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Resolved: Turnitin Outage – Oct. 20

Update 10/20 10:47 am, Turnitin believes the issue to be resolved. Users may experience slowness while using the service as the system recovers.


Turnitin is currently investigating and working to resolve a major outage. This known issue will be updated when the issue is resolved.

For more information, visit the Turnitin Status Page.

Respondus Lockdown Browser – Connectivity Troubleshooting for Students

Trouble shooting for “You have not logged in yet or your session expired,” or other connectivity and IP address error messages:

“Forget” non-Eduroam networks

How to forget a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac
How to forget a Wi-Fi network on your Windows 10 PC

Disable MAC Randomization in Windows 10

Some versions of Windows 10 have a feature that randomizes the MAC address for different WiFi connections. When using Respondus Lockdown Browser, disable this feature to avoid filling multiple device slots on your account. If you do not see the option for ‘use random MAC address’ it is likely that your version of Windows 10 does not have this feature.

  • Select the ‘Start’ button in the bottom left corner of the screen
  • Select the gear icon to go to ‘Settings’
  • Select ‘Network and Internet’
  • Select ‘Wifi’
  • Set ‘Use random hardware addresses’ to ‘Off’

Most issues with Lockdown Browser are related to connectivity or firewall settings. To minimize issues, students should use a hard wired Ethernet connection when possible, or be as close to the router or access point as possible. We also recommend restarting the computer and shutting down all other programs running on the computer. Also shut down anything else running on the network, such as gaming consoles or video streaming services. It may also help to restart the modem/router.

Other Common Issues:

Cannot Detect or Configure Webcam
Spinning Wheel During Webcam Check
Video Connection Timed-Out Error
Update Check Failed: Error Code a4
Unable to connect to Respondus Server (AWS)
Respondus Support

Many library computers are equipped with Respondus LockDown Browser and web cameras. Students may reserve an appropriate computer through the UA Libraries website.

Unable to join Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions using Chrome Version 79 or Lower – Chromebook

Chromebook devices that are unable to update the Google Chrome browser to version 79 or higher will be presented with an error when attempting to join a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session using the Google Chrome browser. The user will be unable to join the session and the error will reference the version of Google Chrome installed on the device.

Resolution/Workaround:

First, make sure that you are indeed unable to update to a more recent version of Chrome. Chrome Update Instructions
If you are unable to update, impacted users may still be able to join Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions from their Chromebook device by using an alternate browser.

Chromebook devices that support installing and running apps from the Google Play Store can install one of the following for use with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox (requires a touch-screen device)

Vendor Workshop – Delivering Assessments Remotely with Gradescope

Join us for an online workshop Tues. Sept. 29 from 1pm – 2pm, to learn how instructors use Gradescope! The workshop will offer guidance on how to deliver assessments remotely and outline various assessment options to meet your immediate needs, including:

  • Fully online assignments, no paper required
  • Existing paper-based assignments
  • Combining online and paper-based approaches

We will also cover the grading and rubric-building workflow on Gradescope and walk attendees through both the instructor and student interface for creating and submitting assignments and viewing feedback.

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Grade your existing exams and homework on Gradescope
  • Make rubric changes as you grade – changes apply to previously graded work to maintain consistency
  • Write each comment only once – apply previously used comments with a click
  • Create better rubrics to increase student learning
  • Use ‘assignment analytics’ to gain insight into student learning

Make Plans to Attend

Tuesday, September 29, 1pm – 2pm

The workshop is free; however, registration is required: ​https://info.gradescope.com/alabama-workshop.

A recording of the session will be shared with all registrants. So please feel free to register even if you can’t make it to the live session!

More About Gradescope

Gradescope is a feedback and assessment tool that dramatically reduces the pain and time associated with grading exams, homework, and other assignments. Gradescope is widely used for delivering assessments remotely. It enables instructors and graders to give better and more timely feedback, resulting in improved learning outcomes. Dynamic rubrics help streamline the tedious parts of grading while increasing grading consistency. AI-assisted Grading allows instructors to automatically group similar answers and grade all the answers in each group at once. Gradescope also helps with grading programming assignments at scale and can automatically grade printed bubble sheets. You can learn more and create an account at www.gradescope.com. The Gradescope team is happy to help, so please let them know if you have any questions at help@gradescope.com.

Respondus Lockdown Browser not compatible with Window 10 S – Surface Pro

Windows 10S is not a compatible operating system with LockDown Browser, nor can LockDown Browser be obtained via the Windows App Store. At present, support for Windows 10 S Mode isn’t on the roadmap for LockDown Browser. Full Respondus Support Article

Compatible Operating Systems

Windows: 10, 8, 7. Windows 10S is not a compatible operating system.
Mac: macOS 10.12 to 10.15
iOS: 11.0+ (iPad only).

Instructional Technology News – September 2, 2020

September is here – time to start planning for your first course assessment of the semester! The CIT has prepared content for each course delivery mode regarding best practices for online exams and assessments. Meet our tools that can help you as you prepare your first assessment.

Testing Tools:

Blackboard Tests

Instructors can use Blackboard Learn to create, administer, and grade exams and quizzes, all online. Visit cit.ua.edu/blackboard for detailed tutorials.

Respondus Lockdown Browser

Respondus Lockdown Browser allows instructors to require students use a pared-down, secure web browser to take an exam (not available for Chromebooks). Students can download Lockdown Browser from the My Institution page in Blackboard or on the OIT software page. Instructors must enable Lockdown Browser from the Course Tools menu.

Respondus Monitor

The Respondus Monitor option in Lockdown Browser uses a student’s webcam to automatically scan for irregular or suspicious test-taking activity and flag possible issues for instructors to review. Think of Respondus as a virtual alternative to an in-person testing monitor.

Exam Accommodations

If you have students who receive ODS accommodations that include extended time on tests, these steps from Blackboard walk you through adding test exceptions. Additionally, the Office of Disability Services provides information on testing accommodations at UA. Check out ods.ua.edu for more information.

Testing Tips

Tests aren’t new, but taking tests online can be new territory for many students. Share our Testing Tips with your students.

Additional Learning Space/Tech News:

Virtual Learning Spaces

UA has designated more than 60 classrooms and meeting rooms as virtual learning spaces – areas where students can attend online class meetings while on campus. Please share this with your students as an alternative location to attend an online class.

Student WIFI Connectivity

OIT is performing upgrades in several residence halls to improve wireless connectivity. If you encounter a student experiencing WIFI connectivity issues in their on-campus residence, please direct them to the IT Service Desk (205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu). *Note – the IT Service Desk is separate from the CIT. However, each are units within the Office of Information Technology.

Instructional Technology News – Aug. 27, 2020

We’re one week in to our new methods of teaching. CIT has a few resources to share as you continue to develop best practices for your course.

Contingency Planning

As we saw this week with a Zoom web server issue, outages occur. Although we strive to do everything in our power to prevent outages, please know that alternative technologies are available! For example, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an ideal tool to host a class meeting if Zoom is unavailable. Review all of our technologies, and see what they can do, in our Tool Comparison Chart.

Along with technology backups, consider having an instructor backup. Are your course materials available so that someone else could pick them up and teach your class? Consider having a backup instructor available with access to your course materials.

Blackboard Learn Basics for Students and Instructors

Students and instructors are depending on Blackboard Learn now more than ever before. Blackboard Learn serves as your course home page for most necessary materials.  Review the CIT YouTube channel to see Blackboard best practices for both students and instructors. Learn how navigate and use Blackboard like a pro.

Check the CIT website for Common Tips

For example, if you use Panopto in the Safari browser, you may have noticed a login redirect loop. We’ve got a work-around that can help.

As always, we’re here to help. Contact us at cit@ua.edu, and remember, all UA instructors can contact Panopto Supportdirectly for help with Panopto, support@panopto.com.

Instructional Technology News – August 17, 2020

Welcome to the fall 2020 semester at The University of Alabama! Your colleagues in the Center for Instructional Technology are available to help with your instructional technology and accessibility needs.

Flexible Modes of Instruction

We’ve developed several resources to help with flexible teaching methods. Review the CIT website to see tips and best practices for Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Online/Internet and Interactive Audio/Video courses. Make an appointment for your virtual consultation today by emailing cit@ua.edu. If courses show as “not currently available” in the instructor’s course list, edit course availability in Blackboard course properties.

Classroom Technology
Our colleagues in Audio/Visual Solutions have installed web cameras on adjustable mounts in over 400 instructional spaces across campus to allow instructors to livestream and record lectures. This will facilitate equitable learning opportunities for both face-to-face and remote learners. Additionally, disposable microphone covers are being delivered to academic departments this week.  They are packaged for faculty scheduled to teach in eligible classrooms.  To find out more, visit AVS online

Extended Support

Great news! We’ve expanded support offerings for both Panopto and Blackboard Learn. Now, anyone from UA can get direct support from Panopto and Blackboard Learn support will be available on nights and weekends. Visit cit.ua.edu and accessibility.ua.edu to view our instructional technology and accessibility support offerings.

Build Your Online Presence

Did you know that CIT supports a web development tool for UA faculty and graduate students to build professional, portfolio websites? Visit people.ua.edu to learn more and request a website.

Stay in Touch

To check on the status of our technologies, visit our news page. While you’re there, subscribe to receive updates from CIT.

This semester may look different than previous years, but please know, our team is ready to serve you as we have each year before. Please contact us at 205-348-3532 cit@ua.edu to request help with instructional technology anytime throughout the semester.

Aug 4, 2020 – Instructional Technology News

Blackboard Learn Upgrade Reminder

Last week you received information from CIT’s Director, Dr. Rachel Thompson, on the details of our Blackboard Learn upgrade occurring this week, Aug. 5 – Aug. 8. If you missed it, you can view Dr. Thompson’s message on the CIT website. Remember, Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during the upgrade.

Panopto Upgrade

Saturday, Aug. 15, Panopto will be unavailable from 8pm – 11pm while cloud infrastructure is upgraded to improve system performance and scalability.

Flexible Modes of Instruction

UA has employed flexible course delivery modes for the fall 2020 semester. Learn more about suggested tools and methods for a smooth teaching and learning experience for each course type on the CIT website.

Tool Comparison Chart

CIT supports many technology tools that can be used for class meetings, office hours and video calls. Review our new Tool Comparison Chart to find the best fit for your need.

We’re here to help.

As always, contact the CIT at cit@ua.edu with any questions or concerns. Our team will be all hands on deck as we work through the Blackboard Learn upgrade. We appreciate your patience as we perform updates to better serve you.