Category: Instructional Technology News

Instructional Technology News – May 13, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with some instructional technology news.

Changes to Turnitin

On May 11, CIT updated the method used for connecting Blackboard to Turnitin. The new connection method allows for more seamless system updates in the future and offers an improved student submission process. While the update brings some user interface changes, the service retains the same features.

All Turnitin assignments need to be created with the new tool (see How do I create a new Turnitin assignment?). Assignments created with the old Turnitin tool are still available and viewable in courses, but they cannot be recreated by using the course copy process (see How do I view submissions for an old Turnitin assignment?). More information about the change and guides to using the new Turnitin are available in CIT’s instructional technology knowledge base: Changes to Turnitin in 2022.

Updates to Labster in Blackboard

On May 11, CIT updated the method used for connecting Labster with Blackboard. The new process for adding simulations in Blackboard is simpler and no longer requires downloading and re-uploading your desired sims; instead, you can link the sims directly from the Build Content page within Blackboard. CIT sent information about this change to instructors who have previously used Labster simulations within their Blackboard courses. Please see Blackboard – How to add Labster simulations to your course (LTI 1.3), and let us know if you have any questions.

Crimson Google Account Service Ends – Monday, May 16

OIT will decommission Crimson Google accounts on Monday, May 16. Unlike the May 2021 email migration, OIT will not migrate Google Drive content for students and alumni. Individuals are responsible for exporting or migrating all content they wish to keep. Faculty and staff who shared content with students using Google Drive should now use OneDrive. Visit the OIT website to see step-by-step guides for migrating content.

Blackboard Cleanup – Tuesday, May 17

On May 17, CIT will disable access to selected courses in Blackboard Learn. Courses that begin with the following semester codes are subject to removal in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy:

  • 201740 – Fall 2017
  • 201810 – Spring 2018
  • 201830 – Summer 2018
  • 201840 – Fall 2018
  • 201910 – Spring 2019
  • 201930 – Summer 2019

UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy states that courses are subject to removal from the system two years following the end of the semester in which they are taught. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.  More information on the policy and instructions for backing up Blackboard content are available in the LMS Course Retention Policy FAQ.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day – Thursday, May 19

Thursday, May 19 marks the 11th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD’s purpose is “to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.”

As part of our campus-wide commitment to inclusive education, and in celebration of GAAD, we will participate in the Blackboard Ally “Fix your Content Day Challenge,” host a Fixathon, and share accessibility resources and offering live, online opportunities to learn about accessibility throughout the day. Save the date and learn more: Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day.

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

Instructional Technology News – May 2, 2022

Hello instructors,

This is Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology. I can’t believe the end of the semester is already here! We have some instructional technology news and tips to help you finish strong.

Known Issue: Some Spring 2022 Blackboard Learn courses missing from user course list

Some users have reported that certain Spring 2022 courses are no longer available in Blackboard Learn. Please report to cit@ua.edu any courses that should be available and no longer are listed or are denying access. CIT is investigating the issue. This announcement will be updated when more information is available: Known Issue: Some Spring 2022 Blackboard Learn courses missing from user course list

Testing tips for students

If you administer final 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.

Final grades due May 10 at midnight

Final grades are due Tuesday, May 10 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.

Turnitin changes coming May 11

A Turnitin change coming on May 11 will alter how instructors access the Turnitin tool; the tool will be located under a new menu, but its functionality will remain the same.  CIT suggests instructors wait until after this transition to build summer and fall Turnitin assignments. More information about the upcoming update: Changes to Turnitin in 2022.

Blackboard cleanup May 17

On May 17, CIT will disable access to selected courses in Blackboard Learn. Courses that begin with the following semester codes are subject to removal in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy:

  • 201740 – Fall 2017
  • 201810 – Spring 2018
  • 201830 – Summer 2018
  • 201840 – Fall 2018
  • 201910 – Spring 2019
  • 201930 – Summer 2019

UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy states that courses are subject to removal from the system two years following the end of the semester in which they are taught. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.  More information on the policy and instructions for backing up Blackboard content are available in the LMS Course Retention Policy FAQ.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day May 19

Thursday, May 19 marks the 11th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD’s purpose is “to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.”

As part of our campus-wide commitment to inclusive education, and in celebration of GAAD, we will participate in the Blackboard Ally “Fix your Content Day Challenge,” host a Fixathon, and share accessibility resources and offering live, online opportunities to learn about accessibility throughout the day. Save the date and learn more: Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day.

More news from CIT and OIT

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

Instructional Technology News – March 29, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with the latest instructional technology news.

Blackboard Ultra Course Pilot

UA instructors now have the opportunity to explore Blackboard Learn Ultra Course View. Ultra Course View offers a simple, modern, intuitive, and consistent interface across devices and a simpler, more streamlined experience for instructors and students. Learn more and apply to participate in the Ultra Course View pilot by requesting a practice course: Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Pilot

Blackboard Digital Teaching Symposium

Faculty, instructors, graduate teaching assistants, instructional designers and technologists, and others who hold instructional roles – you are invited to the Blackboard Teaching Symposium, a day of peer-led sessions on digital teaching strategies. The event takes place online on April 21, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET (8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT). Event information and registration are on the Blackboard website: Digital Teaching Symposium

Turnitin changes May 11

A Turnitin change coming on May 11 will alter how instructors access the Turnitin tool; the tool will be located under a new menu, but its functionality will remain the same. CIT suggests instructors wait until after this transition to build summer and fall Turnitin assignments. More information about the upcoming update: Changes to Turnitin in 2022

Update Zoom for waiting and breakout room changes, new and enhanced features

The March 21 Zoom release brings many new and enhanced features, a complete list of which is available here:  Release notes for March 21, 2022 CIT staffer Karen Burns points out that several improvements to waiting and breakout rooms have been requested by UA instructors. Update your Zoom client to access them, and read about them here: Zoom: March 21 update brings waiting and breakout room changes, new and enhanced features

OIT Strategic Plan 2022-2025

OIT is seeking feedback for our next strategic plan. We want to know how we’ve performed the past three years, and what we can change in the next three years to better support you. Surveys are now open and available on the OIT website for UA students, faculty and staff to provide feedback. The feedback you provide in this survey directly determines the future of technology at UA. Surveys will close March 31.

OIT hosts Microsoft Meetups

OIT has planned a week of Microsoft Meetups to prepare and equip UA students to migrate content from Google to Microsoft. As a reminder, Crimson Google account service ends May 16, 2022. Sessions will showcase how to migrate content as well as tips and tricks for using the Microsoft 365 suite of tools. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend sessions to learn more about Microsoft 365.

Join OIT and UA’s Microsoft reps the week of April 11 – 13 to learn more, ask questions and get comfortable with using OneDrive and other Microsoft 365 apps. Learn more about Microsoft Meetups and see a full lineup of events on the OIT Events website.

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

 

Instructional Technology News – March 3, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with the latest instructional technology news.

Midterm grades due March 4 at midnight

Midterm grades are due Friday, 3/4 at 11:59 p.m. Instructors are required to submit midterm grades for all 100- and 200-level courses, as well as grades for non-attendance. 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.

Introducing the Instructional Technology knowledge base

You can now find instructional technology help articles and answers to frequently asked questions in CIT’s Instructional Technology knowledge base. Search by keyword, browse by topic, or navigate via menu to find resources for both instructors and students. Importing midterm or final grades into myBama? Provisioning a Blackboard course for Panopto? Creating a Turnitin assignment? Looking for Lockdown Browser Information for Students? Find the information you need in the knowledge base.

The Technologies pages on the CIT website have been redesigned to feature prominent links to relevant knowledge base content. Contact us for assistance locating former website content in the knowledge base.

Blackboard Learn: Automatic cleanup of user-created archive and export packages

An upcoming change to Blackboard Learn will impact export and archive packages created within a Blackboard Learn course. Course packages created after the March 3, 2022 Blackboard Learn upgrade will expire and auto-delete 30 days after the creation date. Existing user-generated course packages will be set to expire in 90 days from the March 3, 2022 upgrade. Additional information is available on the CIT website: Blackboard Learn: Automatic cleanup of user-created archive and export packages

News from OIT

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

Instructional Technology News – February 18, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with some instructional technology news and tips.

Learning ePortfolios in the Classroom: A Panel

Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: Lackey Room, Bryant Conference Center

This professional development session, brought to you by The College of Continuing Studies and The Center for Instructional Technology, will feature instructors and experts from several UA colleges. Panelists will discuss their use of eportfolios and visual storytelling assignments as vehicles for course- and program-level reflection, integration, and learning.

Panelists:
Meredith Bagley, Department of Communication Studies
Leah Gutenson, College of Continuing Studies
Jessica Kidd, Department of English
Natalie Loper, Department of English
Shayla Smith, School of Social Work

Facilitated by Melissa Green, CIT Education and Outreach

Register now for Learning ePortfolios in the Classroom

New Courses in Blackboard Learn Course List

The contents of your Blackboard Learn Courses page will change as Summer and Fall 2022 courses are created. Courses are grouped based on their associated terms: Spring 2022 is 202210, Summer 2022 is 202230, and Fall 2022 is 202240. Select the down arrow next to Current Courses to move between past, current, and upcoming courses. If you access a course frequently, select its star icon to add it to your favorites so it always appears at the top of the course list. More on finding courses: Find Your Courses

Midterm grades due March 4 at midnight

Midterm grades are due Friday, 3/4 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.

CIT Door Hangers

We recently distributed Do Not Disturb – I’m Teaching with Technology door hangers (JPG) to departmental offices with a request to share them with faculty and other instructors. The door hangers highlight CIT-supported tools to help you teach and learn. If you did not receive a door hanger and would like one, please send an email with your name and campus mailbox number to Melissa Green.

LastPass and Blackboard Test Options

CIT has learned the LastPass browser extension may incorrectly autofill fields and generate passwords when editing Test Options in Blackboard Learn. If you experience this issue, you can disable autofill for Blackboard in your LastPass settings: Known Issue: LastPass and Blackboard Test Options

News from OIT

  • OIT hosts events and workshops to help you feel comfortable and confident with technology. Upcoming topics include Adobe Creative Cloud, High Performance Computing, InDesign, Lightroom Mobile, and more.

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

Instructional Technology News – January 21, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here! I hope your semester is off to a successful and healthy start. I have a few updates to share.

New Support Portal

CIT is thrilled to share our new online support portal is now live! Members of the UA community are encouraged to use the portal to submit an instructional technology help request, report an instructional technology outage, request a third-party product’s integration with Blackboard Learn, or get instant answers to frequently asked questions. The portal is the best way to request help from CIT, as we are currently experiencing high call volumes and are unable to assist walk-in visitors at this time.

Panopto Support

Panopto offers 24/7 support for UA instructors and students. Contact Panopto directly at support@panopto.com or 855-765-2341. Answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Panopto Support website.

Instructional Technology Updates

Several CIT-supported products recently received updates. Here are a few highlights:

News from OIT

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. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

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

Instructional Technology News – January 6, 2022

Hello instructors,

Happy New Year! This is Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology with some news and tips as we prepare for the start of the Spring 2022 semester.

Coffee and donuts event postponed

In the interest of our mutual health and wellness, the Center for Instructional Technology has decided to cancel the Coffee and Donuts event scheduled for Monday, January 10, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Please contact the CIT at 205-348-3532 or cit@ua.edu or schedule a consultation with us to discuss your instructional technology needs. We hope we get to share physical space with you soon. Please mask up and stay safe!

Prepare for Spring 2022

Blackboard

Looking for your Blackboard courses? On the Courses page, you can access all of your courses. Move between past, current, and upcoming courses using the previous/upcoming arrows or select a term from the dropdown menu at the top of the page (Current Courses is selected by default). Pro tip: If you access a course frequently, you can select the “Add to your favorites” star icon to pin it to the top of your course list. No more scrolling! Select the star icon again to remove a course from your favorites when you’re finished working in it often.

Need a refresher on Blackboard basics? Visit these “Getting Started” resources.

A few more helpful Blackboard Learn tutorials:

Panopto

Using Panopto? Make sure it is connected to your course. To get started, click on the Course Videos link in the course menu of Blackboard Learn. If you receive a message that says your course is not provisioned, follow the prompts to configure your course. If you are using videos created for a previous course, be sure to copy or move those videos from the prior course’s Course Videos folder to this semester’s Course Videos folder; adjust the sharing settings so your current students can see them; or embed them in the current course. Here’s how:

Learn with CIT

CIT and our vendor partners regularly host workshops and webinars on UA’s instructional technologies and technology accessibility. Explore offerings on the UA Events Calendar, and build an event digest email to receive notice of upcoming events (Department > Center for Instructional Technology).

New ticketing system

Jira Service Management has replaced HelpSpot as CIT’s ticketing system. Users who submit tickets to CIT, Audio/Visual Solutions, and the IT Service Desk now receive new, streamlined communication from Jira. Please note that communications may appear different than previous experiences.

Important message for UA Zoom HIPAA and SARS accounts

Some UA faculty and staff may have received emails or login messages from Zoom inviting them to link the UA single-sign-on account to existing Zoom accounts that use an email alias containing ua.edu. Users with HIPAA-compliant or SARS-integrated accounts, please do not connect your HIPAA-compliant or SARS-integrated Zoom account to Zoom SSO yet. If you have done so already, you should be able to edit the email associated with the HIPAA-compliant or SARS-integrated Zoom account. Please do not affiliate a non-UA email account with your HIPAA-compliant Zoom account. Additional information about Zoom and single sign-on is available on the OIT website: Log Into Zoom with SSO

News from OIT

Scheduled maintenance

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.

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.