Blackboard Learn downtime August 7-10

UA’s Blackboard Learn system will undergo mandatory security-related maintenance from Wednesday, August 7 at 8 p.m. until Friday August 9 at 5 p.m. Our Blackboard Learn servers will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Blackboard Slowness – July 5th, 2019

Many Blackboard customers, included UA, have been experiencing intermittent slowness issues since the morning of Wednesday, July 3rd. Blackboard is aware of the problem and they are working to correct the underlying issue.

Needs Grading option for showing items not included in grading calculations

Needs Grading has a new option for showing items that are not included in grading calculations, which is always unchecked by default. If the “Include in Grade Center grading calculations” setting is not selected for an assignment, test, or other Grade Center column, it will not display in Needs Grading without selecting this new option. The box must be checked each time, and you must select Go.

Screen shot showing checkbox and go button referred to in instructions

Non-functional buttons in IE and Edge

Many buttons do not function properly in the unsupported browser Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. This includes submit buttons for assignments and toggle arrows when sending email.

FRC to be renamed Center for Instructional Technology (CIT)

Dear colleagues, 

I am excited to share that, as of July 1, 2019, the Faculty Resource Center will become the Center for Instructional Technology. This Center will include the existing services and staff of the FRC, as well as UA’s technology accessibility team.  

Our efforts to rebrand won’t result in fewer or lesser services for UA faculty members; we are still here to meet your needs. However, we are happy to adopt a name that reflects our broader mission to assist all UA faculty, instructors, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students with instructional technology and technology accessibility needs. We will continue to offer opportunities for instructors to learn about instructional technology and you will soon see more information and instruction focused on the needs of our students.  

Some of the new efforts we are pursuing include instruction in podcasting, gamification, media production, accessible document creation, course templates for instructors, and more. UA faculty, staff, and students are invited to continue to bring us challenges and ideas related to instructional technology. If you have instructional technology needs that are not being met, please let us know and we will try to help.  

Our team comprises a range of backgrounds and strengths and many of us have or are pursuing terminal degrees in our academic fields. We also teach undergraduate and graduate courses in various UA colleges. The tools we support serve myriad needs for our campus and we try our best to find innovative ways to use technology to enhance teaching, learning, research, and service at The University of Alabama. 

The goal of CIT is to help you, your colleagues, and your students have a more successful UA experience through the use of instructional technology. We are here to help address instructional technology problems, share solutions, and explore new ideas and opportunities. We look forward to working with you! 

Sincerely, 

Rachel Thompson 

Dr. Rachel S. Thompson 
Director, Faculty Resource Center (soon to be The Center for Instructional Technology)
The Office of Information Technology
The University of Alabama
A202 Gordon Palmer Hall
Box 870248 
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 
Phone 205-348-0216
rsthompson2@ua.edu

 

 

 

June 13 – Blackboard Collaborate Maintenance

On Thursday, June 13 between 3 a.m. – 4 a.m. CDT, Blackboard will be performing emergency infrastructure maintenance at the data center that houses UA’s instance of Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate will be unavailable during this maintenance window.

 

June 21, 2019 – Blackboard Data Center Maintenance

On Friday, June 21, 2019, between the hours of 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. CDT, Blackboard will be performing maintenance on the data center that houses UA’s instance of Blackboard. While they anticipate no interruption in service as a result of the work, they cannot entirely rule out brief periods of intermittent connectivity. They will make all efforts to keep service disruption, if any, within the window to a minimum.