How do I prepare my marks spreadsheet for submission to Academic Administration? (Full guidance)


Module Leaders must collate all marks for their module and clearly indicate the marks for each task identifying the tasks and the weightings as per the module descriptor. All task marks must be submitted out of 100 and not pre-weighted according to the task weighting.

Complete sets of internally moderated marks must be submitted on a spreadsheet to Academic Administration by the marks submission deadline. The spreadsheet must be in Excel format, adhering to requirements set out in Stage 2 (below), and it is recommended that the spreadsheet is downloaded from the Grade Centre in Blackboard. 

This guide provides a detailed breakdown of each stage involved in preparing, downloading and formatting the spreadsheet with the information that Academic Administration require in the marks spreadsheet. There is also a guide that provides a summary of the information that Academic Administration require in the marks spreadsheet

This guidance was updated on 04 June 2020.

Stage 1: Prepare and download Grade Centre

Step 1: From the Control Panel, click to expand Grade Centre then select Full Grade Centre.

Step 2 (a): In Full Grade Centre, ensure that the following columns are visible at the left of the Grade Centre spreadsheet, and in the order of, Last Name, First Name, Student ID.

If any of these columns are not visible (or not in order), you can make them visible (or re-order them) by clicking on the Manage tab and selecting Column Organisation.

In this view you can select hidden columns (e.g. Student ID) and make them visible by clicking on Show/Hide and choosing Show Selected Columns, and/or use the cross-hair   to drag the columns to the correct order. Click Submit to save changes.

Step 2(b): For users of Blackboard-generated grading schemas only. SITS requires numerical marks. A simple way of converting grades back to their numerical equivalent is to create a weighted column linked to the column containing the grades. Note: This step only supports those schemas generated in Blackboard. If you manually typed grades into a text-only column, you will need to create a new grade column that is hidden from students and type in the numerical equivalent manually. 

In Full Grade Centre, click the Create Weighted Column tab and select Weighted Column.

In Column Name enter the task number and weighting.

Ensure Primary Display is set to Percentage.

Select the name of the column currently containing the grades and click the forward arrow to move it across to the Selected Columns area.

Enter the weight percentage as 100 for the selected column and ensure Calculate as Running Total is set to No.

Ensure that Show this Column to Students is set to No.

No other settings need to be changed or checked. Click Submit.

A new column that is hidden from students will appear automatically displaying the numerical equivalent of the grades. 

Step 2(c): All task marks submitted must be out of 100. If you have assessments that aren’t scored out of 100 (e.g. a test or points-based feedback rubric) either change the primary display of the grade column to percentage or, if the score should be preserved and continue to display to students in its original format, follow the steps for 2(b) to create a new weighted column for converting the marks to their equivalent percentage. 

In Full Grade Centre, locate the grade column containing the assessment. Click the chevron  next to the assessment/grade column name. Select Edit Column Information.

On the Edit Column page, scroll to Primary Display. Update the Primary Display to Percentage. Click Submit

The student marks will now show (and download) as their equivalent percentage.

Your Grade Centre is now ready to download.

Step 3: To download your Grade Centre, click Upload/Download and select Download.


Step 4: On the Download Grades page, ensure that Full Grade Centre is selected against Select Data to Download and click Submit. You do not need to change any other options on this page, but under Save Location ensure the Download Location is set to My Computer. Ignore the 'Browse' option as this applies only for downloads to the Content Collection.  

Step 5: On the next screen you will see a confirmation that the data has been saved to a file. Click the Download button.

Step 6 (a): For Chrome users: When prompted, choose a location to save the file to and click Save. Open the file from the saved location or the prompt that appears in the bottom left of the screen. 

Step 6 (b): For Safari users: Open the file from the Downloads folder.

Step 6 (c): For Firefox users: When prompted, click Open with Excel.

Before the file opens, you will see a prompt that your file is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Click Yes to open the file now.

Step 7: You will see a spreadsheet version of your Grade Centre. Save this file to a local drive. You will see a warning that the file may contain features that are not compatible with Unicode Text. Click No. This will automatically prompt you to save the file in Excel format. By not renaming the file, it will automatically contain the module code.


Task marks generated as a result of using Weighted Columns will show as percentages. Marks entered directly will display in line with the Primary Display chosen for the grade column.

Stage 2: Prepare your marks spreadsheet for Academic Administration

Step 8: Ensure only the following columns and information are present in the spreadsheet:

  • Module code and module title. Insert a blank row at the top of the spreadsheet and type in the module code and title. (Select the top row, right-click and select Insert).
  • Student last name, first name and ID. This will be automatically contained within the downloaded spreadsheet. (The spreadsheet must be sorted alphabetically by student last name).
  • Task number and weighting in task order. Rename each column header to identify the relevant task number and weighting and arrange in task order as on the agreed module descriptor. Subtask marks should be aggregated and calculated at the task level before returning to Academic Administration – individual subtask marks should not be returned.

Step 9: Delete all other columns (e.g. student usercode, last accessed, availability, calculated columns not at the task level, columns containing non-numerical marks, subtask and formative mark columns, and columns containing non-assessment information). 

Step 10: Check and correct student marks as follows:

Category Information required
In Module Retrieval Mark Cap at the minimum pass mark in the relevant cell of the mark column
Student has submitted late but within 24 hours of the deadline Cap at the minimum pass mark in the relevant cell of the mark column

Student has attempted, but not passed

Enter a mark between 1-100. Zero will be treated as a non-submission

Non-submission of coursework / Non-attendance at examinations

Where zero is entered as the result of a non-submission or non-attendance, either:

  • enter the letters 'NS' into the relevant cell of the mark column for non-submission of coursework
  • enter the letters 'NA' into the relevant cell of the mark column for non-attendance at examinations
  • include a note in the body of the email that the marks spreadsheet is attached to
No marks / Missing marks

Where there are missing marks, an explanation of why they are missing is required, by either:

  • a comment in the relevant cell of the mark column
  • a note in the body of the email that the marks spreadsheet is attached to
Extensions (Marks not yet due)

If marks are coming in later for students with extensions, make this clear by either:

  • a comment in the relevant cell of the mark column
  • a note in the body of the email that the marks spreadsheet is attached to


Step 11: Save the file to a local drive. Your marks spreadsheet is ready to send to Academic Administration. 

Stage 3: Submitting marks for students with extensions

Step 12: If marks are being submitted for students with extensions, you should re-use the marks spreadsheet created during Stage 2. Open the file saved in Step 11.

Step 13: Replace the text ‘extension given’ with the relevant mark for each student with extension and highlight the entire row(s) in yellow.

Step 14: Save the file. Your updated marks spreadsheet is ready to send to Academic Administration. Make it clear in the body of the email that the marks being submitted now are for students with extensions.

Stage 4: Follow on actions that are completed by Academic Administration Teams:

Once your marks spreadsheet has been received, Academic Administration will:

  • Enter marks against module records in SITS
  • Complete data quality checks in relation to student module outcomes including the application of outputs from ancillary processes such as Extenuating Circumstances Panels and Academic Misconduct Panels to student module results
  • Calculate progression outcomes and compensation for students in preparation for the DAB
  • Calculate awards for students in preparation for the DAB
  • Produce and publish reports for modules and courses to enable Review of Reports meetings to be held and in preparation for the DAB.  Please note: on receipt of these reports Module Leaders are NOT expected to complete a line by line check of the module data as this is checked for transcription errors on input, however if any issues are identified please contact your Academic Administrator