Modifying the Letter Grade Schema
The letter grade scale in Blackboard may not match up to the scale you use in your course. If you choose to display student grades as letter grades, make sure to modify the Blackboard letter grade scale to your specifications. Follow these steps to modify the letter grading display in Blackboard.
Note: The Blackboard 8.0 Grade Center has three different working toolbars. Most choices on each toolbar have chevron icons (double down-facing arrows) beside each choice, e.g., Add Calculated Column, Manage, E-Mail, etc. Clicking on the chevron icon produces a drop-down menu with a listing of what can be done with each tool.
1. In the Grade Center, click the chevron icon to the right of the Manage button in the first tool bar. In the drop-down list click on Grading Schemas.
2. The Grading Schemas page will open. In order to modify the letter grade template provided by Blackboard click on the Modify button to the far right of the Letter line in the Grading Schemas page.
3. If you want to retain the Letter grade template that Blackboard has provided and create one for yourself, click on Copy. If you click on Copy a new item will appear directly above the Letter line called Letter (2) on the Grading Schemas page. Whichever you choose, Modify or Copy, you will still have to change the letter grade categories to match your letter grading scale both in terms of percentage ranges and midpoints for the categories. Notice that you have the option to Remove Letter (2), the copied letter category.
4. After clicking on the Modify button to the right of either the Letter or Letter(2) line the Modify Grading Schema page will open (see below) and you will see the default template Blackboard uses to assign letter grades. You must modify this template to reflect your current letter grading scheme if you want to display your grades as letter grades. If you have clicked on Copy and created a copy of the Blackboard letter grade template you will see Letter (2) as the name for the copied letter grade template. Give your new letter grading scale a name that is meaningful to you, e.g., Loyola Letter Grades or Letter Grade for BIOL 101.
5. Within the Modify Grading Schema page you can add categories, remove categories, and readjust the percentage ranges and midpoints for the categories.
For instance, at Loyola there is no A+ grade. For all Fall 2008 classes, the Blackboard System Administrator has removed the A+ and D- categories in the Letter Grading schema since these grades are not recognized as valid by the university. However, if you have copied your Gradebook from a 7.3 course into a Blackboard 8.0 course the old letter grading scale will copy into your new course’s Letter Schema and the A+ and D- categories will reappear.
7. To remove letter grade categores click on the Remove Row button to the right of the appropriate category. To add a row click on the arrow icon in the Insert Row column.
Example of removing a letter category
8. If you add or remove a letter grade category, you will need to check the base percentage of all your categories to make sure they are still in keeping with your grading scale. In the example below, I removed the letter grade category B- and I want all percentages from 80 to 83 to be captured by the letter B.
9. To correctly capture the missing 80 through 83 group I need to readjust the base percentage of the B category from 84 to 80. In addition I need to change value in the will calculate as box for that category so that it correctly reflects the midpoint of the percentage range. In this instance the percentage range for a B grade would be from 80 to 86. You must adjust the midpoint for this range to 83 as opposed to 85 if you change percentage ranges in order to have Blackboard correctly assign letter grades. The corrections to the letter grade displays are noted in the red box in the example below.
10. You can continue to modify/remove/or add categories in the fashion above until the Letter Grade schema meets your requirements.
11. Once you have modified the letter grade categories to your satisfaction, click on Submit. Blackboard will not save your changes unless you submit them.