Creating and Assigning Categories
Categories are used to organize your Grade Center. Categorization of groups of items is also necessary if you are weighting a series of items in your final grade calculations, if you are dropping scores, or if you are using only one score (highest or lowest) for a series of items, e.g., a series of five quizzes in both weighted and non-weighted schemes.
Blackboard has some pre-defined categories: Assignment, Blog, Discussion, Self and Peer Assessment, Survey, and Test. If you create a Blackboard Assignment with the Assignments tool the corresponding Grade Center column is automatically given the Assignment category. The same is true for any assessment item that is created through a Blackboard tool, e.g., graded Blogs (Blog category), graded discussion forums (Discussion category), Blackboard tests (Tests category), etc.
However, manually created Grade Center columns, i.e., the Homework items in this example, are not automatically assigned categories. You must manually assign a predetermined category or create a category to assign to manually created items.
The instructor assigns a category to a manually created item either while creating the Grade Center column or after the creation of the column by either modifying the column or assigning the category to a group of items via Manage > Organize Columns.
To create a Category in your Grade Center :
In the Action Bar, point to Manage and click on Categories in the drop-down menu.
The Categories page opens with a list of all the pre-defined Blackboard categories as well as the Create Category button. Click on the Create Category button.
In the Create Category page, provide a Name for the Category in the Name box. Provide a Description for the Category. This field helps the instructor distinguish Categories from one another and explains the purpose of the category. In the example below, the category Homework has been created to group all Homework paper assignments for the course.
Click on Submit. Your newly created category will now appear in the Categories page with a chevron icon to the right of the category. Clicking on the chevron icon will give you the option to edit or delete the category since this is a manually created category. Once you assign Grade Center columns to a category you will not be able to delete the category until you have removed all the items from the category.
You can now assign this category to columns that you have already created or columns that you are creating. In either the Create Column or Edit Column Information page you will see a Category item box with a drop-down arrow. Click on the drop-down arrow and choose the category in which you want the Grade Center item placed, i.e., Homework.
Click on Submit to save your category assignment and any other information you might have created or changed in this page.
If you already created all your Grade Center items and you have decided after the fact to assign categories to a group of items the quickest way to do this is through the Change Category to … function in the Manage, Column Organization area.
a. In the Action bar, hover over Manage and select Column Organization from the list of actions.
b. In the Column Organization page, click in the box of each item you wish to place in the same category, i.e., Homework.
c. At the bottom of the page hover over the Change Category to… button. Select Homework from the list of categories.
d. All the Homework items will now have Homework appearing in the Category column.
e. Click on Submit to save your Category choices.