Skip to Main Content

# Curving Grades (5m9s)

Curving Grades audio

## Transcript

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

#### 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”, the one with the percentage mark, is to the left of the first Quiz column in the “Grade Center.”
• 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” column, the one with the percentage mark. 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.

• 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 type the following formula: equal sign followed by M A X then open parenthesis sign, then click on the top cell in the “%Quiz non-curved” column,  next, press the comma key, next, click on the top cell in the “%Quiz drop lowest” column, then press the comma key, then, 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 and non-curved grades. Copy the formula down to let excel calculate the grades for all students.

#### Entering the highest score of the curved and non-curved 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 on the right, 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!