Inline document markup in the Blackboard Assignment tool allows Subject Coordinators and Instructors to view and annotate student submissions directly inside a web browser. On the 14th of January, 2018 between 6am and 8am (AEDT), Crocodoc which is the name of the service that provides inline document markup functionality to the Blackboard Assignment tool will be replaced by New Box View. New Box View offers several improvements over Crocodoc including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types. However, New Box View does not have the same level of annotation functionality as Crocodoc, and the transition to New Box View has introduced known issues.
Note: The transition from Crocodoc to New Box View will only impact users of the Blackboard Assignment tool. Turnitin assignment users are not impacted by this change.
Table of contents
- Why the transition from Crocodoc to New Box View?
- Feature comparison between New Box View and Crocodoc
- Impact to submissions in Crocodoc
- Known issues
Why the transition from Crocodoc to New Box View?
In 2014, UTSOnline was upgraded to a version of Blackboard that introduced inline document markup which enabled Instructors to view and annotate common document formats directly within a web browser. This functionality was accomplished using the Crocodoc product integrated into the Blackboard Assignment tool. A year earlier, the then-independent Crocodoc organisation was acquired by Box, Inc. In November 2016, Box announced that Crocodoc would be retired world-wide on the 15th of January, 2018 and will no longer work after this date. In preparation for the decommissioning of Crocodoc, Blackboard has been working with Box to replace Crocodoc with a new inline document markup service – New Box View.
From 8am Sunday the 14th of January, 2018, the Blackboard Assignment tool will be updated to replace Crocodoc with the New Box View inline document markup service.
Feature comparison between New Box View and Crocodoc
Although the user experience between Crocodoc and New Box View is very similar, users may notice slight differences in the user interface which can be seen below – Crocodoc on the left, New Box View on the right:
The introduction of New Box View will also include changes to the annotation services which are listed in the below table.
|Feature||Crocodoc||New Box View|
|Accepted file types||PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCX||Over 100 different file types, including video, audio, image, and programming code. See: File Types and Fonts Supported in New Box View|
|Display standalone images||Yes||Yes|
|Play audio and video||No||Yes|
|Drawing tools||Yes||No, but is expected to be available in early 2018|
|Strikeout of text||Yes||No|
|Download||You can download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotations||You can download a copy of a student file, but annotations created in New Box View won’t appear|
Impact to submissions in Crocodoc
Blackboard assignment submissions: Student submissions created before the changeover will be available in New Box View after the transition.
Annotations created before the changeover: After the transition, annotations on a student assignment created in Crocodoc will be “burned” onto a PDF in New Box View. These annotations cannot be removed or changed. You can add new annotations to the student assignment in New Box View but you cannot interact with any of the annotations created in Crocodoc.
Rubrics: The changeover will NOT impact a subject’s rubrics or rubric data. New Box View will continue to use the same rubrics within the inline grading interface. The Rubrics tool is a separate feature to Crocodoc and New Box View.
The Learning and Teaching Systems team are aware of the number of known issues created with the changeover from Crocodoc to New Box View which we have highlighted below. We are working with the vendor to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.
- Issue: Burned-in Crocodoc comments made on the right side of a submission are chopped off by the right margin in New Box View.
Status: No fix available. Workaround is to zoom in/out using the New Box View zoom tools or scroll using the New Box View scroll tool.
- Issue: When opening the assignment submission in New Box View, the “The file is being converted” message appears.
Status: No fix available. Workaround is to refresh the page.
- Issue: The Safari web browser will not load New Box View.
Status: No fix available. The workaround is to use another web browser such as Chrome or Firefox.
- Issue: “Download failed” error when accessing document through the Bb Grader mobile app.
Status: Workaround this error by closing and reopening the Bb Grader app. This will only happen once following the changeover to New Box View
Refer to the UTSOnline support for staff help page.