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Box View: New functionality of Blackboard’s assignment annotation tool

05 Dec 2017

Box View is the name of the new coursework annotation and marking tool in Blackboard

What is happening?

On 19 December at 08.00 Box View will replace the current Blackboard assignment annotation tool (Crocodoc). Blackboard will remain available whilst this change is applied.

What about Turnitin/Grademark?

This upgrade concerns Blackboard’s own Assignment submission and marking tool and does not affect Turnitin or Feedback Studio.

What do you need to do?

Where possible review your marking schedule to either complete your marking before the switch date, or start marking after the switch date. In particular avoid annotating coursework during the switch over period on 19 December between 08.00 and 10.00.

What is new in this upgrade?

You will see some small interface differences (Figure 1)

Figure 1. Bb Crocodoc versus Box View interface


In addition, Box View will bring some positive changes to the Blackboard assignment tool:

  • The new document viewer and online marking interface will provide markers with the ability to preview a larger range of submitted file types and will resolve known issues with the rendering of some documents.
  • The update will provide a number of bug fixes

Be aware however that

  • The new document viewer and online marking interface will not immediately support “free hand drawing”- only comments and highlighting.
  • Students will be able to view marker’s annotations online, however these annotations will not appear in offline mode e.g. pdf download of the marked assignment

What are the key dates?

Blackboard Assignments will formally switch to using Box View during a short maintenance period on 19 December between 08.00 and 10.00 after which you will see the new Box View inline marking interface.

Will the upgrade affect previously marked assignments?

Migration from the current to the new tool will be done behind the scenes. Blackboard will retain all existing annotations on coursework which has already been marked in Blackboard before the update. These will be incorporated into a pdf along with the original document but further editing, updating or deleting of the existing annotations will not be possible. Assigned grades or feedback added using a rubric will be unaffected. Annotations made in the previous system (Crocodoc) will be available to view through the Grade Centre and will appear in the downloaded PDF. Any annotations made in the new system (Box View) will be visible to the student when viewed online through the Grade Centre but will not be visible in the downloaded PDF.

Guidance and Further information

We appreciate that the timing of this upgrade may cause inconvenience to students and staff as it is happening during term time.

For further information or support please contact your eLearning team:

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