May 12 Instructional Technology News

May 12 Instructor News from the Center for Instructional Technology 

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

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Join colleagues from across campus and around the world to celebrate the 12th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Thursday, May 18, 2023! The purpose of Global Accessibility Awareness Day is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access to make our campus and world communities more inclusive and equitable. This FREE event is sponsored by the University of Alabama Office of Information Technology’s Center for Instructional Technology and the Office of Teaching Innovation and Digital Education.

See a full of listing in-person and virtual sessions taking place at UA on May 18.

Register to join us in person or online.

Turnitin Interface Changes 

IMPORTANT COURSE COPY INFORMATION: On May 11, 2022, we updated the method used for connecting Blackboard to Turnitin. This update brings some user interface changes, but the service retains the same features. The new connection method allows for more seamless system updates in the future and offers an improved student submission process. 

CIT will make the old Turnitin assignments completely unavailable on Monday, May 15, 2023. This news is especially important for faculty copying one course to another (reusing material).  Turnitin Assignments created with the Assignment tool will no longer function. Faculty must recreate the assignment using the Build Content tool. See the following article “New Turnitin Interface” in CIT’s Knowledge Base for complete details. 

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. 

Upcoming Learning Opportunities 

Simple Syllabus Information Sessions 

  • In Person Sessions in A232 Gordon Palmer Hall:  
  • Thursday, 5/25, 10AM 
  • Virtual Sessions in Microsoft Teams: 
  • Tuesday, 5/23, 3PM 

Simple Syllabus Support Appointments Available 

If you prefer individual help to set up Simple Syllabus, request a Simple Syllabus appointment. 

Educause – exploring the 2023 Horizon Report  

May 16, 2023 – 12-1:00pm 

This webinar will explore the trends, challenges, and key technology developments identified by a panel of global experts in the 2023 Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition. Register for Educause – exploring the 2023 Horizon Report at  

Flip Basics 

May 17th, 10:00-11:00 am 

Explore the features inside Flip and learn how to level up the ways your scholars communicate and share their learning. 

Find more details and register for Flip here.

 Check out more instructional technology workshops at  

Instructional Tech Resources and Reminders 

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

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 

Collaborate End of Use 

On August 1, 2023, Class Collaborate will be deactivated and no longer available to use at UA. This change does not affect the Blackboard Learn system, only the virtual web conferencing tool, Collaborate. Instructors and program managers should download any needed recordings from Collaborate by August 1, 2023. CIT suggests instructors use Zoom or Teams for synchronous class meetings and Panopto for lecture capture.  

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 – 

Phone – 205-348-3532 

Website and Knowledge Base –