During the grading and evaluation process, Blackboard’s inline grading tool allows instructors, teaching assistants, and graders to embed feedback, such as comments, highlights, and even drawings, directly on a converted view of student assignments in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF file formats.
The current interface for the inline grading tool is powered by a third-party conversion tool called Crocodoc, which will be discontinued by Box on January 15, 2018. DoIT staff and Blackboard engineers will need to migrate existing documents and grading annotations to a new service, now powered by New Box View, on the weekend of January 6, 2018. No downtime is expected for Blackboard itself, but the inline grading tools will not be available for up to six (6) hours at a time to migrate all assignment and feedback artifacts. DoIT will make every effort to run the migration process during low peak periods to minimize impact on grading for faculty and teaching assistants.
If you use UMBC Box for cloud storage, you are likely familiar with how documents render in that web interface. Here is a comparison of the current inline grading tools (left) and the new inline grading tools (right):
What to expect with the change
Blackboard has worked closely with Box to integrate the New Box View into the grading process and to migrate the databases containing submitted student data and documents. The New Box View service will completely replace the existing back-end tools in exactly the same locations within Bb Learn. The overall interface is simplified and contextualized. More file types are supported.
After the transition, faculty, teaching assistants, and graders will not be able change or remove previously created annotations as that feedback becomes “read only.” All assignment feedback saved before the migration will be uneditable and saved as a PDF. As such, we strongly encourage faculty and graders to complete grading BEFORE the document process begins since grading procedures may be affected if a submission is not fully annotated in the middle of the transition. Rubrics are not affected at all by this change. New grading may begin using the updated feedback tools.
Please review these FAQs on the changes to inline grading
- What’s the difference between the new and old inline grading in Blackboard?
- What does the new inline grading interface look like?
- How will inline grading work if I am still grading after the transition?
- What happened to my old grading annotations and feedback?