Blackboard - Faculty - Grading: Grading with Inline Grading

The Blackboard cloud service inline grading is designed to augment the grading experience by providing a document preview window which instructors can use to review and markup documents without the need to download an assignment from the Blackboard environment. This user guide will outline how to use the Inline Grading system to review and markup documents and provide answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Inline grading system.

Marking assignments with Inline Grading

  • Marking with inline grading is essentially the same process as grading normally, follow the instructions at Blackboard - Faculty - Grading: Grading Tests or Assignments to access the assignment
  • When reviewing an assignment attempt, you'll note that the area that previously contained the download box now shows a preview of the assignment submitted by the student.

  • Use the assignment markup tools to add comments to the document or other markup as needed.

  • Enter a grade and submit any comments as you normally would when grading an assignment
  • When the assignment grades have been released, the students will see a similar preview and have access to any inline comments created.
  • Please note - Overall feedback should still be entered into the feedback box below the grade, all comments must be created on an area of the document where text is present, or data loss could occur.

Inline Grading Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Inline grading is a cloud service, what does that mean and where is the data stored?

A: A cloud service is a broad term with many possible definitions depending on the specific circumstances. In this instance, it means that the inline grading service is provided to Trent University by a third party. Documents uploaded to Blackboard drop boxes are transmitted through the internet to the servers at, who have been contracted by Blackboard to provide the service to Blackboard customers. Currently has data centres located in California and Nevada.

Q: I'm concerned about the privacy implications of using this service. What precautions are in place to make sure data uploaded remains private?

A: When a document is uploaded to the inline grading system no user information is passed from our Blackboard system to the hosted service. Documents are given a unique digital identification number, which is referenced in the Blackboard system and used to connect documents with usernames. The only data transmitted to the hosting service is data contained in the document itself, which is not indexed or searchable and is stored on servers in an encrypted state.

Q: I have a student who is very concerned about the privacy implications of storing documents in the United States. What should I do?

A: Documents stored using this cloud service are far more secure then using many cloud services like Facebook or, it's virtually impossible for US based authorities to actually locate a specific document. However, IT recommends that an alternate submission means (paper or email) be made available to students with serious privacy concerns.

Q: Does the hosting provider meet any security or compliance standards for information privacy?

A:, the ultimate location of any uploaded files has been certified for HIPPA and SafeHarbor compliance

Q: Is there any way to opt-out of this service?

A: This service is a system wide implementation, it is not possible to opt-out on a course by course basis.

Q: Are other schools using this service?

A: Yes, this specific document rendering service is very popular and has been implemented at other institutions using Blackboard including the University of Ottawa and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.


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Last updated

Friday, January 4, 2019 - 09:30