13 – Using the Gradebook

In the video above, we:

  • Give an overview of the gradebook, the settings and the views available
  • Show how to download and upload a CSV file of grades
  • Explain how to set up the overall mark for a course

First, let’s go to the Gradebook tab in a module. Here you can see the list view of the gradebook – this is what the gradebook will always open to, although we will walk through the other views available.

1 List View

Here we can see there are two tabs – Markable Items and Students.

The Markable Items will list all of the assignments that have been created in the module. The names are clickable links for anyone with the role of Instructor or Support, and you can also see how many students have submitted work. Please note that some roles such as the External Examiner may not be able to use the links here, even if they can see this list. Please refer to our guide on the course roles for more information about what can or cannot be done with each role.

Next to the link to the assignment, you can see the due date and the status. The status will let you know if there are any items that need to be marked, if marks need to be posted, or if this has been completed. Next to this, you may see a button for post marks. We discuss how to post marks in the session on marking and feedback, but it is useful to highlight here that once you have posted marks, you cannot un-post them. What posting marks does is release the comments and marks to all of the students for that assignment – if you enter a mark after you have clicked on the post marks button, that will be released to the student immediately.

At the end of the row, you will see the three dots menu. Here you can click edit to change the title, due date or points for the assignment. If this is a Blackboard test or assignment you will also see an option for Question Analysis.  Finally, you can use the delete icon to delete the entire assignment including all marks, feedback and all student submissions. You should not delete any assignment that has any submitted work. If you have any questions about this, you can contact us at Help4U.

1.1 Students tab

The Students tab will open to a page that lists the students, their ID, username, last access, and Overall Mark if you have set this up. We will talk about Overall marks later in this session. You can also use the three dots at the end of the row for each student in order to view or edit student accommodations or send a message directly to the student. We explain how to set up accommodations in the session “Getting Started in My Dundee”, and we explain how to use messages in the session on communication.

If you click on a student’s name in this view, you will be brought to a page that shows all of that student’s marks for all of the assignments in the module.

1.2 Menu Items and Managing Marks with a Spreadsheet

Next, let’s look at the menu items running along the top in this list view. First, there is a magnifying glass icon that allows you to search for a specific student submission if you have a Blackboard receipt number. Please note this will only work for Blackboard submissions, not Turnitin or any other third-party tool.

After that, you have an up arrow coming out of a box. We’ll actually come back to this in a moment and we’ll take a look at the icon after that first. This one is the opposite – it has an arrow pointing down into a box. If you click on this you can download a spreadsheet of the gradebook.

If you want to enter grades in a spreadsheet and upload them back into the module, you will want to make sure you download or save this as a CSV file. Once you’ve got this, you can find the relevant column (the assignment) and the row (the student) and enter your grades in the appropriate cell. We strongly recommend that you pay extra attention to the rows of students as this may not match your class list. This may happen if you have any StudentPreview accounts used in the module, as these will appear in the gradebook but would not appear in class lists from other sources such as SITS.

Now, lets go back to the icon with the arrow pointing up. If we click on that, we can see a side panel appears that will let us drag and drop the CSV file that we edited. It is very important that you download the gradebook CSV file first and do not change the information in the headings for assignments or students.

Finally, we have the cog wheel which controls settings for the gradebook.

First, you can adjust the 23 to Alphanumeric marking diagram. Below that you can set up alerts for student activity. Next, you can assign automatic zeros for overdue work. Finally, you can set up the overall mark and add custom mark categories. The mark categories can be used when you are setting up the overall mark. We will discuss this later in the session, but for now note that there are a number of default categories that you cannot edit or remove as well as the option to create new, custom categories.

Let’s go back and change to the grid view.

2 Grid View

Here you can see the first column has all of the student listed and the top row has all of the assignments in the module. You can see all of the individual student grades here, if they have been posted, and if you need to do any individual marking. In the row of assignments, you may see some items with a grey cross over them – this means the item is currently hidden from students. You can also enter a mark manually from this view; however, we will cover how to enter marks from an assignment on the dedicated session on marks and feedback.

At the very top of this view, we have a few different menu items. First is the search box which lets you look for an individual student or an individual assignment. Next is a filter tool which allows you to isolate marks for a specific set of criteria (for example,  a group, or a student and a selection of assignments, and so on). If you have entered filters, you can see these appear with x’s near them so you can adjust them individually or clear them all.

The next four items are the same as in the list view – you can search for a Blackboard assignment if you have the submission receipt number, upload and download a CSV file for the gradebook, and use the cogwheel to access the settings for the gradebook.

Those are the views of the Gradebook, now let’s look at setting up the overall mark.

3 The Overall Mark

You can set up the overall mark from either the list view or the grid view. You will see a purple book icon with the text “Set up the overall mark!” either on the right-hand side of the screen (for the grid view) or the bottom of the screen (for the list view).

Click on the black “Set it up” button next to this icon to get started. This will open a window asking if you want to use “Points” or “Weighted” or advanced. In this session we will only cover the “Points” and “weighted” options. Each option has a link below it to show an example – the key difference is that weighted will equal a default 100%, whereas points will be based on the total points of each assignment. The set-up is nearly identical for them, so we’ll go through the weighted option in detail and then go through the differences if you use points.   

3.1 Weighted Overall Mark

First, let’s take a look at the overall mark settings. Here you can choose between using the 23 to Alphanumeric grading scale or a percentage. You can also choose whether or not you want to show this to students – you can always change this later.

Next, let’s take a look at the weighted marks on the left-hand side. This is where the control of the overall mark comes in to play. You can see the icons and their descriptions in the top above the assignments, but we will discuss these as we look at the items in the list below.

In this list we can see all of the default categories – you can tell these apart from the individual assignments by the drop down arrow at the far right end of the row.

Doe note that you have to add a category to Turnitin assignments manually or else you will not see them in this list. We’ll go over how to do this at the end of this session.

The Blackboard assignments had a drop-down option when they were created to determine what category they should appear in, and the default option that is selected will likely be the one you want to use.

3.1.1 Setting weights

If you open all of these drop-down arrows, you can see which categories have items assigned and what items are assigned to them. The first thing you should do is exclude the categories that are empty from my Overall Mark. To do this, click on the cancel symbol at the top level where the category name is. When you do this, the icon turns purple, the percentage changes to 0 and it becomes greyed out. The other items all automatically adjust so that they are still weighted equally.

Next, you may want to change the weight for a category. To do this, click into the text entry box and enter the percentage it ought to have. Do note this will average everything in the category and the total of those will have the percentage you are applying.

However, you may want to adjust an assignment individually. To do this, click the link icon with a slash icon next to the item you want to remove from the category. This removes it from the category and leaves it as a top-line item. If you want to put it back in the category, you can click on the link icon again. Now you can enter a new number in the text box for the specific item.

As you enter these figures, the lock icon next to them becomes closed and the text entry becomes greyed out. This is just to save the number you’ve entered, and it will automatically re-adjust the weights for the other (non-locked) items. If you make a mistake or want to change weightings, you can click on the lock to make it open and enter the new figure in the text box.

Remember that other items will adjust automatically when you enter a weight since the system will always keep you at a total of 100%.

Be sure to save this overall mark. If you need to edit or delete this overall mark, you can find this in your gradebook, click on the three dots at the end of the row, and select either edit, which will bring you back to the full interface screen, or delete if you want to remove the overall mark entirely.

3.2 Points-Based Overall Mark

When you go back in to edit this, you can click on the button at the top left that says “Points” to change this to a point-based overall mark. It has kept the exclusions you set up in weights, but you can see that you have fewer icons and options here. You can still add or exclude any category that you’d like, and you can link and unlink items from categories to have more control over what is included in the overall grade.

However, you cannot change any of the points – they are left as the points that you used when you set up the assignment.

3.3 Changing Assessment Categories

Finally, let’s look back at how to set a category for Turnitin assignments. To do this, let’s return to the list view in the gradebook.

Instead of clicking on the link and opening Turnitin, click on the three dots to the right of it and select “Edit”. From here you can rename it, adjust points, or change the due date. However, for now you just want to use the drop-down that says “Select Category” and choose where you want this to be.

To change the category for a Blackboard item such as a test, click the title to go into the item. Then, go back into the “Content and Settings”. From here, you will want to click the cog wheel to see the full settings. In the section on “Marking & Submissions”, the first drop-down menu is the category – you can use this to change where this will appear.

You can see more information on how to set up a Turnitin or Blackboard assignment in their respective sessions.

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Updated on 09/09/2022

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