**Objective:**

- Calculate a weighted grade with two basic components: Three of four tests eliminating the lowest and a separate writing assignment.

**Solution:**

- In Blackboard (BB) Grade Center open the "category" choice in the Grade Center Management Column (3rd from the left). Create a category, e.g. drop lowest of T1-T4.
- Then click "Add Calculated Column" and create a weighted column. Choose a recognizable title, e.g. "Weighted % Final Grade."
- In the primary display entry box choose "Percentage."
- Select from the list of columns and categories the items you desire to weight. In this example they are: the category "drop lowest of T1-T4" and the writing assignment grade column
- Assign the weight to each highlighted category one at a time. In this case I assigned 75% to the category and 25% to the writing assignment grade column.
- Click on the individual category components: T1, T2, T3, and T4 and verify that the category box contains the category created which is designed to drop the lowest grade, here, "drop the lowest of T1-T4." If you do not do this the calculations will not be computed simply from the category creation.
- The result is a weighted grade in the Weighted % Final Grade column assigning a 75% weight to the highest of three tests and a 25% weight to the writing assignment.
- If you wish to input a letter grade create a letter grade column and make sure to se the total points at 100. If you set the total points at 0, the logical choice for a letter grade, a number, not a letter grade will be computed.

**Comparison to Microsoft Excel:**

This result can be verified and also accomplished in Microsoft Excel with the following procedure:

- Create individual cells for the student scores in T1, T2, T3, and T4 and the writing assignment (WA)
- Create a cell that yields the minimum of T1-T4 =Min(T1:T4)
- Create a cell that adds T1-T4 =Sum(T1,T2,T3,T4)
- Subtract 2 from 3 =(cell3-cell2) yields the total of the three highest scores
- Create a cell that yields the weighted total of 4 and WA. For example, say each test is worth a total of 100 points for a maximum of 300 and WA is graded on a 50 point scale. Hence the formula is: =((x/300*(0.75)+y/50*(0.25))

**Follow up note:** Excel, but not Blackboard has the capability to compute an arithmetical average (total points/maximum possible). Some faculty may wish to consider this alternative