The Blackboard Grade Center can be a powerful tool to manage the grades in your course, and to stay on top of students that may need a little extra help. Color coding the Grade Center provides a way to indicate high or low scores, or a particular status of a grade. Based on the colors, an instructor can quickly see students who are in need of assistance in the course or indicate an assessment that students are struggling with. It can be especially useful in courses with a large number of students.

Setting Up Color Coding

To get started with color coding, go to the Manage menu in Grade Center and select Grading Color Codes. Check the box Enable Grading Color Codes.
color code information choice

You can select the color from the drop down color swatch for each grading status (In Progress, Needs Grading, or Exempt).

To set up color codes based on Grade Ranges, click on the Add Criteria button to start. Select the criteria and set the percentage(s) for the criteria. Then select background and text color. You cannot apply multiple colors for the same criteria or grade status.

Repeat these steps to add different criteria. See an example below:

Add color codes by grade ranges inside of Blackboard

Click Submit when finished. You will be taken back to the Grade Center where the color coding takes effect immediately.

Resulting view of grade center with color coded grades

In the example above, the red column cells indicate a lower grade. This can indicate a student who may need assistance in the course. If a column seems to have a lot of red cells, it may indicate that students are struggling with that particular assessment.

Color coding applies to every column in the Grade Center, including automatically created columns for assessments, manual columns, and total columns. Once color coding is setup, you can toggle the color coding on/off with the button Hide Color Coding on the top right of the Grade Center. You may also go back into the setup page to edit or remove any color coding you set up.

Managing the Blackboard Grade Center can be a challenge with many grade columns or large enrollments courses. For one-on-one assistance, visit one of our Open Lab sessions. See the full event calendar.

More Information

For more information, check out Blackboard’s Help Center:  Color Code the Grade Data


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Chris Beks

Chris Beks is an instructional designer, technology enthusiast, and Certified Blackboard Trainer with 15 years experience in higher education and technology. He is a seasonal peony farmer and lives in North Pole, Alaska.