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What's inline grading?

Inline grading allows an instructor to view and add feedback to a document directly within the assignment grading interface, without downloading or modifying the content of the document. Blackboard's current inline grading service is provided via a third-party, web-based annotation tool named Crocodoc.

What's happening and why?

Blackboard licenses the Crocodoc service from Box.com. Box recently announced they will discontinue the Crocodoc service on January 15, 2018.

Blackboard is replacing Crocodoc with the “New Box View” inline grading service in assignments. ITS recently updated Blackboard to include the “New Box View” service so that inline grading functionality remains available to instructors.

New Box View will be turned on after 10 pm, Sunday, December 31 at NDSU. The Crocodoc inline grading features are still vailable in assignments until that time.

If you have questions or need assistance with using the New Box View inline grading functions, contact Learning and Applied Innovation staff at ndsu.instructional.services@ndsu.edu .

What are the benefits?

  • Instructors will be able to continue using inline grading tools in assignments when the Crocodoc service no longer works.
  • New Box View supports a wider range of file formats than Crocodoc – including images, text files, audio and video, and more!
  • The screen instructors see when grading Blackboard assignments will change only slightly.
  • Attached assignment files can now be printed directly from the assignment grading interface.
  • Improved rendering fidelity so files display more accurately in the viewer.

What changes will I see?

The Crocodoc interface compared to New Box View

Will any functionality be lost?

  • Existing annotations made before the switch occurs will be retained and incorporated into a PDF file which can be viewed with the original assignment in the Grade Center; however, further editing, updating, or deleting of annotations made with Crocodoc will not be possible after New Box View is enabled.
  • Annotations made with the New Box View tool will not display in the downloaded PDF file and will not be printed.*
  • The Drawing and Strikethrough annotation tools are not currently available in New Box View*

*Blackboard is working with the New Box View vendor to improve this functionality as quickly as possible – particularly focusing on downloading and printing the annotations and adding the strikethrough and drawing tools in the future.

How to use New Box View (Video Tutorial)

(click the YouTube link in the video window to display the video in a larger view)

If assignment file submissions don't appear immediately in the New Box View grading window - you may see a Download File box with an expected converstion time listed, but the conversion timer does not change. Click the browser's Refresh or Reload button to display the file immediately!

  • Original formatting and embedded images are preserved. If a student has uploaded an unsupported file, you're prompted to download it.

  • Annotation sessions expire after one hour, but you'll receive a warning message before the session expires. After the time limit, annotations may not be saved. Need more time? Select Save Draft to save your work and continue later. Your text and files are saved on the page. When you return, you can resume working.

  • Student file submissions are stored in your Blackboard Learn instance, as always. A copy of the submission is transmitted to the New Box View cloud service for conversion. The converted version of the document lives in the cloud on servers managed by New Box View.

  • When submitting, users’ usernames and users ID are sent to New Box View for attribution and submission ownership information. No grades, first or last name, email, or other information is shared with Box. Only the files in native format are transmitted to New Box View for conversion.

What do students see? After you grade assignments, students can view their scores on their My Grades pages. They can also select the assignment in the course to review their submissions, your feedback, and their grades.

Viewing Annotations in New Box View

Annotations made on assignment files using New Box View inline grading (annotations made after 12/31/17) will be visible in New Box View to both instructors and students and instructors will be able to edit them, but the process for viewing the annotations will be different:

  • If the attached file(s) does/do not appear immediately and a download button with a conversion time listed appears instead: click the browser's Refresh or Reload button to refresh the display immediately.
  • To see "point-type" comments (see #1 below) hover the mouse over the blue point icon.
  • To see "highlighted" comments (see #2 below) move the mouse pointer over the highlighted text.

    • Note: Only 1 comment can be displayed at a time.

  • If a rubric has been used to grade work, access the rubric and/or scores as previously (see #3 below).
  • Additional feedback can be added in the feedback pane on the right as previously (see #4 below).
  • Copies of the assignment can be downloaded and/or printed from this screen (see #5 below).

    • Note: Annotations will not appear in either printed or downloaded documents at this time. Blackboard is working with the New Box View vendor to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

Viewing Previous Annotations in New Box View

Annotations made on assignment files using the previous Crocodoc inline grading (annotations made before 12/31/17) will still be visible in New Box View to students and instructors, but instructors will not be able to edit them.

Example screen shots of Crocodoc annotations viewed in New Box View:

  • Strikethrough text, highlighted text, drawings and added text boxes will display the same as they did in Crocodoc.
  • These markup types will appear different than they did in Crocodoc:

    • Area comments will display with a red box around text (see #1 above) - hover the mouse within the red box to see the comment.
    • Point comments display a red, shield-shaped pointer (see #2 above) - hover the mouse over the red pointer to display the comment. If the comment doesn't show immediately, move the mouse cursor around within the red pointer.
    • Highlighted text with attached comments will appear as highlighted text, (see #3 above) - hover the mouse over the highlighted text to display a comment, if present.

If the comment boxes disappear off the edge of the screen, try one of these steps:

  • Hide the feedback pane on the right by clicking the collapse/expand button in the top-right corner (see #1 below)
  • Download the document by clicking the download button (see #2 below)
  • Zoom your browser screen in or out


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IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 28, 2017 12:17:57 PM
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