How do I import grades from Blackboard to Brightspace?

In addition to course material, you can also import grades from Blackboard to Brightspace. You can do so in three steps:

  1. Download the grades from Blackboard to your computer.
  2. Edit the Excel file to make it suitable for Brightspace.
  3. Upload the grades to Brightspace.

This way of importing grades to Brightspace also works if the grades are not coming from Brightspace, but if you want to enter the grades in Excel first and want to import them to Brightspace from there. To use this method, skip the first step (export grades from Blackboard). 

Import grades only works if (the majority of) the students are in both the Blackboard course or Excel file, as well as in the Brightspace course. In other words, the usernames have to (largely) be the same. 

Export grades from Blackboard

  • In Blackboard, navigate to the course page of the course you would like to transfer the grades of.
  1. In the left menu bar, click on Grade Centre.
  2. Click on Full Grade Centre.
  • Click on Work Offline. Then select Download.
  1. Select under Data which grades you would like to download. By default all assignments with grades are downloaded from the course (Full Grade Centre). However, if you want to download the grades from a specific assignment, tick the checkbox Selected Column. Then select the preferred grade column in the drop-down menu. 
  2. Click on Submit.
  • Click on Download.

Edit the file

Brightspace cannot read the downloaded Excel file. That is why you need to edit it before you can import the grades into Brightspace.

  • Open Excel. Create a new file.
  • Click on File in the top-left corner.
  • Click on Open.
  • Select the downloaded file.
  • You will get a notification (in case it is an xls-file). Click on Yes. The Import Wizard will open in which you will have to select certain options. 
  1. Select Delimited.
  2. Click on Next.
  1. Tick the check box Tab.
  2. Click on Next.
  1. Select the column with grades and click on Advanced. Make sure to separate the decimals with points and the thousands with commas.  
  2. Click Finish. The Excel-file with the grades will open.

It is important that the columns that contain the grades, identify the points as being decimals and not thousands. 

  • Brightspace does not accept Last Name and First Name (only Username). Therefore, these columns have to be deleted. Select them and right-click. Click Delete and Shift Cells Left.
  • Delete the columns Last Access and Availability in the same manner. You can do the same thing with any other column you do not want to import (such as Total).

Add "Points Grade" behind the name of each assignment. Important: this step is essential!

  • Add an End-of-line indicator for each student at the end of the matrix. To do so, create a new column and in it, fill in a for each student. 
  • The grades that contain a comma, need to be transferred to a dot. Click on Control + H, fill in a , at Find what and fill in a . at Replace with. Then click on Replace All.

Now, save the file as a CSV-file. To do so, click on File in the top-left corner and click on Save as. Select the folder that you wish to save your file in and select under file name that it should be saved as a .CSV-file. 

Open the folder that contains your saved file. Now open the file in Notepad (open Pages if you have a Mac-computer)

In Notepad you have to change the semicolon-separated file into a comma-separated file. This is necessary because Brightspace only accepts comma-separated files.

Click on Control + H on your keyboard (or Command F on a Mac). A new window will open.

  1. First, fill in a ; (semicolon) at Find what and a , (comma) at Replace with. Now, click on Replace All (all semicolons will now be replaced by commas).
  2. Fill in ,, (two commas) at Find what and a single , (comma) at Replace with. Now click on Replace All twice (all two commas are now replaced for a single comma; because there are three commas at the end, you have to click Replace All twice to make sure you will end up with only one comma everywhere). 

If followed the steps correctly, your file will look like the file in the image above. Between each value there is only one comma. The file is now ready to be uploaded to Brightspace. 

  • Click on File and then on Save. 

Upload the file to Brightspace

  • Navigate to Administration in the minibar of the course that you would like to import the grades to. 
  • Click on Grades.
  1. Navigate to the tab Enter Grades.
  2. Click on Import.
  1. Click on Choose file and select the CSV-file that you have prepared to import.
  2. Tick the box under Item Creation. Brightspace will now create New Grade Items for the (currently) non-existing items in the import file.
  3. Click on Continue.
  • You will now see an overview of the grade items that the grades will be added to. Select each item for which you want to create a New Grade Item.
  • Select the type of grading it concerns (Numeric or Pass/Fail). Important: only select Pass/Fail if you have a column with values of zero and one. 
  • Click on Continue.
  • Create a new grade item for each assignment. 
  • Fill in your preferred settings and click on Continue.

Brightspace will notify you if there are any mistakes in the CSV-file. If so, check if the following points in your file are present:

  • It says Points Grade after each name of the separate columns that need to be imported.
  • The decimals are separated by points instead of commas. 
  • The last column is the End-of-line indicator.
  • There are no superfluous commas in the CSV-file. If there is a comma in a cell with text (so not with numbers), the values in these cells need to be between quotation marks. For example: "Jansen, Jan" instead of Jansen, Jan. 
  • All entered user names are present in the course. 

If the file works as it is supposed to, Brightspace will give a preview of the grades. If everything is correct, you click on Import Grades to upload the grades to Brightspace.