Import to Grade Center
- 1 Overview
The University of Windsor has created a Blackboard tool for easily importing grade data into Blackboard's Grade Center within minutes rather than manually entering all of the grades.
This tool is mainly used to help Instructors import Scantron data results received from IT Services Operations after administering a test where participants use scantron sheets (fill in the bubble with a pencil). Scantron hardware and software are also used to process the Student Evaluation of Teaching results.
An online Service Request form must be filled out prior to going to IT Services Operations Service Counter to get your results processed. Several types of reports from the results are available.
Import to Grade Center Tool
A quick video to outline the process is available by clicking the Import to Grade Centre (Scantron Results) video link.
Getting Started with Import to Grade Center
To import grade data into your Blackboard Grade Center you can begin by finding the Import to Grade Center tool in your Blackboard site's Control Panel under Course Tools.
Types of Files You Receive from ITS Operations
You will receive various types of files by email from ITS after you have entered your online request, and the scantrons have been submitted for processing based on your online options requested. You will always receive a Blackboard compatible file, as well as excel-ready (.csv) or read-only (.pdf)
The .txt file is the one used for the Import to Grade Centre tool as it is Blackboard compatible.
Existing or New
The first option you will be presented with upon arrival to the tool's landing page is whether or not you plan to import the grade data as a new Grade Center column or an existing Grade Center column.
If you have chosen to Create a new Column in the Grade Center you will now need to fill in the details for that column.
- Column Name - is the name of the new column as only you will see it.
- Grade Center Display Name - is an optional name choice for display to students in case you want a shorter version in the Column Name field. An example would be the Column Name could be T1 (for your eyes only – brief and informative) and the Grade Center Display Name could display to students Test One on the Medieval Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages. If this is left blank, only the Column Name will be visible to students.
- Description - a short description of the column for use in the Grade Center.
- Maximum Points Possible - the maximum number of points that are possible on this assessment. This is the raw data score, not the percentage.
- Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations
- Show this Column to Students - option as desired. It is a best practice to leave this deselected until all of the grades have been entered and verified. Then display the grades to students.
- Show Statistics - will enable Grade Center statistics to be visible to students for this column.
- Which column to Import - Percentage or Points - This choice provides the instructor with the option to import the maximum text score or the percentage out of 100.
Note - Ensure the Maximum Points Possible values for the Grade Center column match to those of your test. Example, in the image above, the value of the Maximum Points Possible would have been entered as 10. If you choose the Percentage option, the display will convert the raw score into a value out of 100, and the system will import the fourth column. For example, from the image, Al Einstein will be shown 50 in his My Grades for this test. Alternatively, if you choose the Points option, the raw score (last number in each row) value will be imported into your Grade Center column. In the same example, Al Einstein would be shown 5.0 in his My Grades with this selection choice.
If you have chosen an existing column, the above fields will have disappeared, and you will be asked to choose from a list of columns in your Grade Center.
You will be able to select your file to upload that you received from the email from Operations and have saved locally on your computer.
- Click on Browse My Computer for Copyright Cleared File button and locate the .txt file which you received from IT and select that file.
- The Blackboard compatible .txt file output should have a format identical to the one shown in the image. The file is a comma-separated list of student number, student name, percent mark and raw score as featured in the example image displayed in the tool.
- Instructors are advised to verify that the .txt file includes all the properly entered student numbers, otherwise an error will be displayed saying "Student number does not exist."
After the Upload
At this stage, you will see a message with details about your upload. After a successful upload, you will see a status message detailing any updates or issues with student records identified with a green check mark (success) or an exclamation mark (error) with the values displayed that have/have not been entered into the corresponding Grade Centre column.
- What do I do if I get the message "Student number does not exist"? - You will need to open the file you uploaded on your PC and double check that student's student number. If the number is correct, you will next need to verify that they are enrolled in this Blackboard course site. You can do this by visiting the Users page under the Users and Groups section of the Control Panel in your site.
- Are you having problems uploading the file into Blackboard? Please verify that the file type is, a text file and not an MS Excel file. If it is an Excel file, you may need to contact IT Services Operations to get a properly formatted .txt Blackboard compatible file type. Check to be sure that the file only contains: student number, student name, percentage, raw score.
If your upload was unsuccessful, you will see an error message, with an indication of what was wrong with your upload file and on which line the problem can be found. If you can’t resolve the issue, please submit a Blackboard Service Request to have the LMS Team investigate.
Some instructors find it easier to have the open .csv file on their desktop or print out the .pdf results including the student numbers. Then, if there is an entry error from the student such as an incorrect number, or one number that is missing in their Student Number, an instructor can delete that row in the .txt file (without changing the file type format) and manually enter it in the Grade Center while viewing the printout results. Alternatively, an instructor can upload a revised .txt file (BEING CAREFUL NOT TO CHANGE THE FILE FORMAT) with the corrected student information.
Including in your Course Grades - Total Column
If you followed the steps above and ensured that you selected the Include this Column in Grade Centre Calculations option, this column will appear in your Total Column calculations.
It is always a good idea to check what is being used to calculate the Total Column or Weighted Total Column by clicking the chevron beside the title on the column, select Edit Column Information and check to see if the new column is one of the Selected Columns you wish to include.
More details about using the Total Column available in the Blackboard Help Article.