Can someone explain to me how weighted grades are calculated in Blackboard? I have read Behind Blackboard and the Help section and after discussing with other IDs and faculty am more confused than ever...

Can someone explain to me how weighted grades are calculated in Blackboard? I have read Behind Blackboard and the Help section and after discussing with other IDs and faculty am more confused than ever...

Rather that using a Homework Total column, create a Category (Manage > Categories) and add all the homework assignments to it (Manage > Column Organization). The advantage of using Categories is that you can have a Total or Weighted Total calculate the category grade either proportionally or equally, and drop any number of either the highest or lowest grades. (Why you would drop a high grade is beyond me, but it's there.)

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We recently had a student concern that her weighted grade was calculated incorrectly in Blackboard. Based on the student's calculations, she thought her grade percentage should have been higher than was displayed in the Grade Center. However, after some digging (and manual calculations to back up the conclusion) we determined the student was using the weighted percentage of each assignment toward her final grade while Blackboard was only paying attention to the actual grades present at the time.

Jean Eye did a great job of breaking down how the weighted total column is calculated toward the final grade. Corrie Bergeron, I agree with using categories versus columns. They make life a little easier when it comes to calculating grades, especially weighted ones in Blackboard. Our challenge was discovering the how Blackboard calculated a weighted column's running total. We found out that Blackboard configures weighted totals based on actual grade input, so it was redistributing the weighted percentage each graded item would get in a column/category (based on the number of grades present at the time). So, if a student had only completed 2 of 4 required assignments in a category with a weight of 40%, those two assignments were calculated in the weighted total as 20% instead of their intended equal 10% distribution).

Hats off to James Jones for helping us find the correct calculation formula! I've got to give credit where it is due, of course.

Weighted Avg = (Sum of Scores X Weights) / (Sum of Weights)

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I encourage you to view Megan's explanatory guide, as there is a rather significant difference between Weighted Grades that use equal weighting to calculate them and those that use proportional weight when categories are weighted. We discovered that some instructors may be inadvertently inflating grades by assuming Blackboard uses proportional weighting, but

. The default setting is to have those categories calculate the scores as percentages first, before weighting them. This effectively removes the point value, so an instructor cannot intentionally assign fewer points to an assignments in an equally weighted category in order to lessen those assignments' impact on the grade--all grades in that category are essentially set to 100. Students are less likely to bring this to an instructor's attention if it benefits them.**equal weighting is used by default**For example:

I used category weighting extensively in my courses when I taught, but Blackboard wasn't the LMS at that time. This equal and proportional weighting option is somewhat hidden, so instructors are often unaware of it and how it impacts students' overall grades.

(Edited to clarify Blackboard's default setting.)

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What I've experienced is the following:

My SME or instructor has developed a summative assignment with multiple submissions/parts over the course of the class.The big assignment itself needs to account for 10% of the overall grade - but some of the submissions/parts are tiny and others are hefty.

It doesn't make sense for the tiny parts to be worth the same has to hefty parts, so we create a weighted column that assigns the chosen percentage of each part...like a feeder system

exampleOverall consists of

Discussion 50%

Quizzes 40%

Big Summative Assignment 10%Big Summative Assignment is a weighted column instead of a category and has all the needed columns assigned to it

**(part A from week 1 is worth 10%, part B from week 5 is worth 40%, and part C from week 7 is worth 50%)**After it's set up - I plug a dummy student account in to make sure the math is working correctly.

I give 100s across the rest of the grade book so the students overall grade shows 100%

then I give a grade for the big assignment that will effect the overall accordingly -so, three grades part a - 0, part b 100, and part c 100 should only penalize the student by 10% in the big assignments weighted column

Which if done correctly would show a 90% for that big assignments weighted column, but but only change to overall to a 99%

(because*that 90%*is only 90% of*10% of the overall*, or*9 out of 10 points)*Not sure if that helps, but I can say most people prefer to just building a class that has an overall grade calculated by weighted categories - where the categories are a mean of all the assignments assigned to it (ie discussion, reflections etc.)

Dan

I use weighted grades for all my classes so I'll try to explain it.

This shows how each grade is weighted toward the final grade, the score the student earns on the assignment, and how it all adds up to the weighted total.

Item Weighted % Student Grade Weighted Grade

Exam 1 12% 80% 0 .12 x 80 = 9.6

Exam 2 12% 70% 0.12 x 70 = 8.4

Exam 3 12% 76% 0.12 x 76 = 9.12

HW 7% 90% 0.07 x 90 = 6.3

Lab Quizzes 7% 80% 0.07 x 80 = 5.6

Lab Midterm 10% 84% 0.1 x 84 = 8.4

Lab Final 20% 86% 0.2 x 86 = 17.2

Lec Final 20% 78% 0.2 x 79 = 15.8

100% 80.42

This student has 80.42 out of a possible 100 pts. for the weighted total.

All you need to do in Blackboard is click on each grade column you want to go toward the weighted total and enter the weighted percent, then it does all the calculations as grades are recorded throughout the semester. For some assignments, like homework or lab quizzes, there are multiple assignments so I have a Homework Total column and use that for the weighted average.

I like weighted grades because if I give additional homework assignments or change the number of questions on an exam that change the total number of points, it still doesn't change how much that item is worth toward the final grade. I've used both weighted totals and point totals and I get the same number of questions from students about their grades. It's also easy for me to tell a failing student how much they need to bring their grade up. A student has completed 41% of grade after completing 2 lecture exams (24%), the lab midterm (10%) and half ot the homework and lab quizzes (7%). If that student has a 65%, they need to average (70- (0.41x65))/0.59 = 73.47 or better for the rest of the semester to get to a passing 70%.

Hope this helps.