By default, the Total column is the External Grade column, but you can set a different column, and should if using weighted totals. It is important that the external grade is set correctly because it is shared with your student and other University personnel (e.g. advisors, academic coaches, etc.) as the student’s final grade for the course.
In the Grade Center, there must always be one grade column designated as the final grade for the course. This designation is called the External Grade Column. By default, the Total column is the External Grade, but you can set a different column, and should if using weighted totals. It is important that the external grade is set correctly because it is shared with your student and other University personnel (e.g. advisors, academic coaches, etc.) as the students’ grades for the course. Students cannot gauge their academic performance throughout the semester with an incorrect grade displayed as their final grade.
If you wish to change the External Grade, first create a new Total Column, then set it to External Grade. To set the designation, click on the downward chevron, and select “Set as External Grade”. Once a different column is set as the External Grade, the original Total column can be deleted if desired. If a course is copied, the copied external grade column remains as the external grade column.
Locations External Grades Are Posted
- UA Success – The external grade in Blackboard is the student’s “Grade Average” in UASuccess. Incorrect designation hampers student’s advisors and academic coaches from academically supporting students.
- UAConnect – Blackboard also intended that the “external grade” designation would facilitate gradebook integration with external systems, such as UAConnect, where the final course grade auto-populates the external system’s grade record. For more information, read our article, Transfer Grades from Blackboard to UAConnect.
- Outside of Individual Course but within Blackboard – (1) Report Card Module; (2) Blackboard mobile app as the “Current Grade”; (3) My Grades in the student’s blackboard profile.
The term “external grade” denotes the “grade of record,” the final course grade. In previous versions this notion did not exist, you could use either the plain total or the weighted total, or make your own column for a final grade but without having a real indication other than name that this was the final grade column. In the release 8.0 Grade Center however, complex gradebook calculations could be executed, and thus it was expected that many instructors would want to designate some other calculated column as the final grade column.