New in Blackboard: Inline Grading

This article is part of a series of articles explaining the new features and changes that will be introduced as part of the Blackboard upgrade scheduled for 26-28 July 2013.

The Inline Grading tool will allow you to view, provide feedback on, and grade student-submitted assignment files without leaving the Grade Assignment page (i.e. the page that you access through the Grade Centre to get to student assignment submissions). When students submit their files to an assignment, that file is converted into a format that is viewable inside Blackboard. All formatting and embedded images, charts, tables and so on are preserved in the conversion.  Staff members can then annotate the file directly online without needing to download the student work and reupload it.

Grading student work in this way can encourage students to engage with and and learn from their feedback as they can see directly where comments relate to specific points in their work in a legible way. It is also a streamlined and efficient method of grading student work submitted online than it is to download student work to annotate offline, and then have to upload the feedback.

Files that have been converted for display in the inline viewer can be annotated (just as you would in a Word document) by:

  • adding a comment to a specific point or selected area in the document (i.e. marginal notes)
  • drawing in the document using a pencil tool
  • highlighting selected text in the document
  • adding text to the document
  • striking-out text in the document

The inline grading sidebar provides a space to add further feedback (both typed into the text editor or as an attached file), view and comment using the feedback rubric (if one has been associated with the assignment), store private grading notes, and type in the grade – again all without leaving the Grade Assignment page. Of course, you can still download, annotate and grade student work offline if you wish; the new inline grading feature provides another option rather than replacing the existing ones.

Inline Grading in Blackboard

Inline Grading in Blackboard

When marking is complete, students will see their annotated document (along with their grade and any other feedback given via the inline grading sidebar). Students can download a pdf version of the annotated document – or print it if that their preference for storing and revisiting feedback – as well as still having access to their file that they originally submitted without the annotations.

Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and PDF documents are supported. Other file types can still be submitted by students for grading but these cannot be graded with the inline grading tool and you will be prompted to download the file. Assignment submissions that are copied and pasted in the text editor also cannot be used with the inline grading tool.

Please remember, like with regular assignment submissions, to ensure that both the assignment submission point and associated grade column in the Grade Centre are unavailable to students before you begin marking so that they cannot see the annotations and other feedback until you have completed the marking process.

2 thoughts on “New in Blackboard: Inline Grading

  1. Pingback: SBS Technology Enhanced Learning

  2. Pingback: New blackboard features and upgrade | SBS Technology Enhanced Learning

Leave a Reply