Curving grades, in essence, involves adjusting the scores of a graded item to fit a predetermined distribution. This is often used to mitigate the effects of an unusually difficult test or assignment or to standardize grades in a course with a large number of students. The goal is to ensure that a certain percentage of students receive each grade, which can help to normalize the results and provide a more accurate reflection of student performance.
From time to time, students’ performance is not as well as expected and instructors may modify their grades by curving their results. This is achieved by adding the same number of points to each student in the class. “A common method: Find the difference between the highest grade in the class and the highest possible score and add that many points.” According to Curve Grades, Blackboard.com.
There are two methods to do this in the system.
Manually type in the new grade in Blackboard Grade Center column for each student by overriding the old grades.
- In Full Grade Center view, access the Work Offline menu and select Download.
- On the Download Grades page in the Data section, choose Selected Column. Select the name of the column from the menu.
- In the Options section, set the Delimiter Type to Tab.
- In the Save Location section, select My Computer.
- Select Submit.
- Select Download. In the pop-up window, select Save File and select OK. Note the file name and location. If the file automatically saves to your Downloads folder, you can move it to a different folder and rename it.
- Return to your course’s Grade Center and access the Work Offline menu and select Upload.
- Select Browse My Computer and open the XLS file you saved in Excel.
- Set the Delimiter Type to Auto.
- Select Submit.
- On the Upload Grades Confirmation page, notice that the original column has no data updates and your new column is listed for uploading. Select Submit.
- Scroll to the far right side of the Grade Center grid to view the newly uploaded column. By default, the new column is shown to students in My Grades and included in Grade Center calculations, such as the total column.
- By default, the new column’s Points Possible is set to zero. Access the column header’s menu and select Edit Column Information. Type a new value for Points Possible and select Submit.
- The Points Possible value must be equal to the points possible from the original test. If you use percentages, the points possible must equal 100.
- Change the settings for the original test column so that it is NOT included in the total column’s calculations and NOT viewable by students. Access the original test column’s menu and select Edit Column Information.
- On the Edit Column page in the Options section, select No for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations -AND- select No for Show this Column to Students. Select OK in the pop-up window that verifies that you want to exclude the column from calculations.