Grade Schemas - Additional Uses

This page contains ideas for other uses of the Grade Schema beyond a typical letter grade scale.

Please note that the following sections discuss "adding a new grade schema" and "applying grade schemas."

If you do not know how to complete these actions within your course, please see "Adding a New Grade Schema" and/or "Applying a Grade Schema" on the "Grade Schemas" Answers page.


Blackboard Ultra contains a system option for "Complete/Incomplete" built into each Assignment's grade settings. To access this option:

  1. Open the "Assignment Settings" for the assignment you wish to apply the Complete/Incomplete schema
  2. Scroll down to the Grading & Submissions section of the settings
  3. Click on the drop down menu under "Grade using" and select "Complete/Incomplete"

Important things to note about the "Complete/Incomplete" schema:

  • You will still need to assign a maximum amount of points for the assignment.
  • The assignment will show as Green check mark pill in the Gradebook once the assignment has been graded, regardless of how many points the student received (even if they received 0 points).
  • If the assignment has been submitted but has not yet been graded or if the assignment is not submitted by the due date, a Grey pill box will appear in the gradebook for that graded item.

Yes. The points from a Complete/Incomplete assignment will still factor into the Overall Grade. The "Complete/Incomplete" schema option is more about preference for how you would like graded/ungraded/unsubmitted work to appear in the Gradebook.

An Instructor may prefer the appearance of a Complete/Incomplete assignment within the gradebook as a visual aid for their students to quickly see which assignments have received a grade/feedback and which assignments need attention.

Alternatively, this scheme may be used for something that is graded but that grade is only meaningful as a component of another grade - i.e. a required rough draft submission X weeks ahead of the final draft deadline. 


There are times when an Instructor may want an assignment (or Overall Grade) to be deemed "Pass/Fail." 

In order to apply a "Pass/Fail" schema, you will need to start by adding a new schema to your course. 

When creating the schema:

  • Edit the Grade Names to be titled "Pass" and "Fail
  • Create the Grade Range % to "60%-100%" and "0% to 60%" respectively

Apply the Pass/Fail schema to the graded item of your choice.

Once the Pass/Fail schema has been applied to the graded item or "Overall Grade," you will see a green "Pass" pill or a red "Fail" pill displayed in the gradebook to indicate each student's standing for that assignment. 


There may be times when an Instructor wants to incorporate a grade for the level of participation a student shows in class. For this type of grading, the use of a custom grade schema is helpful.

In order to use a Participation grade within the gradebook, you must first start by creating a grade category and titling it "Participation." See here for more information on utilizing and creating Categories in the Gradebook.

Once you have created the new "Participation" category,  you will need to add a new Grade Schema titled "Participation," as well. 

For this Participation grading example, there will be three categories of Participation level:

High: 80-100%

Moderate: 60-80%

Low: 0-60%

When creating the schema:

  • Add a third row to the table
  • Edit the Grade Names to be titled "High," "Moderate," and "Low"
  • Create the Grade Range % as shown above to correspond to the Grade Names

After creating the "Participation" grade schema, a new item will need to be created within the Gradebook. 

If you do not want the Participation grade to appear as an assignment to students, do not create a Content item for the Participation grade. You must add the Participation item directly to the Gradebook. 

To add an item to the Gradebook:

  • Hover your mouse between any two existing columns
  • When a (plus) appears, click the button to display a drop down menu
  • Choose "Add Item"

(Note that the image to the right displays adding an item in "Grid View," but this "Add Item" function can be performed in the same way in "List View.")

After selecting "Add Item," a panel menu for the graded item's settings will appear to the right of your screen.

For this example, the settings were set to the following;

Item Name: Participation

Visibility: Visible to students

Grade using: Participation (the custom schema that was created in the Gradebook settings)

Maximum points: 3

Grade category: Participation (custom category that was created in the Gradebook settings)

While you can determine any number of "Maximum points" that you prefer, for the High/Moderate/Low schema that was created, assigning three points will easily translate the participation grade to the three levels of participation:

  • 3/3 = HIgh
  • 2/3 = Moderate
  • 1/3 = Low

One the schema has been applied to the Participation assignment, grades will now appear within the Gradebook as "High," "Moderate," or "Low" participation when grade points are entered for each student. 

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