Set Up Your Grade Center in myLesley

Setting up the myLesley Grade Center is not always the most intuitive thing. However, with a little bit of thought, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Step 1: Create Your Plan

The first mistake most people make is they start in the Grade Center. Going into the Grade Center is usually the last step. If you try to set it up piecemeal, you will inevitably miss a step or forget what you entered somewhere and then before you know it, you’re lost.

The first step is to grab you syllabus, list out your assignments and grading scale, and make a plan. Watch the video below to see an example.


Step 2: Create Your Content & Assignments

The next step is to create my content in Blackboard, assuming I haven’t already done this. I’ve already created most of my content, but I still need to create the Final Project assignment. This video from Blackboard shows me exactly how to create an Assignment so my students can submit their work and I can grade and provide feedback.

Need to create graded discussions? Review how to create discussion forums on our support page.


Step 3: Create Grade Columns

Now that I have created all of my content and assignments, I can finally go to the Grade Center and finish setting things up.


Step 4: Calculated Grade Columns

Decisions, decisions… Total column or Weighted Total?

See our support article on Calculated Grade Columns for step-by-step instructions.


Step 5: Organize Your Grade Columns

All the grade columns are set up and ready to go, but Blackboard has them organized based on the order they were created. This might not be the ideal set up for you. So change it.

View Blackboard’s video tutorial on customizing your Grade Center view for more information.


Additional Resources

Your grade center is now set up and ready to go, but there’s always more to know and more scenarios for set up. Check out these resources below or email for assistance.

myLesley Grade Center and Grading
Advanced myLesley Grade Center and Grading

Grading myLesley Assignments
myLesley Rubrics
myLesley Faculty Resources


Grading Offline This Winter Break

During the upcoming winter break myLesley will transition to a SaaS environment and upgrade to the latest version of Blackboard (Q4 2017). The upgrade and migration to the new servers will take place from Saturday, December 30, 2017 to Wednesday, January 3, 2018. You will not have access to myLesley during this time. All other Lesley services will be available.

We highly recommend completing your grading by Friday, December 29th. However, we understand that many faculty use the winter break to do their grading. With that in mind, we have provided some resources for downloading your students’ gradable items so that you can grade offline when the server is down. The instructions include downloading student submitted assignments, collecting and printing discussions, saving blog, journal and wiki content to PDF, and downloading a copy of your Grade Center.

Please keep in mind that you must complete these steps by December 29th. You will not have access to myLesley from December 30 – January 3.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email

Grade Center Tips & Tricks

The Grade Center is a great way to keep track of your grades and provide feedback to your students online, but it can seem cumbersome when you first start using it. Below are a few tricks for getting around more smoothly. You can gain access to your grade center by clicking on the link located in the class menu.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.45.31 AM
Be Sure to View the Icon Legend

The Grade Center uses several icons to indicate the status of a student’s submitted work. To review the meanings of these items click the “Icon Legend” button located in the bottom right-hand corner of the main Grade Center view.


How-To Organize and Re-Arrange Your Columns

When you create new grading columns, the Grade Center always places them at the end of your view. You can rearrange them based on due date or type of assignment to more easily find the grade column you’re looking for. This will also assist students in quickly locating their graded work in an orderly fashion.

To reorder your columns, click on Manage in the toolbar and then Column Organization.

manage menu

Your columns will be displayed in rows. Click on the small move icon at the beginning of the row and drag the row to your preferred location. Drag rows that you would like to be frozen above the gray row. These will remain fixed in place at the beginning of the Grade Center as you scroll through the columns. Note: Most faculty find having the student’s name frozen to be very helpful.

organize columns

Hide Columns You Don’t Need

You probably don’t need the Availability column or the Student ID column. They’re just taking up valuable visual real estate on your screen. Hide these from your view by clicking on the column menu and selecting Hide Column. Be aware that this does not hide the column from your students’ view in My Grades.

To hide a column from your students, select Show/Hide to Users from the column menu. The column title area will display a dark gray circle with a red bar  through it to indicate that it is hidden from the class.

show hide users

Use the Built-in Navigation Tools

Tired of clicking into an assignment and then back out to the main Grade Center and then into the next student’s assignment over and over again? Use the navigation options at the top of the Grade Details area. Click the forward and back arrows to go to another student or grade column.

navigating grade details

To access Grade Details, click on the menu icon in a grade cell and choose View Grade Details.

View grade details

Additional information about using and successfully navigating the Grade Center is available on our resources website.

Getting Familiar with Inline Grading

Did you know that myLesley has a new way to grade assignments? It’s called inline grading. Inline grading greatly streamlines the old grading process and best of all – it saves you time!

What is Inline Grading?

Inline grading allows instructors to view and grade submitted assignments directly in myLesley. You no longer need to download your students’ assignments to your computer to assess their work. Now you can view, annotate, and grade student work directly in your myLesley course.


How Does it Work?

When you access a student’s submission in the Grade Center, myLesley will automatically load a preview of the submitted document. Simply click on the Comment button to open the annotation tools and interface.

annotation sample

Within the new grading interface you can create notes on specific areas of the document by highlighting sections of text and using the Comment button. The pencil tool can be used to draw in a freeform manner on the document as you might with a paper and pen offline.

Click on the Assignment Details link in the right-hand sidebar to reference the assignment requirements. If you use the Rubric tool, you can access and use your rubric from the Attempt section.

If you wish to provide additional suggestions or notes outside of the submitted document, type your message to the student in the Grader Feedback area.


Once you have finished grading your student’s submission, you have the option of downloading a PDF version (with all your newly created annotations) which you can save for your records.

Inline grading works with PDF’s, Word documents, Powerpoints and Excel files. If a student submits a different type of file such as an image file, you will be prompted to download the file to your computer exactly as you have done in the past.

What Does This Mean For My Students?

Students can also view their annotated and graded assignment directly in myLesley. Their view is very similar to the instructor’s interface. Students can also view any additional feedback you may have provided and download the annotated PDF with all of your comments to save for their records.

Please note that there are no changes to the way students submit their assignments. Also, as before, they can view and retrieve their graded assignments in one of two ways: by going back to the original assignment location or by accessing the MyGrades area.

How Can I Learn More?

For more information on how to use inline grading in myLesley, check out this overview or view the video tutorial.