Life Hack 1: Managing the Grade Centre for Marking Large Cohorts

Written by James Rawlings
Edited by Tom Buckley

This post originates from a GPS session and you can view this recording online.

Anyone who has attempted to use the Blackboard grade centre for marking will be all too familiar with the frustration of constantly scrolling. Be it up and down to find student, side to side to find the column for the assessment or a combination of the two.

I’m sure we’ve all asked, ‘I just want to see the students in my marking group, surely there must be an easier way to do this?’ The good news is that there is: Smart Views.

So, what is a Smart View? A Smart View is a filter that can be applied to the Blackboard grade centre. Smart Views can be set to filter both grade centre columns and/or rows. Once created, the Smart View can be used any time you want filter the grade centre.

Blackboard has some official help pages on Smart Views but to help us conceptualise what would use them for we have itemised the practical applications below.

Example 1 Making a simple Smart View

Step by Step Guide for Example 1 [Doc]

Example 2 Allocating all students to easily accessible smaller marking groups

This example if for the following premise: You wish to make it easy for your markers on a big module. You wish make a link on Blackboard where markers will only see the assessment they need to mark and the students they wish to mark.

Step by Step Guide for Example 2 [Doc]

Example 3 Displaying only borderline candidates

This example is so for once your assessment has been marked you might want to be able to see all of the submissions that were on the borderline of a 3rd – 2.2, all of the submissions that were borderline 2.2 -2.1, and all of the submissions that were borderline 2.1 – 1st.

Step by Step Guide for Example 3 [Doc]

Example 4 Making a view only for people who have answered specific questions.

A module has a written assessment where students can choose 1 of 4 different questions. There are 20 students on the module and they need to be able to ‘sign up’ to one of these question. The module lead wants to be able to limit the number that can choose each question so that there is an even spread. When markers go to the grade centre they need to be able to see the students who have answered a specific question and a single grade centre column for this assessment.

The solution here would be to create a single assessment that all students can submit to. Then we create 4 groups that allow students to self-enrol. The question is entered into the group description so that students can choose the one they want to answer. The number of students who can enrol on each group is limited to 5.

We can create a Smart View for each of the groups, set that view to only show members in the group, and then limit the grade centre columns to show just this written assessment.