The Blackboard Instructor app helps you easily identify courses where you need to grade student submissions. Instructors and graders can review, annotate, grade, and publish the grades to students.

Grading in Original courses only

The app's grading feature is available for assignments in Original courses only. At this time, your institution needs Blackboard Learn SaaS or Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU4+.

Learn more about the availability of grading in the app

Grading is supported in the Blackboard Instructor app on both phones and tablets. The interface is slightly different between phones and tablets.

Access grading

You can access grading in two ways:

  • Main menu. Tap Grades for a global view of items to grade or post for all Original courses.
  • Course overview. Needs Attention shows student work that you need to grade.

    The top portion of the course overview is slightly different for Ultra courses. Instead of Needs Attention, a Due Dates section shows what's coming up in the next two weeks in that course. Grading isn't available but you can preview assessments.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Grading in Blackboard Instructor shows how to grade assignments in the app.

Grades for all courses

Select Grades on the main menu to see which courses have assignments that need your attention. Only Original courses and organizations show in this list.

Tap an individual assignment to see its submissions and grades. Tap See All Assessments to view all graded items for that course.

The Grades page displays up to three assessments with due dates that need your attention for each course. Tap See All Assessments to check if more assessments are ready to grade or post.

On the Grades page, you can hide courses you don't need to focus on. Tap the Show or Hide Courses icon, select the courses to hide, and Save. Tap the icon again to show a hidden course. Or, tap the card at the end of the list that states the number of hidden courses.

Grades for individual courses

When you're in an Original course, you can see assessments that need your attention immediately on the course overview. You can also tap Grades to view all assessments.

Course overview

The first block of information in the course overview is the Needs Attention section. This section shows assignments with submissions ready to grade or post. You can tap an item to start grading.

If you have no grading tasks, you won't see the Needs Attention section.

Grading overview

Tap Grades in the course overview to see all gradable items for the course. This view is divided into sections:

  • Needs Attention. Submissions that are ready to grade or post.
  • Posted. Submissions that are graded and posted. Posted grades are visible to students. In general, these items don't need further attention.
  • Not Yet Submitted. Gradable items, such as upcoming assignments, that don't have submissions yet.
  • Anonymous & Delegated. Assignments set to anonymous grading or delegated grading show here. If you have no assignments in this section, it doesn't show in the app.

At this time, you can tap and grade assignments only. Other assessments such as discussions, wikis, and tests are listed for visibility, but you can't grade them in the app. You need to access your course on a web browser to grade these submissions.

View submissions

After you access Grades from the main menu or an individual course's overview, tap an assignment to see its submissions.

The submission list is divided into sections to help you focus your efforts.

  • Summary. Shows how many of your students submitted this assignment and the overall class average for posted grades. On tablets, you also see a grade distribution graph.
  • Assessment Detail. Provides information such as due date and number of attempts. You can also view file attachments or the rubric used for grading. On tablets, tap the information icon to access the details.
  • Ready to Grade. Students submitted this work and you can start grading.
  • Ready to Post. Submissions are graded and ready to publish to students.
  • Posted Grades. These grades are published to students.
  • Not Submitted. These students haven't submitted the assignment.

Just tap a submission in the Ready to Grade section to start grading.

Administrators can turn off grade pill color display. When turned off, the grade pills appear with dark backgrounds and white grades.

Grade assignments

In the app, grading is a two-step process. First grade the item and then post the grade for students to see. Students don't see their grades until you post them. You can post grades as you go or all at once when you've finished grading.

Each time you add a grade, feedback, or inline annotation, your changes are securely synced to Blackboard Learn and all your devices.

  1. Access an assignment from the main menu or within an individual course.
  2. On the submission list, tap Ready to Grade.
  3. Select a student submission. Or, you can tap Begin Grading to start grading the submissions in succession.
  4. Review the student's submitted content and files. More on inline annotations for assignment files.
  5. Tap the information icon if you want to refer to the assignment instructions, rubric, and other details.
  6. Tap the feedback icon to add overall feedback on the student's work.
  7. Tap the grade pill and type a grade. Remember, the grade isn't visible to the student until you post the grade. More on posting grades in the app.

Inline annotations for assignment files with Bb Annotate

Students can submit assignment work as attached files, and you can provide notes directly in the file. Your annotations are saved in the system and students can see them in a web browser view of their course.

Starting on Dec 10, 2020: if the submitted file (not converted) is greater than 300MB, processing will stop, in order guarantee no data loss and good performance.

For Ultra courses, students can also view annotations in the Blackboard app. For Original courses, students aren't able to view file annotations in the Blackboard app at this time.

Access a student's assignment attempt and open an attachment. If there's more than one attachment, tap the arrow next to the file name to select a different file. You can annotate one file at a time.

This image shows the app on a tablet. Some functions, such as the Content Library and display of comments next to a file, are not available on smaller devices due to limited screen size.

  1. Change your view. Tap the arrow next to the page view icon to select an alternate view such as page thumbnails or a list of all annotations. Tap the page view icon to switch between the full page view and your selected alternate view. Tap the file name to view another attachment.
  2. Select text in the file to open an additional menu. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the selected section.
  3. Draw, insert images, insert stamps, or add text to the file.
  4. Tap the comment icon and then tap anywhere in the file to place a comment. In the text box, type or use your device's dictation capability to create text. All comments show next to the document.

Additional functions in the menu bar enable you to search the text. You can also use the Content Library to create a bank of reusable comments, if available on your system. You can add, edit, delete, and search comments in the library. You can insert one of your stored comments directly to the assignment file.

The app doesn't support download or print functions for assignment files or annotations at this time.

Tap any annotation in the file and select one of the edit functions in the menu bar to make changes. You can also delete the annotation permanently.

When you close the annotation screen, your changes save and securely sync to Blackboard Learn and all your devices.

Bb Annotate sessions expire after one hour. A message lets you know you can refresh the page to continue . Your annotations, feedback, and files are saved so that you can resume your work.

More on Bb Annotate in the web browser view of your course


If a rubric is associated with the assessment, it displays after you tap the grade pill. Select the appropriate achievement levels and the grade is calculated automatically. To override the overall rubric grade, tap the grade pill or Manual Override. You can't override grades for individual rubric criteria or achievement levels.

For Original courses, if more than one rubric is associated with an assessment, the rubric designated as Used for grading is used in the app. Ultra courses allow only one associated rubric per assessment.

    Post grades

    After you grade one or more submissions, return to the submission list to post the grades so they're visible to students.

    1. If needed, close a grading window. Tap the back arrow to navigate to the submissions list.
    2. Tap Ready to Post to view the list.
    3. Tap Post Grades.
    4. Clear the check box for items you don't want to post.
    5. Tap Post Selected to publish those grades to students.

    The grades you posted now appear under Posted Grades on the submission list.

    After you post grades in the app, you need to access the course in a web browser to edit grades and feedback.

    For Original course tests that are autograded, submissions are posted automatically. In the app, these submissions show in a course's grading overview in the Posted section.

    For Original courses, students need to access their courses in a web browser to view your New Box View annotations on submitted documents. The Blackboard app supports New Box View annotations only for Ultra course at this time. Learn more

    What can I grade?

    You can use these grading features in the app:

    • Grading for assignments
    • Points, text, percentage, and letter grades
    • Grading with associated rubrics

    These grading features are not available in the app at this time:

    • Grading tests**
    • Grading group submissions**
    • Grading discussions, blogs, wikis, and journals**
    • Anonymous and delegated grading**
    • Audio and video feedback
    • Offline grading

    **Designated as Available on web only in the app. Access your course in a web browser to grade these assessments.

    These enhancements are planned for future releases:

    • Grading assignments for Ultra courses*
    • Grading tests*

    Is grading available to me in the app?

    Grading capabilities are available in Blackboard Instructor version 2.0+ for these conditions:

    • Assignments only
    • Original courses only
    • Blackboard Learn SaaS or Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU4 +
    • Devices running Android 4.2+ or iOS 9+

    Clients on Blackboard Learn versions prior to Q2 2018 need to upgrade to Q2 2018 in order install the necessary CU for grading capabilities.

    More information on system requirements for grading in the app

    Preview assessments

    In Blackboard Instructor, navigate to Course Content and access tests and assignments. This preview shows course assessments as students see them in the Blackboard app.

    What do students see?

    Instructors can grade assignments in the Blackboard Instructor app, and can grade all other items in a web browser view of a course.

    Students can view scores in these ways:

    • Blackboard app for students on the Grades page: Students tap a graded item to see their attempts, scores, and feedback depending on the item type.
    • Blackboard app for students in Course Content: Students tap a graded item to see their attempts, scores, and feedback depending on the item type.
    • In a web browser view of a course, students can view attempts, scores, and all feedback you provided, including inline annotations.

    Show Original course test attempts to students

    For Original courses, students see their scores after a test is graded. If you want to also show students their full attempt, including Feedback to the learner, you need to select specific test options.

    Show attempts to students