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How do I import and export Grades from and to Brightspace?

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It is possible to import and export grades to and from Brightspace. This can be useful on several occasions, for example:

  1. At the beginning of the new academic year the courses are determined in OSIRIS. In OSIRIS you have to register the partial grades and the weight of each partial grade for the calculation of the final grade. You then want to maintain the same structure in Brightspace, possibly supplemented with grade items that do not count for the final grade or parts of a partial grade that do not have to be registered in OSIRIS.
  2. You want to enter offline grades in an Excel, for example because you have assessed a presentation offline or because you prefer Excel to enter grades quickly.
  3. You want to import an offline list with grades (for example one you used for the import in OSIRIS) in Brightspace or you want to import the offline grades a colleague gave you in an Excel.
  4. You have entered the grades in Brightspace while assessing the assignments online. You want to transfer these to OSIRIS.

In this article you will find how each of these scenarios will play out.

Scenario 1: build the grade book based on OSIRIS

  1. Make sure you have determined which partial grades you want to register, as well as their weight.
  2. Add the partial grades to OSIRIS.
  3. Go to your course in OSIRIS and click Tests. You will find an overview of the build up of the partial grades. Export this overview to Excel. You will now have a file in which you will see the name (description) of all partial grades, the codes used in OSIRIS (TEST-xx, which you will need later for the import in OSIRIS) and the weight.
  4. Go to your (new) course in Brightspace and build your course according to the same pattern. It will be easiest for students if you use the same names. When partial grades are registered in OSIRIS that consist out of parts that do not need to be registered in OSIRIS, you can create a category for these partial grades. The parts of the partial grades can then be added as a grade item. Note that you have to use the same weight for the items and categories as you did in OSIRIS. Additionally, you can add items for components that do not count for the grade. These will weigh 0%.

Scenario 2: enter offline grades in Excel and import them in Brightspace

To enter offline grades in Excel and then import them to Brightspace you have to follow four steps:

  1. Create an import file
  2. Enter the grades in Excel
  3. Import in Brightspace

The steps are explained below.

Create an import file

In order to be sure you are using the correct import format for Brightspace it can be useful to create an export out of the existing grade book first.

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Grades.
  1. Click Enter Grades.
  2. Click Export.
  1. Select Username.
  2. Use the drop-down menu below Sort By to choose how you want to sort your data.
  3. Select Points grade.
  4. Select Last Name and First Name. 
  5. Select the grade items you wish to export. Note that you should only select the grade items you actually want to fill out offline in order to keep your Excel orderly.
  6. Click Export to CSV.
  • A pop-up window will appear with the download. As soon as the download is finished, click Download.
  • The download will appear at the bottom of your screen. Open this file in Excel. All data are in the first column. 

Enter assessment in Excel

In this example, Excel is set to English. Behind the English terms, the Dutch names of the buttons are given, separated with a /.

  1. Select the first column.
  2. Click Data/Gegevens.
  3. Click Text to Columns/Tekst naar kolommen.
  1. Select Delimited/Gescheiden. Characters such as tabs or commas seperate each field.
  2. Click Next/Volgende.
  • Click Comma to determine the comma as your delimitation sign.
  • Click Next/Volgende and click Finish/Voltooien in the next window.

In the first row you will see the columns:

  • Username
  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Item 1 name Points Grade <Numeric MaxPoints:... Weight:... Category:Assignments CategoryWeight:...>; Item 2 name, etc 
  • End-of-Line Indicator
  • It is important that you do not change these headings! The type 'grade' (for example Points Grade) is essential for the import. You can also leave the additional information between brackets behind the names of the items. These will give you information about the maximum amount of points you can allot to someone, the weight within the category, the name of the category, and the weight of the category in regard to the total.
  • In the last row (End-of-Line Indicator) you will find a #. Do not change this!

In the first row (Username) you will see the student numbers. These are preceded by a # - you can leave them like this.

  • You can now add grades in the column(s) of the assignment(s) you wish to assess. Please use a period as a decimal separator rather than a comma.
  • You can also add a new column if desired. Brightspace will recognize it and create a new grade item.

When you add a new column, there are a few things to take into account. You can determine the name of the column (and therefore also the grade item), but there cannot be a comma or semicolon in the name. Additionally, you have to add the type of grade behind the name: Points Grade or Text grade (it has to be exactly this text!). The information that you can find behind the names of other columns is not relevant. For example: Assignment 4 Points Grade for which you enter a grade, or Presentation Text Grade for which you enter a text like 'Sufficient' or  'Insufficient.'

When you are finished, you can save the file. There are different steps for an Excel with Dutch and English language settings.

  • English Excel: Save the file as a CVS-file (.csv extention).
  • Dutch Excel: Save the file as a tab-separated file. The file will be saved as a txt file, change the extension to .tsv.
Pay attention: Excel export and delimiters

When exporting data in Excel to csv, the English version of Excel uses a comma as a separator and a period to indicate decimal places in numbers. The Dutch version exports the file with a semicolon as a separator and uses a comma as a decimal. Brightspace can only handle comma- or tab-delimited files, not semicolons.

If you use the Dutch version of Excel, please note the following:

  • Enter numbers with a dot as the decimal point.
  • When exporting, choose a tab-delimited file. This will have the extension .txt. Change this to .tsv.

If you did export a .csv file, follow these steps before importing the file into Brightspace:

  1. Open the exported CSV file in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).
  2. Find and replace all semicolons with a comma.
  3. Save the file.

Import the file in Brightspace

  • Go back to Brightspace.
  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Grades.
  • Click Enter Grades.
  • Click Import.
  1. Search the csv-file you have just prepared under Import File.
  2. Select Create new grade item when an unrecognised item is referenced if you want Brightspace to create a new grade item for any newly added columns.
  3. Click Continue.
  1. When Brightspace sees new columns, it will ask you whether you want to create a new grade item. Select the box below Create New Grade Item to make this happen.
  2. Change the type of grade item if desired. Read the article How do I create a grade item? to learn more about the different types of grade items.
  3. Click Continue.
  1. Select in the drop-down menu to which Category the new grade item should be added.
  2. Brightspace will automatically assign the default values for Maximum Points and Weight. Adjust these if needed.
  3. If desired, select the option that allows students to receive more than the maximum number of points for this grade item (Can Exceed), or select Bonus if a bonus grade item is concerned. Note that bonus items will not contribute to the maximum number of points a student can acquire for a category or final course grade, but they will be added to the calculation of the (final) grade. Students cannot receive a score above the maximum score because of bonus points, unless you have selected Can Exceed.
  4. Click Continue.

Brightspace will let you know whether there are errors in the file. If no error notifications appear, click Continue.

Did you receive a error notification? Possible causes are:

  • The column names are wrong because the name does not have a grade item type behind it (you also have to do this for the existing columns), for example Points Grade.
  • There is no End-of-Line Indicator column or it is empty (no #).
  • The file does not have commas as separator signs.
  • The student numbers do not contain a S.

Open the csv-file and adjust the file to solve problem. Again, make sure to replace the semicolons and follow the steps needed to import the file.

  • Finally, you will see an overview of your import. This is your opportunity to check everything. If everything is as it is supposed to be, click Import.
  • You will now see the changes in your grade book.

When you import grades, existing grades will be overwritten!

Scenario 3: import an offline grade list from OSIRIS or a colleague to Brightspace

If you already have an offline list with grades, for example because you entered them in OSIRIS or from a colleague's list, you can easily import them to Brightspace.

  • First, follow the steps above under the heading Create an import file to make sure you have the correct format for Brightspace. 
  • It is advised to export one grade item in order to keep the import overview orderly.
  • You can also give this file to your colleagues when you are assessing together with multiple teachers. This way, all you have to do is add the data in one file. You can then skip the following step. If you have added the data to one file, you can go directly to the steps under the headings Replace semicolons and Import the file in Brightspace.
  • If you want to be certain that the student numbers match the correct grades, you can delete the usernames, last names, and first names in the import file. Note that the headings of the columns have to remain! You will thus start with a blank Excel file, which only contains the column headings.
  • Then you copy the student numbers, last names, and first names from the offline list from which you want to copy the grades and add them to the correct columns in the import file. Note that the first and last names are solely for your own overview - Brightspace will not use them. You can enter these in any format you wish (for example 'Vries, de' rather than 'de Vries').
  • Then you copy the grades in the import file in the column of the grade item.
  • Make sure the student numbers start with a S and that the column with the grades has Points Grade in the name.

Make sure that decimals are separated into numbers with a point, not a comma! You can replace the commas with points with Ctrl + H (cmd-F for Mac).

You can add an S manually, but you can also use a formula for this:

  • Add an S to the start of the number with the formula: =CONCATENATE (ā€œSā€; A2) 
  • In Dutch: =TEKST.SAMENVOEGEN("S";A2) 

Scenario 4: transfer grades from Brightspace to OSIRIS

To transfer grades from Brightspace to OSIRIS, you yet again have to start with exporting the desired grades from Brightspace as described under the heading Create an import file. Note that rather than Export to CSV, you will now choose Export to Excel. Now, no # will be added to the export file.

 You can export one or multiple grade items, but you can only import one grade at a time in OSIRIS. This means that you will have to create a separate Excel file in OSIRIS for each item. 

  • OSIRIS needs the student numbers without a S, so please remove the S from the username. You can also create a column with the formula to do so.

The formula for removing the S is the following:

=RIGHT(A2; LEN(A2)-1) or in Dutch with =RECHTS(A2;LENGTE(A2)-1)

  • Copy the student numbers and the grades to the Excel file meant for OSIRIS. The first six rows and two columns must contain the following:
<course code>
Name <name of the course>
Study year <year>
Test TEST-<number>
Period <1,2,3 or 4>
Attempt <1 of 2>

We advise you to keep the overview from OSIRIS at hand (the file export you made in step 1), in order to check which test numbers you have to use.

  • You can also use the Faculty of Social Sciences' grade calculator to create a correct Excel file used to add the grades to OSIRIS. Click the links below for the file and the manual.
  • Excel file
  • Manual 
  • Read the article How can I create a list of test candidates? if you want to know how to get an overview of participants from OSIRIS.
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