(this post is a continuation update from my prior post in February 2018)
Edit: 3/27 - Drawing Annotations were enabled for all customers on 3/26, noted by Box in their changelog here.
There has been quite a bit of activity over the past few weeks regarding New Box View, with some good progress being made but also some bumps in the road. Specifically, Box released both Drawing Annotations and "sticky" Point Annotation Mode as promised in early March. Unfortunately, unexpected performance problems were quickly identified with the new Drawing Annotations and Box made the decision to remove the new tools until these issues were remedied. Box has now made progress in fixing the root cause of the performance concerns and have since reenabled sticky Point Annotations and plan to reinstate the Drawing Annotations no later than Tuesday, March 27th. I will update this post once we have confirmed Drawing Annotations have been made available again.
Note: Box site link above states this, but I wanted to call out that feedback and data created using Drawing Annotations while they were active will be available again when the tool is reenabled – no data will be lost
More broadly, the circumstances of Drawing Annotations mentioned above has highlighted several gaps in communication between Box, Blackboard, and Blackboard clients regarding the timing of changes to the New Box View service. Generally, the flow of information through the community ecosystem is represented as:
(1) Vendor-distributed generalized information
(2) Blackboard-distributed information outlining impact for Bb clients
(3) Bb clients'-distributed targeted information specific for clients' end users' needs
After continued discussions between Blackboard and Box, we have identified several specific actions which will help fulfill the expectations at all points in that communication chain:
- Monthly updates from Box to Blackboard with expected changes coming in the next month
- Email and publicly reference-able location from Box for monthly updates
- Additional end user-facing documentation (e.g. "how does this new feature work?")
These additional activities help reinforce the information in coming from Box in (1); will allow Blackboard to tailor our communications across our established channels (here on the Bb Community Site, on Help.blackboard.com, and through Behind the Blackboard) to meet the needs of (2); and enable the Administrators, Instructional Designers, content creators, facilitators and other end-user facing roles at Blackboard client institutions to be successful at (3).
This additional work continues to strengthen the partnership between Blackboard and Box to provide timely and accurate information to Blackboard clients regarding product updates. We appreciate the community's patience as we work through these actions and look forward to continuing to improve the communication, features, and overall experience of using Inline Grading within Blackboard Learn and the New Box View service.