(this post is a continuation update from my prior post in March 2018)
We're starting this update off with an update on the #1 most-requested feature here on the Bb Community Site: the ability for users to download documents containing annotations created in New Box View.
As I've discussed in previous updates and messages, Blackboard has taken responsibility for building and rolling out this feature and we continue to work with Box on development and implementation details. For this initial implementation, users will be able to download the latest version of text-based documents containing annotations using a new, simple download option available in the Inline Grading workflow.
Here's a design mockup of what the implementation could look like for users within the Learn Ultra Experience:
(design mockup subject to change)
We will also be delivering this feature to the Learn Original Experience, and I will update this post with a mockup of the design when it is available. Generally, the additional option for "download with annotations" will be similar in the Learn Original Experience as it is displayed in the Learn Ultra Experience above.
We're actively coding this feature and are expecting to be able to provide this functionality prior to the start of the back-to-school period for many schools in August. As we get closer to this date, we'll be providing more information and documentation for the feature.
For the functionality that Box is responsible for updating, there are a few updates to share:
Change in UX for accessing comments on annotations from on-hover to on-click
Due to feedback from both the Blackboard community as well as other Box users, Box is making a change to how users interact with exposing text-based annotations:
Today, to access a comment on a highlight or point annotation users must hover over the annotation. This is one less click to make but requires the user's mouse to hover on the annotation constantly which can be problematic.
After this change users will be able to click on an annotation with text comment, view the contents of the comment, then move the mouse while the comment remains visible. Clicking on the annotation again will close the comment.
This means that users can more easily review multiple comments at once as well as navigate within the browser while still reviewing annotation comments. This change will be implemented on May 21st, 2018.
Box has confirmed that they are in active development of the "summary view" (Box may use the term "sidebar element") which will allow users to recognize that annotations exist in multiple locations within a document and navigate to those annotations easily. The timeframe for availability of this feature is currently expected between July and September. We'll keep updating the Bb community with more information as we have it.
Annotations on Excel-based files
Box has confirmed that this functionality is also in active development, and Blackboard is working with Box on timing for a rollout of this feature. Currently, we are expecting availability within approximately six weeks though we'll update again with more information as we have it.
Lastly, a few operational updates:
We're closing voting on the ideas relating to New Box View located in the Idea Exchange section of this site. Voting has been open for several months, and most of the activity and actual votes were cast early on when the ideas were created. In recent weeks the feedback has slowed and we're confident that the priorities of the Bb community are well reflected in the votes and comments present within the ideas. The ideas will be moved to their respective stages of "In Development", "Planned", or "For Future Consideration." Users will still be able to comment on the ideas, and all previous comments will be retained.
We continue to maintain the live tracking spreadsheet here: link