Category Archives: Scores and reports

Batch regrading

It is possible to regrade a test after it has taken place through the Blackboard interface. This is particularly useful if the answer key for a question was set incorrectly, or if a question needs to be withdrawn.We recommend creating a backup of the course first:

Click Packages and Utilities, Export and Archive and wait until you get an email from the system to tell you it is ready. If you did need to get the original data, ISS could help you using the backup.

To regrade the questions, identify the question that needs to be amended in the test canvas. When you make the amendment you will be given the option to “submit and update attempts” – choosing this option will automatically re-grade all of the attempts in light of this amendment.

See separate post on grading free text questions.

Regrading questions individually

If a question needs to be removed or the answer key changed and regraded for all students who have taken a test, you can do this by editing the test and regrading (separate post).

It is possible to manually regrade a question for each student. This is particularly useful if you have used text entry questions (e.g. fill in the blank). For fill in the blank questions, you may just want to focus on the students who have submitted answers that are marked as incorrect and think about updating the test for the following year to account for different spellings etc.The 2013/2014 version will have wildcard features to make things easier.

To regrade a question:

  1. Go to the module/organisation in Blackboard and click Grade Centre, then Full Grade Centre under Control Panel. 
  2. Find the column for your exam/test. You may need to scroll to the right to find it.
  3. Use the drop down menu on the Column Header for your exam to access the Grade Questions feature.
  4. You will see a list of the questions. Click the response number on the right hand side to start grading that question.
  5. You can choose to regrade anonymously by ticking the box at the top left. Click Edit next to any given answer to make the change.

Student advice: Checking your score and viewing feedback

For OLAF Exams the scores are not released immediately after the exam.

Once the school decides to release the scores (and feedback if applicable) they should follow the steps below.


Student guide to accessing the score:

  1. Go to any computer with Internet access.
  2. Go to
  3. Log in with your Newcastle University username and password.
  4. On the first screen that you come to after logging in (My Institution), click My Grades (under Tools)
  5. In My Grades, select the module for the exam you have taken.
  6. Find the row showing the grade for the exam. (If the test was an OLAF exam the exam name will include the word OLAF and the date the exam took place).
Image of My Grades screen
Click on the image to view full size

Student guide to viewing feedback:

In some cases, particularly practice tests, you can click the score and see more specific feedback.  Your tutor will let you know if this is available for your test.

  1. Click on the name of the test in the My Grades screen (see image above).
  2. In the View Attempts screen click on the grade
Image of View Attempts screen
Click on the image to view full size

Different types of feedback available are different for different tests.  Your feedback may include some or all of the following:

  • Your score for each question
  • Your answer, marked with a green tick if it is correct, or with a red cross if it is incorrect
  • The answer options, with a green tick next to the correct answer or answers
  • Feedback from the instructor about your answer

You can see examples of each of these types of feedback in the image below:

Image of example feedback types
Click on the image to view full size


Checking scores and post exam reports


To see the scores:

  1. Click ‘Grade Centre’ in the Control Panel (bottom left of the screen).
  2. Choose ‘Tests‘.
  3. Scroll to the right until you see the column for the exam. You can hover over the column headers to see the test’s full name.
  4. Scroll down to see individual student scores.
  5. Click a cell and choose View attempts to see an individual student’s answers.

To save the scores to a spreadsheet (CSV file)

  1. From the Grade Centre, click Work offline (near top right) and then Download. 
  2. Choose selected column and then find the column for the exam form the drop-down list.
  3. Where it says delimiter type, choose Comma. 
  4. Scroll down and click Submit. 


There are a number of reports built into Blackboard. Some do not work for exams with randomised question sets.

Attempts report

This report is helpful to check immediately after the exam to ensure the questions and answer key were correct. To see the Attempts report:

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu.
  2. Click Attempt statistics. 

Please note, this report may take a while to process.

The report will appear onscreen. Scroll down to see each questions, and the percentage of students that choose each answer. If you find that a large number of students have chosen the wrong answer, you might want to check the question is correct.  It is possible to re-score a question or test.  Get in touch with OLAF Admin if you need to do this.

Other settings/reports.

General statistics

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu
  2. Click Column statistics.

This will display score distributions and averages.

Setting the column to display a percentage instead of  a raw score

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu.
  2. Click Edit Column settings. 
  3. Change the primary display to percentage.
  4. You can also change the secondary display to score if you want to see both. The secondary display appears in brackets.

Hiding/unhiding scores and feedback

Sometimes it is appropriate to show students the results of their test, and possibly even feedback on each question, through Blackboard. If using this, please inform students whether the mark is final or provisional. We recommend viewing the Attempt Statistics report where possible to ensure the test looks correct.

Note: Whichever method you use, students will only see their own scores/feedback.

To reveal/hide the score in Grade Centre:

1. Log into the course.
2. Under Control Panel, click Grade Centre, then Full Grade Centre.
3. Scroll to the right to find the column for your test. Hover over the headers to see the full name.
4. Use the drop down menu to see the options. Click show/hide to users

This will allow students to see the scores by going to My Grades on the first page they come to after logging into Blackboard.

Displaying individual questions, answer and feedback.

These settings are under the test options.

  1. In the Module/Organisation, go to the area where the test was set (e.g. for OLAF exams the OLAF Admin area).
  2. Hover over the name of the test and click the downward pointing arrow that appears.
  3. Choose Edit test settings. 
  4. Scroll down to the section on feedback and tick the boxes as required. (click on image to see the details of the options available to you)


Students can either return to this area and click the name of the assessment again to then find the option to view feedback, or find it through My Grades on the My Institution page they see when first logging into Blackboard.

Releasing Scores and feedback to students

To release the scores so that students can access their results from My Grades (in the My Institution page after login):

  1. Click Grade Centre and Tests.
  2. Click the column for the exam (you may have to scroll to the right). Use the drop down arrow to see the options.
  3. Click Show/Hide to Users.

If you are happy to release the exam questions and answers and therefore write new questions next year:

In addition to the above-

  1. Within your Blackboard module, find the exam the students sat. This is likely to be in an area in the left hand menu called OLAF Admin.The assessment title will include the word OLAF and the date of the exams.
  2. Click the drop down menu and click Edit Test Options.
  3. Scroll down to Section 5. TEST FEEDBACK and select the options for score, submitted answer, correct answer and feedback as appropriate.
  4. Click Submit

Students will then be able to access this feedback through My Grades on the first page after logging in. You may wish to communicate with them via email to let them know.

‘Attempt in Progress’ icon in grade centre

Why this happens:

After you have run a Blackboard test or an OLAF exam that is automatically marked, the students’ grades appear in the grade centre as soon as they press the ‘Save and Submit’ button at the end of the test.  If a student forgets to press the button, instead of their grade in the grade centre you will see an ‘attempt in progress’ icon of a blue clock.   An example of this is shown below:

Gradecentre attempt in progress

To override this you can submit the attempt on behalf of the student.


To submit a test attempt on behalf of a student:

1. Hover your mouse over the grade centre cell with the attempt in progress icon, and click on the dropdown arrow.  Click on ‘Attempt’, as shown below:

Gradecentre click on attempt

2. The student’s attempt will open.  Click on the arrow at the right of the ‘Test Information’ bar to expand it.

3. The Status will show ‘In Progress’.  Click on the ‘Submit Attempt’ button, circled in the example below:

Expand test info, submit attempt button

4. A popup will appear asking you to confirm that you want to submit the attempt on behalf of the student.  Click OK.

5. The Status will now show ‘Completed’.  Either click ‘Exit’ to return to the grade centre, or use the left and right arrows on either side of the student’s name near the top of the screen to scroll to the next student’s attempt.

New Item analysis tool

See also the video guide from Blackboard on Demand

Item analysis tool Blackboard guide pages

Use this:

  • Immediately after an exam to highlight questions that need checking for errors
  • Before updating the exam for the following year to check for errors and assess how difficult your questions are and how well individual questions discriminate between high and low performers

To run an item analysis report:

  1. Go to the module and the Grade Centre (‘Tests‘ or ‘Full Grade Centre’).
  2. Find the column relating to your exam/test
  3. Click the column header and access the drop down menu to find ‘Item Analysis
  4. Select the test and click Run. It may take a while depending on the complexity of the exam, numbers of examinees and the load on the system. You will see a message telling you that the report is running. You can check back later.
  5. When the analysis has run, you will be able to select it from the list.

Interpreting the report

A summary at the top of the page shows you how many questions are good discriminators (distinguish between low and  high scoring students on the test overall). It also shows you the number of Easy, Medium and Hard questions.

Further down, you can see Discrimination and Difficulty scores for the individual questions. It also indicates questions that may need to be reviewed. See the key on the page.

Questions marked with a red dot have poor discrimination scores and/or easy or hard difficulty values. Click the blue question text to get more info on that individual question.

  • A higher discrimination score number suggests a question is a good discriminator. A low or negative score is a poor discriminator
  • The higher the difficulty score, the ‘easier’ the question was for the students taking the test

Click Edit Test to make a change to the question. If you change the correct answer, you can then ‘Re score’ the test. This will make the change for future tests as well.
See also the video guide from Blackboard on Demand

Item analysis tool Blackboard guide page


Question Item Analysis

After we have upgraded Blackboard in early August of 2013 (3rd and 4th), there will be several new and useful features that teaching and administrative support staff will be able to use. In general terms the reporting features have been improved greatly but one specific feature relating to the OLAF service that colleagues need to know about is the Item Analysis feature. Here is a YouTube clip from Blackboard TV explaining how it operates.

Transferring scores from Blackboard to NESS

To save the scores to a spreadsheet (csv file)

Note: It is much easier to transfer the scores if NESS is set up so that you can transfer the raw score. In other words, if the test is out of 55, set up the field in NESS  (in Exams>Setting>>Set Up Assessment)  to be out of 55. You can then download and import the raw score from Blackboard.

  1. Go to Grade Centre then Tests (or Full Grade Centre or other types of assessment).
  2. If necessary change the score to display as a score rather than as a percentage by selecting Edit Column Information from the drop-down menu on the column and change the Primary display to Score.  You can set the secondary display to percentage if you like without affecting the upload to NESS.
  3. Click Work offline (near top right) and then Download.

Choose selected column and then find the column for the exam form the drop-down list:

  1. Where it says Delimiter type, choose Comma. 
  2. Scroll down and click Submit.
  3. If you  have downloaded percentages, you may need to remove the percentage sign from the spreadsheet before upload into NESS. This is tricky to do so we would recommend setting NESS up to take the raw score (see note at top of page).

Upload into NESS

The following is from the NESS manual and explains how to upload into NESS

Exam Mark Entry – Upload Exam Marks


Side Menu drop down area>>Choose a MODULE CODE


Please be very careful about ticking: Register Students if Needed box as some students may have attended who are not actually taking the module. Only tick this if you are sure the extra student should be on the module.

The data in your file must be either Tab or Comma Separated and lines terminated with newline; you should select the appropriate option for Tab or Comma Separated, depending on the file type. In the Student No Index box enter the column number on your spreadsheet where the Student Number is and in the Written Examination 1 Mark box enter the column number where the mark is for the exam mark. Leave the other boxes blank. Then Browse for the file where your marks are stored and click Upload. There is a no store check box which should be used if you want to check before you store.

If you have set up the exam paper with separate questions you will not have the Written Examination 1 Mark box you will have Written Examination 1 Question 1 Mark Index etc. in which to enter column numbers (there will be a box for each question you have set up).