Digital Teaching & Learning Blog

Online Teaching Support

Check out LATIS' new webinar offerings to help move courses online: Live training and consultation sessions.  There are three different webinars: Selecting Methods and Tools, Canvas, and Zoom.

LATIS has also developed a list of options for teaching remotely for various class activities.

Canvas Zoom Integration

Zoom is now integrated into Cavnas.  Instructors can now schedule and host online meetings in Zoom that will appear on the Canvas course calendar.  Instructors also can now host online office hours or even teach online class sessions with Zoom.  To set up a Zoom meeting in your course, follow the steps listed below:

UDOIT Integration

Starting on January 27th, all UMN courses will have access to the Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool (UDOIT).  UDOIT helps instructors create a more inclusive and equitable learning experience in Canvas by scanning course content and offering suggestions to correct accessibility concerns.  Inside UDOIT, there are options to fix the accessibility concerns with explanations of what the concerns are. 

UDOIT scans the following areas of Canvas:

New Gradebook Features - Transition 12/30/19

All Spring 2020 Canvas courses will use the New Gradebook feature.  Starting December 30th, the old gradebook feature will no longer be available.  Final grades for Fall 2019 are due prior to December 30th, so this change will not affect grade submission.

The New Gradebook interface is similar to the legacy gradebook interface. However, it includes modified filtering options, new icons, color-coded submissions, and changes to how grades are hidden.

Creating Accessible Digital Content VII

Core Skills: Tables

There are two types of tables: layout and data.  Layout tables are uses to place data within a document or webpage.  There is no represented relationship within the content of the layout table.  A data table shows the relationship between two or more items. 

Accessible tables are simple, have header rows, and include a table summary.  By creating accessible tables, screen reader users are able to read the table contents in a linear fashion.

Google Slides Live Captioning Update

Google slides will update to allow live captions to have custom text sizes and position options starting November 4th, 2019.  These new features help presenters decide how much text is on the screen at one time, and to determine whether the captions should be on the top or the bottom of the screen.  Learn more at G Suite Updates.

Seven Week Courses - End of Semester Notes

If you are teaching a seven week course that started at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, there are a few things you should be aware of as the seven week term winds down:

Creating Accessible Digital Content VI

Core Skills: Color and Contrast

Using color in documents and web pages requires careful consideration.  Color and contrast can help you communicate more effectively, as well as providing visual organization for content.  However, not everyone sees things the same way you do. Some users might magnify text, which can change the way that colors look, while others might have older computer monitors with different color calibration settings.  

The most important things to keep in mind when using color are

Never use color alone to show emphasis

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Core Skills: Bullets and Numbered Lists

Bullet points and lists are a great way to organize content.  Lists condense large blocks of text and organize content in a meaningful way.  Lists are easy to find for visual users, and assistive technology users can identify lists in documents, but only when the lists are created properly.

How to turn on the New Canvas Gradebook

If you would like to see what the new gradebook looks like without committing to using it for your course, you can set up a development site or contact TEL for help.  If you want to use the new gradebook, follow the steps below to get started.


About the Blog

The Digital Teaching & Learning Blog is your resource for updates on Canvas and other useful academic technology tools. This is LATIS' way to provide you with news updates, how-to articles and much more! You will soon be able to subscribe to our e-newletter so you can stay up to date on teaching/learning with technology.