April 28 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.
Summer and Fall 2023 Syllabi in Simple Syllabus
UA’s new online syllabus platform, Simple Syllabus, launched April 17. All sections must have a syllabus published in Simple by the first day of classes. Instructors will receive initial reminders to complete their Summer 2023 syllabi on May 1. 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 is available through myBama, Blackboard Learn, or direct login. For information about creating and sharing a syllabus, adding Simple Syllabus to Blackboard Learn, or registering for a support session, visit CIT’s Simple Syllabus support resources.
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
Simple Syllabus Information Sessions
In Person Sessions in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall:
- Thursday, 5/4, 2PM
- Friday, 5/12, 9AM
- Thursday, 5/25, 10AM
Virtual Sessions in Microsoft Teams:
- Wednesday, 5/3, 10AM
- Monday, 5/8, 3PM
- Tuesday, 5/23, 3PM
Simple Syllabus Support Appointments Available
If you prefer individual help to set up Simple Syllabus, request an appointment.
Blackboard/Anthology Digital Teaching Symposium
On Thursday, May 4, 2023, we hope you can join us online for a full day of free, peer-led virtual sessions on digital teaching strategies for the unique needs of 2023 and beyond. The Digital Teaching Symposium brings educators together to share and discover innovative uses of technology in an ever-changing teaching environment. Explore ways to keep learners engaged, foster innovation, and develop strategies to help you and your students navigate, excel, and thrive in a shifting higher education landscape.
Gradescope – Stories from the Classroom
Join the Gradescope team on May 8th, 2:00-3:00 pm, 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.
Registration is required – Gradescope Registration
Activating Annotation in Blackboard with Hypothesis
On May 9, 12:00-1:00 pm, the Hypothesis team will share how teachers are using annotation-powered reading to help students develop foundational academic skills like deep reading and persuasive writing. In addition to sharing pedagogical best practices for social annotation, we will demonstrate how Hypothesis is used with course readings in your LMS. Participants will gain a clear understanding of how to start incorporating social annotation into their courses to improve student outcomes. Register online
Check out more instructional technology workshops at https://cit.ua.edu/workshops/
Instructional Tech Resources and Reminders
The CIT Knowledge Base is your clearinghouse for tutorials, known issues, and best practices:
- Testing Tips for Instructors
- Adding extended-time or another test accommodation in Blackboard?
- Enter Final grades in Blackboard
- Import Final grades from Blackboard into myBama
- Add a reason for non-attendance grade in myBama
- Blackboard grade import FAQ
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 Spring 2021 are now eligible for removal. Spring 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 help you. We look forward to working with you soon.
Email – email@example.com
Phone – 205-348-3532