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 or call 205-348-3532.

Known Issue: Blackboard Learn Login Issue

CIT is aware that some users are experiencing issues with logging into Blackboard via the direct URL and through myBama. These issues with accessing and loading content are happening in Safari, Chrome, Edge, and Respondus Lockdown Browser, which relies on Safari or Chrome to function. This appears to be related to newer browser updates and happens more commonly on machines running older operating systems.

While a solution is being investigated, affected users might:

  1. Run the browser checker to see whether Blackboard Learn supports your browser. Update to a supported browser if prompted.
  2. If you are unable to update Safari/Chrome/Edge or updating doesn’t resolve the issue, use the Firefox browser. If your device is not compatible with the latest version of Firefox, you can install an older version. Firefox is also available in library and other campus computer labs.

Still experiencing the issue? Blackboard recommends updating your OS certificates OpenSSL versions 1.0.0 through 1.0.2:

1. Download these four pem files:

  • Active
    • ISRG Root X1 (RSA 4096, O = Internet Security Research Group, CN = ISRG Root X1)
      • Self-signed: pem
      • Cross-signed by DST Root CA X3: pem
  • Active, limited availability
    • ISRG Root X2 (ECDSA P-384, O = Internet Security Research Group, CN = ISRG Root X2)
      • Self-signed: pem
      • Cross-signed by ISRG Root X1: pem

2. Follow the steps to import the pem files into your browser. You will need to repeat the steps for each file:

Pearson Scheduled Maintenance – October 23

Pearson will perform scheduled maintenance on Saturday, October 23, 12:00 – 8:00 a.m.. Students will be unable to access Blackboard Learn-integrated Pearson content during the entire maintenance window, including MyLab, Learning Catalytics, Enhanced Revel, MyEnglishLab, and Pearson English Portal content.

Additional information is available via the Pearson System Status webpage.

RESOLVED – Known Issue: Turnitin Service Disruption

Turnitin has advised that service has been restored. Instructors or students experiencing issues should contact
The incident occurred between the following times: September 28th, 12:54 – 1:36 PM.

RESOLVED – As of 12:55 PM Central on Tuesday, Sept 28, Turnitin is currently experiencing a service disruption. Users accessing Turnitin through Blackboard Learn may be unable to submit, view submissions, or create assignments. For updates, visit Turnitin’s Status Page

We will share any details we receive, including when Turnitin returns to service.

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, 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 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.

RESOLVED – Known Issue: Unexpected Blackboard Learn Downtime 9/7/2021

CIT has received reports of Blackboard Learn being unavailable in early morning hours, ranging from 4:30am – 5:45am, on Tuesday, Sept. 7. CIT is working with Blackboard Learn to obtain more information about this unexpected outage. More details will be posted as they become available. If instructors need detailed information or have questions, please contact the CIT at 205-348-3532 or

RESOLVED – Known Issue: Blackboard Learn Math Editor Display Formulas Overlapping

Update, Wednesday, September 29 at 4:45 PM:

Blackboard recently applied updates to font packages for the MathType Editor to resolve the overlapping symbols issue.

Users still experiencing symbol overlap should follow these steps to make the MathType Editor recognize the new packages:

  • Create a new MathType formula using a font size of 16px or lower and save OR
  • Open a currently corrupted MathType formula, adjust the Font Size in the MathType editor to 16px or lower and save.
14px font selected in the MathType editor
MathType editor with a font size of 16px or lower

This will fix the issue for new MathType formulas created going forward. For Math formulas that are still appearing corrupted, please enter the MathType editor and resubmit to correct. No font size change is needed.

The Blackboard Learn Maths Editor is displaying formulas with symbols overlapping each other and making the formulas hard to read, affecting both students and instructors.

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, 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.


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.


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 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 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!

Have questions?