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July 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.

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.

Embed video of possible: Using MS Teams and Zoom conferencing for online sessions in your courses

Changes to Third-Party Integrations in Blackboard Learn

We continue to make the changes necessary to connect third-party tools to Blackboard Learn. We are working closely with each vendor to document any changes in the workflow or appearance of these tools.

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

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

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, July 13, 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Online via Microsoft Teams
  • Teaching with Blackboard: Blackboard Learn Basics, Wednesday, July 26, 2:00-3:00 pm, A232 Gordon Palmer Hall

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

Zoom Basics

Monday, July 25, 10:00-11:00 am

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 a review of the in-meeting host and participant controls.

Register for Zoom Basics

Flip Basics

Tuesday, July 25, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Explore the features inside Flip and learn how to level up the ways your scholars communicate and share their learning. 

Register for Flip Basics

Zoom Advanced

Tuesday, July 26, 10:00-11:00 am

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

Register for Zoom Advanced

Adobe Professional Faculty Training

Thank You for responding to the Interest Survey! Based on your feedback, we plan to offer ALL the sessions listed in the survey.  Here’s what’s on the calendar so far:

  • Academic Faculty Taster Session – August 14, 11:00 am -12:00 pm (in person + virtual)
  • Storytelling with Video – August 18, 10:00 – 11:00 am (virtual only)
  • Student Research Journals Workshop – August 31, 10:00 – 11:30 am (virtual only)
  • Create Visuals in Express and Illustrator – Sept. 8, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (in person +virtual)

Register for Adobe training

Simple Syllabus Information Session

Multiple dates in August

In-Person Session (Gordon Palmer, A232) and Virtual

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

Fall 2023 Faculty Prep Days

SAVE THE DATE! Time to get your Fall courses polished and ready to go. CIT is hosting two days of workshops and one-on-one technical and pedagogical assistance to get you ready for the Fall semester.

Workshop offerings along with dates, times and registration information will be posted later this month.

  • Wednesday, August 16, 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
  • Thursday, August 17, 9:00 am – 4:45 pm

Check out more instructional technology workshops at

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.

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. Fall 2021 and prior courses are being removed 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 –

Phone – 205-348-3532

Website and Knowledge Base –

Simple Syllabus login errors

Update 6/28/23: We are still working with the vendor to resolve the issue. In the meantime, users should be able to access Simple Syllabus by adding a tool link in their Blackboard course. Follow the instructions below or visit our knowledge base article:
  1. In your Blackboard course, click on the icon at the top of the side menu bar and click Tool Link.

  2. Name the Tool Link (example: Course Syllabus).

  3. Select Simple Syllabus from the Type drop-down list.

  4. Select the check box if you wish to make the syllabus available to student users. This can be changed later, if desired.

  5. Click Submit.

The link is added at the bottom of the course menu. Drag/drop to the desired location anywhere on the menu. Click the Syllabus link you just created to begin reviewing and editing the syllabus.

A small number of users are receiving account not found errors when attempting to access Simple Syllabus via myBama or direct login at UA’s IT team is working with the vendor to resolve the issue. Report any access issues and error messages to CIT – or call 205-348-3532.

Turnitin AI Detection report launches April 4

Turnitin has announced the launch of its AI writing detection capabilities, available starting Tuesday, April 4, 2023. This feature will help you as instructors identify when AI writing tools such as ChatGPT may have been used to write any part of the content submitted in a student’s assignment. It will be automatically available within Turnitin. Bear in mind that the AI detection results will not be visible to students; only instructors and administrators will be able to see it.

Additionally, Turnitin will only be able to process submissions written in long-form English for AI detection. AI detection has been added to the Turnitin Similarity report -this means that your existing workflow will remain unchanged.

In-product guidance and access to product help resources will be at hand to explain the feature. In addition, to prepare you further for the use of this feature and to help you understand how you should interpret the results, we’ve put together some guidance and resources.

Turnitin is hosting two sessions for Using Turnitin Tools to Mitigate Student Use of AI Writing Tools

  • Wednesday, April 5th at 11:00 am CST register for April 5th session here
  • Thursday, April 13th at 1:00 pm CST register for April 13th session here

As always, we are available Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:45 to assist you.

Email –

Phone – 205-348-3532

Website and Knowledge Base –

Faculty Prep Days a SUCCESS!

CIT Faculty Prep Days Need assistance setting up your course(s) for Spring Semester? We can help! Drop By the CIT for instructional technology guidance. Our doors will be open and refreshments will be served. Friday, Jan 6, 9-11AM and 2-4PM. Monday, Jan 9, 9-11AM and 2-4PM. Gordon Palmer Hall, Room A232.

The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) kicked off the Spring semester with two Faculty Tech Prep Days on January 6th and 9th. We were excited to work with colleagues from Arts and Sciences, Communications, Culverhouse, Education, Engineering, Human Environmental Sciences, and Law.

Common topics related to

Audio Visual Solutions (AVS) representatives answered questions related to classroom tech needs, and OIT Security squad addressed email and account security questions.

If you couldn’t make it to the event, no problem! We offer the same support Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:45 pm in A203 Gordon Palmer Hall. Drop-ins are welcome. 205-348-3532,

Instructional Technology News

Hello from your colleagues in CIT! Below you’ll find resources to help with finals and grading. If you need help with instructional technology, including assistance with your exam and grading setup, please contact 

Resources for Exams and Grading:  

Explore Blackboard Ultra  

Curious about Blackboard Ultra Course View? Learn about UA’s Ultra pilot and request a practice course: Ultra Course Pilot Information.