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What to Expect

Dec. 18-19, 2017 Upgrade


Discussion Board Subscriptions

The issue with emails not being sent when you subscribe to a Discussion Board thread has been resolved with this upgrade.

Chemistry Notation Support

The math editor found in the Content Editor has been updated to a newer version of WIRIS. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements. Learn more:

Inline Grading

Blackboard’s current service for the implementation of inline grading is through the Crocodoc API, and Box Inc., which purchased Crocodoc, has decided to discontinue it and use their New Box View. Princeton will make the transition with the Dec. 18 upgrade.

New Box View will completely replace the Crocodoc feature in your courses, with the same general workflows and interface elements. You'll see some slight differences in the interface, primarily more streamlined buttons and options. 

New Box View offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types. Inline grading will continue to work in your courses after the transition. While most end users are not expected to notice any differences, there are a few changes to note besides the support for expanded file types. 


Hanging: Initially, document rendering may hang, telling you it will complete in ~x seconds. Should this happen, simply refresh the browser page.

Grader App for iPads does not work at present with Box, but Blackboard hopes to have it functioning in the near future.

IE11: In viewing files in IE11 where highlighting was used in the old Crocodoc, the highlighting is not transparent.  Work-around: use a different browser. 

Safari: Instructors attempting to use the New Box View tool for annotations are currently unable to when using Safari or the Bb Grader App.

Click Safari from the Main Menu.

Click Preferences.

Click Privacy.

Disable the “Prevent cross-site tracking” option.

Refresh your web browser.

Crocodoc comments made on the right side of the page (before Box View was enabled) will be chopped-off by the right margin after Box View is enabled. Resolution/Workaround: Zoom in/out using New Box View zoom tools OR Scroll using New Box View scroll tool.

Student Responses: An Instructor adds an annotation to the learners submission in the form of a comment. The learner has the option to reply to said comment, however, when they go to do so an Error is received: "Your Session has expired. Please refresh the page". The reply comment is then removed. The actual issue here is that the Reply Button should not exist for the student to make a reply comment.


This table compares the two annotation services.
Working with annotations in New Box View

Instructors and roles with grading privileges:

  • Must assign grades before students can view annotations.
  • Can’t edit or remove existing Crocodoc annotations in New Box View as the annotations are “burned” into a PDF during migration.
  • Can add or edit New Box View annotations after a grade is assigned. However, when delegated grading is enabled, only instructors can add or edit annotations in New Box View after grades are assigned.

Please Note: Annotation sessions expire after an hour. If an instructor takes longer than an hour to annotate a document, annotations made after that session expiration may not be saved.

When delegated grading is enabled and no grades are assigned:

Graders who aren’t allowed to view other graders’ annotations, won’t see any annotations—even their own—after the migration to New Box View. Graders see students’ original documents. The “hidden annotations” are necessary because graders shouldn’t see other grader or instructor annotations that existed before the migration.

Delegated grading is enabled and grades are assigned:

  • After grades are assigned in your course, graders can view all annotations made in Crocodoc and New Box View.
  • Students may be able to see all annotations based on the Provisional Grades setting within the Delegated Grading capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: After the end-of-life date for Crocodoc, what will happen to data stored in Crocodoc if my institution doesn't transition to use New Box View?

A: While the Crocodoc service will technically reach end-of-life, the databases that contain student-submitted data and documents won’t be deleted or destroyed. The data will still be available for critical situations such as grade challenges.

Q: Will the transition have any impact on the use of rubrics for grading? Will I be able to use the same rubrics for the New Box View as I currently do for Crocodoc?

A: The transition won’t impact your course's rubrics or rubric data. You'll be able to use the same rubrics within the inline grading interface alongside the New Box View service. Rubrics are a separate feature that doesn’t share code with the Crocodoc or New Box View service.


June 3-7, 2017 Upgrade


Drag and Drop Files

When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.

Manage Users

The Mange Users tool is now located in the Users and Groups section of the Control Panel, instead of the Course Tools area.

Submission Confirmation Receipts

Administrators and instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.

A receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.

Each time students submit coursework, they receive a confirmation number as proof of their submission. If the submission ever gets lost or deleted, the submission receipt remains. Students can access their submission receipts from the Submitted tab on the My Grades page. Select the number next to Submission Receipts at the bottom of the list to see the submission history.


Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.  Instructors can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.

Fewer Needs Grading Items

When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. This can be particularly problematic in anonymous or delegated grading scenarios where it can be difficult to determine which attempts are associated with students and therefore require grading. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon. 

Improved behavior for Self and Peer Assessments

Non-participants during the submission period are excluded from the evaluation process. Submitters with partial or complete submissions will be distributed to peers for evaluations. By pairing an assessment with Adaptive Release, it's possible to configure Self- and Peer-Assessments for individual groups.

Course Activity Report Enhancement

The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

Content Collection Search Permission

Users of the Basic or Advanced Search feature in the Content Collection must now specify a starting search directory for better performance. Admins can grant users a permission to still search across all directories.