August 24 Instructor News from the Center for Instructional Technology 

Welcome to Fall 2023 from your Center for Instructional Technology! Below, you’ll find announcements and events to assist you with teaching and learning needs. As always, email, call 205-348-3532, or stop by A203 Gordon Palmer Hall for assistance with UA’s instructional tech tools. 

Simple Syllabus –Per the UA Syllabus Policy, Fall 2023 syllabi must be published by August 23. Visit UA Simple Syllabus support site for workshops, and other resources.  

  • Need help getting started with Simple Syllabus? Getting Started with Simple Syllabus 
  • Need help publishing your syllabus? Publish the syllabus 
  • Need help adding your syllabus to a course? Add a syllabus link to your Blackboard course 
  • Issues with course materials listed in Simple Syllabus? Confirm that the right texts are listed with University Supply Store, If the correct materials are listed with the SUPe Store, they will update in Simple overnight. Email if they do not update in Simple. 
  • Effective Fall 2023, two new optional components have been added to Simple Syllabus. Instructors may include one or both of the following on their syllabi as they deem appropriate. These optional items will not display on the syllabus if no information is entered in the respective components. 
    •  Generative AI Tools: Instructors may include a syllabus statement regarding the use of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT. In the Help section of this syllabus component, instructors may review and select one of three suggested statements to be included on the syllabus based on their preference. These statements can be copied and pasted into the component text box.  
    • Controversial Topics: Instructors may also include a statement in the syllabus if they believe there are topics in the course which may be considered controversial. The sample statement listed in the Help section of this component may be copied and pasted into the component text box. 


Changes to Third-Party Integrations in Blackboard Learn 

Several publisher and other third party tools have a new method of working within Blackboard Learn and may have slightly different steps. We have worked closely with each vendor to document any changes in the workflow or appearance of these tools. Instructors may also be contacted by textbook providers if adjustments are needed to the steps instructors must follow to use these digital resources in Blackboard Learn. 

Stay up to date as we make these changes by subscribing to the CIT Announcements page. 

Collaborate End of Use 

Class Collaborate was removed from Blackboard Learn on Aug 10. UA departments using Class Collaborate OUTSIDE of Blackboard may still access Class Collaborate until Sept 30. CIT suggests instructors use Zoom or Teams for synchronous class meetings and Panopto for lecture capture. 

Using MS Teams and Zoom conferencing for online sessions in your courses 

Instructional Tech Resources and Reminders 

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

Getting Started with Blackboard (includes helpful links for start of semester) 

Blackboard Browser Checker 

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. 

Upcoming Learning Opportunities 

We have been hard at work putting together workshops and webinars to meet the needs of UA faculty and instructors! Select upcoming sessions are listed below, but keep up to date on all the training sessions at 

Teaching with Blackboard Sessions

These CIT-led workshops and webinars aim to help you get started with and get the most out of Blackboard Learn, UA’s learning management system. Upcoming sessions include:

  • Teaching with Blackboard: Blackboard Learn Basics 
    • Thursday, August 31, 2023, 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Meets in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall
    • Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Meets in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall
    • Thursday, September 14, 2023, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Meets in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall
  • Teaching with Blackboard: Grading and Managing the Gradebook 
    • Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 am – Meets online via Microsoft Teams
    • Thursday, September 14, 2023, 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Meets in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall

Register for CIT-led Teaching with Blackboard workshops and webinars.

Teaching with Turnitin Sessions

Turnitin provides tools for grading and peer review and helps deter and prevent plagiarism by checking student-submitted work against an extensive online database. Learn more in these upcoming sessions:

  • Teaching with Turnitin: Turnitin Basics 
    • Thursday, August 31, 2023, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Meets online via Microsoft Teams
    • Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Meets in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall
  • Teaching with Turnitin: Understanding Similarity Reports and Scores 
    • Thursday, September 7, 2023, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Meets online via Microsoft Teams

Register for CIT-led Teaching with Turnitin workshops and webinars.

Adobe Professional Faculty Training

These training opportunities, led by Adobe experts, are provided exclusively to UA instructors.

  • Student Research Journals Workshop
    • Thursday, August 31, 10:00 – 11:00 am (virtual only) – Discover 10 simple steps to create research journals, digital papers, reports and presentations. Learners explore options to create and share their work as an Adobe Creative Cloud Express web page instead of using a word processor or slide deck. 90-minute session.
  • Create visuals in Express and Illustrator
    • Friday, September 8, 2023, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (in person + virtual) – This workshop is a excellent professional development solution to help faculty enhance their students’ communication skills with Adobe Express and Illustrator. We’ll share ideas and resources for infusing creative thinking, communication, collaboration and project-based learning into your classes, and show you how your students can quickly and easily transform essays, student writing, lab reports, posters, worksheets, presentations, and other common classroom projects into creative digital images, dynamic web pages, infographics, videos, posters, visual reports and more. Participants will leave with ready-to-use resources and ideas for the classroom.

Register for Adobe sessions

Simple Syllabus 

Multiple dates in August offered both in-person (Gordon Palmer, A232) and virtually

In this one-hour session of UA’s new syllabus platform, Simple Syllabus, we’ll cover:

  • How to access Simple Syllabus
  • How to navigate and edit the syllabus
  • UA statements included on the syllabus
  • Required items to be completed by the instructor
  • How to add items to the syllabus
  • How to save and submit the syllabus
  • How to access the syllabus from Blackboard Learn.

Register for an upcoming session

Flip Basics  

Explore the features inside Flip, UA’s video discussion tool, and learn how to level up the ways your scholars communicate and share their learning.

Wednesday, September 6, 10:00 – 11:00 am 

Zoom Basics  

Learn the basic features for conducting a zoom meeting including an overview of Zoom’s web portal and desktop client, how to schedule a meeting and invite others, and we’ll review the in-meeting host and participant controls.

Monday, August 28, 10:00 – 11:00 am 

Zoom Advanced 

This CIT instructor led session will explore Zoom features including recurring meetings, breakout rooms, polls, and reports.

Tuesday, August 29, 10:00 – 11:00 am 

Introduction to Panopto 

Join CIT for a webinar that covers the basics of using the lecture capture and video platform, Panopto.  This webinar is designed for new users and beginners who would like to learn how to use the Panopto interface and recording features.

Tuesday, August 29, 1:00 – 2:00 pm 

Monday, September 11, 10:00 – 11:00 am 

Doing more with Panopto  

Join CIT for a webinar that covers features that extend beyond the introductory Panopto class.

Tuesday, September 5, 1:00 – 2pm

Tuesday, September 19, 10:00 – 11:00 am 

Hypothesis: Annotation Starter Assignments  

This 30-minute workshop is ideal for instructors who are interested in using social annotation in their courses but aren’t exactly sure how to provide guidance to students. The Hypothesis team will review ideas for annotation starter assignments and provide you with ready-to-use instructions for a variety of disciplines and modalities. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching humanities, business, STEM, or the health professions, or if you’re teaching face-to-face or online — you’ll get strategies from this workshop that you can add immediately to an assignment in your course.

Thursday, August 31, 12:00 – 12:30 pm 

Hypothesis – Activating Annotation in Blackboard   

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.

Thursday, September 7, 2:00-2:30 pm 

Annotate Your Syllabus with Hypothesis   

Asking your class to annotate the syllabus allows you to introduce students to social annotation in a low-stakes way. Even better, you’re providing them with an opportunity to engage with the syllabus, to share ideas and to ask questions about the course in a way that sets the tone for engagement throughout the term. In this workshop, the Hypothesis team will review ideas and guidance for the collaborative syllabus annotation assignment.

Tuesday, September 12, 12:00-1:00 pm 

Microsoft Teams meetings for virtual class sessions 

Learn how to use “meet now” and how to schedule a virtual class meeting, explore meeting tools, and examine settings to further control and manage your virtual class meetings.

Thursday, September 7, 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Getting Started   

Create your professional faculty website using our easy drag-and-drop web platform. In this session, you’ll learn how to add text and pictures, create column layouts, add video, audio, and hyperlinks, and add and rearrange pages.

Pre-registration required at


Check out more instructional technology workshops at  


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

Email – Phone – 205-348-3532 Website and Knowledge Base –