Create and Manage Columns

If you set up Tests, Surveys, Assignments, or SafeAssignments, don’t worry about creating a column in the Grade Center. Blackboard will do it for you! Grade Center columns are also created automatically when setting up graded Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Boards. If neither of these options apply, you may manually create columns in the Grade Center.

Audience: Faculty, Staff and Teaching Assistants

This KB Article References: Grades and Grading
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff, Teaching Assistants
Last Updated: August 11, 2020
Average Rating: Not Rated
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Default Columns

  1. Last Name and First Name: Shaded in gray and anchored to the left side of the spreadsheet.
  2. Username: NetID.
  3. Student ID: Stony Brook ID number.
  4. Last Access: Most recent date student entered your Blackboard course.
  5. Availability: Whether students can access your course (not related to whether your course is visible to students).
  6. Weighted Total: If columns are weighted (see Weigh grades later in this document), this column takes those weights into account when calculating.  Calculates as a running weighted total by default, only including columns with grades.
  7. Total: Accrues all earned points.


Creating New Columns

1. Select the Create Column button in the Action Bar.

2. Type in the Column Information.

  • Column Name (required): Title of column.  Keep it short, and avoid using special characters (#, @, $,).
  • Grade Center Display Name: To display something other than the Column in the Grade Center.
  • Description: Optional column summary.  Visible to instructors and students.
  • Primary Display: How the grade will be displayed in the Grade Center:
    • Score (default): Numeric value
    • Text: Instructors may type any symbol, letter or number as a grade.
    • NOTE: If a number is not used, the grade will not be calculated in the overall Total.
      • Percentage: Displays percentage instead of numeric value. Example: 90 out of 100 displays as 90%.
      • Letter: Displays letter equivalent of numeric grade (see Grading Schemas later in this document for more information).  Example: 95 displays as A.
      • Complete/Incomplete: Displays checkmark indicating completion.
  • Secondary Display: Shown next to Primary Display in parentheses in Grade Center.  Only visible to instructors.
    • Example: A grade with a primary display of Percentage and a secondary display of Letter would look like this in the Grade Center: 89% (B+).  Students only see the primary display when they check their grades.
  • Category: Classify the column to make it easier to sort/filter data and weigh grades.  See Create and apply categories later in this document for more information.
  • Date Created: Today’s date.
  • Due Date: Select None or enter a date.  If a date is selected, students may check My Grades, the To Do module on the course Home Page, or Notifications Dashboard to see when it’s due.
    • You may specify a due date while creating a SafeAssignment, which will automatically apply to its Grade Center column.  For all other columns, you must manually apply a Due Date.
  • Include this Column in Grade Center calculations:
    • Yes: Grades in this column will calculate into the Total and Weighted Total columns.
  • Show this Column to Students:
    • Yes: Students can see this column’s grades when they check their grades.
  • Show Statistics (average and median) for this column to Students in My Grades:
    • Yes: Students may compare their grade with the average and median for the class.


3. Click Submit at the bottom of the page.


Editing Columns

Click the down-pointing arrow button to the right of the column title, then select Edit Column


Deleting Columns

Columns should only be deleted if absolutely necessary.  Deleting a column also deletes all student grades in that column.  Once a column has been deleted, it cannot be restored.

1. Click the down-pointing arrow button to the right of the column title, then select Delete Column.

2. Blackboard will prompt the instructor to confirm removal. Click OK.                         


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