Friday, 24 July 2015

Taming the grade centre with colour

One of those “why didn't I know you could do that” moments that I thought was worth sharing. This is where I find out that I'm the only blackboard user who didn't know about it but here goes anyway.

At the recent North England Blackboard User Group Meeting (NEBUG) there was a really useful presentation from Adam Elce (North Notts college) showcasing the blackboard templates and VLE audit framework they use. His presentation may be worth another blog post in itself but he casually threw in the fact that you can colour code student scores in the grade centre.

Now I've always found the grade centre in blackboard to be an unwieldy beast at the best of times…. very powerful but unwieldy.

In our Legal Practice course we make extensive use of MCQs but the default grade centre just displays numbers that could be out of any total, the quizzes may vary from 3 questions up to 30. A quick visit to the” manage” tab in the gradebook, drop down to “grading colour code” tick the box to enable colour coding then just build your own criteria and colour scheme.


It just so happen in this one we have gone for purple for very high scores, the reds are less than 50% (a fail), dark blues are in progress and various shades represent the grade ranges in between. This was a 30 second job to set up, .

Now the whole grade centre becomes a lot more useful as you can easily see a student’s progress across the quizzes without having to remember what each score was out off. You can of course toggle colour on and off if it all gets a bit too much.

Gareth Bramley, University Teacher on our LPC course writes "the colour coding can usefully be adapted so that it highlights various grade boundaries, and the colours make it a lot easier to assess how the students enrolled on the module have performed in each quiz"

Hope this is useful if you didn't already know about it. Next time I’ll be delving more into reporting from the gradebook and quiz analysis tools.

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