Tag: Microsoft O365

Instructional Technology News – May 13, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with some instructional technology news.

Changes to Turnitin

On May 11, CIT updated the method used for connecting Blackboard to Turnitin. The new connection method allows for more seamless system updates in the future and offers an improved student submission process. While the update brings some user interface changes, the service retains the same features.

All Turnitin assignments need to be created with the new tool (see How do I create a new Turnitin assignment?). Assignments created with the old Turnitin tool are still available and viewable in courses, but they cannot be recreated by using the course copy process (see How do I view submissions for an old Turnitin assignment?). More information about the change and guides to using the new Turnitin are available in CIT’s instructional technology knowledge base: Changes to Turnitin in 2022.

Updates to Labster in Blackboard

On May 11, CIT updated the method used for connecting Labster with Blackboard. The new process for adding simulations in Blackboard is simpler and no longer requires downloading and re-uploading your desired sims; instead, you can link the sims directly from the Build Content page within Blackboard. CIT sent information about this change to instructors who have previously used Labster simulations within their Blackboard courses. Please see Blackboard – How to add Labster simulations to your course (LTI 1.3), and let us know if you have any questions.

Crimson Google Account Service Ends – Monday, May 16

OIT will decommission Crimson Google accounts on Monday, May 16. Unlike the May 2021 email migration, OIT will not migrate Google Drive content for students and alumni. Individuals are responsible for exporting or migrating all content they wish to keep. Faculty and staff who shared content with students using Google Drive should now use OneDrive. Visit the OIT website to see step-by-step guides for migrating content.

Blackboard Cleanup – Tuesday, May 17

On May 17, CIT will disable access to selected courses in Blackboard Learn. Courses that begin with the following semester codes are subject to removal in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy:

  • 201740 – Fall 2017
  • 201810 – Spring 2018
  • 201830 – Summer 2018
  • 201840 – Fall 2018
  • 201910 – Spring 2019
  • 201930 – Summer 2019

UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy states that courses are subject to removal from the system two years following the end of the semester in which they are taught. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.  More information on the policy and instructions for backing up Blackboard content are available in the LMS Course Retention Policy FAQ.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day – Thursday, May 19

Thursday, May 19 marks the 11th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD’s purpose is “to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.”

As part of our campus-wide commitment to inclusive education, and in celebration of GAAD, we will participate in the Blackboard Ally “Fix your Content Day Challenge,” host a Fixathon, and share accessibility resources and offering live, online opportunities to learn about accessibility throughout the day. Save the date and learn more: Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Fix Your Content Day.

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. 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, InstagramTwitter, and YouTube.

Instructional Technology News – March 29, 2022

Hello instructors,

Melissa from The Center for Instructional Technology here with the latest instructional technology news.

Blackboard Ultra 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 and apply to participate in the Ultra Course View pilot by requesting a practice course: Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Pilot

Blackboard Digital Teaching Symposium

Faculty, instructors, graduate teaching assistants, instructional designers and technologists, and others who hold instructional roles – you are invited to the Blackboard Teaching Symposium, a day of peer-led sessions on digital teaching strategies. The event takes place online on April 21, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET (8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT). Event information and registration are on the Blackboard website: Digital Teaching Symposium

Turnitin changes May 11

A Turnitin change coming on May 11 will alter how instructors access the Turnitin tool; the tool will be located under a new menu, but its functionality will remain the same. CIT suggests instructors wait until after this transition to build summer and fall Turnitin assignments. More information about the upcoming update: Changes to Turnitin in 2022

Update Zoom for waiting and breakout room changes, new and enhanced features

The March 21 Zoom release brings many new and enhanced features, a complete list of which is available here:  Release notes for March 21, 2022 CIT staffer Karen Burns points out that several improvements to waiting and breakout rooms have been requested by UA instructors. Update your Zoom client to access them, and read about them here: Zoom: March 21 update brings waiting and breakout room changes, new and enhanced features

OIT Strategic Plan 2022-2025

OIT is seeking feedback for our next strategic plan. We want to know how we’ve performed the past three years, and what we can change in the next three years to better support you. Surveys are now open and available on the OIT website for UA students, faculty and staff to provide feedback. The feedback you provide in this survey directly determines the future of technology at UA. Surveys will close March 31.

OIT hosts Microsoft Meetups

OIT has planned a week of Microsoft Meetups to prepare and equip UA students to migrate content from Google to Microsoft. As a reminder, Crimson Google account service ends May 16, 2022. Sessions will showcase how to migrate content as well as tips and tricks for using the Microsoft 365 suite of tools. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend sessions to learn more about Microsoft 365.

Join OIT and UA’s Microsoft reps the week of April 11 – 13 to learn more, ask questions and get comfortable with using OneDrive and other Microsoft 365 apps. Learn more about Microsoft Meetups and see a full lineup of events on the OIT Events website.

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. 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.


Instructional Technology News – August 9

Hello instructors,

Meg here from the Office of Information Technology. While our CIT team is busy migrating Blackboard to the cloud, I want to share a few IT items to help you (and your students) be prepared for the Fall 2021 Semester.

Crimson email is now powered by Microsoft O365.

Early this summer OIT migrated student and alumni Crimson email accounts from Google to Microsoft O365. We did this to increase collaboration among students and faculty/staff by hosting email together in one environment. Hosting student email in O365 allows for students, faculty and staff to be in the same email directory, and it allows for more functionality with tools like Microsoft Teams.

Students can use a variety of methods to access their email. Here’s four options:

  1. Log into myBama.ua.edu and click the Crimson Email link
  2. Visit mail.crimson.ua.edu on the web
  3. Add the account to the Outlook desktop app
  4. Add the account to the Outlook mobile app

Students should be accessing their email regularly to receive important campus updates. If your students have any questions about email, please direct them to the OIT website where we have more information and answers to frequently asked questions – oit.ua.edu/crimson.

Connect to Eduroam wireless internet.

This summer we changed how individuals connect to the Eduroam wireless internet network. Individuals must connect with an email address and myBama password.

For faculty and staff, that’s your myBama username@ua.edu email address. Students can connect with their Crimson email address. Returning students and faculty may need to re-establish a connection upon arrival to campus. More information about campus internet service is available on our website.

Download free software.

OIT offers many software packages to students, faculty and staff. Visit oit.ua.edu/software to download software tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, MATLAB, McAfee Antivirus, Microsoft O365 and more.

Move content from Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive.

Beginning May 2022, OIT will no longer support Google Drive for Crimson accounts. Students should begin using UA’s preferred cloud storage service, Microsoft OneDrive. Step-by-step guidance is available on our website for moving content out of Google Drive and into Microsoft OneDrive. If you share any materials with students via Google Drive, please make the switch to OneDrive.

We’re here to help.

Visit oit.ua.edu for more information about IT services.  You can also reach us at the IT Service Desk, itservicedesk@ua.edu or 205-348-5555.

Continue learning, even while Blackboard is unavailable.

The CIT team is hard at work updating Blackboard Learn. Melissa will be in touch later this week when Blackboard service resumes. In the meantime, we’ve added several webinars and workshops to our website to encourage students and instructors to continue learning, even while Blackboard Learn is down. I hope to see you in one of the Outlook and OneDrive workshops tomorrow!