Category: Announcements

Gradescope workshop

Gradescope is now being integrated with UA’s Blackboard Learn system. It is often used for evaluating handwritten responses, programming, diagrams, formulae, and other coursework that can be challenging to assess virtually.

Join us for the online workshop and 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.

You will learn how to:

  • Grade your existing exams and homework on Gradescope
  • Grade groups of answers at once
  • 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

Available workshops:

  • Tuesday, June 2, 3:30pm – 4:30pm Central
  • A second workshop may be scheduled as needed

Register and reserve your spot here: ​

UA System Hosts Virtual Scholars Institute

This month The University of Alabama System will be hosting its 13th Annual Scholars Institute. For the first time, this year’s Scholars Institute will take place as a series of online events.

The institute kicks off Friday, May 15 at 10am with a virtual presentation offering an overview of how the UA System community is responding to events related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A student panel will also discuss their experiences of learning in an online or remote format during the spring 2020 semester.

Join us for the 13th Annual UA System Scholars Institute May 15, 2020

“Like most events happening right now this year’s event will be quite different than past Scholars Institutes that UA has hosted” said Rachel Thompson, director of UA’s Center for Instructional Technology and planning committee member for the Scholars Institute. “We’re excited to host the event virtually, and we’re looking forward to what students have to say about the transition to online learning.”

The Scholars Institute fosters a shared community of knowledge among members of the three UA System campuses. The online series will include live presentations, panel discussions, Q&As and other ways to discuss current challenges and opportunities in the use of technology in teaching and learning.

Institute presentations will align with the institute theme, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Using Technology to Bridge Connections” and explore some aspect of technology’s role in teaching, research, and service.

Learn more, and register for the Scholars Institute, on the CIT website. For more information, contact UA’s Center for Instructional Technology at

Respondus Lockdown Browser Information

Respondus Lockdown Browser is a browser that locks down a testing environment within Blackboard. Students taking exams which require Lockdown Browser will not be able to access any other browser functions or applications on the computer being used until the exam is complete.

Instructors may require their students to use Respondus Lockdown Browser to lock down the testing environment within Blackboard. If an instructor requires Respondus, the software can be downloaded from the My Institution page in Blackboard or on the OIT software page. Students must install it to their Windows or Mac computer before taking the assessment. The Respondus LockDown Browser download page will automatically identify the type of computer used to access it, then provide the correct download accordingly.
NOTE: Lockdown Browser is not available for download on Chromebooks, iPhones, or Android mobile devices.
View our Respondus page for more resources and information regarding Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor.

Update Zoom Software

Updated software is secure software. OIT Security recommends that all Zoom software be updated as soon as updated software is released. By updating to the latest version, you will receive security patches and upgrades to ensure the security of your computer and also your meetings. You may have a message when opening Zoom that you have an update available. Simply click to receive the update. For additional details and instructions on how to update, please visit the Zoom website.

Collaborate Ultra Maintenance Friday March 27 AM

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be undergoing maintenance Friday, March 27, 2020 1:00 AM EDT (GMT -4) until Friday, March 27, 2020 5:00 AM EDT (GMT -4). Collaborate Ultra customers will experience intermittent availability during these maintenance windows.

Blackboard Learn Course Messages Module Discontinued

The Blackboard Learn course messages module formerly on the My Courses and My Institutions tabs is no longer available. This tool was independently developed and is no longer functional. Course messages still work within Blackboard courses and can be accessed in the course tools menu.

Blackboard Ally now enabled in all courses

In order to help instructors and students transition to online learning, Blackboard Ally for LMS has been enabled in all Blackboard courses. Ally helps make digital course content more accessible by automatically providing alternative formats (such as semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic Braille) and providing instructor feedback and guidance on fixing accessibility issues in a course. Please visit the UA Technology Accessibility website for more information.