Enrollment - How do I create separate grading sections/views within a combined course site for ease of grading?

In a combined course with a large amount of students and multiple graders. - How to create separate grading sections/views within a combined course site for ease of grading.

At the moment, the separate course sites and combined course site are not integrated to automatically populate grades in both areas which can make grading difficult if you have multiple sections and multiple graders for the various sections, but you want to use the one combined course site to do so. In the next upgrade of Blackboard, we hope to have a smooth integration where the combined course site will automatically great separate groups within that site for ease of grading, but at the moment, the process is manual and while not very difficult, can be time consuming.

Currently, the solution is to create "Groups" in your combined course site and manually assign the students to groups by their sections. Once you have them in their respective groups, you can create a "Smart View" in the Full Grade Center area that will allow GTF's to go directly to their own group of students.  While it is a multi-step and multi-tool process, it does save time in the long run making grading a smooth process and help minimize confusion for the GTF’s.

Things you will need to get started: The section names for each section and the rosters of students for each section (because you will have to go through and assign them to their appropriate sections in Groups).

Once you have your lists of students for each group, you can begin to create your groups on Blackboard.

  1. To do so - go to the Control Panel area and click on "Users and Groups" and then "Groups"
  2. At the top there are two options - select "Create Group Set" and from the drop down menu, select "Manual Enroll".
  3. In the window that opens you'll be asked to give a name for the group. This will be the overall name of the group set so something like "Grade Center Groups".
  4. Underneath that, it will ask you whether you want to make the Group available to your students. I believe default is "Yes" and for just having separate views in Grade Center, I would change this to "No" unless you want students within each section to be able to collaborate with one another separately from the other sections.
  5. That would bring us to #2 which is tool availability. These tools are for the above mentioned purpose of allowing the students to collaborate as just a separate section. So for example, if you wanted them to have their own Discussion board separate from other classes, you would leave the Discussion Board box checked and make it Available to users (above). Otherwise, I would uncheck all of those tools.
  6. You can also uncheck "Allow Personalization" but it doesn't really matter if you don't since you probably won't be making it available.
  7. Underneath that, it will ask you how many groups within this set you'd like to create. This would be the number of sections you plan on dividing your class into. So if there are 4 sections, then choose 4. If you have 2 undergraduate groups and 1 graduate group, select 3.
  8. Click Submit
  9. On the next page, leave options 1 and 2 alone and below that is the fun part where you get to go through your comprehensive list of students and assign them to their particular group. Give each group a name that corresponds with the section. For example: "M-W 10am Section".
  10. Then you will proceed to add those students from that section to that group by clicking their name and moving them over to the right by clicking the top right facing arrow.
  11. When you've added a student to one group, they will disappear from the other group options so by the time you get to the last group box, it should only have students from that last section remaining. If there are extra students in that last box that don't belong to that section, you probably forgot to assign them to a group above. If there are missing students, they may have been mistakenly assigned to an above group.
  12. Once you're done with that, double check that everyone is in their correct sections (very important since if you accidentally left someone off they wouldn't show up in the grade center for the GTF's section and wouldn't get grades assigned for things that are manually entered).
  13. Then click Submit

After you've made your group set, you can go into the Full Grade Center and make your Smart Views which is MUCH easier than the previous setup.

  1. Once in full grade center, click on Manage at the top and then click on Smart Views from the drop down menu.
  2. Click on the button at the top left corner area that says Create Smart View.
  3. On the page that pops up, give your first Smart View a name. This would be a good place to use the name of the specific GTF who is grading this section or you could just give it the same section name as before.
  4. Just below that, be sure to check the box that says "Add as Favorite" which will add that to your Grade center menu on the side for easy access for your GTFs.
  5. Under #2 options pick Course Group (should be default anyway) and then select the appropriate group that matches the name you gave it.
  6. Click Submit and then do that same Smart View steps for each of your sections. Again, don't forget to check the little "Add as Favorite" box for each!

Once you've done all of these things and you've refreshed your page or gone to another content area, you should be able to see all the different sections listed when you click on "Grade Center" in the control panel. Each should be there right under the Full Grade Center link. You can also access them within the Full Grade Center under Manage and Smart Views to access them through there.

By clicking on a specific Smart View section you've created, it will bring up only the students that were assigned to that group making it easier for the GTF to go through and enter grades for just their students.

tags:smart views, combined course, combine, gtfs, students, sections, discussion sections, grades, easy grading, create, grade center, course group, group, separate, multiple graders