Internet Explorer no longer supported by Panopto

Effective June 26 Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported by Panopto. This means that Panopto will no longer fix any issues that users experience while using Panopto on IE11. Users on IE11 will see a message requiring that they upgrade to Microsoft Edge, or another modern browser, in order to continue to use Panopto features. This is necessary as it allows Panopto to continue to innovate on newer browser technology and prevents our users from having a severely degraded experience. Visit Panopto’s website for more information.

Final Grade Import Quirk – blank grade may prevent import

If you set up a Final column in your Blackboard Learn grade center and some or all of your grades do not import to myBama using the Import Grades from Blackboard button, make sure all students in your Blackboard grade center have an assigned grade.

This grade may be entered manually if it is a W, I, etc. A missing grade may prevent the import from loading grades properly.

Instructional Tech News – April 29

Here we are, end of the semester. The innovative ideas and methods you all implemented in your classrooms this semester should be celebrated. It’s an honor to serve as your instructional technology support staff. Here are a few news tidbits to wrap up this semester.

Importing Final Grades

Did you know you can import your final grades from Blackboard Learn with just a few clicks? Learn how on our website.  All Spring final grades must be submitted via myBama no later than 11:59pm on Tuesday, May 4. For additional information on non-attendance grading as well as other grading policies, definitions, and terminology, please visit our Grade Reporting page.

LMS Course Retention Policy

Remember, in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, materials more than two years old will be removed from the system. We will begin removing content from the LMS on July 15. You’ve got a few more months to export course content, copy content to another course, and request a course shell to copy content from an existing course. Visit our website for more information on how instructors can back up Blackboard content. We’ll send reminders as we approach July.

Save the Date – Blackboard SaaS

Blackboard Learn is moving to the cloud August 5-13. Our teams are currently testing the new environment, and we’ll be in touch with more details this summer. In the meantime, save the date for Blackboard Learn to be unavailable for these few days in August.

Faculty Roundtable – A Year in Review

Join us May 7 and May 14 for faculty roundtable discussions. We’ll chat about your experiences teaching this semester. We’re excited to hear from you.

Zoom Updates

You all know that Zoom regularly updates its software with security enhancements and new features. In the latest release, Zoom offers enhanced screen annotation for Zoom meetings, whiteboard auto-shapes on Zoom’s mobile application, and more emoji options for meeting reactions.  Another fun new feature: Immersive View. Be “together” with your class or colleagues, from a distance. Individuals can enable this feature by visiting http://zoom.us, then My account, Settings, In Meeting (Advanced).

Crimson Email Migration

Our peers in OIT are preparing to migrate Crimson email from Google to Microsoft O365 May 7-9. This will help simplify email at UA by hosting student, faculty and staff email in one environment. All Crimson accounts have been notified of the migration; however, we want to make sure you all are aware too. Step-by-step guidance for accessing Crimson email in O365 is available on the OIT website. There you’ll also find answers to frequently asked questions, a Google to O365 tool comparison chart and more. You can also visit OIT’s YouTube channel for informational videos.  If you have any questions about the migration, contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or itsd@ua.edu.

Have questions about importing final grades, exporting content from Blackboard or other instructional technology items? We’re here to help, and by now, you know how to find us.

We wish you the best wrapping up this semester!

April 2021 Zoom Updates

Zoom regularly updates its software with security enhancements and new features! In the latest release, Zoom offers enhanced screen annotation for Zoom meetings, whiteboard auto-shapes on Zoom’s mobile application, and more emoji options for meeting reactions.

Another fun new feature: Immersive View. Be “together” with your class or colleagues, from a distance. Individuals can enable this feature by visiting http://zoom.us, then My account, Settings, In Meeting (Advanced).

Update and enjoy!

Save the Date – Blackboard SaaS

Save the Date, Aug. 5 – 13 Blackboard Learn is moving to the cloud!

Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during the cloud migration. More information about the migration is available in our first announcement. Our teams are currently testing the platform, and we’re excited to release more information to you as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

Instructional Tech News – April 12

Back Up Blackboard Content

Remember, in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, materials more than two years old will be removed from the system. Instructors can export course content, copy content to another course, and request a course shell to copy content from an existing course. You’ve got options, and we’re here to guide you through them. Visit our website for more information on how instructors can back up Blackboard content.

Gradescope and Blackboard

If you haven’t checked out Gradescope, we encourage you to look into it. Gradescope can be used for evaluating handwritten responses, programming, diagrams, formulae, and other coursework that can be challenging to assess virtually.

Gradescope recently hosted its Gradescope User Summit where instructors presented on topics including “Building community in online classes,” “Student-centered active learning strategies,” and more. Check them out on our website and learn how to add Gradescope to your course today.

Faculty Roundtable – A Year in Review

Join us May 7 for a faculty roundtable to share your experiences teaching in the 2020-2021 academic year. Let’s learn from one another. What worked? What didn’t? Share strategies that you successfully implemented in the classroom – whatever that looked like for you. Join us to share it all; the good, the bad, the ugly, and no we aren’t just talking about Zoom filters. More information about the virtual roundtable event is available in the UA Events Calendar.

Gradescope User Summit 2021

University of Alabama has a Gradescope license available for all faculty to use and is integrated with Blackboard Learn. If you aren’t yet using Gradescope to collect and grade assessments, we invite you to try it out in your courses.

Gradescope recently hosted its Gradescope User Summit. Instructors presented on a variety of topics including:

To learn more about how you can use Gradescope with your existing assignments, sign up for a Get Started with Gradescope Workshop.

Unavailable assignments/tests do not show in My Grades on Blackboard Mobile App

When accessing My Grades as a student in the Blackboard app, assignments, tests, discussion boards, etc will not show if they are made unavailable.The points awarded for the Test still count toward the student’s total grade.

When accessing My Grades from a web browser, the student can view their grade, attempt, and written feedback from the instructor for all graded items.

UPDATE: This issue will be resolved in the next mBaaS update, which is targeted to be released to production on 4/21/21.  mBaaS fixes do not require any action by end-users or system administrators.  The result of this fix will be that the scores for unavailable Tests will be visible in the Blackboard app.  Students will still be unable to tap on the Test item, which prevents them from viewing their attempt and instructor feedback.

Instructional Tech News – April 5

We’re excited to announce that in August UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn will move from being hosted in in the Blackboard Data Center to being hosted in the cloud, also known as software as a service (SaaS). This move will provide flexibility, scalability and new opportunities for innovation.

Blackboard Learn Saas: What you need to know.

We’ll be in touch with more details as the migration approaches, but for now, take note Blackboard Learn will be unavailable Aug. 5 – Aug. 13.  We know there is never a good time to bring down a critical system like Blackboard Learn, but we’re looking forward to this migration and the capabilities it will offer. Some awesome new features are coming your way, and we’re excited to share them with you.

LMS Course Retention Policy

Remember – we will be conducting routine Blackboard Learn course clean up at the end of the spring 2021 semester. The Course Retention Policy states that any materials more than 2 years old will be removed from the system. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep. More information is available on the CIT website. And yes, this will make our migration to Blackboard Learn SaaS a much lighter move.

Turning Webinar Series

Turning Technologies is more than clickers. Turning Technologies provides classroom engagement and assessments that allow students to participate in real-time using mobile apps. Interactive polling options are often used for participation points, class quizzes and surveys. We’re partnering with Turning Technologies to offer weekly webinar trainings every Wednesday at 12pm in the month of May! Details about each training can be found on the CIT website. We hope to see you there.

Blackboard Learn SaaS

Blackboard Learn is moving to the cloud!

In August, UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn will move from being hosted in Blackboard’s data centers to being hosted in the cloud, a hosting strategy otherwise known as software as a service (SaaS). Moving to SaaS allows for flexibility, scalability, resilience and innovation.

  • Flexibility – system updates without downtime
  • Scalability – ability to balance based on load and demand
  • Resilience – comprehensive monitoring to ensure quality and consistency
  • Innovation – small, frequent updates with new features and enhancements

Moving UA’s Blackboard Learn instance to SaaS allows us to deploy Blackboard Ultra navigation. If you’ve used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, you’ve already gotten a taste of the Ultra look. Ultra offers a modern, intuitive and personalized look characterized by simple workflows and an accessible, fully responsive design.

As we approach the SaaS migration in August, we will post additional tutorials, guides and information. Several awesome new features are coming your way, and we’re excited to share them with you.

Have questions?