Learn@UW Updates for Finishing Fall & Starting Spring

Tue November 17, 2020

Adapting to our university’s changing needs is a key focus of the Learn@UW–Madison team in managing the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, adaptation is even more critical as academic calendars and modes of instruction change. 

To help instructors adjust to new timelines, below is key information for submitting final grades, conducting course evaluations, using Honorlock, building spring courses and ordering eTexts. In addition, tool updates and resources for support are included. 

Finishing the Fall Semester

Submitting Final Grades from Canvas

For courses ending on or before Sunday, December 13, instructors can submit final grades through the Faculty Center (MyUW) between Wednesday, December 8 and Monday, December 21. Instructions are available for transferring grades from Canvas to the Faculty Center

The Office of the Registrar’s website outlines the full timeline and FAQ’s including directions on applying for the extended grading period that occurs between Tuesday, December 22 and Thursday, December 24. Please keep in mind that due to the December 24 holiday, the Office of the Registrar and Learn@UW–Madison will not provide technical support that day. Those planning to submit during that exception period, and anticipate needing assistance, should plan accordingly and submit prior to the 24th. 

Conducting Course Evaluations through AEFIS

The following dates have been set for conducting end-of-semester course evaluations in AEFIS:

  • November 26-December 10: Fall course evaluations are available for deployment within AEFIS. Each department schedules the specific date(s) during which course evaluations will be administered. Instructors are emailed three days prior to the start of an online course evaluation; students are notified the day the course evaluation starts and every three days until either the course evaluation is completed or the evaluation period ends.
  • December 22: Fall course evaluation results can be viewed. 

Instructors and students can access AEFIS directly at aefis.wisc.edu, but students will also receive email notifications with links to course evaluations. For more information about AEFIS course evaluations and how you can access your results, please see this KnowledgeBase document.

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. Those planning to use Honorlock for the final weeks of the semester should fill out this short survey. The survey should take no more than five minutes and will help Honorlock better assist users during the remainder of the semester.

In addition, the following new and updated resources are available to review prior to using Honorlock:

Preparing for the Spring Semester

Building Out Spring Course Shells in Canvas 

On December 1, instructors will have access to spring course shells in Canvas and can begin building their courses. Due to changes in the spring schedule including a late enrollment period, there will be a few key differences from previous years:

  • The spring Canvas courses will not include student enrollments until later in December as students will be enrolling later than usual
  • Some instructors may not have a course shell right away on December 1 if their department has not finalized it by November 20.
  • Curricular representatives will not be able to create new class sections in SIS between November 21 and December 6. Instructors must be added in SIS, to class sections, by November 20. 
  • Beginning December 7, Canvas courses and rosters will be updated every four hours, seven days a week.

For those wanting to start building a course prior to December 1, consider requesting a sandbox course for initial build and then transferring content when the shell is available.

Ordering eTexts for Engage 

The Engage eText platform, integrated with Canvas, is now part of the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies and available for all instructors this spring.

For the first time, instructors and course coordinators will be able to place orders for eTexts and publisher Digital Learning Tools (DLTs) on their own with the newly available Order Tool. However, the timeline for the ordering period is still being determined. It will be announced shortly in this KnowledgeBase news item. For more information about how Engage and the Order Tool work, refer to the Learn@UW–Madison KnowledgeBase.

Updates to Canvas & Blackboard Collaborate

Storage Quotas Impacted for Users of Canvas’s Rich Content Editor

Canvas’s new Rich Content Editor (RCE) opt-in course feature will be updated on November 21 and affects course storage quotas moving forward. Newly recorded or uploaded media via the RCE will now be stored in the course Files folder. While this change conveniently allows instructors to reuse or repurpose the media in their courses, this file will count against the course storage quota. Currently, video files that are recorded and uploaded are not placed in course Files and do not count against the quota.

The new RCE remains an opt-in feature that instructors can use for their individual courses and needs to be enabled in a course. A guide for using the new RCE is also available here.

Retirement of Blackboard Collaborate Original

As announced at the semester’s start, the Blackboard Collaborate Original (Java-based) web conferencing product will be retired by the vendor on December 31, 2020. Beginning August 15, the university removed it from the MyUW portal and Canvas, but some users may still have content on it and should refer to this news item. Most UW–Madison users are already using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (now referred to solely as Blackboard Collaborate), and the retirement of the Original platform will not impact them.

Resources & Support

Student Tech Modules

Learn@UW–Madison can help students understand how to use supported learning technologies in Canvas with the new 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.

Recordings of Learn@UW Trainings Available

In May, the Learn@UW–Madison team delivered several hours of remote instruction on many of its supported learning technologies. Those sessions were recorded, and are now available for on-demand viewing in our new Kaltura MediaSpace channel, Learn@UW–Madison Training.

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 support@honorlock.com, phone at 844-243-2500, or Honorlock’s chat feature within Canvas. For Top Hat, contact the vendor at support@tophat.com. For Piazza, contact the vendor at team@piazza.com or visit support.piazza.com.

COVID-19 Response Resources

The following links connect to important and regularly updated resources to help as UW–Madison continues remote instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Instructional Continuity: Access spring 2021 updates, guidance for remote courses and in-person courses in a physically distanced format, workshops, and self-guided materials. 
  • COVID-19 Response: The main hub for breaking news and information regarding university operations. It also includes a section for students with information about health and safety, academic support, and emergency funds. 
  • Canvas Vendor Contingency Training: A collection of instructor-focused training tools and resources provided by Instructure, the Canvas vendor.
  • Student IT Guides: Refer students to this series of guides that will help them navigate technology requirements, tools and processes at UW–‍Madison.