Weighting Grades in Blackboard Grade Center

The Weighted Total column provided in Blackboard’s Grade Center can be used to assign weighting factors to items.

There are three options that can be used:

  • Weight grades by categories only (PDF instructions)
  • Weight grades by columns only (PDF instructions)
  • Weight grades by using combination of categories and columns

It is suggested that you use the weight by CATEGORY option.

What is a Category?

A Grade Center Category is a classification of Grade Center Columns. The Grade Center includes default Categories already created such as Assignment, Blog, Discussion, Journal, Self and Peer, Survey, and Test that cannot be removed or edited.

When you set up an assessment and indicate to include in the Grade Center, if it falls within any of the above areas, it is assigned to that category.

You can also create a new Category (such as Quiz; Labs etc.) that you can associate a column with and that can be edited or removed.

How do I get started with using weighting in Blackboard?

First you need to review the course syllabus and determine the weighting to be assigned using an example:

Assignments/Points As Listed in Course Syllabus

Points Values     Weighted Values
**Quizzes 15 at 30 pts 450 pts 45%
*Discussion 16 at 20 pts 320 pts 32%
**Case Studies   4 at 25 pts 100 pts 10%
**Final   130 pts 13%
Total   1000 pts  
*Discussion is default category in Grade Center, **Quizzes, Case Studies and Final categories need to be created

To Create Categories in Blackboard

Go to Control Panel, Grade Center, Full Grade Center, Manage, Categories. Need to first create the following categories: Quizzes, Case Studies and Final (Discussion is already a category in Blackboard)

Select Create Category, type in Name (Quizzes); can type a Description (optional); then click Submit. Repeat to create other needed categories.


When you add an assignment for the Quiz or the Case Study the category will assign to the Blackboard default category (Assignment/Test). To ensure that the correct category displays assign the column(s) to desired categories by: 

Go to Grade Center, select Manage, Column Organization. Place check marks next to each of the items and select Change Categories and then select Submit

Set up the Weighted Total by Category:

Click chevron to the right of Weighted Total column and select Edit Column Information. Under Option #3: Categories to Select

  • Select the category Quizzes; click > to move the column to the right side; type in the weight factor 45
    (if any selected in error, click the red x next to the selection to remove)
  • Select the category Case Studies; click > to move the column to the right side; type in the weight factor 10
  • Select the category Discussion; click > to move the column to the right side; type in the weight factor 32
  • Select the category Final; click > to move the column to the right side; type in the weight factor 13

Verify -  weight total should = 100%

Calculate as Running Total? Yes/No

  • YES – Selecting Yes will not penalize students if they miss one assignment for instance. The weighting total will not count the missed item. The weighting will only calculate the items the student completes
  • NO –Counts any missing or blank grades as a 0 and includes in weighting total

Options: select Yes/No option for: Include in Grade Center Calculations; Show Column to Students; and Show Statistics

Click Submit