Instructional Technology News – July 23

Final grades due, more information about the Blackboard Learn SaaS upgrade, and hello Flipgrid/goodbye VoiceThread. Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Final Grades due August 3

Did you know you can import your final grades from Blackboard Learn with just a few clicks? Learn how on our website: Importing Grades Into myBama from Blackboard. Grades for all Summer classes must be submitted via myBama no later than 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 3. For additional information on non-attendance grading as well as other grading policies, definitions, and terminology, please visit the University Registrar’s Grade Reporting page. Speaking of “final,” if you administer exams via Blackboard Learn, you might share this resource with your students: Testing Tips for Students

Blackboard Learn unavailable August 5-13

Blackboard Learn and certain tools accessed through Blackboard Learn (Panopto, Collaborate, and Turnitin) will be unavailable from Aug. 5 until Aug. 13 while UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn moves from being hosted in Blackboard’s data centers to being hosted in the cloud, also known as software as a service (SaaS).

Moving UA’s Blackboard Learn instance to SaaS allows for flexibility, scalability, resilience and innovation. The move also allows us to deploy Blackboard Ultra Base navigation, which offers a modern look that is more accessible and fully responsive. If you’ve used Blackboard Collaborate or the Blackboard Learn mobile app before, you’ve seen the Ultra look. Although the look is new, the course features and workflows remain the same, so there is little learning curve for students and instructors. There are, however, some new ways to navigate the Blackboard Learn environment that benefit all users.

We’ve posted more information about the upgrade, answers to frequently asked questions, and guides and tutorials on the CIT website: Blackboard Learn SaaS upgrade information – and a new way to navigate Blackboard Learn

We think these resources are especially helpful for instructors and students:

Base Navigation for Instructors
Base Navigation Video for Instructors
Base Navigation Guide for Instructors (PDF)

Base Navigation for Students
Base Navigation Video for Students
Base Navigation Guide for Students (PDF)

Flipgrid to replace VoiceThread

UA is transitioning from VoiceThread 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. Learn more on our website, and start using Flipgrid today: Flipgrid to Replace VoiceThread

VoiceThread will be removed during the August 5-13 Blackboard Learn upgrade. If you previously used VoiceThread for recorded lectures, you can export that content and upload into Panopto, then share it as a link in Flipgrid. Step-by-step instructions on how to export VoiceThread content are available on our website:  How to Export VoiceThread Content

We’re here to help! Contact the Center for Instructional Technology for help with instructional technology needs, questions and concerns.