Category: Instructional Technology News

Instructional Technology News – November 29

Hello instructors,

We’re in the home stretch! This is Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology with some news and tips for this final week of fall semester classes.

Zoom Log in – Change to Log in with SSO

UA Zoom users should now log into Zoom through single sign-on using their myBama credentials rather than a unique username and password. SARS users should continue to log into Zoom with their existing usernames and passwords to continue to use the SARS + Zoom meeting functionality. Additionally, no changes will be made to HIPAA-compliant accounts at this time. Instructions and additional information are available on the OIT website: Log Into Zoom with SSO

Get ready for finals

Preparing to offer a final exam via Blackboard? CIT encourages you to:

Final grades due December 14 at midnight

Final grades are due 12/14 at 11:59 p.m. Any missing grades as of the 11:59 p.m. deadline will result in grades of “N” being assigned as placeholders. Instructors will then be required to submit grade change requests to correct all “N” grades.

Helpful grading information:

Reporting a non-attendance grade? Find the date the student last accessed your Blackboard course using the Performance Dashboard or by viewing the Last Access column in the Grade Center grid.

We’re here to help

Your colleagues in The Center for Instructional Technology provide training, support, workshops, webinars, and consultations for UA’s instructional technologies and technology accessibility. You can reach us at cit@ua.edu or 205-348-3532. Join us at an upcoming webinar or schedule a consultation with us.

Want more updates from CIT? Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Instructional Technology News – November 11

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with some early November news and tips.

Email Address in Blackboard

Students who are also employees have both @ua and @crimson email addresses. These students can now specify which address they would like to use for Blackboard Learn communications. Students should use their @crimson email addresses for all academic and student-related communications. Additional information and steps for determining and changing the email address associated with a Blackboard account are available on our website: Email address in Blackboard.

Get ready for finals!

Preparing to offer a final exam via Blackboard? CIT encourages you to:

Access to Crimson Google Accounts Will End May 2022

After the Spring 2022 semester, Crimson Google accounts will no longer be available to UA students and alumni. Individuals should export or migrate all content they wish to keep to OneDrive (current students) or a personal storage space (UA alumni and former students should export content). All content remaining in Crimson Google accounts will be deleted on May 16, 2022. Additional information, including suggested steps for migrating content, is available on the OIT website: Crimson Google Accounts

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra updates

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has seen several updates this fall! We’re particularly excited about the new whiteboard, which offers better formatting, interaction with breakout groups, annotation persistence and more.  Users can also now adjust their recording playback speed, going faster to save time or slower to catch more of what is being said: Recordings for Participants

We’re here to help

Your colleagues in The Center for Instructional Technology provide training, support, workshops, webinars, and consultations for UA’s instructional technologies and technology accessibility. You can reach us at cit@ua.edu or 205-348-3532. Join us at an upcoming webinar or schedule a consultation with us.

Want more updates from CIT? Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

RESOLVED – Known Issue: Respondus 4.0 Test Manager Users Unable to Connect to Server

Update, Friday, October 8 at 9:00 AM:

CIT has applied a settings change recommended by Respondus Support. Instructors should follow the revised “How to Publish your Test to Blackboard via Respondus 4” and “How to Export a Blackboard Test to a Word Document” how-to guides in the Respondus Blackboard course.


NOTE: This issue does not affect Respondus Lockdown Browser or Monitor. The issue only affects the use of the Respondus 4.0 test management tool.

Users may receive an error message when trying to upload a test to Blackboard, or when retrieving test questions from Blackboard, via Respondus 4.0. The error message may say one or both of the following:

  • “Error accessing course list; either the login failed or it has no access to any courses.”
  • “Authentication failed. Please select [Edit Settings] to double-check your server settings.”

We have contacted Respondus Support to troubleshoot this issue and will update this Known Issue when it is resolved.

Workaround: Upload Questions to Blackboard using a formatted Excel spreadsheet.

For more information, email cit@ua.edu or call 205-348-3532.

Instructional Technology News – September 23

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with a few reminders and tips in advance of the upcoming midterm grade entry deadline. Want more updates from CIT? Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Midterm grades due October 6 at midnight

Midterm grades are due 10/6 at 11:59 p.m. Instructors are required to submit midterm grades for all 100- and 200-level courses. Midterm grading should be used to submit grades assigned for non-attendance.

Helpful grading information:

Reporting a non-attendance grade? Find the date the student last accessed your Blackboard course using the Performance Dashboard or by viewing the Last Access column in the Grade Center grid.

Testing tips for students

If you administer midterm exams via Blackboard Learn, you might share these testing tips with your students:

  • Use a wired Internet connection.
  • Close/quit other computer programs.
  • Read the test instructions. Details may include a time limit, number of attempts, and backtracking options.
  • Minimize use of the mouse scroll wheel. Scrolling the wheel may inadvertently change your answer.
  • Save your answers. Click the Save Answer button for every question.
  • Click Submit.

Additional tips for being prepared and getting connected: Testing Tips for Students

We’re here to help

Using Gradescope to evaluate handwritten assignments? Giving a test with Blackboard Learn? Looking to secure an exam with Lockdown Browser?

Your colleagues in The Center for Instructional Technology provide training, support, workshops, webinars, and consultations for these and other instructional technologies and technology accessibility. Request online support, email us at cit@ua.edu, call us at 205-348-3532, join us at an upcoming webinar, or schedule a consultation with us.

Instructional Technology News – September 14

Attend Adobe Day, tweak your Blackboard Learn notifications, get started with Gradescope and Hypothesis, and more.

Adobe Day

Make plans to attend Adobe Day on Friday, September 17, in Gorgas Library. Guest presenters and panelists from across campus will dive into new Adobe offerings that utilize some of the most exciting trends in emerging technology: interactive design, on-the-go video storytelling, and more. Adobe Creative Cloud is available to all UA students, faculty, and staff.

Blackboard Learn

Notifications when and where you need them

In case you missed it, Blackboard Learn recently moved to the cloud! With the move came a new look and feature set, Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation. One of our favorite things about the new way to interact with Blackboard content is the Activity Stream, which captures activity across all your courses. The Activity Stream page is also where you can specify the types of activities for which you’d like to receive notifications (institution announcements, new messages, new gradable items, etc.) and how the notifications are delivered (Activity Stream page, email, SMS, push).

myBama logout troubleshooting

If you are getting logged out of Blackboard Learn when you access it via myBama, try closing the myBama tab after accessing Learn or logging into Blackboard Learn directly.

Heard about Hypothesis?

Whether you’re teaching with digital texts, news, blogs, journal articles, legislation, or other digital documents, you and your students can use Hypothesis to annotate course readings collaboratively.


Students in an edX course using Hypothesis to annotate a Wikipedia page

Here are some resources to help you get started with Hypothesis:

Getting started with Gradescope

Gradescope helps you administer and grade all of your assessments, whether on paper, online, or both. Using Gradescope, instructors can apply detailed feedback with just one click; make rubric changes that apply to previously graded work; see question and rubric-level statistics to understand better what students know; and easily export grades and data. In addition, Gradescope works well for various answer types: paragraphs, proofs, diagrams, fill-in-the-blanks, multiple-choice and more.


Gradescope grading interface for a sample question and submission, showing the student submission on the left, the rubric on the right, and navigation actions at the bottom

Visit our website for additional information about Gradescope and steps for adding it to your Blackboard course.

Voicethread is out, Flipgrid is in

UA has transitioned to Flipgrid as our video discussion and collaboration tool. Flipgrid offers a modern, fun, and accessible video discussion option for UA instructors and students, ideal for engaging students asynchronously. If you previously used VoiceThread for recorded lectures, you can export that content, upload it into Panopto, then share it as a link in Flipgrid:  How to Export VoiceThread Content

We’re here to help

Your colleagues in The Center for Instructional Technology provide training, support, workshops, webinars, and consultations for UA’s instructional technologies and technology accessibility. You can reach us at cit@ua.edu or 205-348-3532. Join us at an upcoming webinar or schedule a consultation with us.

Want more updates from us? Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Instructional Technology News – August 18 – Welcome to Fall 2021 and Happy #FirstDayUA

First Day UA 2021Dear instructors,

Welcome to the fall 2021 semester at The University of Alabama! Your colleagues here in The Center for Instructional Technology are available to help with your instructional technology and accessibility needs. We provide training, support, workshops, webinars and consultations for  UA’s instructional technologies which include Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Flipgrid, Gradescope, Hypothesis, Panopto, People.ua.edu websites, Respondus, Turnitin, Turning mobile responseware and Zoom.

Learn more about each of these technologies on our website. A few noteworthy items to bring to your attention:

Blackboard Learn

In case you missed it, Blackboard Learn recently moved to the cloud! With the move came a new look, Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation. Ultra provides a new way to navigate course content that will save you time and help you stay on top of what’s important. Visit our website to see highlights of Ultra Base Navigation. We ask your continued patience as we continue to work through Known Issues following the recent upgrade.

Panopto

Before a course will appear in your Panopto list of courses, you must provision that course for use with Panopto. You can provision your course by clicking on the “Course Videos” button that appears in your Blackboard course menu and following the setup instructions. We’re happy to share that Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) generated captions are now automatically added to Panopto videos. Accurate captions enhance learning and ensure access for all. Be sure to review and edit captions for accuracy.

Hypothesis

Following a successful pilot, Hypothesis is here to stay! Hypothesis is a collaborative annotation tool. It makes reading active, visible, and social, enabling students to engage with their texts, teachers, ideas, and each other in deeper, more meaningful ways. Visit our website for Hypothesis highlights and resources.

Gradescope

Gradescope is another tool recently adopted after a successful pilot. Gradescope can be used for evaluating handwritten responses, programming, diagrams, formulae, and other coursework that can be challenging to assess virtually. Additional information about Gradescope and steps for adding it to your Blackboard course are available on the CIT website.

Reach out for help.

We’re here to help. You can reach us at cit@ua.edu or 205-348-3532. Join us at an upcoming webinar or schedule a consultation with us.

Want more updates from us? Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

We wish you all the best this semester!

Instructional Technology News – August 16

Hello instructors,

Melissa here from The Center for Instructional Technology. As you may know, our team recently migrated UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn to the cloud. While the migration was successful, there are a couple of Blackboard-related Known Issues I’d like to make sure you’re aware of. I also ask your patience as your colleagues in CIT work to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

  1. Certain Banner events – users getting added to or dropped from courses, instructor course assignments, etc. – continue to process. Until this issue is resolved, your Blackboard course and user lists may not reflect the same data that is in myBama.
  2. The Blackboard Learn Section Maintenance tool typically accessible via the Faculty/Academics tab in myBama is not functioning correctly. Until this issue is resolved, instructors wishing to combine two or more Blackboard courses must contact CIT to request the creation of supersections. Please include the course registration number (CRN) of each course you wish to combine in your request.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work to resolve these issues and bring Blackboard Learn back to full functionality.

Melissa

Instructional Technology News – August 13

Hello instructors,  

I am pleased to let you know that UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn has successfully moved to the cloud! Blackboard Learn, and the other affected instructional technologies, are now available. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we performed these necessary upgrades! 

Notes and next steps: 

  • I invite you to log into Blackboard Learn and check out the new Ultra Base Navigation. Step-by-step guides and a video introduction of the new Ultra look are available on our website. 
  • If you use digital resources from a third-party in your Blackboard Learn course, please test them and confirm their functionality as soon as possible. If you find that anything is not fully functional, please let us know.  
  • Certain Banner events – users getting added to or dropped from courses, new course and supersection creation, etc. – will continue to process over the weekend. If your course list does not appear as expected on Monday, please contact us after confirming your schedule in myBama. Note that access to some courses, including those supported by The College of Continuing Studies, is not available until the first day of classes. 
  • Panopto users: Before a course will appear in your Panopto list of courses, you must provision that course for use with Panopto. You can provision your course by clicking on the “Course Videos” button that appears in your Blackboard course menu and following the setup instructions. 

Join us next week for a live, virtual “Meet Ultra Base Navigation” workshop where we provide an overview of the new Ultra look. Details about these and other workshops are available on our website. We’ll be in touch next week with more beginning of the semester reminders as we approach First Day UA! 

Thank you,  

Melissa 

Instructional Technology News – August 9

Hello instructors,

Meg here from the Office of Information Technology. While our CIT team is busy migrating Blackboard to the cloud, I want to share a few IT items to help you (and your students) be prepared for the Fall 2021 Semester.

Crimson email is now powered by Microsoft O365.

Early this summer OIT migrated student and alumni Crimson email accounts from Google to Microsoft O365. We did this to increase collaboration among students and faculty/staff by hosting email together in one environment. Hosting student email in O365 allows for students, faculty and staff to be in the same email directory, and it allows for more functionality with tools like Microsoft Teams.

Students can use a variety of methods to access their email. Here’s four options:

  1. Log into myBama.ua.edu and click the Crimson Email link
  2. Visit mail.crimson.ua.edu on the web
  3. Add the account to the Outlook desktop app
  4. Add the account to the Outlook mobile app

Students should be accessing their email regularly to receive important campus updates. If your students have any questions about email, please direct them to the OIT website where we have more information and answers to frequently asked questions – oit.ua.edu/crimson.

Connect to Eduroam wireless internet.

This summer we changed how individuals connect to the Eduroam wireless internet network. Individuals must connect with an email address and myBama password.

For faculty and staff, that’s your myBama username@ua.edu email address. Students can connect with their Crimson email address. Returning students and faculty may need to re-establish a connection upon arrival to campus. More information about campus internet service is available on our website.

Download free software.

OIT offers many software packages to students, faculty and staff. Visit oit.ua.edu/software to download software tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, MATLAB, McAfee Antivirus, Microsoft O365 and more.

Move content from Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive.

Beginning May 2022, OIT will no longer support Google Drive for Crimson accounts. Students should begin using UA’s preferred cloud storage service, Microsoft OneDrive. Step-by-step guidance is available on our website for moving content out of Google Drive and into Microsoft OneDrive. If you share any materials with students via Google Drive, please make the switch to OneDrive.

We’re here to help.

Visit oit.ua.edu for more information about IT services.  You can also reach us at the IT Service Desk, itservicedesk@ua.edu or 205-348-5555.

Continue learning, even while Blackboard is unavailable.

The CIT team is hard at work updating Blackboard Learn. Melissa will be in touch later this week when Blackboard service resumes. In the meantime, we’ve added several webinars and workshops to our website to encourage students and instructors to continue learning, even while Blackboard Learn is down. I hope to see you in one of the Outlook and OneDrive workshops tomorrow!

Thanks,

Meagan

Instructional Technology News – August 3

It’s here. After more than one full year of preparation, the CIT is moving Blackboard Learn to the cloud! We’ve been buzzing about this upgrade since April, and we appreciate your patience as we perform the upgrade to make UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn a more flexible, scalable and resilient platform.

Blackboard Learn unavailable Aug 5-13

In case you missed it, Blackboard Learn will be unavailable Aug. 5-13 for a database migration and upgrade. With the upgrade comes an enhanced look known as Ultra Base Navigation. Ultra provides a new way to navigate course content that will save you time and help you stay on top of what’s important. Visit our website to see a preview of Ultra, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

While Blackboard is down, I encourage you to partake in an instructional technology workshop. Meet your new favorite tool: Flipgrid, or refresh your Zoom skills. We hope to see you in a workshop next week.

Our team will be offering a new workshop – Meet Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation, to introduce the new features that come with Ultra. Make plans to attend!

We’ll be in touch next week as we wrap up the migration to the cloud. As always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re here to help.

Have questions?