Winterim 2019 Poll Everywhere Workshop

Are you interested in using a new tool to facilitate student engagement in your Spring 2019 course? “Poll Everywhere” is a live polling tool that allows students to submit answers, in real-time,  to closed or open-ended prompts that instructors create. Students can respond using the Poll Everywhere website, the mobile app, or even through text messages. 

If you are interested in learning more about using Poll Everywhere in your course, consider registering for the Winterim 2019 Workshop at 12:00 pm on Tuesday January 8th.

If you have any questions about Poll Everywhere or any other learning technology, feel free to contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

TED Tips – Issue 24: Winter Break!

As the 2018 Fall Semester concludes, I want to reflect on the first six months of writing this blog. It has been a great honor to share discoveries, explore new ideas, and write about topics related to Technology, Education, and Design. I hope that these TED tips continue to inform and inspire as we celebrate teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.


Winter Break

Over the last six months, we have explored the difference is between a Learning Management System (LMS) and a Digital Learning Environment (DLE). This distinction is important as it helps to lay the foundation for some of the key decisions applicable to the migration from D2L to Canvas at Whitewater and throughout the UW System.

Canvas has been a source for several posts. The LTC Canvas peer mentors shared some of most important lessons learned while working with Canvas in the classroom. We looked at ways to support communications in Canvas and the importance of making a good first impressions. We explored grading and using Speed Grader in Canvas.

What are some different ways technology can be used in the classroom to support your teaching learning? Tools like Poll Everywhere can increase student engagement and interaction. “23 Things for Digital Knowledge” provided activities that can build student fluency in digital literacy.

TED Tips have explored the 2018 NMC Horizon Report and its view the trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology as it impacts higher education. Using the Horizon Report provides a lens to highlight pilots and innovative work taking place on campus like Adaptive Learning.

The blog will continue to promote workshops sponsored by the Learning Technology Center and its many partners and collaborators. For example, there is a series of upcoming Canvas workshops this winter: Canvas Open labs, hands on workshops for newcomers to Canvas, Construction Zones to help instructors move their courses from D2L to Canvas, and deep dives into single topics to help with your teaching. Grading in Canvas and building and using rubrics will be explored in early January. For a full list of times and locations of the upcoming winter Workshops visit the LTC.

The next session in the 2018-19 UW-Whitewater LEARN Center/Learning Technology Center Workshop Series: “Back to Basics to Balance Workload” is Thursday, January 10th from 10:00am to 2:00pm in the University Center. This four hour workshop includes lunch and is designed as a hands-on activity to help prepare for your spring classes! Session Four: Setting the tone early saves time in the long run: Crafting your syllabus and engaging students before the first day of class and beyond.

During the morning session of the workshop, presenters will share evidence-based strategies for creating a more learner-centered syllabus and share tips for engaging students from the first day (and even before class begins!). After a lunch discussion, participants will learn more on how to better utilize Canvas in their courses in a way that clarifies organization and sets expectations in a more transparent manner. Participants will end the session with time to revise their syllabi, first day activities, and/or Canvas course pages and share their materials for small group feedback.

Participants will leave with:

  • An overview of best practices for syllabus development
  • Experience with a variety of first day activities that can increase student engagement and sense of community
  • Ideas to organize their Canvas course pages
  • Revised syllabi/activities to enhance student engagement

To register for this workshop:

Thank you for taking the time to read these posts! TED Tips will return in 2019. Topics next year will build on and support some of the upcoming workshops with TED Tips planned to explore several types of rubrics, building them in Canvas, design of a course homepage, navigation, analytics, and many others. I hope to experiment a bit more in format and content and hope to record the occasional complementary podcast! Until then, have a great holiday break, recharge, and relax! See you next year!

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant


LTC Canvas Peer Mentors

Canvas Workshops Winter 2019

LEARN Center/Learning Technology Center Workshop Series:  “Back to Basics to Balance Workload.”  Session Four: Setting the tone early saves time in the long run: Crafting your syllabus and engaging students before the first day of class and beyond.

Canvas Workshops – Winter 2019

The LTC will be offering Canvas Open Labs, Canvas Hands-On Introduction, Canvas Construction Zone and Canvas Deep Dive sessions during the Winterim 2019 semester.

Canvas Open Lab (2 hours)
We will be available to answer your Canvas questions during the sessions below!  Whether you are working on your final grades to send to WINS, or if you are getting ready to teach in Canvas for the first time during Winterim or Spring semesters – stop on by!

Date/Time Location Register
Monday, December 17th – 1pm McGraw 19b In-Person Registration
Wednesday, December 19th – 1pm McGraw 19c In-Person Registration
Wednesday, December 26th – 1pm McGraw 19c In-Person Registration
Thursday, December 27th – 9am McGraw 19c In-Person Registration
Friday, December 28th – 11am McGraw 19c In-Person Registration

Canvas Hands-On Introduction (2 Hours)
We will cover the basic function of the core tools in the Canvas platform. There will be time to ask questions along the way. If this is your first time touching Canvas, this workshop is the one for you!

Event Name Date/Time Location Register
Canvas Hands-On Introduction Monday, January 7th – 1pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Webinar Registration
Canvas Hands-On Introduction + LUNCH Tuesday, January 15th, 10am Hyer 210 In-Person Registration

Canvas Construction Zone (2 Hours)

Are you ready to start digging into your course setup? Do you need help straightening up after moving a course from D2L into Canvas? Do you have questions on how to set things up? This is the session for you! This session will be 2 hours of lab time with support staff on hand to help you construct your course in Canvas. Don’t forget your hard hat!

Event Name Date/Time Location Register
Canvas Construction Zone Wednesday, January 9th – 1pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Canvas Construction Zone + LUNCH Tuesday, January 15th, 12:00pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration

Canvas Deep Dives (1 Hour)
We will focus on a single tool, and dive deep into various options and use cases for how that tool works.

  • Grades: Weighting grades, Late policies, Muting Assignments, SpeedGrader, setting a default grade, and setting up extra credit.
  • Rubrics: This will start by touching briefly on rubric creation, but will focus on techniques to maximize the amount of value you can get by building rubrics directly in Canvas.
Event Name Date/Time Location Register
Grades Friday, January 11th – 12:00pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Webinar Registration
Rubrics Thursday, January 17th – 12:00pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Webinar Registration

If you have any questions about these sessions, please reach out to the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Transition Update

As the Fall Semester is coming to an end, we have a few exciting Canvas updates to share!

  • Grade Transfer to WINS. eGrading is now available for Canvas which will allow you to automatically send your final grades to WINS.  For step by step instructions, see
  • Canvas course navigation bar will be receiving an update. Starting December 26th instructors will be able to add Discussions (this allows students to see discussion alerts) and People (this allows students to self-enroll in groups) as course navigation items, as well as remove Syllabus and Collaborations if they are not used.
  • Winterim and Spring Courses are now available inside of Canvas.
    As a reminder, there is no more course request process with Canvas. All courses will be automatically created inside of Canvas.  If you teach the same course every semester, you may see two courses that look alike.  On the dashboard, you will also see the course term listed.  This will help you locate the correct course.
  • Winterim Workshops.  Want to learn more about Canvas? Join us at one of our online or face-to-face workshops this winter! Signup at:
  • Course Combinations.  Do you want to combine multiple sections of the same course into a single Canvas course?  Follow the steps in the Cross-Listing/Merging Canvas Courses guide.  If you need to combine courses that you are not the teacher for or if you have any questions please contact Canvas support.
  • Tips and Tricks. We have collected some tips and tricks from your colleagues to help you setup your courses in Canvas.  Take a look at them here:
  • UW-System wants your feedback.  In order to better understand your experience with the Digital Learning Environment this fall, please provide UW-System with your feedback.  Please follow this link and complete the Survey by December 21st 2018:

Please remember to reach out to Canvas 24/7/365 Support for all issues.

Canvas Video Snippets

Are you wondering what some of the Tips and Tricks your colleagues have for you on Canvas?  Check out the short snippets below!

Do you want to record a snippet to share?  Contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

LTDC Virtual Showcase 2019 Call for Proposals

The education session proposal deadline for the 2019 UW System Learning Technology Development Council Virtual Showcase ( has been extended to December 21, 2018.

The UW System’s annual LTDC Virtual Showcase will be held on April 2nd and 3rd, 2019. The theme for this year’s showcase is Building the New: Innovate, Integrate, Motivate.  We want to hear your tips, tricks, and tales from the trenches as it relates to teaching, learning, and technology.

LTDC Virtual Showcase April 2-3 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Please consider submitting an education session proposal ( It’s a great way to present at a national conference without having to leave your campus or department. Presentations during concurrent sessions will be 45 minutes: 30 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for questions and answers. All sessions will be given via a web conferencing tool. Sessions will be recorded and available for archive viewing. The LTDC highly encourages collaboration, use of appropriate and acceptable technologies, multiple institutions, and multiple discipline proposals.

Proposals will be selected and placed into one of the conferences tracks. The tracks are:

  • Digital Learning Environment – What have you learned about the DLE that you’d like to share? Discovered interesting features that everyone should know about? 
  • Teaching & Learning – Have you used technology to prepare instructors to teach or to assist students with learning? What train-the-trainer opportunities have you created?  
  • Technology and Other Resources – Have you created a wonderful set of resources for faculty and students?  What new tool have you discovered that you want to share?
  • Student Engagement – What are you doing to promote student engagement in your classes? How are your students connecting with each other and you?
  • Library and Digital Media – How have you incorporated media or leveraged the library into your classroom? Let’s hear about your LibGuides, user guides, knowledge bases, and instructional videos.
  •  Open Educational Resources – What type of Open Educational Resources have you discovered in the public domain or introduced with an open license?

TED Tips – Issue 23: Podcasts

Podcasts have recently seen a dramatic increase popularity. Podcasts are audio shows, often produced on a particular theme or topic, and hosted online. These audio files can be extremely valuable resources. Several have archives of hundreds of episodes. Many come with corresponding “vodcasts” (video files) as audio supplements to other media. They can provide a great supplement to class, replacement for a lecture, or additional resources for students.  Because they are easy to create and accessible, a podcast assignment could replace a written paper or report.  They are portable audio files; perfect for a commute, time at the gym, or other activities.



Many previous radio shows and (more recently) TV shows have been repackaged and rebranded with corresponding podcasts.   Most podcasts have free webpages (many embedded from this post) that allow you to navigate to the webpage, find the link and site you are looking for, and press play. These are also great because it can be easy to link from a classroom page to an online resource. Several of the prominent sites include guides on how to incorporate them into your own classes.

Various podcasting apps or “podcatchers” can help enhance that experience. These let you to download to a mobile device (for offline listening), update when recent episodes come out, and allow you to search and browse by topic to help find the shows you are interested in. I recommend trying one, customizing the settings to meet your particular needs, and experimenting with different shows.

What follows are some of the most common applications and services (there are many others). This should not be seen as an endorsement of any particular service but a list to help get you started. There are several types of apps, services, and many contain upgradable premium functions.

Free services:

  • Apple Podcasts (built into your iPhone).
  • Google Play Music (Android users)

Premium(ish) services:

  • Spotify (known mainly as a music service but recently expanded into podcasting)
  • Pocket Casts. App specifically for the full podcast experience; easy to search, curate, and see updated episodes. ($4.00)
  • Overcast. Gold standard for iOS podcast apps. (podcast player for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch; free with premium $10/year)

What are some good podcasts?

Radiolab with Jab Aburmrad and Robert Krulwich. Since 2002, Radiolab has been devoted to investigating a strange world. My favorite from this year has been “Unraveling Bolero”: a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music.  I was obsessed when listening the original episode and ended up staying in my car for fifteen minutes after I had reached my destination to finish the podcast.

“Higher Ed” podcast by Jennifer Statyon. These 15 minute podcast cover a wide range of topics that apply to education. A recent one called “Better Problem Solving Through Puzzles” (October 28, 2018) advocates that puzzles are a great approach for students because it often simulates more real world on the job problems.

“Research in Action” (“RIA”) is a podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education. The goal of the podcast is to do two things – increase research literacy and build community among researchers. Katie Linder, research director at Oregon State Ecampus, hosts. Of note, RIA includes a number of resources for instructors and specific guidelines on how to incorporate podcasts into their own classes. A very recent episode from November 26, 2018 called “Getting Started with Podcasting” that was one of the points that inspired me to blog about this topic this week.

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast. “This is the space where we explore the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning. We also share ways to increase our personal productivity, so we can have more peace in our lives and be even more present for our students.” The podcast focuses on topics such as digital pedagogy, creativity in teaching, educational technology, and many others.

Finally, it is relatively easy to create your own podcasts or create assignments that have your students create their own! At its most basic, any audio recording that you make and then upload to your students could be considered a podcast. Or consider having your students create their own podcasts instead of writing a paper. While the most popular and professionally developed podcasts have high production values – most phones contain a microphone suitable or recording. Computers also contain the basic equipment to facilitate ease of use

Consider activities:

  • Create a 3-5 minute unit or module overview! This audio file could be included with your material each week and help focus students on the weekly objectives, what to do, and any specific tips to be successful with key concepts and homework for the week.
  • Replace a written paper with a podcast assignment. Have students record a short 60 – 90 second audio report.
  • Have student research podcasts about specific topics. While not a substitute for formal research, it helps identify additional resources and allows students the opportunity to evaluate appropriateness for a course.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

TED Tips – Issue 22: Lessons Learned

TED Tips – Issue 22: Lessons Learned from Canvas Peer Mentors

Back in Issue 10 “Tips and FAQ’s from a Peer Mentor” at the start of the semester, we introduced the LTC faculty peer mentors that are available for each college to assist with the Canvas Transition. Canvas 24/7/365 is still the place to go for Canvas questions, but the peer mentors can help by sharing what they have discovered and learned.

canvas lessons

lessons learned

The peer mentors gather monthly to share notes and discuss what we’ve learned. Now that we are approaching the end of the semester, I want to share some of the lessons learned this term in Canvas from our most recent Peer Mentor meeting. These are all Tips shared by the mentors on things they learned this semester while using Canvas. Hopefully they can help you!

Lessons Learned

  • Provide a link to the Canvas Student Training during the first module or week in class. Canvas Student Training link:
  • Provide a bit of navigation and orientation to the class at the beginning of term. Show students where important things are located in Canvas. Review with them where they need to go and what they need to do. While Canvas is mostly new to us as faculty, it is also mostly new to students. Even thing like how to submit an assignment in Canvas can be really helpful. Providing that guide to where things are in your course can be really helpful to students.
  • Setting up the Course Home page in Canvas is important. Organizing content by weeks or by topic helps a lot.  Don’t underestimate the important of structure. Students have the tendency to click on the assignment tab – and they miss the rest of the weekly content, the readings, and other supporting activities. It is important to link back to those weekly modules from the assignments…and remind students to check the content in each module each week.
  • Creating a weekly checklist or “TO DO” list is very helpful to students. D2L could create those as you were creating content, Canvas does not do that. I create a checklist item for students and post it at the top of each module as a roadmap for the week. I can also physically hand out a notecard with that weekly checklist to students in class so they know where to go and what to do.
  • Creating larger assignments with multiple parts is easier to set up in Canvas as a series of different assignment submissions. It is also easy to create these as multiple “zero” point assignments. So, for example, if a student needs to submit a rough draft as a paper, create a separate assignment for that rough draft – you can then use speed grader, provide feedback, and return it to students. The FINAL paper or submission can be created as a separate assignment in Canvas.
  • Setting up the gradebook to reflect more logical areas that corresponded with assignments makes providing feedback and grading much easier.

Canvas Peer Mentors The peer mentors are available to:

  • Help answer your transition questions.
  • Provide you with training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
  • Work with you to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.

College of Arts and Communication
Jodi Galvan
Bill Miller

College of Business and Economics
Kelly Delaney-Klinger

College of Education and Professional Studies
Carmen Rivers
Eileen Schroeder

College of Letters and Sciences
Kris Curran
David Reinhart

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Canvas Student Training link:

LTC Peer Mentors:

Canvas Guides: great place to start for searching for information about Canvas:

[RESOLVED] Canvas Issue Update

RESOLVED – Thursday, December 6th:
On Thursday, December 6th Canvas ran a process to restore the Assignment Grade data in courses that were not already manually corrected. At this time, the issue is resolved.  
Please contact Canvas Support if you have any further questions about this issue.

Update Tuesday, December 4th:
As a follow-up to the issue that occurred on Monday, November 26th, UW-System and UW-Whitewater have been working with Canvas as they perform some additional investigation around restoring the Assignment Grade data. Investigation is still ongoing and we will provide an additional update no later than Thursday, December 6th.

Original Message:
Thank you for your patience as we have been working to understand the impact of the Monday, November 26th, 2018 issue which affected course enrollments in Canvas. Canvas was able to determine the root cause of the issue, which was caused by a faulty process in their system that loads course enrollment updates into the Canvas platform.  Canvas, UW-System, and UW-Whitewater are working together to make sure processes are in place to mitigate any future issues.What do you need to know?

Prior to Monday, November 26th, if you had assignments that were assigned to specific students, groups, or sections (basically anything that was not “everyone”) you will need to go back in and update those assignments.  This includes any Due Dates, From Dates, or Until Dates that may have been set for those assignments.

Follow the steps below in any active Canvas courses to check and verify that your assignment grades are visible.

  1. Login to Canvas by going to
  2. Load the course, and click on the Grades menu from the course navigation.
  3. Check your assignments that you have graded, to verify that you can see the grades.  The image below is from a course where the Grades are not currently visible.
  4. If all grades are visible – that’s it!  Nothing more needs to be done.  Otherwise, continue on to step 5.
  5. For each assignment that is missing grades, click on the assignment name of the top of the grade column.
  6. Once the assignment has loaded, click on the Edit button.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll see an empty “Assign to” section.  Click on Add and select Everyone in the Assign to box.  Alternatively, you can also set this to a group, section, or individual student if that’s how it was configured previously.
  8. Dates are not required – but you can populate those if desired.
  9. Click on Save

  10. Your grades should now be visible for both Instructors and Students.
  11. Repeat steps 5 to 10 on all impacted Grades.

We understand that while this process is fairly straight forward, it is time consuming.  Canvas is investigating if there is anything additional they can do to restore those grades, but we wanted to make sure there was an immediate option available.  We’ll provide an update no later than Monday, December 3rd, 2018.

If you have questions about how to change these settings, or would like assistance with the process, please reach out to Canvas 24/7/365.

Recent LTC Staff Conference Presentations

Over the last two months, some LTC staff members have made presentations, and co-chaired a workshop, at national conferences.

Learning Technology Center

In October, Director of Learning Technology Nicole Weber co-presented Improving the learning experience through innovative strategic partnerships at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

In November, Learning Technology Specialist Andrew Cole co-chaired a workshop, Playing with Open Educational Resources (OERs): What communication faculty need to know, at the Annual Convention of the National Communication Association in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Also in November, Director of Learning Technology, Nicole Weber and Matt Vick presented Adaptive learning 101: How professors and learning technology centers can collaborate to launch a new adaptive course and
A discussion about adaptive learning and discussion boards: What role can they serve and what value can they have? at the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate International Conference in Orlando, Florida.

For more on the Learning Technology Center, please see the LTC website.