Instructure Canvas contract signed by UW-System Board of Regents

PrintUW-Whitewater has received word that the UW System Board of Regents has signed the contract with Instructure for their Canvas product.

Now that the contract is signed, here is what you need to know:

  • The Director of Learning Technology is serving as the UW-Whitewater Institution Project Manager.  Please continue to use the Learning Technology Center ( as your primary contact for questions and concerns.  Each UW-System Institution has a dedicated project team and will be working together on migration efforts.  Provost Elrod and Assistant Vice Chancellor Pokot (ICIT) are the UW-Whitewater project sponsors.
  • The earliest opportunity to migrate courses to Canvas is expected to be Fall 2018 with all courses migrated before December 2019.  The move from D2L to Canvas is an exciting change, but will not happen overnight.  These estimates are not set in stone, and they may change as things progress.
  • Please do not contact UW-Madison colleagues or Canvas to gain access to a test course. Though we can understand that you might be excited to get started working in Canvas right away, please do not contact our colleagues at UW-Madison in an effort to gain access to their Canvas environment or use the free public version of Canvas to get started. Both of these environments may be quite different than the environment the UW System will be creating with Canvas and will not be included in migration planning.
  • Any inquiries from the media regarding the Instructure Canvas contract should be directed to:

We will continue to receive more information in the weeks and months ahead, and will do our best to communicate this information with the UW-Whitewater campus community as transparently as possible throughout this transition process. As we understand that there will be a lot of questions during this transition period, the Learning Technology Center has created a website to help keep the UW-Whitewater campus community informed, which can be accessed at this link:

We understand that whenever a large-scale change like this occurs, there will be a number of questions and concerns that arise. The Learning Technology Center aims to be as transparent as possible during this transition period, and will undertake concerted efforts to keep the UW-Whitewater campus community as informed as possible throughout the change. Please continue to contact the Learning Technology Center ( for questions and concerns related to this transition.

Programming and Partnership

In my last blog post, I shared the LTC’s mission and promised that I would be back to share about some of the exciting projects that we have been working on. Well, here I am!

Often, our projects do not necessarily fit into one specific area. Today I want to talk to you about one project that I am incredibly proud of–how the LTC supports instructors through cutting edge programming via a partnership with the campus unit, LEARN.

Like all areas of ICIT, the LTC values strategic partnership with instructors, students, departments, colleges, campus units, and administration. We started collaborating with LEARN a year ago on a three-part workshop series offered each semester focused on instructor needs around teaching and learning.

For the past three semesters, we have partnered to offer this series on key focus areas (e.g., facilitating discussions, active learning, and student engagement) following a similar format that starts with the first session being a brief introduction, the second featuring instructors from each college talking about their experiences, and the third exploring how technology can be leveraged to assist in that area. This has been a wonderful collaboration and we look forward to it continuing!

This semester we used data from our annual instructor support survey to help drive decision-making around the topic where instructors identified student engagement to be a key pedagogical challenge for them. Andrew Cole, Learning Technology Specialist with the LTC, lead an interactive introduction to student engagement in “Student Engagement Challenges in the 21st Century Classroom” in September. We had so Chalkboard and cell phonemany participants register that we had to change rooms! We still have plenty of room in our second session (Thursday, October 26 from 12-1:30pm) where instructors (Tammy French, College of Arts and Communications; Choton Basu, College of Business and Economics; Kelly Hatch, College of Education and Professional Studies; and Eric Loepp, College of Letters and Sciences) will discuss student engagement strategies that they are using in their own classes. We also still have plenty of room in our third session (Monday, November 6 from 12-1:30pm) where we will be exploring how learning technologies can assist with student engagement (teaser: you’ll even get to try some out and make a plan for how you might use it in your class!). 

For more information and to sign-up, please (log in with your Net-ID and password and) visit the LEARN section:

Call for Proposals: LTDC Virtual Showcase 2018

The UW System Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) Virtual Showcase 2018 will be held April 3-4, 2018. Instructors and professional staff – please consider joining them by submitting a proposal to present or facilitate by November 30, 2017! Proposals may be submitted at the following website: Virtual Showcase 2018

changes moving forward

This virtual conference offers an opportunity for sharing your successes and challenges in teaching with technology. This conference will provide you with the opportunity to virtually connect with other practitioners and requires neither travel expense nor a significant time commitment.

Presentations during concurrent sessions will be approximately 30 minutes in length with 15 min Q&A following. Proposals are sought in the following five general categories:

  • Digital Learning Environment
  • Teaching & Learning Best Practices
  • How-to & Resources
  • Student Engagement
  • Technology

We look forward to learning more about your teaching and learning experiences!  If you have any questions contact the Learning Technology Center.

What Are the LTC’s Emerging Technology Exploration Projects?

The UW-Whitewater LTC mission includes six elements. Our “emerging technology exploration projects” align with the WE INNOVATE element. You may have seen calls to apply for these projects in the past (such as the current call for Spring 2018) without understanding exactly what these projects are. This blog post will explain a bit more as to the general purpose of these projects.

pexels-photo-355988Various outlets (such as the Horizon Report) report on trends in higher education each year. Often these trends reflect instructional approaches that utilize new technological innovations. LTC staff members monitor, and examine, these short-term and long-term trends, and evaluate related technologies for potential use at the UW-Whitewater campus.

If a new technology (or a new application of an existing technology) appears to have potential to successfully meet a need that the LTC has identified through communication with instructors, the LTC makes arrangements to conduct a limited exploration of the technology with a small group of instructors. A call for applications/participants is then sent out to instructors across various channels (such as this LTC blog) with the expectations and requirements to participate in the project. Participants are then chosen based on several factors, including scheduling and the constraints of the particular technology or tool (ex. projected student enrollments).

Typically, at least as part of an emerging technology exploration project focused on instructional technology, instructors and students in the course employing the technology are surveyed based on their experiences using the technology. The feedback provided by students and instructors is used to determine future LTC support of the technology.

If you have any questions regarding the LTC’s emerging technology exploration projects, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Google Docs for Classroom Collaboration

Google Docs Icon

All instructors and students at UW-Whitewater have access to Google Drive. The accessibility for everyone provides a great opportunity for instructors to facilitate an environment for students to work together.

For example, Google Docs is an easy way to have students collaborate with each other on group assignments. The instructor can create a Google Doc for each group. For each Google Doc, the instructor would then send out permissions to group members to make changes to the Google Doc. Google Docs allows all group members to make changes simultaneously, with similar functionality as Microsoft Word. One of the major challenges for students, when it comes to group assignments, is finding an opportunity for all individuals to meet. By providing a virtual environment, students can work together remotely when it is convenient for them, to encourage more equal opportunities for all group members to participate in the assignment. An instructor can also see when a Google Doc was last edited, and has the capability to remove permissions when the group assignment is due.

For further information on Google Docs or Google Drive, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center, or learn about training opportunities by clicking here.

Desire2Learn 10.7 Upgrade – What Happened This Summer?

There was an upgrade to Desire2Learn on Thursday, June 15th and if you weren’t teaching you may have missed it. D2L received a handful of new features, and fixed a slew of outstanding issues.  We are excited to share all of these with you.

This post will highlight a few items we believe are the most impactful, but a more complete “What’s New?“ document is available here:

Additional Functionality for Creating Group Discussions
When creating a new Discussion Topic, there is now a “Topic Type” option.  This adds the ability to create a Group or Section topic that is available to everyone, but only allows students to see threads created by users in their same group or section.

Updated Quiz Question Authoring ExperienceNew quiz expereance
A visual redesign of the Quizzes tool to improve the usability of creating and editing Multiple Choice, True/False, Short Answer, and Long Answer questions. Instructors are able to opt out of the new change individually.

Turnitin / GradeMark Enhancements
Dates are now correctly set in the Turnitin side to avoid the “Error communicating with Turnitin” error.
When you copy Turnitin-enabled folders into another course, you can now enable all folders at once.

If you have any questions or concerns about this upgrade, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

What Does the LTC Do?

As you settle into the Fall semester, I wanted to take a few moments to share the (relatively) new LTC mission with you. We are widely known for our support of the learning management system, D2L, and the work we do with instructors to help in the design and redesign of courses for the online and blended environments. We are incredibly proud of the work we do in these areas, but in my first blog post I thought I would share our mission as a whole to give you a sense of some of the other things we do in the LTC.

missionvisionHere’s our mission:    

  • WE BELIEVE in integrating pedagogy and technology to assist instructors in developing effective learning experiences. We do not believe in using technology for technology’s sake or because it is the latest fad. Instead, we believe in understanding issues, discussing a wide array of possible solutions (both technology-based and not), implementing strategies, and evaluating their effectiveness.
  • WE SUPPORT instructors in their pursuit of excellence in teaching and student learning through offering quality services, timely assistance, and cutting edge programming that work to help instructors to explore, design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based teaching and learning with technology strategies that aim to increase student engagement and success.
  • WE INNOVATE with instructors by initiating emerging technology exploration projects that investigate learning technology trends in higher education and how they may be utilized here at UW-Whitewater. Further, we conduct research studies around the learning technologies that mean the most to our instructors, students, and institution. Results from projects and studies are disseminated within our institution and beyond, further solidifying UWW’s reputation as a leader in creating transformational educational environments and implementing innovative programs that support success for all students.
  • WE CONNECT people on campus and beyond who have the same interests and are doing the same things to create community among instructors who teach with technology, spurring widespread sharing of strategies that work in solving common teaching challenges.
  • WE PARTNER collaborate, and communicate with colleges, programs, departments, instructors, and tech-liaisons to understand and meet university instructional needs, providing experiences that are valued by the campus community in regards to learning technologies and student success.
  • WE LEAD learning technology initiatives and extend expertise to campus wide initiatives focused on increasing student access, enhancing engagement, and supporting success, helping them to become critical thinkers, engaged citizens, and educated employees.

Guided by an advisory group, made up from instructional representatives from each of the colleges, we value a data-driven approach taken from what instructors report to us in the annual Instructor Support Survey and trends we see in research related to technology, student engagement, and success in higher education.   

In my next blog installments, I will share information about some of the exciting projects we’re working on in each of these different areas. Stay tuned!

If you have any other questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Emerging Technology Exploration Project (Revised)


The 2017 Horizon Report identifies collaborative learning as an important, short-term trend that will be driving instruction and educational technology over the next few years. The LTC is seeking instructors to explore the use of different of different online collaborative tools in their classes.

Exploration Purpose

The purpose of this project is to explore the use of a variety of online collaborative tools to aid UW-Whitewater students, instructors, and staff in collaborations that deepen student learning experiences here at UW-Whitewater. Initial guiding questions for this exploration project are:

  1. How can online collaborative tools assist instructors in their teaching?
  2. How can online collaborative tools assist students in their learning?

List of Possible Tools

Poll Everywhere is a clicker alternative that allows students to visit an instructor poll online or text message responses to a poll or survey.

Spark is a two-part product featuring a Spark Board and an online space. Spark allows instructors to share content, engage students with an interactive whiteboard, and bring in guest speakers. The online space allows for group work, and assignment sharing in all course modes (face-to-face, blended, and online).

TurningPoint is a student response system where students can access a website or download an application to use their phones like clickers.

Participation Expectations

Instructors have flexibility in determining the most appropriate tool for their class, as well as the extent of which the tool is used in the class. By taking part in this exploration project, instructors agree to participate in LTC faculty development opportunities during the 2017-2018 academic year. These faculty development opportunities will assist instructors in planning the use of an online collaborative tool in at least one of their Spring 2018 classes. Participating instructors will also be required to reflect on their experience throughout the scope of the exploration project, and support their students in reflecting too.

The following breakdown details expectations for participating instructors semester by semester:

Fall 2017

  • Attend up to two faculty development one-hour sessions with LTC staff (TBD)
  • Develop a detailed plan for strategically using the online collaborative tool; specifically identifying when and how the tool will be used in at least one Spring 2018 course
  • Complete focus group, interview session, and/or UWW IRB approved survey from LTC staff that will gather data about the preparation process
    • Note: This will take place near the conclusion of the Fall semester or during Winterim, depending on instructor and staff availability.

Spring 2018

  • Conduct at least one Spring 2018 course using the tool as outlined in your plan
  • Complete reflections/surveys facilitated by LTC staff during the semester
  • Complete an end of the semester UWW IRB approved instructor survey circulated by LTC staff on teaching with the collaborative tool
  • Encourage and support students in taking a UWW IRB approved survey on their experiences in the class using the collaborative tool at the end of the semester

Summer 2018

  • Participate in a final video reflection on your experience with the collaborative tool. The purpose of the video is to share what you learned, in using the tool, with other instructors interested in using the tool in their teaching in the future.The filming of this video reflection can be scheduled at the LTC at your convenience.

If all components are completed, instructors can expect to receive $750 for their participation in total. Up to twenty instructors will be selected for participation in this project.


If you are interested in participating, please complete the following form in Qualtrics by Friday, October 13th, 2017, :

Now Available: GooseChase – Scavenger Hunts for the Masses

goosechaseGooseChase is an easy way to organize and run point-based scavenger hunts for your class or event.  We have recently acquired a campus-wide license of GooseChase for the 2017 – 2017 Academic Year!

You can Mix and Match Mission Types!

  • Photo & Video.  Students will have to submit a photo or record a video to complete a mission.  All done right from the students mobile device.
  • Text.  Submit a simple text response.  Great for riddles, puzzles and surveys.
  • GPS.  Utilizing the GPS on the mobile device, students will need to physically visit places to check-in to complete the mission.

In order to get started, just create an account using your email address.  Make sure that your password IS NOT THE SAME as your Net-ID.

Additional tutorials and guides are available at:

If you have any questions, please contact the Learning Technology Center.

Registration Open: Winter 2017 Online & Blended Teaching Institute

DSC_3940The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) is pleased to announce that registration is open for the winter Online/Blended Teaching Institute. The Online/Blended Teaching Institute is a series of interactive workshops focusing on best practices for teaching online and blended courses. By the conclusion of the institute, participants will develop a course module utilizing best practices for online/blended teaching.


  1. Develop a module for an online or blended course;
  2. Demonstrate use of best-practices in online/blended course design;
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the following:
    1. D2L Learning Management System
      1. Dropbox
      2. Quizzes
      3. Discussions
      4. Rubrics
      5. Grade Center
    2. Turnitin Suite
    3. Respondus LockDown Browser
    4. WebEx
  4. Apply methods to facilitate effective feedback in the online learning environment;
  5. Illustrate approaches to building community online

Dates for the 2017 Winter Institute:

  • December 1: Face-to-Face meeting, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • December 8: WebEx, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • January 10: Face-to-Face meeting, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • February 2: WebEx, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • February 23: Face-to-Face, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

All faculty and academic staff who will be teaching at UW-Whitewater during the 2017-2018 academic year are eligible to apply. However, the workshop will be limited to 15 participants. Applications are due Monday, October 30th, 2017.

Apply Here: Winter 2017 Application

If you have any questions, please contact the Learning Technology Center.