EMA Integration FAQ: Enhanced Grades Journey

Important information!This is now live, as of 24th September 2019, and you will be able to set up assignments in 2019-20 Courses.

There will be no further updates passed from RISIS to Blackboard for 2018-19. If there are any assessments for 2018-19 courses which have not already been set up in RISIS and provisioned in Blackboard, these will have to be created manually.

You will still be able to pass marks from Blackboard to RISIS for any 2018-19 assessments which have already been set up in Blackboard.

The Enhanced Grades Journey tool has been developed by Blackboard in consultation with technical staff from the University of Reading. The main improvement is that you can now edit assessment details in RISIS, and these changes will be automatically transferred to Blackboard.

Changes in the new version

Setting up assessments in RISIS and Provisioning assessments in Blackboard

This is largely unchanged. However the enhancements mean that Blackboard Tests are now included in the Integration. These will create a Weighted Total column in the Blackboard Grade Centre.

There is also a new RISIS Mode of Submission: Blackboard Assignment (rolling deadlines)

Editing assessment details in RISIS

Any changes you make in RISIS will now be reflected in Blackboard, typically within a few minutes.

Assessment Title

The title of the Blackboard Grade Centre column (and submission point where applicable) will also change.

Changing an assessment Title

Due Date or Time

Blackboard Assignments

The new date and time will be applied to the submission point and Grade Centre column

Modes of Submission which create a Manual Column

The new date and time will be applied to the Grade Centre column.

Modes of Submission which create a Weighted Column (e.g. Turnitin, Blackboard Tests)

No due date / time recorded for the Grade Centre column, so no change.
You will need to manually update the due date / time on the submission point.

Changing the Due Date for an assessment

Points Possible

The new Points Possible will be applied to the the Blackboard Grade Centre column (and submission point where applicable).

Exception: on an assessment where there are already marks in Blackboard, the Points Possible in Blackboard will not be updated. Please contact it@reading.ac.uk for advice in this scenario.

Changing the Points Possible for a Weighted Total column

Changing the Points Possible for a Blackboard Assignment

Changing the Points Possible for a Manual column

Mode of Submission

If the new Mode of Submission generates something different in Blackboard (e.g. changing from a Blackboard Assignment to Turnitin) then

  • the old Grade Centre and/or submission point will have ‘NOT IN USE’ added to its name
  • a new Grade Centre and/or submission point will be created.

If the new Mode of Submission produces the same result in Blackboard (e.g. changing from Turnitin to a Multipart Assessment) then there will be no change in Blackboard.

Changing the Mode of Submission

Assessment deleted in RISIS

The Grade Centre Column  (and submission point where applicable) will have ‘DELETED’ added to its name.

Deleting an assessment


No change in Blackboard – assessment weighting has no effect on the way assessments are set up in Blackboard.

Editing assessment details in Blackboard

The following fields in Blackboard are controlled by the Integration

  • Assessment Title
  • Due date and time
  • Assessment Start date – i.e. Available from date
  • Points Possible

Additionally, for on-time submission points

  • Assessment End date – i.e. Available until date

If you edit any of these fields on an [IC] assessment or Grade Centre column, the changes will subsequently be overwritten with the correct data from RISIS.

Deleting assessments in Blackboard

If you delete an [IC] assessment or Grade Centre column in Blackboard, and the assessment is still scheduled in RISIS, the Blackboard assessment / Grade Centre column will be recreated.

Approving marks in Blackboard

To Approve marks in Blackboard, to send them to RISIS, go to Grade Centre > Manage Grade Centre > Grade Approval and Transfer.

Grade Centre - Grade Approval and Transfer

The Grade Approval and Transfer screen has been redesigned, but works in essentially the same way as before.

One improvement is that only Integrated [IC] Grade Centre Columns are shown on the approval screen.

Grade Column Approval and Transfer

If you select Approve Grades for one or more student, these will transfer to RISIS at the next scheduled time.

If you want to send marks to RISIS immediately, select Extract.

Grade Approval and Transfer

How are marks sent from Blackboard to RISIS – further information