Making Adjustments to Individual Grades in Calculated Columns

Total or Weighted Columns can be used to calculate Midterm or Final Grades. However, the Blackboard Grade Center does not allow any manual adjustments of grades in Total or Weighted Columns, which can be a problem if, for example, you need to change a student’s Final Grade from a C+ to a B-, or if a student has enough Extra Credit Points to push his or her grade above 100%—in which case, it will not map to any Grading Schema.

There are three ways this problem can be resolved.

NOTE: The options below use the Final Grade column as an example, but the similar steps may be used to make adjustments to a Midterm Grade column as well.

Option 1 – For Midterm or Final Grades: Create a new Column (i.e. not a Calculated Column) and enter grades manually.

(This might be the easiest option if your course enrollment is relatively small.)

  1. Rename the old calculated Final Grade column to something like “Final Grade – calc”.
  2. Create a new column—that is not a calculated column.
    1. Name it exactly: Final Grade
    2. Set the Primary Display to either Text or Letter Grade. (Select Text if you are marking a student with Incomplete)
    3. Specify the same Points Possible as your Calculated (e.g. Final Grade – calc) column.
  3. Type in all of the letter grades in the new column.
  4. Set the column as External Grade.

Option 2 – Work Offline (Download, Edit in Excel, and Upload)

(If your course enrollment is larger, this may be faster, easier, and less susceptible to typing errors.)

  1. Rename the old calculated Final Grade column (with the Primary Display set to some Letter Grade schema) to something like “Final Grade – calc”.
  2. Create a new column—that is not a calculated column.
    1. Name it exactly: Final Grade
    2. Set the Primary Display to either Text or Letter Grade. (Select Text if you are marking a student with Incomplete)
    3. Specify the same Points Possible as your Calculated (e.g. Final Grade – calc) column.
  3. Set the new Final Grade column as External Grade.
  4. Download the entire Grade Center: Click Work Offline >> Download and download (to your computer) the Full Grade Center as a Tab-delimited file;
  5. Open the file in something like Microsoft Excel; Copy the letter grades from the Total or Weighted column, and Paste them into the new empty Final Grade column. (You can make adjustments to individual grades in Excel or in the Grade Center after it has been uploaded.) DO NOT copy and paste or edit any column header in Excel.
  6. Save As a Tab-delimited Text (.txt) file;
    TIP: Use a different file name when you Save As. That way, you retain a copy of the original downloaded file as a backup.
  7. Upload the .txt file: In the Grade Center, click Work Offline >> Upload.

Option 3 – Create an “adjustment” column

    1. Create a new column named something like “Adjustment“.
      1. Set the Primary Display to Score.
      2. When making adjustments to Weighted columns, be sure that the new column is in a Category that the Weighted Column includes in the list of Selected Columns and Categories.
      3. NOTE: Be sure to specify 0 Points Possible.
      4. Select No for Show this Column to Students.
    2. Edit your Final Grade column to include the “Adjustment” column.
      • For a Total Final Grade column, you can just add your “Adjustment” column to the list of Selected Columns.
      • For a Weighted Final Grade column, your “Adjustment” column must have specified a Category that is used in the list of Selected Columns and Categories.
    3. Then enter an appropriate negative score in your “Adjustment” column for any student whose Final Grade exceeds 100% or needs to be adjusted downwards. Or enter a positive score for any student whose grade you want to adjust upwards.