The Grade Centre

MySCU provides an integrated system for storing and managing student assessment attempts and results, providing student feedback and calculating final grades. This tool is known as the Grade Centre and has several interfaces that allow for easy and efficient use by both teaching staff and students.

The Needs Grading page

When an assessment is created and a maximum mark assigned, a column for the mark is automatically created in the Grade Centre for the students to whom the assessment applies. When students submit an assessment attempt, the Grade Centre registers that the attempt has been received. You can easily check which attempts require your attention by opening the Needs Grading page.

The Needs Grading page is accessed by clicking on the Grade Centre item on the site menu, then selecting Needs Grading.

The Needs Grading page shows all gradable attempts at Turnitin assignments, Blackboard assignments, tests, blogs, journals, wikis and forums that are ready for marking or review. Items can be sorted according to a category, item, user, date submitted or due date. Clicking on an attempt’s username will open a grading page for the attempt, allowing you to record the mark for the task as well as providing a place for the addition of student feedback and marker’s notes. Any student feedback recorded can be viewed by the student along with the mark, while marker’s notes are stored with the attempt and are accessible only to the teaching staff and not viewable by the student.

If you click on the Grade All button at the top of the Needs Grading page, all of the attempts are organised into a queue and the grading page for each attempt will be presented in the order that they appear on the Needs Grading page. If you sort the items on the Needs Grading page prior to selecting Grade All, the attempts will be provided in that chosen order. The Filter button allows the list of items on the Needs Grading page to be refined so that individual assessment events or submissions by a specific student or group can be isolated for marking.

The Full Grade Centre page

The Full Grade Centre page offers a complete view of the assessment records for all students in your learning site, listing every assessable task for every student and the status of that task. If you pass the mouse over the column heading for an assessment event, the Grade Information Bar at the top of the table displays the maximum mark for the event, along with the type of assessment and its name.

The Full Grade Centre page shows which attempts have yet to be marked by displaying the Needs Grading icon. These attempts can be marked by clicking on the downwards arrow that appears when you pass your mouse over the entry with the Needs Grading icon, then selecting Attempt. This will open the Grading page for the attempt, allowing you to access the attempt, and provide marking, feedback and marker’s comments. A mark can be overridden if necessary by clicking on it and adding the new mark. Marks that have been overridden are clearly indicated by a small orange triangle on the top left of the mark field.

The Grade Centre also allows you to perform the following additional tasks:

  • Create Column: If you have a task that is assessed outside MySCU, you can add a column for it and manually enter marks for the task for each
  • Create Calculated Column: You can create columns that calculate average, maximum, minimum, totals and weighted totals for any subset of assessment events
  • Manage: You can customise the Grade Centre to optimise the information that is presented, including applying conditional colour codes, grouping assessment events into customised categories, organising rows and columns, creating Smart Views (see below)
  • Reports: You can generate customised reports using Grade Centre data as well as look at the history of changes made to the discussion board
  • Filter: The Grade Centre display can be customised by filtering according to category or result
  • Discover Content: Reusable Grade Centre objects located in the Content Collection can be located and used
  • Work Offline: You can download Grade Centre data as an Excel-compatible spreadsheet for external editing and upload changes back to the Grade Centre.
    • Note: This function is used when final marks are uploaded into eAcademic at the end of each teaching session.

Using SCU grade codes for students

By default, the columns in the Grade Centre store and display a numerical result for each assessment event. This numerical result is presented to the student when they view their results on their My Grades page, and when they open their marked work to view more detailed feedback. Column information can be adjusted so that a primary display format can be selected (which displays in both the Grade Centre and in My Grades) and a secondary display format that only appears in the Grade Centre. The display formats that you can choose from include Score (the default), Percentage, Incomplete/Complete (for tasks where a Satisfied Requirements result is appropriate) and SCU Letter Grade.

If you set the primary display for an assessment task to SCU Letter Grade and secondary display to Score, the student will only receive the SCU grade and you will be able to store their numerical result for easy viewing in the Grade Centre and use it for calculating their final results.

To change the way the Grade Centre displays a result for a grade column in the student’s My Grades page, click on the downwards arrow to the right of the column heading that you wish to apply the change to.

Select Edit Column Information, which will open the Edit Column page. Change Primary Display to SCU Letter Grade and  Secondary Display to Score.

Note: The Edit Column Information option can also be used to change the total marks and due dates of an assessment task, as well as to exclude a column from Grade Centre calculations and whether to display the column to students.

SCU grade codes and Turnitin assignments

When using Turnitin assignments, the numerical score awarded is available to the student even if its Grade Centre column is configured to display the SCU Letter Grade as its primary display. This is because the student can click on their Turnitin assignment on their My Grades page and access the Turnitin GradeMark feedback and mark.

If provision to students of an SCU Letter Grade instead of a numerical score for a Turnitin assignment is critical to your delivery strategy, please contact SCU’s Blackboard technical support for a workaround.

Using Smart Views

A Smart View is a customised view of the Grade Centre which can be used to display only selected assessment events and/or students rather than the entire Grade Centre. For example, if you use groups, you could create a Smart View that displays only students who are group members. Smart Views can be saved for ongoing use, and shortcuts can be added to the Grade Centre entry in your site menu’s Control Panel for easy access.

To create a Smart View, click on the Manage button and then select Smart Views. This will open the Smart Views page which will show a list of the default Smart Views.

A customised Smart View can be created by clicking on the Create Smart View button. Under Smart View Information, enter a name for the Smart View and an optional description. Select Add as Favourite if you want the Smart View to be accessible directly from the site menu. Choose the type of Smart View you would like to create under the Selection Criteria heading, and select from the related criteria as to how you want the Smart View to select Grade Centre records and which columns to display. Click on Submit, which will create the Smart View and add it to the list on the Smart View page.

What the student sees - My Grades

Students monitor their progress through the assessment tasks in a unit by using the View Grades link that appears in the student’s site menu. This link displays the student’s My Grades page, which lists all assessment items and their status. A student can quickly see which tasks are outstanding along with their due dates, which have been submitted and are awaiting marking (showing the Needs Grading icon), and which have been marked (showing the result in its primary display format as you have specified in the Grade Centre). A running total is also included. Links are provided to each available assignment and any associated feedback.

The appearance of a Grade Centre column in your students’ My Grades page is controllable by editing the column information in the Grade Centre.

Uploading final grades to eAcademic

When all assessment submissions for a unit have been marked and finalised in the Grade Centre and a final unit grade determined, the final grade will need to be uploaded to eAcademic, the University’s final repository for student records. The process to upload the final unit grade involves confirming that the grades allocated in the Grade Centre are correct for each student, downloading the full Grade Centre file onto your computer, and uploading the file to eAcademic. 

Further information

Access the help files from Blackboard

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)