Assessment & Marking

How to create a calculated ‘Total’ column in the Grade Center

This video shows step-by-step instructions on how to create a calculated ‘Total ‘column in the Grade Center. 

‘Quick Steps’ 

  • Open the Full Grade Center, hover over ‘Create Calculated Column’ and select ‘Total Column’ 
  • On the Create Total Column page, type a name and description of needed 
  • Make a selection in the Primary Display menu, choose from: 
  1. Score: A numeric grade is the default setting. If you don’t make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
  2. Letter: A letter grade appears. The default grading schema is used to assign letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C. 
  3. Text: Text appears in the column when you create and associate a text grading schema. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor -OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If no text grading schema exists, and you select the Text option, you can type text in the column’s cells. If you choose to share the column results with students in My Grades, they see the text values for their grades. 
  4. Percentage: A percentage appears. For example, a score of 21/30 appears as 70% 
  5. Complete/Incomplete: When a student submits an item, a Completed icon appears in the column regardless of the score achieved. 
  • You can also choose a ‘Secondary Display’ which would appear in parentheses in the instructor view only 
  • In the ‘Select Columns’ section, select what to include in the column’s calculation
  • Choose ‘All Mark Column’s to Include all individual mark columns in the Grade Center
  • Choose ‘Selected Columns and Categories’ to pick specific grade columns and or categories individually
  • Select the column name and then click the arrow to add it to the list of selected columns (for Windows, to select multiple items in a list, press the Shift key and select the first and last items. To select items out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and select each item needed. For Macs, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key)
  • Select the categories and click the arrow to add them to the list. Choose from the options: 
    • ‘Drop Marks’ removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each category from the calculation. If you don’t type numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped
    • Use only the Lowest -OR- Highest Value to Calculate removes all grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score
  • To delete a selection in the Selected Columns box, select the red X
  • Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt cells that don’t contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a value of 0 if no grade exists. Please note this result can make grades appear artificially low
  • In the Options section select whether to: 
    • Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations 
    • Show this Column to Students 
    • Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades 
  • Click Submit 
  • You will now see your column appear in the Full Grade Center 


Additional Resources 

Calculate Grades: Blackboard Help