Often times, some assignments may take time for instructors to evaluate. This can be due to the length and/or complexity of the assignment, and the desire to provide full feedback on student performance.
Here is a scenario to illustrate an issue that I have been made aware of by several faculty. In a course, an instructor has 1000 possible points. The students have all received grades on assignments that total 800 possible points; two outstanding assignments of a research paper and the final exam (both 100 points) remain.
The instructor has received all student submissions for the research paper and knows it will take several days to work through grading all the submissions, so the instructor hides the column from the students in My Grades, but does not edit the column to take it out of Grade Center calculations. The instructor grades five research papers, then calls it a night.
The next morning the instructor has received two emails from students upset at the grade they've received on the research paper. They've been able to calculate their research paper grade by adding together all the points they've received that are visible, and subtracting that amount from the new Total that has the hidden research paper column's grade.
My idea is to create a new option for grade center columns. This idea would build off of the hide column from students option currently available. The instructor, when clicking on the options menu for a column, would see a new option called "Turn Private Grading On/Off". When Private Grading is on, the column is not visible to students, and the column is not included in the calculations for any calculated column type. This would provide both privacy for the instructor as they are grading, and would prevent students from figuring out the score they've received on an item currently not visible. Blackboard would then alert the instructor to turn off Private Grading once all student submissions have been graded via a pop-up alert, or the instructor can manually toggle Private Grading to be off at any time. Once Private Grading for a column is turned off, the students will be able to view the column and feedback inside of My Grades, and the column will once again be added to the overall Grade Center calculations.
Benefit: The workflow for instructors would be simplified; right now this type of task can be done, but it requires that the instructor edit the column. Instead of having to edit the column and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen, the toggle would be in the options menu, saving instructors time.
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