Drop and Curve Grades (6m39s)

Drop and Curve Grades audio

audio/mpeg Curve and Drop Grades.mp3 — 6244 KB


Transcript

If you want to drop the lowest grades AND want to curve (change the weighing) within a specific category
Part of Blackboard Tutorial: Final Course Grades

Dropping the lowest grade

  • In the “Course Mangagment” section, in the action bar of the “Full Grade Center,” click on “Manage” then “Categories.” In the “Categories” page on the action bar click on “Create Category.” Name the category from which you want to drop the lowest grade and make sure the name is a plural. Don’t ask us why. In our example the category is “Quizzes.” Click on Submit.

  • Go to the “Full Grade Center.” Use the horizontal scroll bar to center the columns that belong to the “Quizzes” category in our example or the one for which you want to drop the lowest grade. You’ll need to edit each one of them. Click on the action button to the right of the column name, then on “Edit Column Information,” go down to the category section and in the dropdown box select the newly created category. Click Submit to save the change. Repeat for each column.

  • In the “Full Grade Center,” on the action bar, click on “Create Calculated Column,” then “Weighted Column.” Name it “%Quiz drop lowest.” On “Create Weighted Column” page, scroll down to “Select Columns” and in the “Categories to Select” box – the one on the bottom left, select the newly created Blackboard category, and use the arrow to move it to the “Selected Columns” box on the right. Set the percentage to 100. Under “Drop Grades,” in the box between “Drop” and “Lowest Grades” fill in 1 to drop the one lowest grade. Click Submit.

Downloading the Grade Center

  • In the “Course Management” section of your course page, the kitchen, go to the “Grade Center,” then the “Full Grade Center.” In the action bar, go to “Manage” then “Column Organization” to re-order and group all the Quiz columns together. Make sure that the calculated “%Quiz” and the “%Quiz drop lowest” columns, are to the left of the first (non-calculated) Quiz column. Click Submit.

  • Next, click on the action button next to the “%Quiz” column, then on “Edit Column Information” to change its name to “%Quiz non-curved.”

  • Back in the “Full Grade Center,” on the right of the action bar click “Work Offline” then Download. Leave every setting as default and click Submit. On the “Download Grades” screen, click the Download button, and then save the file to your computer.

Curving the grades for a grading category

  • Open the downloaded file in excel. Insert a column on the right of the “%Quiz non-curved” and “%Quiz drop lowest” columns. Call this column “%Quiz Curved”.
  • In the excel example presented in the image, compare the formulas used to calculate the curved and non-curved Quiz totals. In both formulas the percentages add up to 100. In the non-curved total that Blackboard calculated these percentages are all the same. In the curved column, however, the increasing percentages in the formula in the formula bar show that we curved the grades to reward learning as it leads to ever better performance as the semester goes. Up to you now to create your own formula to reward your students’ learning.

    Curve and Drop lowest MAX grade formulas EXAMPLE audio image
  • Remember that you can copy formulas in excel simply by clicking on the first cell that has the formula, then hover your mouse on the lower right corner of the green box and dragging it down. Release and you shall see: all the curved grades are filled in for you! Yay!

  • Next, insert a column to the right of the “%Quiz Curved” column. Name it “%Quiz.” Click on the top cell in this column and in the formula bar write the following formula: equal sign followed by M A X followed by the open parenthesis sign, then click on the top cell in the “%Quiz non-curved” column, then press the comma key, next, click on the top cell in the “%Quiz drop lowest” column, then press the comma key, next, click on the top cell in the “%Quiz curved” column, lastly press the close parenthesis key then press enter: the number you shall see represents the highest score of the curved, “non-curved” and “drop lowest” grades. Copy the formula down to let excel calculate the grades for all students.

Entering the highest score of the curved, non-curved and drop lowest grades back into the Blackboard Grade Center

  • In the “Course Management” section of your course page, the kitchen, go to the “Grade Center,” then in the “Full Grade Center.” In the action bar, click on “Create Column.” Name it “%Quiz,” select your options but leave the default “No Category” option as is. Click on Submit.

  • Back in the “Full Grade Center,” you may need to use the scroll bar to see your newly created column, as Blackboard placed it by default at the very end of the spreadsheet. If you want to move it elsewhere in the “Grade Center,” in the action bar, click on “Manage,” then on “Column Organization,” and re-order your columns. Don’t forget to click on…Submit!

  • Next, in this newly created “%Quiz” column, click inside the top cell and record the grade from your excel sheet’s “%Quiz” column. Press enter to save. Continue this step for all students.

  • Afterwards, go to the “Weighted Total” column for the course, click the action button next to the column name and select “Edit Column Information.” Scroll down to the “Select Columns” section. In the “Selected Columns” box, remove the “%Quiz non-curved” column by clicking the red x button on the right.

  • Then in the “Columns to Select” box on the left, select the newly created “%Quiz” column and use the arrow to move it to the “Selected Column” box on the right. Fill in the appropriate percentage for the %Quiz category. Click Submit to save the changes.

  • Now you are done. Go to CUNYfirst and copy the grades from the Blackboard Grade Center “Weighted Total” column to the grade roster in CUNYfirst. Yay!