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Topic Overview

Weighted Column calculates and displays a grade for a selected number of Columns based upon each column's respective worth of the total grade. Columns with text as the primary display cannot be displayed as a weighted grade.

Weighted Total Column

A Weighted Column can include the following options:

  • All Grade Columns: All Grade Columns added to the Grade Center.
  • All Grade Columns in Grading Period: All Grade Columns that have been
  • added to a Grading Period.
  • Selected Grade Columns: Any individual Grade Columns.
  • Selected Categories: Any or all Categories. Columns in Categories that are set to not be included in Grade Center calculations are ignored.

Weighted Column Examples

Quarterly Grade Example:
(Quiz = 20%) + (Homework = 10%) + (Participation = 20%) + (Exam = 50%) = (Quarter Grade)

Final Grade Example:
An Instructor may create a Weighted Grade that is the final grade, with the quarters included in the Weighted Grade. Instructors can create any number of Weighted Grade columns, including Weighted Grade columns that include other Weighted Grade columns. For example: (Quarter 1 = 25%) + (Quarter 2 = 25%) + (Quarter 3 = 25%) + (Quarter 4 = 25%) = (Year Grade)

Adding a Weighted Grade Column

Calculated columns display results from a combination of columns. Examples: Average Scores, Minimum/Maximum, Weighted Total, and Total. Calculated columns can be made visible to the students or just the instructor, TAs, graders. Weighted grade is a calculated column that displays the calculated result of quantities of various assessment items making up the final grade of the course. It is usually displayed as a percentage.

5 quizzes (20% of final grade)
4 Labs (45% of final grade)
Mid-term exam (10% of final grade)
Final project / final exam (25% of the final grade)
= 100%

  1. In the Control Panel, click on Grade Center > Full Grade Center
  2. Click on Weighted Column underneath Create Calculated Column
    Create Calculated Column Menu, Weighted Column
  3. Column Name is a required field. Column Name is displayed in the Grade Center if no Grade Center Display Name is entered. This field only displays the first 15 characters in the Column header.
  4. The Description is optional but helps Instructors and other graders identify the Column.
  5. Primary Display option displays the grade format in the Grade Center and in My Grades. Selection options include Score, Text, Percentage, Letter and Complete/Incomplete. The Secondary Display option displays the grade format in the Grade Center only. The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses.
    Display Options
    Primary and Secondary Display Example
  6. Scroll to see the rest of the form and define the weights of the various assessment items or their categories. You can weigh by individual assessment by category or assessments. Normally if you have more than one of the same kind of assessment, you weigh by category (e.g. 5 quizzes = Quizzes; 4 labs = Labs)
    Select all the categories or items to be included in the weighted column before entering the weights.

    1. Columns to Select: Lists all columns in the grade center representing graded items. Select the Column and click the arrow to add it to the weighted grade column. To remove a selected Category or Column from the calculation, click the red "X".

    2. Categories to Select: Lists all categories in the grade center. Select the category and click the arrow to add it to the weighted grade column. To remove a selected Category or Column from the calculation, click the red "X".
      Weighted Column Creation Screen
            (Diagram shows weighted column based on individual assessments)

      Grade Columns that have been set to "No" for the setting "Include this column in Grade Center Calculations" do not display in the selection list.

  7. Select Categories
    When a Category is selected, several other options appear:
    1. Select a Grading Period for the Category: Only available when Grading Periods have been created.
    2. Select how to Weight Columns within the Category:
          Equally: Applies equal value to all columns within a category.
          Proportionally: Applies the appropriate value to an assessment item based on its point value compared to other columns in the category.
    3. Drop Grades: Allows you to drop lowest of highest grades with the category. e.g. the lowest scoring of five quizzes. Alternatively, you could only use the high or low grade for the calculation.
    4. Use Only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate: Removes all grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
    5. Calculate as a Running Total: Calculates the weighted total by including only the grade columns that have been graded. Selecting No for this option includes all columns in the calculations, use zero (0) for columns that have not been graded. This can make grades appear artificially low.
      Weighted Column Creation Screen
      (Diagram shows choosing categories instead of individual assessments)

  8. Options
    1. Include this Column in Other Grade Center Calculations: Select No for this option to exclude this grade center column from calculations.
    2. Show this Column in My Grades: Select No for this option to hide this column from students in My Grades.
    3. Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column in My Grades: Select Yes for this option to show column statistics to students in My Grades.

  9. Click Submit

Sources and Relevant Links

Blackboard Grading Schema