What's New in Blackboard

Blackboard has replaced the Box view inline Assignment grading with their new tool named Bb Annotate. Bb Annotate offers a more robust feature set for providing feedback to students. Features include a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more.


What is Bb Annotate?

Bb Annotate is Blackboard’s new inline grading tool for Assignments. Supported file types open in the browser where you can view, comment on, and annotate a student’s Assignment submission.

Bb Annotate offers a more robust feature set for providing feedback to students. Features include a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more.

Learn more about Bb Annotate.

Watch a video tutorial on Bb Annotate.

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What annotation and commenting tools are available?

Image of Bb Annotate Toolbar
  • Drawing, Brush, and EraserImage of Bb Annotate insert drawing icon: Draw freehand on the submission with various colors, thickness, and opacity. Select the eraser to remove annotations. You can erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser or select the Delete icon to delete the whole drawing.
  • Image or StampImage of Bb Annotate insert Image icon: Choose a preloaded stamp or create your own customized stamp or image to add to the submission.
  • TextImage of Bb Annotate insert text icon: Add text directly on the submission. You can move, edit, and change the text and select the font, size, alignment, and color of the text.
  • ShapesImage of Bb Annotate insert shapes icon: Choose Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, and Polyline. Each shape has its own settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.
  • CommentImage of Bb Annotate insert comment icon: Provide feedback in comments. Your comments appear in a panel next to the submission.
  • Highlighter: Select specific portions of the submission to highlight. As you highlight text on the submission, an additional menu opens. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the highlighted section.

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How do I highlight text?

Simply select the text by clicking and dragging your mouse over the parts you want to be highlighted. Once the text is selected a small menu will appear with options to:

Image of Bb Annotate Highlight Text options
  • Highlight text
  • Strikethrough text
  • Underline text
  • Underline squiggle
  • Highlight text and add a comment

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How do I remove what I've written or drawn?

To delete an entire drawing, select it and click the Delete icon Bb Annotate delete icon in the toolbar. You can also erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser tool.

Image of Bb Annotate eraser tool

From the side-bar menu in the upper left panel, select Annotations. The annotations you've made will display in the sidebar. Click the delete icon Bb Annotate delete icon next to an annotation to remove it.

Image of Bb Annotate sidebar menu

Select a comment and click the delete icon  Bb Annotate delete icon to delete it.

Image of Bb Annotate delete comment icon

What types of files does Bb Annotate support?

  • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint®(PPT, PPTX)
  • Microsoft® Excel®(XLS, XLSX)
  • Digital Images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, TGA, BMP, HEIC)
  • Source code (Java, PY, C, CPP, etc)
  • Medical Images (DICOM, DICM, DCM)
  • PDF
  • PSD
  • RTF
  • TXT
  • WPD

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Will Bb Annotate work in the Blackboard Instructor app?

Bb Annotate will work with the Blackboard Instructor app. However, as part of the responsive design, the toolbar menu may appear differently based on the screen size.

Bb Annotate will not work in the Blackboard student app. So students should access their assignment submission through a web browser instead to see annotations.

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Can I still access annotations that were created in the old Box View?

All pre-existing annotations created through Box View are visible in Bb Annotate. Users will be able to delete annotations as well as add new comments to any existing comment created in Box View.

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How long can I edit a document before submitting it?

Annotation sessions expire after one hour - you'll receive a warning message if you reach this point. You can select Save Draft to save your work and continue later if you need more time.

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