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The Grade History: The Hidden Gem of the Grade Center

In every course on Blackboard, the Grade Center is a very important – arguably the most important – tool utilized by both faculty and students. Instructors record student grades and calculate totals while students meticulously check their course progress and grade information using this tool.

grade_historyHowever, there is a little-utilized and very useful feature hidden in a sub-menu of the Grade Center called the Grade History. This feature, listed under the Reports button, contains a sortable record of every grade ever recorded in the Grade Center during the existence of the course, either entered by an instructor or Teaching Assistant, or entered by the students by taking an online exam.

The Grade History contains 7 columns of information for each entry, which display important information about the entry itself. The date which the entry was last modified or entered, which column this entry occurred in, who made the change (it is worth noting at this point that sometimes this column contains the name System Administrator – this does not mean we were messing with your grades, it indicates that the system entered the grade because the test timed out and Auto-Submit was turned On), which User this entry pertains to, the value that was entered – whether it was a grade entered, cleared, attempt submitted or overridden, when the attempt was submitted if the grade is for an Assignment or Test, and any comments entered on the grade via the Grade Center.

The entries within the Grade History can also be downloaded into a Microsoft Excel file. The downloaded file contains a little bit more information on each entry than what is displayed within Blackboard – for example, the IP address (a unique numerical label assigned to each individual computer that uses the internet) is recorded when a grade is entered or modified and this is accessible in the downloaded Grade History file. Other available information includes the username and Role (whether Instructor, Grader, TA or other) of the user who made the change.

Even a column of grades deleted by human error or technical glitch will have records of when the grades were entered initially contained within the Grade History. If you accidentally delete, overwrite, clear or otherwise lose a grade entry – don’t panic! Before contacting the SHSU Online Support Desk to request a complete course restoral, check the Grade History page and the lost data will be there from when they were entered the first time.

To learn more about the Grade History, see the Blackboard help documentation here, and/or contact your Instructional Designer.