I am using Blackboard Learning 8.0 - perhaps soon to upgrade to 9.0.
Currently, the way grades are handled in Blackboard where I work is that the gradecenter functions as gradebook - rather than manually keeping track of the grades, I can do it online - much like an excel sheet.
However, when the final grades have been posted, the process at the college I work for still requires professors to fill out a paper sheet indicating students' grades, walk that sheet to the registrar's office, at which point the registrar reenters them manually into his grading system.
What I am trying to do is eliminate at least one of these steps, on my end. Is there a way that I can have the grades manually sent via email to the registrar's office? Can this type of process be supported in 8.0 or 9.0?
Thanks for your help!
How sophisticated are you hoping to get in terms of automating the grade submission process, and how much is the Registrar willing to work with you in updating that process?
As it stands, you could simply export the final grades from the grade center to a spreadsheet (under "Manage >> Download" in 8.0, or "Work Offline >> Download" in 9.0) and email the file to the Registrar. That would require that the Registrar accept grades in that format, of course, so you would have to discuss it with them. There's no built-in tool for "automatically" exporting to a spreadsheet and emailing them to the Registrar all in one step.
Some schools have developed Blackboard building blocks to allow instructors to submit grades directly from the Blackboard Grade Center into their school's SIS system. Those types of tools are typically developed and configured for a specific SIS system, though, and require integration between the Blackboard and SIS/grading systems. That seems like a big step from what your school is doing, since they still require paper submissions and manual grade entry by the Registrar at this point!
As Mike suggests you would have to create/program a building block for that. The other factor to keep in mind is FERPA. You do not want grades and accompanying student identification flying through email that is not secure. Email by nature is not encrypted and many email systems are set up to allow non secure clients the ability to access them. Perhaps you are already aware.
The better way would be to have a script that extracts the grades and puts them somewhere in a secure area that the registrar can log into and grab.
We are on Bb Vista 8 and integrated with Banner, so faculty visit the gradebook in Bb and click a button to send the grades back to Banner. Makes it really nice.
Thank you both for your responses. Both of these options (spreadsheet and Banner) are definitely worth looking into. This falls somewhat outside of what I am doing on a daily basis, but I am going to see if I can convince the ID dept to explore some of these options.
Kevin your point about emailing and security was something I had not considered. What is Banner? Can you point me towards a website so I can get some purchasing specs?
And yes, Michael, this would be a big step from the paper submissions! Trying to get us up-to-speed since the technology is out there and paper submissions are a bit out-dated...
Banner is a Student Information System, (registration, scheduling, payment, financial aide etc)
There are other vendors as well, like Datatel, PeopleSoft, etc.
You will have to call a rep to get pricing. It is not an off the shelf solution and probably requires professional services to get operating.
I am a system's analyst at Algonquin College and I have been tasked with integrating Blackboard to our homegrown SIS. Would you know what colleges have developed the integration packages that you talk in your post?
The main one I know about offhand is the University of South Florida. They did a presentation at the BB Developer's Conference in 2005, which is posted here:
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