Gradebook (Ultra) - Frequently Asked Questions

In Ultra Course View, how do I calculate the Overall Grade based on points?

In Ultra Course View, the Overall Grade only offers a weighted calculation at this time. There are 2 potential workarounds that you can use so that your overall grade is calculated based on points.

Convert Points to a Weight and Use the Overall Grade Column

Set up the Overall Grade using individual item weights instead of category weights. For each assessment in your course, divide the points possible for that assessment by the total points possible for the course and multiply by 100 to convert to a percentage. Then, use that for the weight for that assessment. For example, if you have a 50 point assignment and there are 500 total points in the course, 50/500 = .05, or 5%. Repeat this step for each assessment, and make sure the total of all the weights is 100%.

Create a Calculated Total Column and Set the Overall Grade Column to Only Be Based On That Total

In the Gradebook, hover your mouse over the existing items and click the plus (+) sign. From the drop down menu, click Add Calculation. Provide a Name for this calculation (like "Total"). In the Functions and Variables area, click Total. Click Total again on the right side of the screen, and select all of the categories or individual assessments to include in the total. Click the Save button.

Then, you can set up your Overall Grade using individual item weights, but with 100% as the weight on the Total you just created. Click the Exempt symbol (circle with a slash) to remove all other items from the calculation and then click the Save button.

How do I drop a grade (such as the lowest quiz grade) from my Gradebook in the Ultra Course View?

The Original Course View has the option to drop one or more grades when you include a category in your Total or Weighted Total calculations. This feature is not yet available in the Ultra Course View, although it is planned for future development. In the meantime, you can create a calculation as a workaround to drop one lowest grade from a category.

First, ensure that all of the graded items to be compared are in the same category, and that there are no other items in that category. For example, if you are dropping the lowest quiz grade, you need to be sure that all of the quizzes are in the same category and that there isn't a test or other assignment in that category. The easiest way to verify this is to switch the Gradebook to the Grid View (click the grid icon below the word Gradebook) and then use the search field in the upper right to search for the category by name. This will filter the list of columns to only those in that category. To edit any grade items that are in the wrong category, click the column header and then click Edit.

The next step is to create a calculation that will drop the lowest grade in the category:

  1. Hover your cursor between two grade items and click the plus icon that appears
  2. Name your calculation (e.g., Quiz Total)
  3. Select how you want the grade to be displayed in the schema (e.g., points or percentage)
  4. Make the calculation visible to students (optional)
  5. Type a description (optional)
  6. Create the formula to drop the lowest score
    • Under Functions and Variables, click Total
    • Click the Total box in the formula to select the category you are using (this will calculate a total of every column in the category)
    • Under Operators, click Subtract
    • Under Functions and Variables, click Minimum
    • Click the Min box in the formula to select the category you are using (this will subtract the lowest grade in the category from the category total)
  7. Click the Submit button

Once your calculation is set up to drop the lowest grade, you can modify your Overall Grade to use the calculation instead of the category or individual items. Note: This workaround cannot be used to drop more than one lowest grade.

Answers to questions about the Blackboard Original Grade Center are available here.

Looking for More Answers?

Ask Your Blackboard Question

Not finding the answer to your Blackboard question? Submit your question to our NIU Blackboard support experts!

Ask A Blackboard Question

Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk


Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning


Back to top