Blackboard Assignment's Inline Grading Unavailable for Winter and Spring 2018

Published Monday, January 01st, 2018

For Winter and Spring 2018, faculty will not be able to view student assignments on-screen and provide on-screen annotation with Blackboard’s Assignment tool. 

Blackboard used a tool named Crocdoc to display student assignments on-screen and enable faculty to annotate on-screen feedback. The owners of Crocdoc gave an end-of-life date of January 15, 2018, meaning Crocdoc will be discontinued and will no longer work after this date.  Consequently, the Blackboard Assignment’s Inline Grading will no longer work.

For Winter and Spring 2018, faculty will not be able to view student assignments on-screen and provide on-screen annotation with Blackboard’s Assignment tool.  You may continue to accept assignments via the Assignment Manager, but will need to download assignments to read and provide feedback.  Another alternative is using TurnItIn instead of the Blackboard Assignment Manager.

Blackboard page


Due to the company’s decision to discontinue Crocdoc, viewing assignments on screen and providing feedback with inline grading will not be available in Winter or Spring 2018.  A new and improved version will be available in time for Summer 2018 courses.


Coppin’s Information Technology Division will update Blackboard Learn over the Memorial Day Holiday (May 2018).  After the update, a new, more robust Assignment Tool will be available for faculty.  In the meantime, we ask that you take this information into consideration as you plan your Winter and Spring semesters. Below are some questions you may have about the change that will aid in your assignment planning and execution.



  1. Can I still use the Blackboard Assignment Manager? Yes. Faculty can still create assignments in Blackboard, and they can still be accessed from the Grade Center.  The student submission process will remain the same.  The only difference is faculty will not be able to view assignments on-screen or provide annotations on screen for those submitted assignments.
  2. How will I view student submissions or provide student feedback for Winter and Spring 2018?  The Instructional Technology & I.T. Training Department recommends two options:
    • TurnItIn. Instead of using the Blackboard Assignment tool, use TurnItIn.  With TurnItIn, faculty will can see student submissions on-screen and annotate feedback.  As a bonus, TurnItIn will check the students’ work for potential plagiarism and give students a digital receipt as evidence of submitting their work.
    • Download Assignment and use Microsoft Word’s Review Tools.  If you continue to use the Assignment Tool, you will need to download the assignment to view it.  Should feedback be necessary, faculty can use Microsoft’s Review Tools (i.e., Track Changes, Comments, etc.).  After adding feedback, save the assignment and re-upload for the student to retrieve.
  3. How can I learn more about using TurnItIn and the Microsoft Word Review Tools?  The Instructional Technology & I.T. Training Department will provide hands-on sessions starting in January and continuing throughout the Spring.  In addition, self-help resources are available for faculty to learn how to use both tools.  
  4. What will happen to assignments that were previously graded using Crocdoc?  While the Crocdoc 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 review and for critical situations, such as grade challenges.
  5. Will the change have any impact on the use of rubrics for grading? No. There will not be any impact Blackboard’s rubrics or rubric data. Rubrics are a separate feature.
  6. When will Blackboard’s Inline Grading return?  Faculty will have inline grading in time for the Summer 2018 semester.  The tool that will support inline grading is named Box.
  7. Can Coppin delay this process?  The end-of-life of Crocdoc was a company decision.  This was not Coppin’s decision and not within our control.
  8. I’ve never viewed assignments on-screen in Blackboard or used the Inline Grading capability. How does this change affect me? If you have never accepted assignments via Blackboard’s Assignment tool and used Inline Grading capability in your course(s), then this change will have no impact.



If you have any questions, call the Instructional Technology and I.T. Training Department at 410-951-2643 or email them at