Author: admin

Needs Grading option for showing items not included in grading calculations

Needs Grading has a new option for showing items that are not included in grading calculations, which is always unchecked by default. If the “Include in Grade Center grading calculations” setting is not selected for an assignment, test, or other Grade Center column, it will not display in Needs Grading without selecting this new option. The box must be checked each time, and you must select Go.

Screen shot showing checkbox and go button referred to in instructions

Non-functional buttons in IE and Edge

Many buttons do not function properly in the unsupported browser Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. This includes submit buttons for assignments and toggle arrows when sending email.

FRC to be renamed Center for Instructional Technology (CIT)

Dear colleagues, 

I am excited to share that, as of July 1, 2019, the Faculty Resource Center will become the Center for Instructional Technology. This Center will include the existing services and staff of the FRC, as well as UA’s technology accessibility team.  

Our efforts to rebrand won’t result in fewer or lesser services for UA faculty members; we are still here to meet your needs. However, we are happy to adopt a name that reflects our broader mission to assist all UA faculty, instructors, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students with instructional technology and technology accessibility needs. We will continue to offer opportunities for instructors to learn about instructional technology and you will soon see more information and instruction focused on the needs of our students.  

Some of the new efforts we are pursuing include instruction in podcasting, gamification, media production, accessible document creation, course templates for instructors, and more. UA faculty, staff, and students are invited to continue to bring us challenges and ideas related to instructional technology. If you have instructional technology needs that are not being met, please let us know and we will try to help.  

Our team comprises a range of backgrounds and strengths and many of us have or are pursuing terminal degrees in our academic fields. We also teach undergraduate and graduate courses in various UA colleges. The tools we support serve myriad needs for our campus and we try our best to find innovative ways to use technology to enhance teaching, learning, research, and service at The University of Alabama. 

The goal of CIT is to help you, your colleagues, and your students have a more successful UA experience through the use of instructional technology. We are here to help address instructional technology problems, share solutions, and explore new ideas and opportunities. We look forward to working with you! 

Sincerely, 

Rachel Thompson 

Dr. Rachel S. Thompson 
Director, Faculty Resource Center (soon to be The Center for Instructional Technology)
The Office of Information Technology
The University of Alabama
A202 Gordon Palmer Hall
Box 870248 
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 
Phone 205-348-0216
rsthompson2@ua.edu

 

 

 

2019 Faculty Technology Showcase: Call for Nominations

The 2019 Faculty Technology Showcase will be held on Friday, February 22nd in room A232 Gordon Palmer Hall. The call for nominations is now open!

The goal of the Faculty Technology Showcase is to provide an opportunity for our community to share with one another how technology is being used across campus. Please nominate your colleagues who incorporate technology in both innovative and practical ways that enhance teaching and learning, assist with research, and/or increase professional productivity. You are welcome to nominate yourself as well.

Presentations will be in the form of electronic poster sessions that will last approximately 50 minutes each.

There are two ways to submit the names and email addresses for those you would like to nominate.  You can complete this brief Qualtrics survey. Please submit nominations by Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

 

Temporary Halt to New Blackboard Integrations

The UA Blackboard Learn team has made the decision to halt all pending integrations until an audit of our existing integrations and the potential issues they may cause is complete.

Early in the Fall 2018 semester, UA’s Blackboard Learn system went completely down twice in one week. The downtimes were minimized to about 30 minutes each due to the quick action of our Bb and UA support teams. An incident analysis revealed that the outage was caused by a malfunctioning grade synch process used by a textbook publisher integration. Although this integration is only used by about 10 of the 7000 UA fall classes in Blackboard Learn, many thousands of users were affected by the outage.

In the interest of preventing future performance issues, UA’s Blackboard team has decided to audit and reevaluate the 130+ integrations currently in place. We also plan to strengthen our guidelines for vetting and testing integrations. Once those tasks are done, we will be able to consider new integration requests again. No existing integrations will be removed or altered without communicating with users.