Creating a custom grading scale in Blackboard

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One of the display options for total columns in Blackboard’s grade center is a letter grade. This displays the students’ total as a letter, based on the traditional 90-100 =A, 80-89 = B, etc. grading scale.

There are certain programs which do not use this grading scale, in which case we need to create what is called a Grading Schema.

Being by visiting the full grade center in Blackboard.


At the top of the grade center, click on the “Manage” button and select “Grading Schemas” from the menu.


Click on the “Create Grading Schema” button to start creating your new schema.


The default custom-grading schema will have two entries, one for an A and one for an F.


You can adjust the ranges of the grading scale using the columns on the left side. To add additional rows for more letters, click on the arrow buttons on the right side between rows.


Although most instructors do not use it, you are required to fill in the “Will Calculate As” field in the grade schema. This allows you to input a grade as a letter, and it will convert it behind the scenes to a percentage value. It is recommended to simply input a grade that is valid for each letter.


This screenshot is an example of a fully-filled out custom schema. The insert row buttons were used to add rows for each letter grade, the custom ranges were input on the left side, and default values for each letter grade were input on the right.

Give your custom schema a name and click on the “Submit” button when you are done. It will appear in your list of grade schemas from which you can make any further changes.


The next step is to create a total column that uses this new grading schema. Return to the full grade center, and choose to create a new “Total” column.


You will name and configure this column as usual. Under “Primary Display” you will select the name you gave your new grade schema.


This new column will display the student’s current letter grade based on the new grading schema. The screenshot below demonstrates an example of this vs a total using the traditional letter grade.



Posted on August 20, 2014, in Blackboard and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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