings page

On the Gradebook Settings page, you can make changes to the default letter grading schema. You can also view the gradebook categories and post grade options, and create and manage rubrics.

You can't create new grade schemas or change the post grade option at this time.

Grade schemas

You can choose to display grades in different ways with grading schemas. A schema takes the points scored on an item and compares it to the item's total points possible to derive a percentage. The system maps this percentage to a range of scores and displays a grade, such as a letter (A, B, C). You can edit a grading schema at any time.


For the total grade, a student's raw numeric score is 88 out of 100 points possible. In a grading schema where a percentage of 87 to less than 90 equals a B+, the student's score of 88 results in a B+.

You can edit the Letter schema and rename it. Grade schema titles have a 64-character limit. You can also edit, delete, or add grade ranges. When you change or add any value in the schema, the remaining values adjust. The system ensures that no numeric gaps exist in the schema. You can delete rows in your schema, but at least two must stay to remain valid.


When you create a gradable item, it automatically appears in the gradebook and is associated with the appropriate category. You can use categories when you create calculated items, such as an assignments average.

You can create new categories to customize how coursework is grouped in your course. Custom categories can be useful when you set up the overall grade.

To create a new gradebook category, select Open Settings icon to access the Gradebook Settings page. Select Add New Category and type a name.

Overall grade notations

You can create and manage grade notations to override a student's overall grade if their performance falls outside the defined schema. For example, if a student has to withdraw from your course in the middle of a semester, you can use a grade notation to indicate the student's circumstance or situation without assigning an actual grade.

Create a grade notation in the Gradebook Settings panel. To apply a grade notation, go back to the gradebook in grid view and select within a student's overall grade cell. In the menu, choose the notation. The cell will turn grey to indicate that you overrode the overall grade.

To remove the override, select within the student's overall grade cell and select Undo Override. The overall grade will revert back to the overall grade calculation you defined for the course.

Post grade options

You can post grades and feedback for students to see as you grade each submission. If you don't post grades individually, you receive a pop-up reminder. In your course gradebook, Post also appears next to each grade that you haven't released yet. You can choose which grades to post and when.

You can only post grades manually at this time.

Students view posted grades in their activity streams. They can also view them on their assignment, test, and grades pages.