Create a Letter Grade Column in Blackboard

Some instructors like to display students’ running totals as letter grades.  Before creating a Letter Grade column, make sure your Total column is calculating accurately, as we’ll be basing the letter grade off the data in the Total column.

1. Log into Blackboard

Log into Blackboard Learn at learn.kent.edu or through Flashline.
 

2. Enter your course

Click on the name of your course to access it.
 

3. Access the Full Grade Center

In the Control Panel, click to expand the Grade Center section.  Then click the Full Grade Center link.

Grade Center expanded

 

4. Set up grading schema

Adjust the default grading schema in your course to mirror the grade scale in your syllabus.

For instructions on how to set up grading schemas, view the Manage Grading Schemas guide.
 

5. Create a total column

In the Action Bar across the top of the page, click the Create Calculated Column button, then select Total Column from the drop-down menu.

Create Calculated Column menu expanded

 

6. Name the column

Required: Fill in the column name.  You can also add an optional shortened Grade Center display name to appear as a column heading, and an optional description to appear on your students' My Grades page.
 

7. Set display type

Required: Set primary display to Letter.  You can select a secondary display if desired.  The primary display is visible to instructors and students; the secondary display is only visible to instructors.

Column information fields

 

8. Select total column

In the Select Columns section, you will specify how Blackboard will calculate the percentage grade.  Select the Selected Columns and Categories option to include in the total.  This will open a window below. 

Click on the Total Column (left pane).  Then click the > button to pop it over into the Selected Columns section (right pane).  This will basically tell Blackboard to convert your total score into a letter grade.

Select columns options

 

9. Set running total option

Select whether or not to have the letter grade calculate as a running total.  

If set to Yes, the grades will be calculated to show the current total, excluding items that have not yet been graded.  If set to Yes, make sure you input zeros for students as needed; otherwise, the running total will exclude those items and the total grade will be higher than it should be.

If set to No, the grades will start at zero and increase as you enter grades.

Calculate as running total option

 

10. Set additional options

Set the Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations to No to exclude this column from the Total.

Then set the following options as desired:

Show this Column to Students: Set to Yes to make the column visible to students; set to No to make the column visible only to the instructor.

Show Statistics for this column to Students in My Grades: Set whether or not students can see overall class statistics for this grade item.

Additional column options

 

11. Submit

Click the Submit button to save your column settings.
 

Updated June 2018 by Katie Baer, M.Ed., Instructional Designer