Digital Teaching & Learning Blog

The New Canvas Gradebook

Canvas has introduced a new gradebook option that will eventually replace the current gradebook.  The new gradebook has a number of exciting new features, including:

Creating Accessible Digital Content IV

Core Skill: Alternative Text for Images

Alternative text (alt text) describes the content of graphics, images, and charts.  It is important to add alt text to all images that contribute meaning and context relating to the rest of the content on the page.  Assistive technologies read alt text, which allows for a greater audience for your content.

Good alt text answers the following question: What is the content conveyed by the image?  

Use the Libraries eReserves

Have you ever wanted a better solution than files and folders of PDFs for your student readings?

Best practice for providing readings to students is to use the Libraries eReserves service. And, great news: there's a new Canvas integration (Leganto) that makes it easier than ever to do!

AT iCoP: Proctorio Information

From Jeff Weber, Academic Technology Tools, OIT, and Bob Rubinyi, Center for Educational Innovation, EVPP:

Creating Accessible Digital Content III

Core Skills: Video Captions

As video and audio content is being used more frequently to deliver course content, it is important to caption your audio/video content.  A wide audience uses captions, including users who are learning a new language or are listening to a video that is not in their native language, users with learning disabilities, users who are in environments not conducive to listening out loud (libraries or loud environments) or do not have headphones, or users who are looking for information that can be found in the transcript.

Creating Accessible Digital Content II

Core Skills: Hyperlinks

The second best practice for making accessible content is properly using hyperlinks.  To improve accessibility and usability, embed hyperlinks in the text and make them clear and meaningful out of context.  Having hyperlinks color coded helps sighted users visually scan for links, and people using screen readers can pull up a list of links of the page.  

To learn more about Hyperlinks, visit Accessible U.

Creating Accessible Digital Content I

Core Skills: Headings and Document Structure

There are six best practices for making accessible content.  Using these best practices ensures that your content is accessible and usable for all members of the University.  The first core skill is Headings and Document Structure. Organizing a document into sections using headings and subheadings is known as document structure.  Using headers makes your content accessible to screen readers and also improves scannability.  You can easily add heading structure to your Canvas site using the RichText Editor.

LATIS Announces Teaching With Canvas Workshops

August is only a few sunsets and camping trips away! Book NOW to have an academic technologist from LATIS come speak at your Welcome Week instructor events. Email cla-tel@umn.edu to book a speaker. 

Each of these sessions can be adapted to fit your Welcome Week schedule, anywhere from 15 - 60 min, or adapted as a 90-min, hands-on workshop.

If there’s another topic you’d like but you don’t see it here, let us know! 

Fall 2019 Topics include:

Name Coach

The University has a new cloud-based tool called NameCoach that can help make name pronunciation easier.  Students and instructors will be able to record their namesfor others to hear and listen to the recorded names of others.  Once recorded, users’ name pronunciations will be available in every Canvas course site with which they are associated.  To create a name recording, all Canvas users can access NameCoach through their Canvas profile or through the course menu. Learn more here.

End of Semester Canvas Checklist

As the end of the semester approaches, there are several important items to be aware of and prepare with your canvas course.  They include:

  1. Preparing Grades for PeopleSoft
  2. Grades that require manual input in PeopleSoft
  3. Student Access to Canvas Course After the End of the Semester

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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.