April 11 Instructional Technology News

Hello from your Center for Instructional Technology! Below, you’ll find announcements and events to assist you with teaching and learning needs.

Simple Syllabus Launches April 17

UA’s new online syllabus platform, Simple Syllabus, launches April 17. All sections must have a syllabus published in Simple by the first day of classes for Summer 2023 and future terms. Instructors will receive reminders to complete their syllabi before each semester begins. Syllabi include required course and section information, as well as institutional and, in some cases, college-specific statements and policies. Instructors should add and edit section-specific information using Simple’s built-in editor, which allows for text formatting, links, videos, images, tables, and more. Simple Syllabus will be available through myBama, Blackboard Learn, or direct login.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Simple Syllabus Information Sessions

Gorgas Library Camellia Room 2020 on Friday, April 14, 9AM-9:45AM, 10AM-10:45AM, 11AM-11:45AM. No registration needed.

Simple Syllabus Support Appointments Available

If you prefer individual help to set up Simple Syllabus, request an appointment. Appointments are available beginning April 17.

Gradescope – Stories from the Classroom

April 12, 2:00-3:00 pm

Join the Gradescope team to discover how other instructors use Gradescope to:

  • Design formative and summative assessments without constraints around logistics and grading capacity.
  • Develop smarter workflows to help instructors, whether grading alone or coordinating a multi-section course with 20+ graders.
  • Gain insights you need to support student learning, understand trends, and improve teaching.

Register for Stories from the Classroom

Check out more workshops including Panopto, Hypothesis, and People.ua.edu at http://calendar.ua.edu.

Instructional Tech Resources and Reminders

The CIT Knowledge Base is your clearinghouse for tutorials, known issues, and best practices:

Ultra Course View Pilot Continues

Instructors interested in teaching with Ultra Course View in an upcoming academic term should submit a request via the CIT portal: Blackboard Learn Ultra LIVE Course Pilot Request.

Collaborate End of Use

On August 1, 2023, Class Collaborate will be deactivated and no longer available to use at UA. This change does not affect the Blackboard Learn system, only the virtual web conferencing tool, Collaborate. Instructors and program managers should download any needed recordings from Collaborate by August 1, 2023. CIT suggests instructors use Zoom or Teams for synchronous class meetings and Panopto for lecture capture.

Cleaning Out Older Blackboard Courses

Academic courses in Blackboard Learn are subject to removal two (2) years following the end of the semester in which they are taught per UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy. For example, courses taught in Spring 2023 will be removed after May 2025. Courses taught prior to Fall 2021 are now eligible for removal. Fall 2021 courses will be removed starting in May 2023. Non-academic courses, referred to as non-integrated courses, are subject to removal following two (2) years of inactivity. Instructors should save any needed course content or student grades. Students should save any necessary coursework as well. Steps to save content are linked below.

More information on the policy and instructions for backing up Blackboard content are available in the LMS Course Retention Policy FAQ.

As always, we are available Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:45 to assist you. We look forward to working with you soon.

Email – cit@ua.edu

Phone – 205-348-3532

Website and Knowledge Base – http://cit.ua.edu