Bb Annotate

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Overview

This page discusses annotating assessments in Blackboard and a series of best approaches and considerations when using the Bb Annotate inline grading tool in Blackboard.

What is Bb Annotate

Bb Annotate is Blackboard's newest tool for inline grading - replacing the older New Box View platform. Bb Annotate offers a robust feature set to provide customizable feedback to students. Features include a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various colour selections, and much more. Visit Blackboard Help - Bb Annotate for the full list of tools, supported file types, and features Bb Annotate offers.

Note: It is recommended to use browsers supported by Blackboard. A full list of supported browsers can be found at Blackboard Browser Support. You can also use the Blackboard Browser Checker Tool to check for browser compatibility.

Blackboard Annotate Tool Bar


A. Thumbnails: View Thumbnail, Outline, or Annotation views of the submission.

B. Pages: Change the page number in the submission.

C. Pan Mode: Navigate the submission.

D. Zoom Out: Zoom out of the submission page.

E. Zoom In: Zoom in of the submission page.

F. Page Fit: Adjust the view to fit the page, fit the width, or select the best fit.

G. View annotation tools: View a list of annotation tools.

H. Comment: Provide feedback in comments. Your comments appear in a panel next to the submission.

I. Print: Print the submission with annotations.

J. Download: Download the submission with annotations.

K. Search Document: Search the submission for specific keywords or text.

Thumbnails

Thumbnails Drop-Down

The Thumbnails tool can be used to change the view of submissions or to filter for certain content. You can change the view by clicking the drop-down menu to the right of the Thumbnails icon as shown on the right:

A. Thumbnails: View page thumbnails of the submission.

B. Outline: View an outline of the submission (only applicable to PDF files with existing outlines).

C. Annotations: View a summary of all annotations.

D. Bookmarks: View bookmarks placed in the submission or add additional bookmarks.

Page Fit

Page Fit Drop-Down

The Page Fit tool can be used to resize a document. You can set resize options by clicking the drop-down menu to the right of the Page Fit icon as shown in the image on the right:

A. Fit Page: Resize the submission page to fit the window.

B. Fit Width: Resize the submission to fit the width of the window.

C. Best Fit: Resize the submission to best fit the window.

View Annotation Tools

The View Annotation Tools tool can be used to add annotations to a submission. You can view the annotation tools by
clicking on the View annotation tools button. A tool bar similar to the one shown below should appear:

Annotation Tools Tool Bar


A. Drawing: Use this tool to draw on the submission page.

B. Image: Use this tool to insert an image into the page or to insert a a custom stamp or a stamp from the provided library.

C. Text: Use this tool to insert resizable text boxes into the submission page.

D. Line: Use this tool to draw shapes on the submission page.

Drawing in Bb Annotate

To change the tool used for drawing, you can click the drop-down menu to the right of the Drawing icon as shown below:

Drawing Tool Drop-Down Menu


A. Drawing: Use this tool to highlight text or draw on the submission page using a pen.

B. Brush: Use this tool to highlight text or draw on the submission page using a brush.

C. Eraser: Use this tool to erase any annotations made using the Drawing or Brush tool.

Once you have selected a drawing tool from the tool bar, an action bar will appear under the current tool bar, as shown below:

Drawing Action Bar


A. Colour: Select this tool to change the colour of the drawing tool.

B. Fill Colour: Select this tool to fill in a specified area with colour.

C. Opacity: Select this tool to change the opacity of the drawn lines
Note: (only affects lines drawn after selecting the opacity, lines drawn before cannot have their opacity changed).

D. Thickness: Select this tool to change the thickness of the drawing tool.

E. Blend Mode: Select this tool to blend the colour of several areas of the page at once.

Inserting an Image/Stamp in Bb Annotate

To change the type of image inserted, you can click the drop-down menu to the right of the Image tool as shown below:

Image Tool Drop-Down Menu


A. Image: Use this tool to insert an image file from your local computer (Supported file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png).

B. Stamp: Use this tool to insert a stamp from the Bb stamp library or to insert a custom stamp.

Inserting Text in Bb Annotate

To insert text into a document, click the Text tool on the Bb Annotate tool bar and click on where you want to insert the text
in the document. An image of the action bar is also shown below to highlight the different options for customizing text:

Text Action Bar


A. Colour: Select this tool to change the colour of inserted text.

B. Fill Colour: Select this tool to fill the background of the text boxes with a specified colour.

C. Opacity: Select this tool to change the opacity of inserted text.

D. Font: Select this tool to change the font of inserted text.

Inserting Lines in Bb Annotate

Line Tool Drop-Down Menu

To change the type of line/shape inserted, you can click the drop-down menu to the right of the Line icon as shown on the right:

A. Line: Use this tool to insert a resizable line on the page.

B. Arrow: Use this tool to insert a resizable arrow on the page.

C. Rectangle: Use this tool to insert a resizable rectangle on the page.

D. Ellipse: Use this tool to insert a resizable ellipse on the page.

E. Polygon: Use this tool to insert a resizable polygon on the page.

F. Polyline: Use this tool to insert a resizable polyline on the page.


If you selected a Line/Arrow/Polyline from the drop-down menu, an action bar similar to the one below will appear under the current tool bar:

Line Action Bar


A. Colour: Select this tool to change the colour of inserted lines.

B. Fill Colour: Select this tool to fill the background of inserted lines.

C. Opacity: Select this tool to change the opacity of inserted lines.

D. Thickness: Select this tool to change the thickness of inserted lines.

E. Line Style: Select this tool to change the line style of inserted lines.

If you selected a Rectangle/Polygon/Ellipse from the drop-down menu, an action bar similar to the one below will appear under the current tool bar:

Shape Action Bar


A. Colour: Select this tool to change the colour of inserted shapes.

B. Fill Colour: Select this tool to fill the background of inserted shapes.

C. Opacity: Select this tool to change the opacity of inserted shapes.

D. Thickness: Select this tool to change the thickness of inserted shapes.

E. Line Style: Select this tool to change the line style of inserted shapes.

Comments

Inserting Comments

Inserting a comment

To insert a comment into a submission, you can click the comment button as shown on the right and click on the area of the text where you would to insert a comment. Once you are done typing comments make sure to click Save. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to insert a comment. Use the figure to the right as a visual guide.

  1. Click the Comment icon in the toolbar.
  2. Click the area of the submission where you would like to insert a comment.
  3. Type the comment in the text box.
  4. Once you are done adding text, click Save.

Alternatively, you can also insert a comment by highlighting a piece of text, and selecting the comment bubble from the options window as shown below:

Inserting a comment by highlighting text


Editing/Deleting Comments

Deleting a comment
  • There is currently no way to edit a comment that has been saved.
  • Annotations/comments left by a grader can only be deleted by that grader.
  • To delete a comment, select the comment you would like to delete and click the trash icon as shown on the right. Refer to the figure on the right for a visual guide.

If you are unable to navigate to the right side of the screen to delete comments, try the following:

  • Drag the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the right side of the screen.
  • Use the Zoom Out tool and zoom out until you can see the comments.
  • Use the Pan Mode tool to navigate to where the comments are located.

Highlighting & Annotating Text

Highlighting Text Menu

To highlight and annotate large pieces of text, select the text you want to highlight or make other annotations of and select one of the options as shown on the right:

A. Text Highlight: Use this tool to highlight selected text in yellow.

B. Strikethrough: Use this tool to insert a horizontal line through selected text.

C. Underline: Use this tool to underline selected text.

D. Squiggle: Use this tool to insert a squiggly line under selected text.

E. Comment: Use this tool to attach a comment to the selected block of text.

Considerations

The Bb Annotate tool offers features to be used for inline grading, however, there are several limitations and considerations to understand before using the tool. Below is a table summarizing some of the features, considerations, and best approaches when using Bb Annotate.

Feature Considerations Best Approach
Document Formatting
  • Some of the formatting of the document such as headers may shift as part of the conversion process if word documents are submitted.
  • If a .doc/.docx file is being graded, the original file can be downloaded by using the Download button next to the document name.
  • PDFs can also be downloaded to preserve format.
Comments
  • After a comment has been posted, there is no option to edit.
  • When attempting to format a comment, tabs created will not be honoured.
  • The only way to ensure the comment has been posted is by clicking Save when finished.
  • To edit a comment, delete and rewrite the comment.
  • No formatting should be attempted when leaving a comment.
  • Enter only one comment per comment bubble (do not reply to a comment) as any secondary comments will not be visible to students downloading the annotated file.
Stamps
  • There is no option to save custom stamps after they have been created. If the custom stamp is necessary, then the user will need to recreate it each time.
  • Recreate custom stamps when grading.
  • Use the standard stamps provided by Blackboard.
Download Files (Online)
  • Opening a PDF file in an online browser will allow students to see the annotations and comments made on the file.
  • When viewing the file in the browser, the name of the grader will appear within the comment bubble. The date and time will not appear.
  • When downloading files, ensure you are using a supported browser such as Chrome or Firefox.
  • Have one comment per comment bubble, as secondary comments will not appear to students when viewing the file.
Download Files (Offline)
  • When viewing downloaded file offline, the name of the grader, date, and time will not appear in comment bubbles as it does in Blackboard
  • View feedback, comments, and annotates in Blackboard.
Multiple Graders (TA/GA Help)
  • When attempting to delete annotations and comments from a different grader, it may seem like the annotations have disappeared. However, once the browser page is refreshed, the annotations will reappear.
  • Annotations made can only be deleted and edited by the grader who initially created them.
  • Since instructors are not able to delete or make changes to TA/GA's annotations, it is recommended to reach out to the user who created the annotation to make changes.

Relevant Videos/Resources

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We are constantly trying to improve the information in this Wiki.
If you notice any errors or omissions with this material, please advise the LMS Team or submit a Service Request at http://www.uwindsor.ca/bbhelp.

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