Blackboard: Pulling Grades into Excel

Blackboard Logo

So you’ve been entering your student grades into the Blackboard Grade Center all semester long, and now it’s time to post their final grades for the semester. However, you’d prefer to pull the grades out of Blackboard and into a spreadsheet program like Excel. (Perhaps you are more comfortable in Excel, or perhaps you want to use more complex grade weighting then the Grade Center can provide.)

It’s actually very simple to get your student grades out of the Grade Center. First, of course, go into your course and navigate to the Full Grade Center. Then, in the upper right corner of the screen, open the Work Offline menu and click the Download entry, as shown below.

Work Offline | Download

On the next screen you’ll be asked for details on exactly what you want do download from your Grade Center. The default behavior is to save everything that is visible in the main grade grid view, so if that’s what you want then go ahead and hit the Submit button. If, on the other hand, you want just a Selected Column, or if you want to Include Hidden Information (useful if you hide your Grade Center columns), then you would choose the appropriate radio buttons. There is a question as to the Delimiter Type, with a choice of Comma or Tab separated values. Virtually every spreadsheet program will be able to read either of those types, so it probably doesn’t matter which you choose.

Once you’ve submitted your choices, the system should think to itself for a moment and then present you with a page containing a DOWNLOAD button. Click that, and save the file onto your own computer. Then go into your spreadsheet program and open that file; Excel usually complains about the file format not matching the file extension, but just tell it to go ahead and open the file and it shouldn’t give you any further trouble.

Oh, by the way, if you need to refer to the student ID numbers once you’ve pulled them into Excel, be aware that the ever-helpful program does truncate any leading zeros from numbers, so the list of student ID numbers is technically incomplete as student IDs (at least for now) all start with at least one zero. It probably doesn’t matter to anyone, but… now you know.

Bear in mind that there is no requirement to open up that file in a spreadsheet program if you don’t want to. The downloaded file is also useful as a backup of all the grades from your course. Between that and making a Course Archive, you’ll have a good backup of your course.