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Blackboard Help

Inline Grading for Assignments

About Inline Grading for Assignments

Instructors can view student-submitted files “inline,” meaning in the web browser, without requiring any plug-ins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotations tools are available as part of the inline viewer, enabling Instructors to provide feedback – comments, highlights, and even drawing/annotation – directly on the inline view of the document. 

  • There are no changes to the workflow for submitting assignments, with the exception for one minor UI change to the field where a user would enter an assignment response using the content editor, as opposed to uploading a file. All of the changes are focused on the Grade Assignment page. 
  • When students view their submitted attempts, they see the converted document in an inline viewer (as well as any annotations the instructor may have added). Students cannot edit instructor annotations or add their own annotations.
  • Inline Assignment Grading can convert, display, and annotate Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF file formats. This accounts for well over 95% of submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments (based on sampling of Managed Hosting clients). File formats that cannot be converted are presented for download, as in the past.  
  • The conversion retains most formatting for supported file types. There may be some very complex page layouts that don't render perfectly, but those are uncommon exceptions. 
  • The viewer has a toolbar with with following features:

    • Zoom In and Out. This feature is also available to students when they view their submission.

    • Comment - Shows a menu of all annotation tools.

    • Download - Downloads a copy of the document. If annotations have been made, there is an option to download the copy in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotations. This feature is also available to students when they view their submission.

    • Page Forward and Back buttons. This feature is also available to students when they view their submission.

    • Show all annotations button

  • The viewer is supported on current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. No plug-in or another application is necessary.

  • If the student has uploaded a file that isn't in a format supported by the inline viewer, then instead of seeing the viewer, the Instructor is prompted to download the file in question. 

To learn more about the updated features, see Grading Assignments.