Canvas Update (07/17/2021)

On Saturday, July 17, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

  • SpeedGrader – Comment Library: Comments can be added and saved for reuse within SpeedGrader, allowing individual users to save frequently used comments to be reused across assignments in multiple courses.
  • New Quizzes – Item Bank M​​​​​anagement: Item banks can now be shared with the entire account or individual users. When instructors share an item bank, the item bank supports a new View permission, which can be given to a user and provides access to the bank as read only. The user who shares an item bank can continue to specify editing access for other users.
  • Canvas – Maintenance Window: Instructure has moved their intermittent maintenance to twice monthly scheduled maintenance windows. Moving forward, maintenance will be performed on the first and third Thursdays of each month, beginning at 1:00am, and running no later than 3:00am. Canvas may be unavailable to users during these windows. All users are able to view maintenance window times through Account then Settings. For additional information, please refer to the Canvas Community discussion.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.

Webex Suite Updates (6/15/2021)

Campus members will see new Webex Suite logos starting on Tuesday, June 15. Cisco announced new branding for the Webex Suite, which will affect the way Webex application logos will appear on desktops, web browsers, and mobile devices. Any new downloads of applications in the Webex Suite will have the new logo as well. 

Webex by Cisco, the new Webex brand system, is designed to reflect Cisco’s guiding design principle: inclusion. The new Webex logo is a “W” in the form of a rotating double helix, symbolizing two hands coming together.

Along with the updated look, on Tuesday, June 15th, Cisco released the Webex Meetings 41.6 update. Highlights of this release are listed below with full release notes also available.

  • Optimized Shared Content dialog box: An updated look and feel to the share content box will make it easier to find the options you’re looking for, without having to scroll as much.
    Share Content
  • New Sharing Icon: With the updated Webex branding, you’ll see the sharing icon has been updated as well. This new look indicates who has the presenter role.
    Presenter Icon
  • Layout Optimization Features:
    • Scale the filmstrip in both the Stacked and Side-by-side views by dragging to make the filmstrip bigger or going the other way to hide the filmstrip by collapsing it completely.
    • Hosts and cohosts will have a new option when syncing their stage to “Lock attendee view on stage only,” which hides the filmstrip from attendees’ views, so they can only see what’s on stage. This prevents attendees from being able to change to a different view and can be useful when hosts want complete control over who attendees can and can’t see at any given time. Additionally, a new “Stop” button will make it easier to stop syncing your stage.
  • Reactions flow in Webex Rooms: Send and receive reactions across Webex Rooms devices (like video-enabled classrooms and conference rooms) and Webex apps.

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Honoring Campus Innovators

“Fireworks 04” by drjoshuawhitman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

On May 19, 2021, UW-Whitewater colleagues gathered for a day-long discussion and series of presentations about equity, inclusion, and technological innovations in teaching and learning. The Learning Technology Center and the LEARN Center joined to host both of these events. Many thanks to those who were able to attend and for those behind the scenes!

The morning session began with the LEARN Center Equity Ambassadors: Jenna Cushing-Leubner (COEPS), Nate Maddux (COIS), Juk Bhattachryya (COLS), Christine Hoover (COBE), and Susan Wildermuth (COEPS). Each of the presentations offered keen insight into the development of equitable courses and inclusive classroom communities with each talk offering participants precise strategies to implement in the future. Thank you for your hard work!

The afternoon sessions marked the beginning of “Celebrating Teaching and Learning,” a yearly event hosted by the Learning Technology Center designed to showcase technological innovations by UW-Whitewater instructional staff and faculty. This time around, Erin Bauer (Music) walked us through the affordances of online platforms to critically interrogate traditional music history curricula. Meg Waraczynski (Psychology) dove into granularity of adaptive, scenario-based learning using the Realizeit platform. Jeannine Rowe (Social Work) articulated her foundations in the PICRAT framework and methodology to structure students’ technology-mediated engagement in the course. Finally, Steven Girard (Chemistry) exhibited his use of interactive quiz technologies (Kahoot) to engage students and build community, as well as his creation of an online, open resource textbook created specifically for his students.

The Celebration concluded with the announcement of this year’s Cisco/Presidio “Teaching with Technology Innovator” honorarium, awarded to Meg Waraczynski! Congratulations again to each of this year’s finalists!

Next year’s “Celebrating Teaching and Learning” is scheduled for May 18, 2022 – we hope to see you there!

Canvas Update (05/15/2021)

On Saturday, May 15, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

  • Assignments – Student Annotated Submissions: Instructors can use annotated document assignment type to upload a document for students to annotate and submit directly in Canvas. This assignment type is included under the online assignment types so that instructors can select additional submission options for students unable to annotate onscreen.
  • New Quizzes – Save and Build Button Workflow: The New Quiz creation page includes both a Save and a Build button. When an instructor creates and enters details for a quiz, the page displays both a Save and a Build button. Previously the page only included the Save button, which counterintuitively launched in the New Quiz editor. 

UW-Whitewater Updates

Planned Data Center Outage, May 21: Due to a state-initiated project, a temporary power shut-off of the UW-W data center will be required to complete planned maintenance at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 21st, with a targeted return to full service by 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 22nd. During this maintenance window, all IT services, applications, and web pages will be unavailable so please plan accordingly.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.

Celebrating Teaching and Learning – Honorarium Finalists & Schedule – May 19th

There is still time to register!  The Celebrating Teaching and Learning conference will be held virtually on May 19th with Webex. The event is FREE!

name tags from a previous conference

Why should you attend?

  • To recognize innovations in teaching and learning by members of the Warhawk community!
  • Spring semester grades are due the day before.
  • You can attend from anywhere with internet access.
  • It’s Free!

Morning Session (Equity in the Classroom)

10:00 AM to NoonThe conference will start with an Equity in the Classroom workshop led by the LEARN Center Equity Ambassadors. The workshop will begin with a panel discussion followed by interactive breakout sessions focused on practices that you could use to create a more equitable and inclusive learning environment. For more on the Equity Ambassadors:

Lunch Break
Noon to 1:00 PM

Afternoon Session (Celebrating Teaching and Learning)

1:00 PMWelcome and Opening Remarks
1:10 PMTeaching with Technology: Organization, Assessment, Equity, and Inclusion. Erin Bauer, Assistant Professor of Musicology.
1:40 PMUsing adaptive learning software in an introductory statistics course to improve student engagement and achievement. Meg Waraczynski, Professor of Psychology.
2:05 PM – 2:20PMBreak
2:20 PMTechnology to Engage Learners: A New Way of Teaching! Jeannine Rowe, Professor of Social Work.
2:50 PMA Focus on the Good: Technology to Improve Engagement, Equity, and Best Practices in Post-COVID Learning. Steven Girard, Associate Professor of Chemistry.
3:20 PMInnovator Winner Announced and Closing Remarks

Teaching with Technology: Organization, Assessment, Equity, and Inclusion

Erin Bauer, Assistant Professor of Musicology

Erin Bauer, Assistant Professor of Musicology

I typically teach a handful of general education courses in the online format. However, prior to the pandemic, I did not consider teaching my music history survey courses online. With the onset of COVID-19, my music history survey courses, general education offerings, and upper-division electives all shifted online. As such, I made a number of modifications to the structure and content. While these changes were initially made out of necessity, many have served my students better than anticipated and will continue in face-to-face offerings. This presentation will focus on the use of technology in my music history survey courses, but these techniques function similarly across all my offerings. In particular, we will explore the organization of materials on Canvas, alterations to learning resources in the online setting, gating of content to promote student accountability, effective assignments and assessments, and incorporation of provocative issues of racism, classism, and sexism in an inherently exclusionary online curriculum.

Presentation Description:

Organization of Course Materials:
Even in my face-to-face classes, I typically rely on the LMS. However, in shifting fully online, this method of structuring each course became even more important. I break each course into content-based modules. Each module consists of a “page” providing a brief introduction to the material and learning objectives, my own lecture video, additional learning materials, and a list of assignments. I also expanded my learning materials to include supplemental readings, videos, and podcasts. These provide a variety of methods for students to access the material, but also introduce more provocative issues of racism, sexism, and classism within the Western canon. To hold students accountable, I “gate” the content. When students first log into the course at the beginning of the semester, they see only a “Welcome” module, consisting of my video introduction, the syllabus, and a discussion board with short, personal introductions. Once they view/complete these items, subsequent modules become available. The content page at the start of each module is followed by short multiple-choice quiz on the learning materials for the week. Students must complete it with 100% accuracy before subsequent assignments become available.

Effective Assignments and Assessments:
Prior to the pandemic, assignments in my music history survey courses closely resembled those in my own undergraduate career. In moving the courses online, I shifted assignments to focus on critical thinking. For each module, students now listen to musical examples and write a reflection on the discussion board, respond to a more provocative discussion prompt centered on issues like the inherent whiteness and maleness of the canon, the narrative of composer as genius, and the importance of representation, and complete an examination consisting of short essay prompts.

Equity and Inclusion:
The technology-based alterations to these classes have increased equity and access to the curriculum. Beyond changes to curricular content to address issues of diversity, tokenism, and power within the Western music canon, alternative learning materials, free and open-access resources, flexible synchronisms, and student choice of assessment modality allow students from diverse backgrounds to interact with their educations in ways that are most approachable, engaging, and productive for individual circumstances.

Using adaptive learning software in an introductory statistics course to improve student engagement and achievement.

Meg Waraczynski, Professor of Psychology

This presentation will introduce audience members to using Realizeit’s adaptive learning platform to support student success. Adaptive learning software allows students to achieve mastery at their own pace. In my introductory statistics course the Realizeit platform takes the place of a textbook. Students learn basic content interactively and with immediate feedback on their comprehension. Students who struggle can be directed to extra support while students with existing knowledge can skip exposition they do not need. Realizeit affords several advantages. For instance, the instructor gets information about which concepts or skills need more exposition and also about which students are struggling with what material. Students can spend more in-class time working with peers to practice new skills via the analysis and interpretation of authentic datasets. Students may work on lessons until they achieve a target mastery level. Lessons remain available for review throughout the semester, with novel questions presented at each iteration. Attendees will get a brief introduction to creating Realizeit lessons and will see what a typical lesson looks like to students.

Presentation Description:

  1. Attendees will learn that mastering adaptive learning software for their courses need not be intimidating.
  2. Attendees should see that adaptive learning software offers substantial and numerous advantages to them and their students.
  3. Attendees should gain the background to start thinking about how adaptive learning software might apply to their own courses.

Technology to Engage Learners: A New Way of Teaching!

Jeannine Rowe, Professor of Social Work

Jeannine Rowe, Professor of Social Work

Using technology has evolved significantly in the last two decades. Wherein the past technology was touted as a substitute for teaching traditional face-to-face classes, today it is viewed as a platform to transform the learning experience. This presentation will include a first-hand account of using technology in teaching over the past 20 years. As part of this account, the presenter will share her perspective as a social science educator on the evolution of technology, and share examples of how she utilizes technology to actively engage learners and transform the learning experience in an online format. Unique to this presentation will be the sharing of activities that use technology to promote positive skill growth for learners enrolled in social, behavioral, and allied health professional training programs.

Presentation Description:

This session will be of interest to instructors who want to engage students as active and creative learners using technology. Because the presentation will include examples of activities using technology in online and social and behavioral health arenas, it may be particularly attractive for instructors in similar venues. The activities to be shared will be presented within the context of PICRAT, which is a technology integration model that requires consideration of the student’s relationship to technology and the instructor’s use of it, in designing activities/lessons with technology to maximize student engagement and achievement. Sample activities to be shared include those that foster interpersonal skills, promote written and oral communication skills, and enhance group facilitation skills.

 Individuals who attend this presentation will:

  • Recognize the value of using a framework, such as PICRAT to develop activities/lessons that integrate technology
  • Identify the how activities using technology can be both creative and transformative
  • Classify how different activities/lessons fit within the PICRAT framework

The presentation will be engaging and prompt attendees to rethink how they might develop activities/lessons using technology. There will be time for attendees to ask questions and engage with the presenter and others.

A Focus on the Good: Technology to Improve Engagement, Equity, and Best Practices in Post-COVID Learning

Steven Girard, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Steven Girard, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Our sudden move to remote learning one year ago laid bare the systemic challenges facing all institutions of higher education. While the downsides of online instruction became apparent from our sudden shift online, so did unexpected benefits. In this talk, we will focus on the good: increased flexibility in managing time and work/life balance; accessibility and communication; and the learning and leveraging of new technologies to improve student outcomes. These benefits of online instruction will persist well beyond the pandemic, and in many ways have already become ingrained. I will detail my use of a variety of technologies to improve student-student and student-instructor classroom community; linking instructors to technology best practices; and ways to improve accessibility and equity of online/remote teaching resources.

Presentation Description:

This talk will highlight:

  1. Technology to build a sense of community and belonging in the classroom via trivia games.
  2. Online discussion sessions to facilitate in higher order learning and “un-Google-able” exam questions.
  3. Technology to build community and best practices amongst faculty and staff.
  4. Adaptive learning and online textbooks: growth mindset, positive study habits while improving accessibility and equity via Cerego and Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Webex Updates (May, 2021)

May brings many updates to the Cisco Webex suite! In this post, we’ll summarize the critical updates for Webex Meetings as well as what’s new in Webex (formerly known as Webex Teams).

Webex Meetings

Webex Meetings

On Tuesday, May 11th, Cisco will release the Webex Meetings 41.5 update. The highlights of this release are listed below, with full release notes also available.

Webex (Teams)

On Friday, May 14th, Cisco will release the Webex (Teams) 41.5 update. The highlights of this release are listed below, with full release notes also available.

Webex Meetings 41.5 Update

  • Web App Attendee Functionality: Attendees, hosts, and cohosts who join from the Web App will see greater parity in functionality for answering Q&A, video layouts, and syncing their stage.
  • Stop Video for Attendees: Meeting hosts can now stop video coming from video devices and mobile attendees. When any of these attendees leave and re-join the meeting, their video will start, even if it had been stopped previously by the host.
  • Share Post-Meeting Content to the Webex (Teams) App: From the post-meeting web page, share meeting content to an existing or newly created space in Webex (Teams) to continue collaborating.
  • Recording Availability Indicator Icon: Your Recorded Meetings page will now display within how much time the recording will be generated, which is typically within 24 hours, depending on file size and bandwidth.
  • Tool Tip for Customizing the Stage: Participants will see animated tool tip in the stage views to quickly show how they can customize the stage by drag and dropping participants from the filmstrip onto the stage.

Webex Events (New) Now Available: This update brings a new service called Webex Events (New), which includes many of the advanced features you’re familiar with from Webex Meetings, as well as some from Webex Events (Classic). When scheduling a Webex Event, you will have the option to use the New or Classic service.

  • This is a new service that has not been available for any length of time. UW-Whitewater staff have not had the opportunity to test it with live audiences. At this time, we recommend you continue to use Webex Events (Classic). Events scheduled from the Webex Events (Classic) scheduler will continue to have the original Webex Events experience.
  • View our Knowledge article Webex Events (New) – Information to compare the two services and to learn about to learn about current known issues and limitations with Webex Events (New).
  • View directions on how to Schedule a Webex Event (New) to try it out.
  • Look for training and additional resources to be available soon!
  • You may see this highlighted next time you sign in to with a walk-through.
  • Webcast mode is not available on our account.

Webex (Teams) 41.5 Update

  • Full-Featured Meetings: When you join a Webex Meetings scheduled or Personal Room meeting using Webex (Teams), you’ll have access to full-featured meetings, which offers you most of the Webex Meetings features even when you join from Webex (Teams). These features include stage view, breakout sessions, reactions, Webex Assistant, and People Insights profiles.
    • Webex (Teams) meetings from a space will remain unchanged at this time. Mobile users will see Webex Meetings launch when they join.
  • Schedule Webex meetings right from the app: No need to go outside the app to schedule your standard and Personal Room meetings. Add important meeting details, check the availability of the attendees, and send out the invites right from the Webex (Teams) app.
  • Additional In-Meeting features: No more self view when your video is off; shared content is automatically optimized; a new Stop Sharing button for ease; new connection and computer indicators will help meeting quality; and the ability for hosts to turn off attendees videos will improve Webex (Teams) meetings.
  • Messaging Updates: Mark messages as unread, move quickly between spaces you’ve visited with navigation history, and choose your default tab when the app opens.
  • Webex now on Linux: All the core capabilities are in a single app for Linux users, with the full-featured meetings to be added soon.
Full-Featured Meetings in the Webex (Teams) App

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Planned Data Center Outage May 21st

Due to a state-initiated project, a temporary power shut-off of the UW-W data center will be required to complete planned maintenance.

Based on the academic calendar and after consulting with a variety of academic, functional and governance areas on campus, it was determined that the least disruptive timeframe would be to start the outage at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 21st, with a targeted return to full service by 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 22nd. 

Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

During this maintenance window, all IT services, applications, and web pages will be unavailable so please plan accordingly.

We would like to thank those who provided feedback regarding this planned maintenance, specifically the Department Chairs, University Technology Committee, and Campus Business Representatives.

If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk.

Canvas to WINS Final Grade Submission

Each semester, grades need to be entered into WINS. While many instructors do this manually, Canvas can help automate some of the steps for you. The Learning Technology Center is providing training on the three steps needed to push grades from Canvas so they can be accepted in WINS.

The Spring 2021 WINS Grades Roster will be open on May 10 and close at noon on May 18. We have scheduled 60 minute hands on training sessions if you are interested in receiving live support.

Wednesday, May 12th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Thursday, May 13th
3:00am – 4:00pm
Monday, May 17th
10:00am – 11:00am
Monday, May 17th
2:00pm – 3:00pm

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Early Summer Series on Hyflex!

At the start of the Summer, the Learning Technology Center and the LEARN Center will host a series of discussions and interactive workshops geared towards improving HyFlex instructional practices, managing classroom technology, and developing programmatic strategies for the future.

Lessons Learned from HyFlex: Perspectives from the Classroom
May 25, 2021 at 1:00PM – Register at

This event will feature faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the UW System Collaborative Language Program who will share their experiences (the good and the bad) with course development, program management, and strategies for student engagement.

Collaborative Lesson Plan Development – Moving Towards HyFlex Course Design
Part 1: May 26, 2021 – 1PM – Register at
Part 2: June 3, 2021 – 1PM

Work through the iterative process of course design with colleagues from across campus to get started with your HyFlex course! In the first session, you will work through example lesson plans and course materials to better see the different puzzle pieces that combine in a hyflex course. You will work in groups to identify potential challenges (and their solutions!) with a hyflex course model as you consider your own course. Part Two will be dedicated to peer review and sharing of course maps, lesson plans, and other materials needed to help make your course as successful and meaningful as possible.

Even if you have already designed a HyFlex course, we would love to learn from your design strategies and perspectives!

Technology-inclusvie collaboration

Registration open for the LTDC 2021 Virtual Showcase “Transforming the Future of Education!”

Registration to attend the FREE Learning Technology Development Council’s 2021 Virtual Showcase, themed Transforming the Future of Education is now open! The showcase will be held June 15 and 16, 2021.

2021 LTDC Virtual Showcase Registration Now Open
Registration Open!

Keynote speakers include Bryan Alexander, author of “Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education,” and Kathe Pelletier, Director of Teaching and Learning with EDUCAUSE. They, along with instructors and staff throughout UW-System, will reflect upon ideas and innovations, lessons learned, the technologies utilized, and the experiments tried over the last year that may shape future educational opportunities.

To register for this free professional development opportunity, please go to the LTDC 2021 Virtual Showcase website:

Be sure to register even if you cannot attend the live sessions to gain access to session materials and recordings after the conference.