June 9 Instructor Instructional Technology News

Hello from your Center for Instructional Technology! Below, you’ll find announcements and events to assist you with teaching and learning needs.

Changes to Third-Party Integrations in Blackboard Learn 

Anthology, Blackboard’s parent company, has announced a major change in the methods used to connect third-party tools to Blackboard Learn (examples: publisher resources, digital textbooks, and most other non-Blackboard tools accessed via Blackboard). Because of this change, many of the third-party tools must move to a newer integration method in Blackboard Learn by the end of 2023. The move to a new integration method will work differently for each of the third-party tools and services.

In some cases, instructors and students will not experience any differences in how they use the third-party tools. In other cases, the third-party tool may have a different workflow or changes in available functions.

We are working closely with each vendor to document any changes in the workflow or appearance of these tools.

Stay up to date as we make these changes by subscribing to the CIT Announcements page.

Adobe Professional Faculty Training 


Adobe has invited the University of Alabama to participate in an exclusive opportunity for custom faculty training. We value your opinion and request your participation in a brief interest survey to help shape this program. The survey includes a schedule of training sessions planned for August and September, along with a list of potential course offerings. Your input is crucial in determining which sessions will be included in the program. Please take a moment to provide us with your valuable feedback. We sincerely appreciate your time.

Please fill out this Microsoft Form to provide your feedback.

(Please complete by 5:00 pm, Friday, June 23, 2023)

Upcoming Learning Opportunities 

Simple Syllabus Information Session 

Tuesday, June 13, 10:00-11:00 am | In-Person Session (Gordon Palmer, A232) and Virtual

In this one-hour session of UA’s new syllabus platform, Simple Syllabus, we’ll cover:

  • How to access Simple Syllabus
  • How to navigate and edit the syllabus
  • UA statements included on the syllabus
  • Required items to be completed by the instructor
  • How to add items to the syllabus
  • How to save and submit the syllabus
  • How to access the syllabus from Blackboard Learn.

Register for this session or an upcoming session

Getting Started with Gradescope 

Thursday, June 15, 12:00-1:00 pm 

This one-hour virtual workshop is led by a Gradescope expert! It will focus on how you can use Gradescope to deliver and grade your assignments that are paper-based, fully online, and a combination of the two.

Register for Getting Started with Gradescope

Zoom Basics

Monday, June 19, 10:00-11:00 am

Learn the basic features for conducting a zoom meeting including an overview of Zoom’s web portal and desktop client, how to schedule a meeting and invite others, and we’ll review the in-meeting host and participant controls.

Register for Zoom Basics

Zoom Advanced 

Tuesday, June 20, 10:00-11:00 am

This CIT instructor led session will explore Zoom features including recurring meetings, breakout rooms, polls, and reports.

Register for Zoom Advanced

People.ua.edu workshop 

Wednesday, June 21, 10:00-11:30 am

Create your professional faculty website using our easy, drag and drop web platform. Pre-registration required at http://people.ua.edu.

Teaching with Blackboard: Blackboard Learn Basics 

Webinars Wednesday, June 21, 2:00-3:00 pm and Tuesday, June 27, 11:00 am-12:00pm

Classroom sessions Thursday, June 22, 11:00 am-12:00 pm and Wednesday, June 28, 2:00-3:00 pm

This fast-paced session provides a high-level overview of Blackboard Learn, UA’s learning management system. Learn the basics of navigating, creating course content, communicating and interacting with students, conducting assessments, managing grades, utilizing integrated instructional technology tools, and more.

Register for CIT-led Blackboard Learn Basics workshops and webinars.


Using Adobe Portfolio in the classroom for any academic subject 

Thursday, June 22, 1:00-2:00pm 

Give your students the creative tools they need to build unique student portfolios in your classroom. Join the Center for Instructional Technology for an overview of Adobe Portfolio. Learn how students can easily create and optimize an online portfolio to fit your class requirements. Adobe Portfolio enables students to quickly and simply build a website to showcase their work. No web design knowledge required.

In this workshop you will:

  • See examples of how students are using Adobe Portfolio for education
  • Discus suggested steps for incorporating the use of Portfolio in the classroom
  • Learn the basics to getting started with using Adobe portfolio and follow along as the presenter creates and publishes a Portfolio

Register for Using Adobe Portfolio in the classroom

Check out more instructional technology workshops online at cit.ua.edu.

Instructional Tech Resources and Reminders

The CIT Knowledge Base is your clearinghouse for tutorials, known issues, and best practices.

Summer and Fall 2023 Syllabi in Simple Syllabus  

UA’s new online syllabus platform, Simple Syllabus, launched April 17. All sections must have a syllabus published in Simple by the first day of classes. Instructors will receive reminders to complete their syllabi a week before and on the first day of the term. Syllabi include required course and section information, as well as institutional and, in some cases, college-specific statements and policies. Instructors should add and edit section-specific information using Simple’s built-in editor, which allows for text formatting, links, videos, images, tables, and more. Simple Syllabus is available through myBama, Blackboard Learn, or direct login. For information about creating and sharing a syllabus, adding Simple Syllabus to Blackboard Learn, or registering for a support session, visit CIT’s Simple Syllabus support resources.

Ultra Course View Pilot Continues 

Instructors interested in teaching with Ultra Course View in an upcoming academic term should submit a request via the CIT portal: Blackboard Learn Ultra LIVE Course Pilot Request.

Cleaning Out Older Blackboard Courses 

Academic courses in Blackboard Learn are subject to removal two (2) years following the end of the semester in which they are taught per UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy. For example, courses taught in Spring 2023 will be removed after May 2025. Fall 2021 and prior courses are being removed in May 2023. Non-academic courses, referred to as non-integrated courses, are subject to removal following two (2) years of inactivity.

Instructors should save any needed course content or student grades. Students should save any necessary coursework as well. Steps to save content are linked below.

More information on the policy and instructions for backing up Blackboard content are available in the LMS Course Retention Policy FAQ.

As always, we are available Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:45 to help you. We look forward to working with you soon.

Email – cit@ua.edu

Phone – 205-348-3532

Website and Knowledge Base – http://cit.ua.edu