Get Courses in Shape for Summer

Tue May 4, 2021

While some may get ready for summer by hitting the gym, buying extra sunscreen and checking out the latest beach reads – many instructors are focused on getting their courses into shape.

To help, the Learn@UW–Madison team is providing trainings, updates on tools, and reminders about resources. Plus, instructors can always contact the DoIT Help Desk for technical assistance or to schedule a consultation with the Learn@UW-Madison team.

Trainings in May

The Learn@UW suite includes a dozen tools from widely used ones like Canvas to some newer additions like the Learner Engagement Analytics Dashboard (LEAD) that may require training before use. To help instructors make the most of the tools, the team has filled May with virtual trainings including a short Introduction to Learn@UW Tools on Monday, 5/17. 

In addition, many have been offered previously and recordings are available on-demand in the Kaltura MediaSpace channel, Learn@UW–Madison Training. These are just some of the opportunities the university provides to help instructors improve the student experience. 

Updates on Tools

Blackboard Collaborate: No Longer Available After June 30, 2021

The web conferencing tool Blackboard Collaborate will no longer be available after June 30, 2021 due to UW System not renewing the contract. The recommendation is to use Zoom for courses due to the university’s enterprise contract and its integration with Canvas. This is especially important for summer courses as the contract ends during some of the sessions. 

For more information and for resources on how to transition courses from Blackboard Collaborate to Zoom, please refer to this KnowledgeBase news article

Zoom: Archiving Recordings Before Deletion

When recording a Zoom session, whether through the Zoom/Canvas integration or directly in Zoom, users can save it in Zoom’s cloud storage. However, to ensure UW–Madison does not exceed its storage quota, the recordings will not be available permanently. 

The recordings will be accessible for 150 days before being moved to a trash folder. After 30 days in the trash, they will be permanently deleted. Owners of these recordings will receive an email seven days before it is deleted. Any recordings that need to be retained longer than 150 days need to be moved by the owner to another long-term storage platform, such as Google Drive or a departmental server. Once moved into permanent storage, those recordings can be shared by uploading them to Kaltura

Honorlock: “Exam Pause” Feature Removed

In response to student feedback, the Honorlock “Exam Pause” feature was turned off and made unavailable in March. The feature had been automatically enabled when an instructor required the use of a webcam and would pause a student’s exam when their face could not be detected. 

Piazza: Available through December 31, 2021

Piazza abruptly moved from a free to a paid subscription model for their discussion platform. To maintain continuity, the university entered into a short-term agreement with the vendor, which has been extended through December 31, 2021. Instructors can continue to use Piazza or consider using the Canvas Discussion Board, which has comparable features.

During this time, DoIT Academic Technology will assist the vice provost for teaching and learning in engaging stakeholders to identify needs around this capability, explore the landscape of solutions, and ultimately provide recommendations for a longer-term strategy around discussion tooling. 

Reminders about Resources

Course Syllabus Template in Canvas

The university provides a standard syllabus template that is strongly encouraged for all instruction. You can either download the Word version or set up the digital AEFIS syllabus in your Canvas course. Instructors using Canvas are encouraged to use the digital syllabus template. Further revisions to the template will occur over the summer in preparation for the fall semester. Watch for updates later in the summer.

Using Honorlock for Automated Proctoring

Honorlock, an automated proctoring service, is available for all UW–Madison credit-based courses as one of many assessment strategies for promoting academic integrity. 

As with all technology, it’s critical for new users to read the documentation on how to properly set up and use it. In addition, it’s strongly recommended that instructors use practice Honorlock exams with their students to allow them to get familiar with how the tool functions in a low-stakes situation before using it for real exams. The following new and updated resources are available to review prior to using Honorlock:

Accommodation Requests 

The McBurney Disability Resource Center’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) services team is currently emailing instructors with media captioning and live captioning/interpreting accommodations requests for summer and fall courses. The team provides guidance on planning for these accommodations, information on available accommodation options including professional captioning, and steps for coordinating Canvas access. Instructors without media captioning accommodations in their course who would still like to add captioning can implement machine captioning via Kaltura MediaSpace or contract captioning vendors.

Student Tech Modules

Learn@UW–Madison can help students understand how to use supported learning technologies in Canvas with the Student Tech Modules. An instructor can choose which ones to download from Canvas Commons and add to their course as a starting point for communicating with their students. There are Tech Modules available for Blackboard Collaborate, Kaltura, Honorlock and more.

Consultations & Support

Learn@UW–Madison manages the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies. Our team is available via the DoIT Help Desk to consult on selecting and using the right learning technology to improve student success. The DoIT Help Desk also provides technical support and troubleshooting help for Canvas, Kaltura MediaSpace, AEFIS, Blackboard Collaborate, Engage, Pressbooks, Atomic Assessments, Turnitin and LEAD. For Honorlock, contact the vendor via email at, phone at 844-243-2500, or Honorlock’s chat feature within Canvas. For Top Hat, contact the vendor at For Piazza, contact the vendor at or visit