Blackboard allows you to create a column that will calculate a value based on the data that is entered in the columns you choose to include. For example, columns can be created to calculate averages, minimum/maximum values, totals or weighted grades. You name the column and determine which columns/categories to include in the calculation. The columns can be displayed to students (or not) depending on the way you set them up.
Open the Desired Blackboard Course
Navigate to the course you wish to create a calculated column in.
Full Grade Center
- Go to the Control Panel on the left side of your screen
- Click Grade Center
- Click Full Grade Center
- Click the down arrows next to Create Calculated Column
- Choose the column type. There are four types of calculated columns:
- Average Column: calculates and displays the mathematic average for a selected number of columns. Columns with text as the primary display cannot be averaged.
- Minimum/Maximum Column: calculates either the minimum or maximum grade for a selected number of Columns. Columns with text as the primary display cannot be displayed as a minimum or maximum grade.
- Total Column: calculates the total points for a number of columns related to the total number of points allowed. Total columns are useful for generating a final score. Columns with text as the primary display cannot be totaled.
- Weighted Column: calculates and displays a grade based for a selected number of columns based on each column's respective worth of the total grade. Columns with text as the primary display cannot be displayed as a weighted grade.
This answer will use a weighted column as an example.
Each of the calculated columns offers the following features for setup.
- Column Name is a required field. Column Name is displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered. This field only displays the first 15 characters in the Column header.
- Grade Center Display Name appears as the Column header in the Grade Center. This field displays 15 characters in the Column header. The Grade Center is the only place where this name is used.
- A Description is optional but helps Instructors and other graders identify the Column.
- The Primary Display option displays the grade format in the Grade Center and in My Grades. Selection options include Score, Text, Percentage, Letter and Complete/ Incomplete.
- The Secondary Display option displays the grade format in the Grade Center only. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses and only visible to faculty.
Primary and Secondary Display Options:
- Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting and the most commonly used. If you do not make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
- Letter: This is the default grade schema. If you have created other grade schemas they will display in list as well. A letter grade appears in the column using the schema you select. If you wish to change way the letter grades are awarded you need to modify the grade schema.
- Text: Text appears in the column when a custom text grading schema is created. Text values include Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor or Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory grading schema and associating it with the columns.
- Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears as 70%.
- Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (✓) appears in the column, regardless of the score achieved.
- Choose the Columns and/or Categories that you want to include in your calculation. You can choose the Columns to Select by clicking on the name of a specific column and then click the > arrow to move the column name to the Selected Columns area. To choose all columns in a specific Category, click on the name of the Category in the Categories to Select box and then click the > arrow to move the category name over to the Selected Columns area.
- In the Selected Columns box, you must then enter the weight percentage for each Column and/or Category that you have chosen. Make sure that all the percentages entered add up to 100%. You will receive a warning upon submission if they don't.
- When you select a Category of columns to include, the Weight Columns option allows you determine how the columns are weighted within the category. Choosing Equally applies an equal value to all columns within this category. Choosing Proportionally, applies the appropriate value to a column based on its points compared to other columns in the category. Also for a Category of selected columns, you have the option of dropping a specified number of the Highest or Lowest grades or using only the Highest or Lowest grade from all columns in this category.
- Selecting Yes for Calculate as a Running Total calculates the Weighted Column by including only the Grade Columns that have been graded or have values entered. Selecting No for this option includes all selected columns in the calculations, using zero (0) for columns that have not been graded. This can make grades appear artificially low since zeroes will be used in all columns for tests and assignments that have not yet been taken or were missed.
- Select Yes to include the column in any future Grade Center calculations. For example, the default Total column, will automatically (unless otherwise specified) include the scores from all columns for which this option has been set to Yes.
- Select Yes to release column data to students. If this is set to No, then students will not be able to see their score for this column in the My Grades area
- Select Yes to release the class mean and median to your students (in addition to their own score).
Click Submit when you have finished
For more information, please see the video below.