Spring 2019 Updates from Learn@UW-Madison

Mon January 28, 2019

The Learn@UW-Madison service provides technical and consultative support for the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies including Canvas, AEFIS and Kaltura MediaSpace. Additionally, the team provides limited support and manages vendor contracts for Blackboard Collaborate, Piazza and Top Hat.

To help campus make the most out of the available technologies, the team provides updates on enhancements and opportunities for support each semester. In addition, people can subscribe to the biweekly e-newsletter for regular technical updates by emailing join-luwmad-newsletter@lists.wisc.edu.

Technical Support & Consultative Services

Whether an instructor needs help troubleshooting a technical issue or would like a consultation on selecting the right learning technology, their first step is to contact the DoIT Help Desk at help@doit.wisc.edu, 608.264.4357 or any of the other ways listed on helpdesk.wisc.edu. The Learn@UW-Madison team works closely with the Help Desk to ensure prompt responses.

The team also provide online guides such as this overview of learning technologies on campus as well as guides about the pedagogical uses of learning analytics, student response systems like Top Hat, web conferencing tools like Blackboard Collaborate, and online discussions using tools like Canvas and Piazza.

Tips for Using the Canvas Gradebook

For those using the Canvas learning management system, the Gradebook feature makes grading a smoother and more interactive process. Here are some helpful suggestions to make using the Gradebook feature even better:

  1. Use the “Treat Ungraded as 0 (Zero)” Functionality for Previews
    • Users of the “Treat Graded as 0” should be aware that this is a preview function for only the instructor; it does NOT actually assign a zero to all missing/ungraded assignments.
    • Failing to properly enter a zero value in the gradebook for missing assignments can mislead students regarding their standing in the course because they will not see their actual aggregate grade, including those missing assignment grades.
    • For more information about this feature, refer to this document in the Canvas Community.
  2. Mute Assignments in the Gradebook
    • To hide student grades temporarily, an instructor can choose to mark an assignment as muted. Muting only hides the grades for an assignment; it does not hide the entire assignment. Students can still see and submit a muted assignment.
    • If the mute assignments is used in the gradebook, it’s best practice to “unmute” (display) those assignment grades before the very end of the semester, as a courtesy to students. It should not be used to conceal grades for the entire semester. Failing to “unmute” an assignment can have serious implications for students and for the final grading period.
    • For more information about muting assignments, refer to this document in the Canvas Community.
  3. Get Hands-on Training on More Gradebook Features
    • The Learn@UW-Madison team hosts a variety of events including the Managing Grades in Canvas, which helps instructors build up the gradebook, manage gradebook behavior, add scores, establish a weighted grading scheme, communicate with students and use SpeedGrader to review and comment on submitted documents.
    • Register for the next session of Managing Grades in Canvas on March 11 or April 17. You’ll get a reminder email 3 days prior to the training.
    • View the full calendar of events related to the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies.

Syllabus Tool in Canvas

The Official Syllabus is an easy-to-use UW-Madison-specific tool in Canvas that allows instructors to enter the official syllabus information for a course in a uniform format. For a complete set of syllabi recommendations, including required elements, faculty and instructors can use and edit either of the following templates from the Office of the Provost:

Kaltura MediaSpace Improvements

Kaltura MediaSpace is the cloud-based video hosting platform, which is integrated with Canvas to make uploading and sharing content easy. Over the past semester, the platform has been improved in the following ways:

  • CaptureSpace: In fall, UW-Madison upgraded to the full version of CaptureSpace, which offers rich media functionality including the ability to sync slides to video presentations and to search within videos for particular terms. Recent updates include:
    • Available under Settings, the volume unit meter allows users to test audio before recording
    • Text annotation available as part of the drawing tools during recording
    • Mouse clicks are highlighted when recording the screen
  • Improvements in Accessibility
    • Button to provide contract mode now available through Canvas integration
    • Multiple languages added and each can be read by a screen reader
  • Faster Uploads: The upload process sends chunks of a file in parallel, thus utilizing the bandwidth to the max and increases the upload speed by seven times.
  • Enhanced Collaboration Feature: As part of general Groups improvements, the Add User interface allows multiple selection of users and groups with one click. In addition, a visual component has been added to the groups and users that differentiates the two types.

LMS Course Recovery Ending Soon

Is there anything left in D2L and Moodle that you need but haven’t yet gotten? Act fast because the Learn@UW-Madison team can only retrieve that data until February 1. Data recovery requests can be submitted by instructors and are approved on a case-by-case basis. For more information data recovery requests, see this KnowledgeBase document.