Grade Center for Large Classes

Blackboard’s Grade Center has the ability to manage large lecture classes for you and your Teaching Assistants (T.A.s).

You can set up your Grade Center so that:

Sorting in Grade Center

Clicking on a column name will cause the Grade Center to be sorted by that column. Clicking the column header multiple times will toggle the sort between ascending and descending.

To sort on more than one column: sort on the first column (A) and then on the second column (B). Your Grade Center will be sorted by column B and then on column A.

Adding a Section Identifier to the Grade Center

To add the course section number as a Grade Center column:

  1. In the Grade Center, click on Work Offline (at the top right), and then Download. Select User Information Only.
  2. Open the downloaded file in Excel.
  3. Add a new column header, e.g. “Section”. Format this column as Text. Optionally, enter the section numbers for each student in the class. (See below for a way to automate this.)
  4. Save the file.
  5. In the Grade Center, click on Work Offline, and then Upload to upload the Excel file you saved.

To move the section number column next to the name columns: 

  1. In the Grade Center, under Manage, select Column Organization
  2. Drag the Section column up above the Frozen Column bar
    Column Organization
  3. Click Submit.
  4. You can then sort your list of students based on this section identifier by clicking on the column heading to first sort by ascending value  and clicking a second time to sort by descending value.

Section-based Smart Views

Creating Smart Views based on section will allow you and your TAs to view only the students in a given section when working with the Grade Center. Optionally, the sections can be listed individually in the Control Panel for easy access.

  1. In the Grade Center, under Manage, select Smart Views
  2. Click Create Smart View
  3. Enter a Smart View name, either the section number or the TA’s name
  4. Clicking “Add as Favorite” will add the Smart View to the Control Panel (under Grade Center)
  5. For selection criteria, select Custom, and then select Grade on Section (Text)
  6. Click Submit.

Automating the Assignment of Section Numbers in Excel

If you download a course roster from Faculty Center and open it in Excel, you can automate the assignment of  section numbers into the downloaded Blackboard Grade Center user information (as referenced above).

If you’d like assistance with this process, please contact

To look up section number from a Faculty Center roster:

File 1 is the downloaded Grade Center file.

Sample grade center file

File 2 is the roster downloaded from Faculty Center.


Sample Faculty Center file

  1. Click on the column to the right of Column F in File 1. Type Section for this column header in Row 1
  2. Click on the 2nd row of the Section column; copy and paste the following:

    D2 is the value you’re looking up in file 1, i.e. the student ID;
    Workbook1 is the name of your File 2;
    $D$1 :$E$4 is the range of values you’re looking at in File 2;
    2 indicates that the values you need are in the 2nd column of the range listed above;
    FALSE should be included to make sure you’re only getting exact matches.
    (If no match is found, #NA will be displayed.)


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