Blackboard: Grade Center Categories and Weighted Columns for Faculty
  • 06 Feb 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors
  • Dark
  • PDF

Blackboard: Grade Center Categories and Weighted Columns for Faculty

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article Summary

A "Weighted Total" column will weigh assignments and assessments differently when calculating the final grade. For example, you may want your final exam to be 30% of the final grade but the ten module quizzes are worth 20% combined. Blackboard will do the math for you. 


In order for the "Weighted Total" column to be set up correctly, you will need to set up all the necessary categories in the "Grade Center". In the "Full Grade Center", click on the "Manage" drop-down and then click on "Categories". 

manage drop down option

In the "Categories" view, you will see categories that are in Blackboard by default. "Assignment", "Blog", "Discussion", "Journal", "Self and Peer", "Survey" and "Test" will be listed. These categories cannot be deleted or renamed. "Attendance" will be added as a category when you sync your roster with the "Attendance Tool" in Blackboard. (This will not appear if you are not using the tool. See the article "Blackboard: The Attendance Tool for Faculty" for more information.) Newly created categories will then be sorted alphabetically. These will appear with a check box next to them as shown below. This will give you the option to delete the category. To change the name of the category, hover over the category name and use the drop-down arrow and click "Edit". Each of the assignments within your course will be sorted into these categories. Some may be sorted with "No Category" and need to be changed to be calculated. 

If you need another category other than those listed by default, click on "Create Category" at the top.

categories list

On the screen that appears, name your new category and hit "Submit". This should be one or two words, not a long description. This is only for sorting the assignments into categories so they can be weighted correctly in the "Grade Center". 

create category information

Once an assignment (or quiz, discussion, etc) is in the "Grade Center" (whether it is an automatic column or a manual column), you will then need to adjust the category as needed. Using the arrow drop-down next to the assignment name on the column, click on "Edit Column Information". 

grade center column menu

Scroll down to where "Category" is listed. Any test or quiz will by default be set to "Test", assignments to "Assignment", etc. You do not need to use these default categories if they do not suit your needs. Use the drop-down menu to select the category that you would like to change it to and click "Submit". 

category drop down options

Weighted Column

A "Weighted Total"  column is created by default in your "Full Grade Center". (If you decide not to use this column, it can be hidden or deleted.) Click on the drop-down arrow next to "Weighted Column" and click on "Edit Column Information" as shown in an image above. 

Scroll down to the "Select Columns" area. Here is where you will click on the appropriate categories one at a time, using the right arrow next to the box, and send them over to the white box. If you have any uncategorized assignments that are just their own column, you can also select the column that way. Then type in the box what percentage each category is worth. If you choose to drop the lowest grade, this is also where you would choose that (this is optional). Leave "Calculate as a Running Total" as "Yes" and hit "Submit." If for some reason your categories do not add up to 100%, Blackboard will give you a warning before you can continue. 

select columns menu

From here, unless you are going to use your "Weighted Total" column as the external grade, you'll need to make sure that it is in the "Total" column. Click on the drop-down arrow in the "Total" column and click on "Edit Column Information." 

it tip logo Because the student view does not allow students to see two different display options per column (even if the "Secondary Display" is set, only the instructor will be able to see both), if you'd like for your students to be able to see a score and a final letter grade for example, many set the "Total" column as the letter grade and the "Weighted Total" column as a score or percentage. (See the article "Blackboard: Grade Center Basics for Faculty" for information on how to do this.)

Under "Selected Columns" click on "Selected Columns and Categories". Under "Columns to Select", move over the "Weighted Total" column, keep "Calculate as Running Total" as "Yes" and hit "Submit". The "Total" column should be set as the "External Grade" and then you can use it to send the final grades to SiS at the end of the semester. 

Was this article helpful?