Uploading / Downloading Grade Center

Blackboard gives you the capability to download the Grade Centre. Once downloaded, you may:

1. Use this as a backup of course marks.
2. Use an external spreadsheet such as Excel for advanced functions.

In most circumstances, an external spreadsheet is not nessassary as Blackboard has all the functions you would require.


Downloading Grade Centre

To download the Grade Centre you will need to be in the Full Grade Centre of the course. Once there, a button called “Work Offline” will be located at the top right of the Grade Centre cells. Click on this and a drop down will appear with two selections, upload and download. Select “Download”.


Another screen will apprear with more options. These options allow you to tailor the downloaded Grade Centre. The screen is below. Most times you will not need to change any of the settings. For reference, the settings are explained below the image.

The options under number 1 are as follows:

Full Grade Centre Will download everything in the Grade Centre
Selected Grading Period This may not be visible. RDC at this time does not use this function.
Selected Column You can select one column to download. If comments for students were added for this collumn, you may download these also.
User Information Only First and last name, Username, Student ID, last accessed course, and if the course is available to the student will be downloaded.


The options under number 2 are as follows:

Delimiter Type:  Tab is used for Excel (and other spreadsheet programs) and Comma for other  programes that do not understand the Tab.
Include Hidden Information: Gives you the option not to download any columns that are hidden from yourself.


Click “Submit” once you have selected the needed options.

Another page will appear with the option to download the file.

The file will be saved in your downloads folder. Once the file is downloaded you may press “O.K.” to go back to the Grade Centre.


Below is an example of Grade Centre downloaded and opened in Excel. This example only shows the first row (Titles).


Using a external Spread Sheet

There are some situations uploading a spreadsheet back to Blackboard is useful, but there are conditions that you must adhere to:

  1. Blackboard creates unique titles (Column IDs) for the columns of the external spreadsheet. These titles should not be changed or removed.
  2. Do not try and create unique columns IDs for new columns. Leave the cell blank.
  3. Blackboard does not import newly created calculated columns. The column will be imported as a normal column.
  4. Any changes to a calcucated column (created by Blackboard) will not be imported into Blackboard.
  5. Save the spreadsheet back to itself (use “save”) as this will not change the file format. Using the option “save-as” causes issues with uploading back to Blackboard.


Uploading a Spread Sheet to Grade Centre

If you upload the spreadsheet back to Blackboard there are conditions that must be met for the upload to work.

  1. The spreadsheet can only be an xls or csv type file. The new xlsx does not work. The new Excel format is used for anything from Office 2007 or newer.
  2. Any newly added columns will be added to the Grade Centre as text and not numbers. This can be changed in the column options within the Grade Centre.
  3. The “Total Pts” (score) for the column will be set to zero. This will need to be changed from within the column options.

To upload to the Grade Centre you will need to be in the Full Grade Centre of the course. Once there, a button called “Work Offline” will be at the top right of the Grade Centre cells. Click on this and a drop down will appear with two selections. Upload and Download. Select “Upload”.



Next you will be presented with a new screen asking where the spreadsheet is stored and some options as to what type of file it is.


Most times you will “Browse My Computer” for the file. If you are not sure what Delimiter Type you have it is best to leave it at “Auto”. This is the default. Click Submit and Blackboard will upload your spreadsheet.


If Blackboard can’t read the file you will receive an error. If this happens please call CTL (403.356.4989) for support.


Before Blackboard adds or replaces anything in the Grade Centre you will be shown a screen simalar to the one below.


The screen shows you the differences between the Grade Centre and what will be changed (blue arrows). From the example above you can see that there was a change to a column and a new column created with numbers. When “Submit” is clicked, these changes will be implemented into the Grade Centre. Since the column “Lab #1” was originally created in Blackboard the number 6 will be added to the column. The column “Participation” was created outside Blackboard so Blackboard will create a new column with the same name but will add the scores as text. Once you are back in the Grade Centre and go into the “column options” of “Participation”  you will see:


It can be seen that the Primary Display is “Text” and the Points Possible is “0”. To allow this column in calculations change the Primary Display to either “score” or “percentage” and include a “Points Possible”. Click submit to save the changes.

A window appears explaining what blackboard will do with the points possible

Click “O.K” and the column will be converted and will be available to calculations.

You have successfully uploaded a changed spreadsheet into the Grade Centre.


More Information

At Blackboard’s Website: Uploading or Downloading Grade Centre Items for Working Offline

Blackboard YouTube Video:


Version: Bb 9.1 SP13: 2015:01:15