Grading an assignment in Blackboard Ultra

This guide explains how to provide grades and feedback for assignments submitted electronically via Blackboard.

As explained in the Creating an Assignment guide, whenever you create an assignment in Blackboard, a related column is added automatically to the Gradebook.  This is used to store provisional grade information and provide feedback to your students. You can access assignments that have been submitted and need grading from:

  • Within a Module > the Gradebook (Grid view and List view).
  • Within a Module > the Assignment/Test item itself.
  • Marks on Base navigation, to view all gradable items for all your Modules
Accessing & Grading Assignments via Gradebook

The module Gradebook shows all gradable items. This includes Assignments, Tests, Surveys and gradable Blogs, Journals or Discussion Boards you may have setup in your module. All work can be accessed from either the assignment Submissions page or the List or Grid view in the Gradebook.

Image of Grading Centre in List View

The Grid View of the Gradebook will show all the students within the module with corresponding columns of all the assignments.  Any student submissions will be indicated by Mark Now. To view the submission, hover your mouse over the appropriate cell and click on Mark Now and either input a grade or view the assignment to directly open the student assignment submission.Image of Grading Centre in Grid ViewThe List View of the Gradebook will show all the markable items within the module.  The status of the assignment will correspond to the number of submissions as student submit their assignments. To view the submission, click on the to mark next to the appropriate assignment, this will open the assignment Submissions page.Image showing an example of an assignment to be marked

On the Submissions page the Needs Marking filter provides a convenient way of viewing all assignments in your module which need marking. This may be useful if you have large numbers of students or many assignments.Image showing the Needs Marking Gradebook filterTo grade individuals work on the Submissions page either click on the status area attempt to mark to view the assignment or input the grade straight into the Mark area.

Image showing Grade Centre - Attempt to MarkThe Grade Assignment Page

The Grade Assignment page enables you to view, comment and grade student assignment submissions within a single interface. Documents submitted by students in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF format are converted and displayed directly within the Web browser, eliminating the need for you to download the file to view their work (download option is still available). Their work is displayed on the left-hand side. Use the buttons on the toolbar to annotate on the document, move from page to page and download the document.Image showing Grading Options

The inline grading bar (top) provides you with all the tools you need to grade the assignment. You can view the assignment details, navigate to each attempt if multiple attempts are permitted, enter grades and feedback for each attempt, as well as enter an overall grade. Feedback for each attempt can be typed in the text box provided.

Work submitted by students which is displayed in the Web browser can also be annotated, allowing you to provide comments and highlight aspects of their work as a means of feedback. To do so, click on the Comment button Image of Comment button in Assignment Grading on the toolbar. Students can view your annotations by returning to the assignment submission page and viewing their work, complete with annotations, in the browser. Note that annotations will only be displayed to students if a grade has been entered and presence of annotations will not be flagged up in My Grades. You should therefore inform students manually (either via email or an announcement, or both) that feedback is available as annotations if you have used this feature.

Attaching feedback to an assessed assignment

To attach a file as feedback, click on Insert Content dropdown and then the Attachment paperclip icon vtbe_attachments_icon in the Feedback for Student text box.

Image showing how to attach feedback to an assesed assignment in Blackboard ultra

This will launch a new window which allows you to attach a file by clicking Browse My Computer and then selecting the file from your computer. This could be a document with typed feedback or perhaps an annotated version of the student’s work. You could even attach an MP3 audio file. Remember to click Submit in this window to attach the file. To remove the file, simply delete the link in the text box.

Image showing browsing for the feedback file to upload

Remember to click Save to save your feedback.

Post Marks

In Ultra, your grades and feedback are not visible to students until you POST them. You can post individual students’ grades/feedback or post all from the Gradebook.

Grading Centre - Post GradesTo post all grade at the same time:

  • In Grid view click on the assignment column header and select Post all.
  • In the List view select Post Marks next to the assignment.
  • In the assignment Submissions list page click on Post all Marks. 

After you grade assessments and post the grades, students can view their grades on their Marks page from the base navigation or in the Activity Stream. They can also access the assessment, their submissions, your feedback, and their grades from the assignment in the Module Content area.