Grade Center - I get errors uploading grades from Excel or iClickeriGrader

I get errors uploading grades from Excel or iClicker/iGrader.

It's very useful to be able to download your gradebook to your PC, edit it using Excel, then upload the grades back to Blackboard. But the process sometimes fails. The upload parser is pretty sensitive to the format of the file you are uploading, so you may get complaints from Blackboard when you try to upload because Blackboard doesn't understand the format of your uploaded data. When uploading data, Blackboard expects to get a file in "comma-separated variables" format, containing 1 row per student, with the first column containing identifying information in the form "name (userid) | studentID". The first row of the file is expected to be a row of headers. By far the easiest way to generate a file in the proper format is to download the file from Blackboard, edit it, save, then upload the result.Typical problems we've seen:

  • random characters in a cell outside the main spreadsheet data area
  • attempt to upload a .xls file instead of a .csv file
  • invalid student ID in some row, perhaps because the Excel spreadsheet had a student who had recently withdrawn from course
  • an invalid column header
  • an invalid data value (e.g. attempt to upload a string into a numeric field)

It's also important to note; due to the increasing class sizes, teachers are trying to upload lots of grades into Blackboard all at once. This is especially apparent when uploading batches of iClicker data, or Scantron results for multiple classes and combo-courses. There is a limit of 800 items for Blackboard to process in a single upload.
What does this mean? Blackboard can only process a maximum of 800 new or changed data elements. So if you are uploading two new iClicker sessions of information into Blackboard, for a class of 500 students, you will receive an upload error because it was trying to update 1000 cells of new information. Grades or cell contents which were not changed from the original Blackboard-downloaded file do not affect this count at all. To bypass this error, try splitting up the data per upload. In the same scenario, if you were to upload one column at a time, your 500 class-size will not reach an error with the data-cap.

If you are receiving an error uploading grades from iGrader into Blackboard after it successfully logged into your class list, it may be because of a data-upload cap on Blackboard you are clipping at. If you are unable to see your "Course List" page, then chances are it is a connectivity issue with the Blackboard CMS. Check your login credentials before continuing.
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tags: work offline, gradebook, grades, grading, microsoft excel, csv, xls, error message, upload grades, download grades, spreadsheets, limit, iClicker, iGrader, uploading

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Created by not on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Oct 24, 2013