Upcoming changes to Inline Grading

The third party service used by Blackboard’s Inline Grading tool is being discontinued and replaced. If you use Blackboard’s Inline Grading to feedback on your students’ work, read on.

Box, the provider of the service used by Inline Grading, announced that Crocodoc will no longer be supported after 15 January 2018, and that all users should migrate to the replacement – New Box View.

What is Inline Grading?

Inline Grading is the ability to use a web browser to annotate student attempts on a Blackboard assignment. The screenshot below shows a student’s assignment attempt, with the Inline Grading section highlighted:

Blackboard screenshot showing the inline grading tool highlighted

You are not affected by this if you

  • don’t use Blackboard assignments to collect and feedback on your students’ work
  • don’t use the Inline Grading tools to annotate. The ‘Feedback to Learner’ box (right hand side of the screenshot, above) is not affected.

Does this apply to Turnitin?

No, Turnitin is a separate system.

What needs to happen?

We need to be running the latest cumulative update for our version of Blackboard, which was released this week:

The cumulative update contains the code to let us move to New Box View in time for the Crocodoc cut off date.

We have already requested this is installed on our staging Blackboard so we can test the New Box View, as well as how it will affect the other features of Blackboard. While this fixes to some of the known issues we have been experiencing, it may also introduce some new ones.

Then, we need to make a decision as to when to enable New Box View. We are reaching out to the schools to decide on a suitable date, which will be before 15 January, 2018.

What about existing work marked in Crocodoc?

Any student work which has used Inline Grading for feedback will be migrated over to New Box View.

Annotations made in Crocodoc will not be editable when they are migrated to New Box View – they will be burned into the document.

This applies to any existing annotation on a submission in Crocodoc – regardless of if they have been released to students or not.

What will change?  

Comparison of New Crocodoc and New Box View
Crocodoc New Box View
File types .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, .docx Over 100 different file types
Annotation types Text and point-based comments, highlighting, and drawing Point-based comments and highlighting
Download You can download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotations You can download a copy of a student file, but annotations won’t appear

Why are we doing this?

We wouldn’t normally undertake something like this during the course of the academic year, but we are left with no choice due to Box removing support for Crocodoc.

Where can I read more?

Blackboard’s Help site has more detailed information on the transition from Crocodoc to New Box View.

We will be posting more information on the Blackboard blog, as well as the Blackboard Welcome Page for staff.

Who can I contact?

Contact the TEL Support team with any questions – telsupport@aston.ac.uk.

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