I have a challenge for you. For a new CBE program, the school has requested that I build a course that creates some big challenges with the gradebook and I need your help.

Imagine this scenario: I am a student and my course is laid out in learning modules. Each module contains a pretest, discussion, assignment, and a final quiz. If I get an 90 on my pretest for Module 1, I can automatically skip to Module 2. In Module 2, I get a 65 on the pretest, so I must complete the rest of the work in that module before I can move forward to Module 3.

As the instructional designer, I know how to create the adaptive releases - that is not the problem. How do I set up the gradebook to count the 90 on the pretest as the full grade for Module 1, but the individual discussion, assignment, and quiz on Module 2? Is there a way to ask the weighted column(s) to do Scenario A **OR** Scenario B, depending on the results of the pretest?

The hope is that this can all be pre-programmed so instructors do not need to go in and manually do this. I can formulate Excel to do this, but I'm not sure there is a way to get Blackboard to do it. Hopefully, I am wrong and someone out there can tell me how. I've been wrestling with this for a few days.

I have spent a fair amount of time myself pondering this problem for my school. I'm an overachiever.....I have two solutions

Solution 1. You need 2 calculated columns. The first is a Maximum column comparing the Pretest and the Module Test. The second column is a total column (an average column may work, too). This column selects the max pretest/module test column along with the other grade columns for the module. If a student passes the pretest then the total column will report just that score for the module average. If a student doesn't pass the pretest the rest of the scores will end up being the average with the higher Module test score being the test score that counts. A drawback here is if a student makes a low pretest score they will drag that low score along, bringing down their module/course grade until they make a higher Module test grade. Students that are paying attention and concerned about the low grade can just ask the instructor to exempt out the pretest to bring the module/course grade more into alignment.

Solution 2. You could use a bit of math trickery. Use a weighted column for the module grade where the pretest is worth 0.1% and the rest of the work is either individually weighted to account for the remaining 99.9% or you could make a total/average column to collect all of the rest of the graded items and have that one column be worth 99.9%. If a student passes the pretest that pretest grade should be the only grade in the column and will be the module grade. If a student fails the pretest, the first assignment they do will be such a huge percentage of the module grade that it will basically nullify the pretest grade. The drawback here is if a student passes the pretest then gets overzealous and does the next module assignment they are committed to doing the rest of the module's work unless the instructor intervenes.