Creating "Smart Views" for Grading Individual Sections

We have a process in place (called "Snapshot") that synchronizes the information between Banner and Blackboard, so that a Blackboard course is created for every course in Banner, the appropriate instructor is added to the Blackboard course, and all enrolled students are added as well. As part of that process, "merged" versions of courses are created when a faculty member is teaching more than one section of the same course, and a merged, cross-listed course is created when two departmental courses are linked in Banner (for example, a History course that is cross-listed with an East Asian Studies course). We can also create "custom" merged courses, so that (for example) all the sections of a large science lecture (or lab) course can be combined into a single course. The advantage of a "merged" course is that all the students of the individual sections have access to the course, and you can put all your course materials into that one place, rather than having to upload them into multiple individual sections.

The main disadvantage of a merged course is that since all the students are enrolled in that course, it's hard to separate the students when trying to grade individual sections. In the Grade Center, the default view arranges students in alphabetical order, regardless of the individual section in which they are actually enrolled. From Blackboard's perspective, the merged course is just a single course with a lot of students in it.

With version 8 of the product, Blackboard added a new "Smart Views" feature that allows you to create customized sub-views of the Grade Center. You can use this feature to create a "Smart View" for each individual section in a multi-section Blackboard course (for example), allowing you to enter grades for students by section and also to view their grades section by section.

The process of creating Smart Views for individual sections actually involves two steps, which we'll describe in separate pages:

  1. Creating Groups for Individual Sections
  2. Creating Smart Views Based on Groups

Last revised September 24, 2008 .  Please send questions or comments to