Tests do not display properly in Blackboard app version 5.8 on iOS devices

In Blackboard app version 5.8 on iOS devices, the question text in tests is repeated every few questions resulting in duplicated questions and mis-matched answer choices. This issue was resolved in Blackboard app version 5.8.1 (iOS only), which was released on October 26, 2020. Update your Blackboard app if using an iOS device to avoid this issue. CIT recommends taking high-stakes tests on wired, non-mobile devices for best performance.

Honorlock Browser Extension Causes Error – Update Required

Students who have used the Honorlock Chrome browser extension for test proctoring at other colleges or universities may receive an error message when taking tests in Blackboard. These users should uninstall the Honorlock extension to avoid this issue. If the extension is still needed, reinstall to get the updated version which does not cause this issue.

How to uninstall Chrome browser extensions
Honorlock Support

Instructional Tech News – Nov. 16

It’s here – the final week of on-campus instruction. Below are a few tips that can assist you in wrapping up in the classroom and transitioning to finish the semester remotely.

Final Exam Proctoring

Through CARES funding, the College of Continues Studies was able to make a limited amount of online test proctoring available for final exams. Learn more on the Bama by Distance website.

Panopto Assignments for Students 

Many faculty members have dubbed Panopto as their favorite tech tool of 2020, but did you realize that students can record assignments with Panopto too? This week Panopto will host a discussion on how to allow students to record and upload videos in Panopto folders. Learn more, and register for the webinar, on Panopto’s website.

UA Libraries Sanford Media Center

If students need to make a recording outside of a Panopto assignment, encourage them to use Zoom or Adobe Creative Cloud software. Did you know that an area exists on campus to assist students with these digital tools? The Samford Media Center in Gorgas Library helps students with creative technologies for presentations and projects. Check it out, and make sure your students are aware too!

TurningPoint Web

Were clickers your go-to for student engagement and participation in face-to-face classes? Good news, TurningPoint Web offers the same “clicker” technology for virtual and hybrid classes. Here’s a quick video of TurningPoint tips.

Looking Ahead, Blackboard Learn Update

Blackboard Learn will undergo a 24-hour update beginning Thursday, Jan. 7 at 5pm through Friday, Jan. 8 at 5pm. Blackboard Learn will be unavailable during this maintenance window. We’ll send plenty of reminders closer to the upgrade.

Best of luck to you all as you finish the semester. Remember, we’re here to help.

Instructional Tech News – Nov. 10

Gradescope License Renewed

UA’s license for Gradescope will be renewed for the upcoming year, thanks to all who submitted feedback. If you haven’t used Gradescope yet, check it out! Gradescope is an ideal tool for assessing hand-written work. Below is an example of how Gradescope can be used to grade a math equation. Learn more on the CIT website. 

example of gradescope being used to solve math equation

Consider Alternative Assignments using Adobe Creative Cloud

Did you know that all UA students and faculty have access to Adobe Creative Cloud software? This includes Spark, Audition, Photoshop, InDesign and others. Consider developing alternative and creative assignments (podcasts, timelines, videos) for your students. Visit the Adobe Education Exchange for inspiration.

Reminder – Respondus Webinars

Many instructors may be planning to use Respondus for final exams. Make plans to attend one of Repondus’ upcoming webinars that offer comprehensive training for using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor for online exams 

Reminder – Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Maintenance

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will undergo scheduled maintenance Nov. 12 from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. Collaborate Ultra users will experience intermittent availability of the service during the scheduled maintenance window

We’re here to help.

Want someone to look over your test settings in preparation for final exams? We can do that – and more. Book an appointment to meet virtually with CIT today!

Instructional Tech News – Nov. 3

Only a few short weeks remain for in-person instruction on campus. Review the information below to make the most of remaining class time, and be prepared for finals.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Maintenance
Heads up! Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will undergo scheduled maintenance Nov. 6 and Nov. 12 from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. Collaborate Ultra users will experience intermittent availability of the service during the scheduled maintenance window.

Blackboard Course Retention Policy
CIT is implementing our LMS Course Retention policy. Over the next few months, Blackboard users may notice that courses prior to Spring 2018 will no longer appear in their course lists. Have course content you want to keep? No problem. We have several methods available for backing up Blackboard content. Check out our website for more information and step-by-step guides.

Final Presentation – Tech Options
Does your course require students to give final presentations? We have tech tools that can help. Review our website to learn more about VoiceThread Assignments and Zoom Spotlighting for student presentations.

Respondus LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor Online Training
Throughout November Respondus is offering comprehensive training webinars for instructors who plan to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with online exams. Review the training opportunities, and register, on the Respondus website to become more familiar with these tools.

Request a Practice Course
Want to try out some new features/content in your Blackboard course, but not yet ready to implement this semester? Request a non-integrated Blackboard course. Consider this your sandbox to play with new features and develop course content. Practice makes perfect, right? Request a course by reaching out to cit@ua.edu.

As always, we’re here to help. Book an appointment for a virtual meeting with CIT.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Maintenance

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will undergo scheduled maintenance Nov. 6 and Nov. 12 from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. Collaborate Ultra users will experience intermittent availability of the service during the scheduled maintenance window.

Resolved: Turnitin Outage – Oct. 20

Update 10/20 10:47 am, Turnitin believes the issue to be resolved. Users may experience slowness while using the service as the system recovers.


Turnitin is currently investigating and working to resolve a major outage. This known issue will be updated when the issue is resolved.

For more information, visit the Turnitin Status Page.

Instructional Tech News – Oct. 19

Engaging Students Online

Looking to increase student engagement and collaboration in your Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate environment? Visit the CIT YouTube Channel to see Jennifer Roth-Burnette, Director of Academic Support at the Capstone Center for Student Success, share advice for engaging students online. Dr. Roth-Burnette provides simple tactics you can implement in your courses to increase participation and interaction.

Texthelp Change

UA’s enterprise license agreement for the Texthelp suite of tools will not be renewed in FY21.  After conversations with campus partners, we determined that we did not have a user basis to justify an enterprise-level agreement for the product. However, Texthelp offers free premium subscriptions of Read&Write and EquatIO for educators on the Texthelp website. Additionally, one alternative to the Texthelp suite of tools are the Learning Tools offered by Microsoft 365. If you, or users in your area, have any need beyond the scope of the free tools, please let us know.

Gradescope Usage Survey

UA is evaluating if the license for Gradescope should be renewed for FY21. If you are a current Gradescope user, please complete a quick survey about your use of this tool and your opinion about its renewal. We will keep you updated on survey feedback and our next steps.

VoiceThread New Assignments

Exciting news, VoiceThread has a new assignments feature! Starting today, instructors can start opting their courses in to the new assignment features. VoiceThread assignments provide a major overhaul and redesign of the entire user experience with many new features and streamlined workflows. Instructors are not required to update to the new assignments features. Courses can be updated individually, giving instructors the opportunity to test out new features on a small scale.

Check out the VoiceThread website for detailed instructions on how to enable the new assignment feature. Once the new assignments feature have been activated, visit the VoiceThread site again for step-by-step user guides.

Reach Out for Help

As always, we’re here to help. Book an appointment to meet with CIT. It’s not too early for us to help you prep for final exams!

Instructional Tech News – Oct. 12

Testing Tips

We receive many questions from instructors regarding how to best secure tests in Blackboard. Blackboard offers settings that can easily be enabled to increase the security of online exams. Check out our Testing Tips for Instructors video to learn how to implement random answers and questions, timers, test availability and more.

Respondus Lockdown Browser – Troubleshooting Tips

A reliable internet connection is key to success with Respondus Lockdown Browser. Wired internet connections are available in most on-campus residences. If students are connected via WIFI and experience issues with Respondus Lockdown Browser, we have a few troubleshooting tips available on our website.

Respondus Virtual Training

Respondus is hosting several upcoming virtual webinars free for all instructors. Sessions will provide detailed demonstrations of both Respondus and Respondus Monitor, including recent enhancements that make Respondus Monitor even more effective and easy to use. Learn more, and register, on the Respondus website.

Encourage Engagement with Virtual Office Hours

Instructors have reported an increase of students attending virtual office hours. Additionally, students have shared with us that they enjoy the opportunity to chat online with their instructors. Keep up the classroom engagement and conversations with students via virtual office hours through Blackboard CollaborateZoom or Microsoft Teams.

Technology Need Application

Please remember that loaner hotspots, web cams and laptops are available for students in need. Students may submit a Technology Need Application on the Student Care and Well-Being website.

Meet with CIT

Book an appointment for a virtual meeting with CIT. Visit our website, and click “Virtual Help Session” to book an appointment. Select the technology you’d like to discuss, pick your date and time, then add it to your calendar! We’ll see you then.

Instructional Tech News – Oct. 6

Midterm grade reminders, student technology needs, and a new way to book an appointment with CIT.

Midterm Grade Reminder

Can you believe it’s already October? Time to enter midterm grades! Remember we have helpful resources on the CIT website, including instructions for entering Midterm Grades in Blackboard Grade Center. We also have guidance on importing Midterm Grades from Blackboard into MyBama.

Technology Need Application

The Division of Student Life, Office of Information Technology and University Libraries are partnering to provide students with necessary technology tools. Hotspots, web cameras and laptops are available for lease to students in need. Students may submit a Technology Need Application on the Student Care and Well-Being website.

UA Libraries Respondus-Ready Computers

Many computers in UA Libraries are equipped with Respondus LockDown Browser and web cameras for Respondus Monitor. Students may reserve a Respondus-ready computer through the UA Libraries website.

Book an Appointment with CIT

You can now book an appointment for a virtual meeting with CIT. Select the technology you’d like to discuss, pick your date and time, then add it to your calendar! We’re also available to meet with instructors for Blackboard settings check. Visit our website, and click “Virtual Help Session” to book an appointment.