First-Year Writing Program


Each UA course must use Blackboard Learn to at least post the course syllabus.
You also can use Blackboard Learn for posting course materials, sending important class reminders to your students, using the discussion or chat features as part of your course design, even maintaining an electronic grade book and posting grades to the Banner system.

To set up Blackboard Learn for your course, log in to, faculty tab, banner self service, faculty and advisors, blackboard learn section maintenance.

Once classes have been added to the system, you can access Blackboard learn by going through mybama or by going to .

Instructions for creating your syllabus in OSM

Instructions for linking OSM syllabus to Blackboard

Online tutorials are available on the Faculty Resource Center Web site (

See also, Handout detailing BBL tools

Each teacher must upload the accurate syllabus (policies and calendar) for each of their sections to the University’s Online Syllabus Management System (OSM) and then link that syllabus to the course Blackboard page. You can find OSM in the faculty tab of mybama by clicking the link for “Office of Institutional Research and Assessment” in the faculty teaching box.  These syllabi are evaluated for program requirements and used in SACS accreditation records. The syllabus uploaded to OIRA and the syllabus given to students must be the same.

The OIRA resources box in mybama is also the location for student opinion survey results.

Instructions for creating your syllabus in OSM

Instructions for linking OSM syllabus to Blackboard

More detailed instructions for using OSM

Turnitin, an online grading/peer review and plagiarism prevention/detection tool is available through Blackboard Learn at no cost to students (UA has a site license). The First-year Writing Program at the University of Alabama advocates using Turnitin as a teaching tool instead of a “gotcha” tool. Make the tool available to students at the rough draft stage of writing so that you can talk to your students about any citation or patchwriting problems you or the student sees in the draft. You may also be interested in the online grading and peer review functions of turnitin.

Turnitin instructions, including how to add Turnitin to your Blackboard course, are available from the Faculty Resource Center.

Summer 2022 updates to Turnitin changed the way teachers access student submissions. You may need instructions for viewing submissions in an old Turnitin assignment.

Assoc. Dir. Jessica Kidd ( and Asst. Dir. Natalie Loper can also be resources to teachers interested in using Turnitin.

If you choose to use TurnItIn, the University attorneys request that you include the following paragraph in your syllabus:

Syllabus Statement for The University of Alabama is committed to helping students uphold the ethical standards of academic integrity in all areas of study. Students agree that their enrollment in this course allows the instructor the right to use electronic devices to help prevent plagiarism. All course materials are subject to submission to and will be included as source documents in’s restricted access database for the purpose of detecting textual similarities. will be used as a tool to help students avoid plagiarism in written documents.