Tag: Gradescope

January 4– Instructor News from the Center for Instructional Technology

Faculty Prep Days 

IT’S TIME! Time to get your Spring courses polished and ready to go. CIT is here and ready to offer technical assistance, pedagogical assistance, a quiet space, moral support, and coffee and yummies! Come see us!  

CIT will be joined by representatives from OIT Security, Research Computing, and Audio Visual Solutions classroom support to answer your questions. Space will be available to help you focus and prepare your course for the semester. 

Friday, Jan 6, 9-11AM and 2-4PM 

Monday, Jan 9, 9-11AM and 2-4PM 

Gordon Palmer Hall, Room A232 

CIT Faculty Prep Days Need assistance setting up your course(s) for Spring Semester? We can help! Drop By the CIT for instructional technology guidance. Our doors will be open and refreshments will be served. Friday, Jan 6, 9-11AM and 2-4PM. Monday, Jan 9, 9-11AM and 2-4PM. Gordon Palmer Hall, Room A232. cit.ua.edu

Start of Semester How-Tos   

Instructional Tech Changes and Announcements 

Qualtrics now requires Duo 

Duo is now required to access Qualtrics accounts. Users will receive a Duo prompt after logging in with myBama credentials at Qualtrics.ua.edu. For more information about Duo, visit OIT’s Duo two-factor authentication page. 

No More People.Ua.Edu Sites for Graduate Students 

Effective January 1, 2023, new People.ua.edu sites will no longer be created for graduate students. All existing site owners who are graduate students will be contacted in early 2023 about their next steps. UA offers two alternative solutions: Adobe Portfolio (part of Adobe Creative Cloud) and Microsoft Sway (part of Microsoft 365 Education). Both products are available to all UA staff, faculty, and students. 

  • Adobe Portfolio is part of Adobe Cloud which provides several apps and services. Get started with your site by visiting Adobe Creative Cloud. Log in using your UA credentials. Look on the left side panel and you will see Portfolio. Alternately, you can go directly to Adobe Portfolio and login using your UA credentials. There are tutorials available through Adobe and OIT. 
  • Microsoft Sway is part of Microsoft 365 Education which includes many applications for work essentials, collaboration, organization, and even apps for fun. Visit OIT’s Microsoft 365 Education page to access MS Sway. Tutorials and training can be found at Microsoft 365 Training. 

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 

Turnitin Class Expiration – Known Issue 

When a Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS) assignment is created in a Blackboard Learn course, Turnitin automatically assigns a default class expiration date as 6 months in the future, or the latest TFS assignment due date in the course, whichever is farther away. When the Turnitin class expires, students can no longer submit papers or access TFS activities.  To extend the Turnitin class expiration date, make a new Turnitin assignment with due dates that match the last date when students should be able to view the TFS assignments and tools for the course. For more information visit Turnitin Assignment Settings. 

Supe Store Access Granted changes + social annotation tools 

Access Granted’s primary vendor is changing from RedShelf to VitalSource for Spring 2023. Links to VitalSource in Blackboard Learn courses may now be labeled Access Granted. With permission from Academic Affairs, a SupeStore support user may access Fall and Spring courses in Blackboard as a Course Builder. This means the user will have access to edit existing RedShelf and VitalSource links to reflect the correct information. This user will not have access to student submissions or grades. 

This change enables the creation of Hypothesis assignments in Blackboard using documents from VitalSource’s extensive collection of texts and ebooks. In CIT’s Knowledge Base article, Hypothesis & Access Granted e-books, you can learn to:   

  • Access VitalSource 
  • Find the VitalSource bookshelf URL of the text you will be assigning 
  • Create Hypothesis assignments in your Blackboard course 

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. Courses taught prior to Fall 2020 are now eligible for removal. Instructors should save any needed course content or student grades. Students should save any necessary coursework as well. Non-academic courses, referred to as non-integrated courses, are subject to removal following two (2) years of inactivity. 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. 

Upcoming Learning Opportunities 

Jan 5, 11:00-12:00 – Get Started with Gradescope  

Learn how you can use Gradescope to deliver and grade all your assignments, whether online or in person. The Gradescope team will walk you through how to cut down on time spent grading and get a clear picture of how your students are doing in your courses. Register at  https://info.gradescope.com/noa-workshops 

Jan 6, 12:00-12:30 pm – Annotation starter assignments with Hypothesis 

This workshop is ideal for instructors who are interested in using social annotation in their courses but aren’t exactly sure how to provide guidance to students. Registration is required.  

Jan 10, 10:00-11:30 – People.ua.edu 

Create a professional faculty website using People.ua.edu. Pre-registration is required at http://people.ua.edu. 

Jan 10, 1:00-2:00 – Flip 

Explore the features inside Flip and learn how to level up the ways your scholars communicate and share their learning. Registration is NOT required. Join us on Zoom. 

Jan 11, 11:00-12:00 – Hypothesis: Make the Most of the Margins  

Learn how to make reading active, visible and social, create community in the classroom by fostering peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, give students agency over their own learning. Registration is required. 

As always, we are available Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:45 to assist you. We wish you all the best in 2023 and look forward to working with you soon. 

Final Exams with Gradescope – Open Workshops

Join us for an open workshop for final exams and learn how you can use Gradescope with your final exams to simplify and speed up the grading process. There will also be time at the end of the session for Q&A.

Thursday, December 8th at 11:00 PT/ 2:00 EST 

Use this link to register and reserve your spot

Instructors are welcome to invite their TAs and grading staff.  Recording of the session will be shared with all registrants. So please feel free to register even if you can’t make it to the live session.

1:1 Meetings

For those unavailable to attend the workshop, or would like to have a one-on-one meeting instead, you can book a consultation a Gradescope Solutions Engineer!

Book with Howard Fooksman

Book with Lyn Riverstone

::: More About Gradescope :::

Gradescope is a feedback and assessment tool that dramatically reduces the pain and time associated with grading exams, homework, and other assignments. Gradescope is widely used to deliver assessments remotely. It enables instructors and graders to give better and more timely feedback, resulting in improved learning outcomes. Dynamic rubrics help streamline the tedious parts of grading while increasing grading consistency. AI-assisted Grading allows instructors to automatically group similar answers and grade all the answers in each group at once. Gradescope also helps with grading programming assignments at scale and can automatically grade printed bubble sheets. You can learn more about how other instructors are using Gradescope and create an account at www.gradescope.com. The Gradescope team is happy to help, so please let them know if you have any questions at help@gradescope.com or cit@ua.edu

Instructional Technology News – July 7, 2022

Hello instructors,

I hope you’re enjoying the summer! This is Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology with some instructional technology news and tips. There is much to share this time, and I encourage you to visit the links to learn more.

Blackboard Learn

Anthology Completes Merger with Blackboard, No Changes for UA Users

Blackboard’s parent company has merged with another edtech company, Anthology. The newly merged organization will be called Anthology with the Blackboard name continuing as part of its portfolio. There are no anticipated changes for UA users. More from Anthology: Anthology Completes Merger with Blackboard, Launches Next Chapter in EdTech

Blackboard Term Duration & Course Availability Update

We are working on some behind-the-scenes changes to Blackboard’s course settings in an effort to provide a better user experience. Moving forward, courses will not have default course availability dates associated with their term. This means that courses will not become available/unavailable on a preset date unless manually set by the instructor or department.

If you need courses to become available/unavailable on a certain date, view the Course Properties section of this article in our knowledge base: How do I set course availability in Blackboard?

Blackboard Learn Ultra Course View Update – Fall 2022 live course pilot

UA instructors now have the opportunity to explore Blackboard Learn Ultra Course View. Ultra Course View offers a simple, modern, intuitive, and consistent interface across devices and a simpler, more streamlined experience for instructors and students. Learn more about Ultra Course View and apply to participate in UA’s Ultra Course View pilot: Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Pilot

CIT began piloting practice or developmental Ultra Course View courses in Spring 2022 and invites instructors to begin exploring by requesting an Ultra Course View practice course: Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Request

During the Fall 2022 semester, we hope to pilot 20 live course sections using Ultra Course View. Instructors interested in teaching with Ultra Course View this Fall should submit a request via the CIT portal: Blackboard Learn Ultra LIVE Course Pilot Request. CIT will help you determine whether your course meets participation requirements. Any course offered though UA Online (part of a fully online program offered through the College of Continuing Studies) is not eligible for the live course pilot.

Following the pilot period, instructors will be able to choose whether to use Original Course View or Ultra Course View for live courses. Pilot feedback will inform the timeline, along with feature and third-party tool availability.


Flipgrid is now Flip! Flip is the same product but with a new name and a new look. CIT resources will be updated with the new name. More from Flip: Learn about Flip


Known Issue: Turnitin Max Points must be greater than zero

Turnitin assignments must have at least one point assigned for Max Points during set up. 0/0, or any score out of 0 points, will continue to display as Needs Grading in the Blackboard grade center. Other errors may occur when the Turnitin assignment grade appears in the Blackboard grade center, including inaccurate scores.

Turnitin Scheduled Maintenance – July 8

Turnitin will have a scheduled system maintenance July 8, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. (July 9) CDT. Due to the maintenance, Turnitin will be unavailable between those times.

More news from CIT and OIT

We’re here to help

As you can see, a lot is happening this summer to improve and enhance your instructional technology experience. As you begin to prepare for fall, please remember that your colleagues in The Center for Instructional Technology provide training, support, workshops, webinars, and consultations for UA’s instructional technologies and technology accessibility. Submit a help request or join us at an upcoming webinar.

Want more updates from CIT?  Subscribe to our news updates and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Updates from the Gradescope Team

An update from our vendor partners at Gradescope:

August Workshop Series

The workshop series is back! The Gradescope Team is hosting a series of back-to-school workshops during the first two weeks of August. All faculty are welcome, so please share this invitation (which includes the link to the registration page) before the series begins on August 2nd. We will send a reminder email about this series in July.

Product Updates

Check out some new and exciting Gradescope product updates, such as:

  • The Gradescope Student Mobile App is now live for U.S. iPhone and Android app stores. It will be available in Canada in July. The mobile app streamlines the process for students to upload handwritten work by cutting out third party apps and protects student privacy by keeping all work in Gradescope.
  • Online Assignment Randomization helps instructors protect the integrity of online assignments by randomizing the order of questions and/or answer choices.
  • Rubrics Before Submission helps instructors get a head start on grading by creating rubrics before students submit their assignments. This feature also creates a standardized grading rubric for classes with multiple graders.
  • Gradescope Knowledge Bot (Coming Soon) will allow you to search our Help Center and easily access resources within the Gradescope interface! Soon, all instructors using Gradescope will see an icon in the bottom right of their screen. Clicking this icon will show (1) a list of curated help resources and (2) an easy way to search our Help Center.

User Community Spotlight

We want to highlight some amazing Gradescope resources created by our partner institutions!

  • Check out UNC Chapel Hill’s comprehensive resource page with FAQ and user feedback
  • Learn about the transition to Gradescope bubble sheets at UT Austin with this step by step guide
  • Watch the User Summit recordings to hear fellow Gradescope users share their innovative teaching methods and approach to building better assessments

“I started using Gradescope a couple of years ago in my smaller classes to grade short answer/essay questions on paper exams. Now I use it in all classes, small and large, for almost all assignments. It’s easy for the students to submit to and makes grading easy & fast. My IAs have been able to grade 60 papers in a fraction of the time that it used to take on [LMS] and they’re really happy with it. It also makes just-in-time teaching far more reasonable in my small classes that have all open-ended assignments.” – Instructor at UNC Chapel Hill

Community Spotlight @ EDUCAUSE 2022

Do you love talking about Gradescope and sharing all the benefits with fellow instructors? If so we are looking for interested users to do just this at the 2022 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. These will be “relaxed” sessions held throughout the week at our exhibit space so you must be planning on attending in person in Denver.

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 cit@ua.edu, 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 cit@ua.edu 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.

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, People.ua.edu 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 cit@ua.edu 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!