Blackboard Inline Grading Update

As mentioned in our January 3 Blog post, Blackboard has changed its inline grading tool from Crocodoc to a new version of Box View.

Because of the change in services, you aren’t able to change the existing annotations made in Crocodoc.  They are still available in Box View, but in a read-only mode.

The Crocodoc annotations are “burned” into a .pdf file. You are able to add new annotations with the Box View annotation tools, but they can’t interact with annotations created in Crocodoc.

This hand-out, created by William & Mary University Information Technology, outlines the changes between Blackboard Crocodoc vs. New Box View (pdf) and includes FAQs about Box View.

In summary, Box View Features include:

  • Expanded support of new file types including images, video and audio files
  • Point-based or highlighting-based comments

Please note however that some functionality is lost in the current state of Box View.  Blackboard is working with Box View to restore these pieces of functionality.

Crocodoc comments were displayed in yellow and indicated by a red arrow (left).  Box view uses a white window and a blue comment icon (right).

  • Drawing and strikethrough are no longer available as annotation tools.
  • The ability to download files with the annotations included is no longer available at this time.

Note: If you need to download the actual file with your embedded annotations, LIT suggests using either Adobe Acrobat Pro (not Reader) or Microsoft Word Review Tools to add annotations and upload the annotated file in the “Feedback to Learner” area when grading the student’s assignment.  Use the paper clip (Insert file) icon to attach the file with your comments as shown below.

If you want to influence the development of Box View, make your voice heard and go to the Blackboard Community site, sign-up, and vote up the annotated download feature at:
https://community.blackboard.com/ideas/2504-new-box-view-download-document-with-annotations

Faculty Midterm LIT Drop-In Support

Hard to believe it’s Spring midterm time!

LIT is holding drop-in sessions to assist faculty with using Blackboard to send grades to Banner. As always, we are also happy to answer any other pedagogy, Blackboard or instructional technology related questions, as well as meet with faculty individually and visit any department meetings on request.

To get hands-on assistance, visit LIT in one of the drop-in sessions across campus:

  • Thursday February 15th – 11am-3pm – Beatty 103
  • Thursday February 15th — Virtual After Hours Session — 7pm-8pm via GoToMeeting — Register Here
  • Friday February 16th — 11am-3pm
  • Tuesday February 20th — 9am-12pm — Beatty 103 

Visit wit.edu/lit to view upcoming events and register.

For those that want to get a head start, we’ve prepared Full Illustrated instructions for using Banner Grade Submit.. In addition, here’s a Video showing how to submit grades with Banner Grade Submit.  Also visit a blog summarizing grade submission.

Visit LIT: Annex Central 205/208; lit@wit.edu; 617-989-5428

 

What Else Should We Be Teaching Our Students?

The challenges for the 21st century student are not all that different. What’s been noticed is the need for future students to be able to embrace professional ethics and social responsibly, be creative and innovative and write and communicate well. Students need to learn more about how to contribute to society.

Today students need to acquire sound basics in science, math, and analytical capabilities (Vest, 2007). This is not new. Traditionally, schools have passed down this knowledge in their lecture classes. While the lecture format has worked for many years, today’s classrooms need a more holistic approach – team projects, open-ended problem solving, experiential learning, engagement in research, these are the integral elements of an education.

MIT and other schools have added these attributes to their programs. They recognized the value of incorporating design, teamwork, and communications to their curricula.

(Book: https://wit.edu/sites/default/files/learninginnovation/resources/rethinking%20Engineering%20in%20Education.pdf

Midterm and Final Grade Submission via Blackboard

At the beginning of Summer term 2016 we introduced a new grading workflow that allowed instructors to submit grades from Blackboard directly to Banner. Our hope is that eventually we will no longer need the grade submission tool in LeopardWeb that is so painful to many instructors. As you are probably aware, this implementation has not been without problems but we’ve worked out most of the bugs in our previous workflows and responded to requests for a simpler process for those who choose to keep grades in a system other than Blackboard.

IF you don’t use Blackboard for grades, simply bypass the Blackboard Grade Center and proceed to the Banner Grade Submit link under course tools in the Control Panel for your course.

Select Midterm or Final Grades. You should see a list of students appear. Next to each student’s name there will be a box for you to type in the letter grade that the student will receive. Enter all the student grades and click the Submit Grades button at the bottom of the page. You should see a message indicating successful submission and your grades are on their way to Banner.

NOTE: Occasionally we see instances where the list of students does not populate. Please let us know about this so we can continue to investigate with the vendor. A workaround that solves the problem is to create a group in the course and add all the students to the group. Selecting the group from the “Visible Groups” menu populates the student list. 

If you use Blackboard to track and calculate grades, the process has become easier (Delete or toss any previous versions of the instructions for submitting grades from Blackboard to Banner in the recycle bin).

You still need to set a column in the Grade Center as the External Grade. Do not set the external grade to display as a letter grade. We have the system set to look for the WIT Undergraduate Schema (if you teach a graduate level course see the note below) to translate the grades from numeric to Wentworth letter grades. If you want students to see a letter grade when they view their grades in My Grades, either reset the display of the external grade after you submit grades or create a separate column to display the letter grades.

Once you have grades ready to send to Banner, proceed to the Banner Grade Submit link under course tools in the Control Panel for your course.

Select Midterm or final Grades. You should see a list of students appear. Select “Midterm 1” or “Final” from the drop-down menu for “Populate Midterm/Final grade from current grade” item. You should now see the letter grade in the current grade column in the Midterm 1 or Final column. The system does not round grades. If you want to round up, you will need to adjust the grades in the Midterm 1 or Final grade column.

NOTE: Occasionally we see instances where the list of students does not populate. Please let us know about this so we can continue to investigate with the vendor. A workaround that solves the problem is to create a group in the course and add all the students to the group. Selecting the group from the “Visible Groups” menu populates the student list. 

When you are satisfied with the grades entered, click the Submit Grades button at the bottom of the page. You should see a message indicating successful submission and your grades are on their way to Banner.

NOTE: If you teach a graduate level course you will need to manually adjust grades below a B- to F in accordance with the Wentworth Graduate Grade Schema. The Banner Grade Submit tool only recognizes one grade schema and we have selected the Undergraduate schema as the one which applies to the most courses.

Full Illustrated instructions for using Banner Grade Submit.

Video showing how to submit grades with Banner Grade Submit.

 

Blackboard Inline Grading Change – Crocodoc to Box View Transition

If you use the inline grading tools in Blackboard you will be seeing a change this term. Previously, inline grading used a plug-in called Crocodoc. The company that developed Crocodoc was purchased by Box.com and the Crocodoc plugin is being retired. As of January 15th 2018, Crocodoc will no longer be available. Before January 15th, however, we will enable a new tool,   Box View. All assignments submitted under Crocodoc will be migrated to Box View.

As a precaution we have archived all Crocodoc submissions with annotations to provide backup in case problems occur in the migration process.

On January 12th during our maintenance window (8 PM – Midnight), we will be turning on the new Box View tool. Any comments made using Crocodoc will be burned into the documents already graded/annotated and can’t be changed.

Learn more about Grading with Box View:

There will be some good and not so good changes with this transition. In Box View, students do not see any annotations until you submit the grade to Blackboard. Instructors who want to grade all student work and then release grades at one time, rather than over the course of a day or more,  can add comments but wait to add grades until they’ve reviewed all assignments.

Unfortunately there is no way to download an annotated assignment file as there was with Crocodoc. So to save annotated assignments for course manuals, you will need to take screen shots in addition downloading the original file. We’ll be looking for other ways of collecting this information (and Box View has heard from Blackboard System Administrators about how essential this feature is). Hopefully, Blackboard/Box.com will announce annotation download functionality as an improvement in the near future.

If you want to influence the development of Box View, make your voice heard and go to the Blackboard Community site, sign-up, and vote up the annotated download feature at:
https://community.blackboard.com/ideas/2504-new-box-view-download-document-with-annotations