We all know and love the full Grade Center spreadsheet, with its long horizontal layout, right? Well, not always. Sometimes we need an efficient way to gather data (or enter data) from the Grade Center. Once you've got this easily accessible information, you can easily communicate with students. This post will review Smartviews and Column Sorting -- two techniques you can use to master the Grade Center.
Smartviews are simply filters -- they enable you to see specific grade center information based on criteria you designate.
Blackboard has some default Smartviews already added to the system. Have a look at your Control Panel under Full Grade Center. Ever wonder what the Assignments and Tests links were? They're Smartviews.
Clicking Assignments will show you all columns in the "Assignment" category, and tests will show you all columns in the "Test" category. The reason these are listed on the Control Panel is that they are marked as Favorite Smartviews.
Hang On..... you need some background information here!
What's a category? Bb creates a category for each of its tools. When you create an Assignment, Test, Journal, Blog, Wiki or Discussion Board -- Bb will automatically add it to its category. So, Bb Assignments are all added to the Assignment Category etc.
And Now....Back to Smartviews: View a Smartview
There are three ways to access Smartviews!
2. Access the Full Grade Center, and click the Manage button. From the menu, select Smartviews. Click on a Smartview to open it.
3. Click the Filter button on the right side of Full Grade Center. Use the "Current View" drop menu to select the Smartview you would like to see. This is also the way to get back to the Full Grade Center view when you're finished viewing.
The Smartviews List
Notice some Smartviews are marked as "System" -- these are the ones that Bb generates for each of its tools. Other Smartviews are maked as "Custom." These are smartviews you create. Finally, notice the "star" icon in the column on the far right. You can click on a Smartview to make it a favorite. Favorites show up on the Control Panel! From the Smartviews screen, click on a Smartview to open it.
From the Smartviews screen you can Create a new Smartview, delete a Smartview, or "Favorite" a Smartview. Hover your mouse over a specific Smartview and access the drop menu in order to edit or copy the Smartview.
Let's take a look at the Assignment Smartview:
Here, I can see all of the Assignment columns for all of my students. With just these columns visible, it's easier to add grades or to sort the columns to see who has completed assignments etc., (more on sorting later in this post).
How to Create a Custom Smartview:
From the Smartviews listing, click Create Smartview. Name your Smartview, and determine if you want it to be a favorite. Next, set up the "Criteria" for your new smartview. Smartviews may be set up based on Groups, Performance, Users, Category/Status or Custom.
I'd like to see grades of students who score a 7 or below the Report5 assignment. The image below shows the Smartview options I've selected.
Once the Smartview has been created, I can click on the Report5 link on the Control Panel. Now, the Report5 column for students who have scoreed below a 7 on this assignment appears. I can easily send these students an email notifying them of their performance.
Take me Back!
To go back to viewing the Full Grade Center, click the Filter button on the right side of Full Grade Center. Use the "Current View" drop menu to select Full Grade Center.
Sorting your Grade Center Columns
Sorting your grade center columns allows you to order or re-order the information in a column. Simply clicking on a column heading will sort the column. Any column in the Full Grade Center can be sorted.
For example, let's sort the Last Name column. Now students will appear in alphabetical order:
The yellow triangle at the top of the column indicates if I'm sorting in an Ascending or Descending fashion. Click the Column Heading to change between the Ascending and Descending views.
You can sort ANY column in the Full Grade Center this way.
For example, let's sort one of the Assignment columns:
The image below shows the WK3 Assignment scores arranged from highest to lowest. The bottom of the column shows students who have no score at all.
And the Next Step -- Communication:Send email to students via the Grade Center's email tool. Simply check the students to whom you would like to send an email, and click the "Email" button at the top of the Grade Center spread sheet, select "Email Selected Users." Type your message and click Submit.
Mix and Match:
This post has reviewed Smartviews and Column Sorting. You can combine both techniques to better see and understand Grade Center information.