Blackboard Clean Up

in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, the Center for Instructional Technology will be conducting routine Blackboard 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.

Student Phishing Alert – March 3, 2021

Wednesday, March 3, many UA students received a phishing email that featured the subject title “P/A WORK APPLICATION”.

This email is a scam, not an actual work application. A screenshot of the phishing message is below.  If you received this message, please delete it. Take a moment to review the red flags of phishing to learn how to spot common phishing emails like these.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact OIT Security at 205-348-5555 or

student phishing email

Learn Teams – Within Teams

Join the Microsoft Resources Team – a Team within the Microsoft Teams app where UA Microsoft partners share tutorials, videos and helpful content. All UA students, faculty and staff are welcome to join. This Team allows users to learn more about the Microsoft Teams environment through experience.

Join the Team today! If you’re new to Teams, learn more about it on the OIT website.

Live Transcription Available in Zoom

Live transcription is now available for UA Zoom accounts! Transcription can be enabled by the host, and any participants can view the captioning as needed. The robot transcription service enables speech to text transcription in Zoom meetings and webinars. Live transcription only supports English.

AI/automatic speech recommendation captions are not accurate enough to serve as an accommodation – for that, human/manual captioning is necessary –  but this service can enhance accessibility for all users.

To enable live transcription, sign into the Zoom web portal, and visit Settings. Select the Meeting tab, scroll to the Advanced settings and select the checkbox to enable transcription.

enable live transcription check box

Minecraft Education Edition Available Through O365

Minecraft Education Edition is available for all UA students, faculty and staff through Microsoft O365. To access Minecraft Education Edition, visit the Minecraft website. Login with your or Crimson email address and myBama password.

Minecraft can be used to create virtual hangout spaces – an ideal way to create and cultivate community among students while physically distant. Below are examples of how the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Religious Studies replicated their Presidents Hall student lounge in Minecraft. Get started building your space today!

Presidents Hall in Minecraft

student lounge space

Presidents Hall in MinecraftReligious studies student lounge

Microsoft Teams Virtual Workshops

Microsoft Teams is OIT’s favorite communication and collaboration app. Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place. Microsoft Training professionals will be offering four upcoming virtual workshops for UA students, faculty and staff.

Microsoft Teams Training

Microsoft Teams 101 – an overview of Teams basics

March 3 @ 11am
March 4 @1pm

Microsoft Teams Meetings – how to schedule a meeting, and an overview of meeting tools and settings

March 10 @ 11am
March 11 @ 1pm

Learn more about the workshops, and register, on the UA Events Calendar.

External Email Error – Feb. 10

An error occurred Wednesday, Feb. 10 within the IronPort email security tool, causing email from external sources to not be delivered to UA O365 mailboxes. This error caused the IronPort to treat all mail from external sources as SPAM. Any email sent from outside of the UA O365 email system was not delivered to UA inboxes between 4:05 pm and 7:40 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Individuals external to UA O365 who attempted to send messages to UA O365 accounts did not receive a bounce back message. Unfortunately, these messages cannot be retrieved.

Students, or others who sent emails from outside UA O365, to a UA faculty, staff or departmental account during this time window should resend emails. Also, instructors who sent messages from Blackboard Learn during this time window should resend messages to ensure delivery.

We apologize for this error and inconvenience. We understand that email is a critical service, and our team has put measures in place to prevent errors such as this.

O365 Display Name Change

Friday, Feb. 19 OIT will change users’ Microsoft O365 display names to appear as Firstname Lastname. Currently O365 display names show as Lastname, Firstname.

This change will adopt the preferred names set in the UA Common Directory, and will overwrite some previously set directory values if individuals have customized the display name of an email account.

The change may take time to refresh on all O365 apps (Outlook, Teams). OIT is performing this change to make the O365 environment more user friendly, and consistent with other campus services.

Student Email Migration to O365

Exciting news! In May 2021 OIT will be migrating student Crimson email accounts from Google to Microsoft. We’re doing this for several reasons, to enhance cybersecurity, to provide a cohesive directory, to increase collaboration with tools like Microsoft Teams, and to better prepare UA students for the workforce. Visit our migration webpage for more information and answers to frequently asked questions like, “Will my email address stay the same?” Ok, we’ll go ahead and answer that one: yes.

Crimson Migration