Category: Announcements

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.

Panopto Downtime – August 15th

On Saturday, August 15, Panopto will be upgrading their cloud infrastructure to improve system performance and scalability.  During the upgrade, service may be unavailable for up to 3 hours beginning at 8pm Central Time.

Blackboard Learn Scheduled Maintenance Aug 5 – Aug 8

Blackboard Learn will undergo required maintenance and upgrades beginning Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, Aug. 8 at 2:00 p.m. Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during the required maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Center for Instructional Technology at 205-348-3532 or cit@ua.edu.
Our technical teams at Blackboard and UA will be performing necessary updates to database and operating system components of our system, as well as upgrading Blackboard Learn to Q2 2019 CU 10. We will also be provisioning Panopto for all fall courses, removing some obsolete tools, and adding several new support resources to help instructors and students.

Select enhancements

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra attendance tools
    • When hosting Collaborate sessions, taking attendance is now automated, eliminating the need for manual tracking. Collaborate session attendance is recorded within the Attendance page of the Learn course, is counted in the average attendance calculation, and can be factored into students’ grades
  • Cloud storage integration
    • Add files directly from cloud storage when authoring content or creating assignments. Students can also upload assignments directly from their chosen solution, including Google Drive and Box
  • Enhanced accessibility
    • To make it easier for those who use assistive technologies to navigate the structure of pages, skip links now work more consistently across Learn tool areas
  • Grading in the Blackboard Instructor app
    • Within the Instructor app, review assignment submissions and attachments, provide comments and inline annotations, grade with rubrics, and publish grades to students
  • Task Management
    • Calendar items and due date notifications available for additional content types

Instructional Technology News – July 22, 2020

Tegrity Out, Panopto In

It’s been a long breakup, but the end is finally here. Tegrity is now officially no longer available in Blackboard. We’ve received great feedback on its replacement, Panopto, from both students and instructors. In an informal poll, students named Panopto as their favorite tool during the spring transition to remote learning. If you have not yet used Panopto, I encourage you to watch our Record Your Video from Home How-To tutorial video, and learn more about Panopto on the CIT website.

Collaborate Original Out, Collaborate Ultra In

Effective Aug. 8, Blackboard Collaborate Original will no longer be available in Blackboard. Its replacement, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, is available now! Collaborate Ultra provides a more user-friendly and modern virtual meeting experience. Blackboard Collaborate is an ideal tool for leading virtual classes, office hours, tutoring and mentoring sessions, departmental meetings and more. Many existing features have been improved and modernized. Here is an overview of some of the tools that you can expect:

  • Browser-based web conferencing
  • Simple, fast file sharing
  • Recordings
  • Breakout Groups
  • Polling
  • Attendance Reporting

Get started with Collaborate Ultra today.

myBama + Banner Database Upgrades this Weekend

OIT will be performing database upgrades on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s work will affect myBama, Sunday’s work will affect Banner, DegreeWorks and a few additional services. Details about the database upgrades and outage times is available on the OIT Status Page. During both outages, Blackboard Learn will be available directly at ualearn.blackboard.com.

Reminder – Upcoming Blackboard Learn Outage

Blackboard Learn will undergo required maintenance and upgrades Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 4pm until Saturday, Aug. 8 at 2pm. We’ll be in touch in the coming weeks with more details about the upgrade.

Instructional Technology News – July 14, 2020

Zoom Update

Please regularly update the Zoom client installed on your computer. Zoom regularly publishes updates to keep the software secure. Zoom’s website offers instructions on how to update the software.

Vendor Webinars

CIT is hosting many webinars to prep instructors for fall, and so are our software partners. Visit the CIT website to see upcoming webinars from Panopto, Blackboard, VoiceThread and others. Additionally, software partners such as JMP and MATLAB regularly offer webinars for teaching with their software.

Respondus Password Update

Each year, CIT receives an updated license and installation password for Respondus 4 test management software. The password has been updated and is posted in the Respondus Blackboard course. Please note, this does not affect Lockdown Browser or Monitor.

Save the Date: Blackboard Learn Upgrade

Blackboard Learn will undergo required maintenance and upgrades beginning Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, Aug. 8 at 2:00 p.m. Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during the required maintenance.

Inline Grading now using Bb Annotate

Blackboard Annotate has replaced the Box View inline grading tool previously found in Blackboard. Bb Annotate offers a more robust feature set for you to provide customizable feedback to your students, including a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and more…

Panopto Software Upgrade

Friday, July 17 Panopto will require the Panopto recorder application to be upgraded to version 7.1 or above.  If your version of Panopto is not 7.1 or greater, you will need to update the recorder application.

Upon opening the application on July 17, users will be prompted to update the software. Panopto’s website offers instructions for updating Panopto on Mac and Windows. Contact cit@ua.edu with any questions or concerns.

Qualtrics – Classic Reports End of Life

Effective June 30, 2020 Qualtrics will no longer support or provide access to Classic Reports. All surveys and data will remain intact. Qualtrics now supports and encourages all users upgrade to the Advanced Reports experience.

Advanced Reports offers a number of benefits including a new simplified user experience, better application performance and increased stability in report generation.

After June 30, Qualtrics users will lose access to any reports created with Classic Reports; however, all survey and data will remain intact. If you have not already, we encourage users to rebuild reports on the Advanced Reports platform. Users may also download a PDF copy of existing Classic Reports.

To view Classic Reports, visit the Reports section of the Qualtrics console. If you have any questions, please visit the Qualtrics website.