Please note that this blog post was created in January 2016, in the pilot phase of the ORE project. For current materials on return of marks to Exams Office via Blackboard, please see the Blackboard support pages and the Exams Office FAQ.
As we’re getting questions from staff regarding the new columns in the Grade Centre for each module, I thought I’d collect together some of the answers and document them here.
Which grade column should I use?
The two columns are for different purposes.
The Final Mark column is the one that replaces the white sheets – and the marks in this column (marked out of 100) will be sent back to the Exams office in May. You just need to get your marks into that column before the date (to be specified by Exams Office). You can enter these now. The column has been created so that it is not visible to students.
The Provisional column is to facilitate the return of marks (or grades) to students, for semester 1 modules. This is the same process that has been in place for the last two years, where provisional marks (or grades) can be made available to students at the end of January. You can enter these now, the column has been created so that it is not visible to students until you choose to release the provisional marks.
See also: Visibility of Final Mark Column
Is it possible to copy from one column to another, rather than enter everything twice?
It is possible to copy from one column to the other – but it involves download of files and manipulation of an excel spreadsheet – so you might prefer to enter the marks in one column or the other for the moment.
We (CELT) will cover the copying in any training workshops in January, and will also produce resources to step you through the process.
See also: Using Excel to Upload Student Marks
Why are there two columns?
Primarily because some Colleges/Programmes require that provisional grades are available only as letter grades to students. But the return of marks to the Exams Office must be numeric.
Can we go ahead and enter marks now, in advance of further instructions?
Yes, absolutely. However, we strongly recommend that you first hide the two default columns in the Grade Centre: Total and Weighted Total. To do this, I’m attaching a handout that leads you through the steps. It’s not complicated, but is important – otherwise grades may leak to students.
Is it simply a case of inputting the mark out of 100?
What are the various Course Roles on Blackboard? Who has access to Grade Centre?
The following roles can update marks in the Grade Centre: Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Grader.
The roles that cannot access Grade Centre are: Student, Course Builder and Guest.
For more information see Course Roles on Blackboard Help.
If you have any further questions about the new process, please do get in contact.