ATS instructional designer Michael Hernandez contributed material to this post.

As the University moves toward Winter Quarter 2023, you may be thinking about how digital teaching tools can support your classroom pedagogy. In this post we have collated recent updates and new features within University-supported teaching tools, so that you can see at a glance how these tools have changed and how they can benefit you.

What’s New in Canvas

Immersive Reader

Microsoft Immersive Reader is now integrated into Canvas. It offers a number of features to aid reading comprehension and is an especially valuable tool for promoting digital accessibility. To learn more, please read our Immersive Reader blog post.

Anonymous Discussions

You can now choose to enable anonymous discussions in your Canvas course. This is a useful option when you wish to allow students to offer their opinions on sensitive topics without having their identifying information attached. To learn more, please read our Anonymous Discussions blog post.

Schedule Canvas Page Publication

Canvas now allows you to schedule the date and time at which Canvas Pages will be published. This feature makes it possible to exercise fine-grained control over the pace at which students move through Canvas content, especially when used in conjunction with the existing “lock module” functionality. To learn more, please read our Schedule Page Publication blog post.

Multiple Files Displayed as a Single Submission for Third-Party Tools

If you give your students a Canvas assignment through the External Tool option and they submit multiple files, Canvas will now treat these files as a single submission and make them available to you together in SpeedGrader. This feature makes grading student submissions quicker and easier for you. To learn more, please see the Canvas Release Notes for November 19, 2022.

Improved Alignment Summary Page for Canvas Outcomes

Canvas has recently added a new tab titled Alignments in the Outcomes page, which allows instructors to view which and how many graded items in their course are associated with any given outcome. This can be especially useful both in making sure that Outcomes are attached to enough learning activities to meaningfully track progress over time and in ensuring that as many graded items as possible contribute to Outcomes and Learning Mastery Grades.

For those unfamiliar with Canvas Outcomes, they are a promising tool for instructors who want to track progress and growth in the most important skills or knowledge a class is meant to build over the course of the term. Students, too, have the opportunity to track their progress. Outcomes fulfill the functions of rubric criteria, but unlike rubric criteria, they are trackable across multiple graded activities. Documentation on this update can be found in Canvas’ release notes.

What’s New in Panopto: Support for macOS 13

Panopto is the University’s video management tool, useful for recording, uploading, editing, and storing video. Panopto for Mac now supports macOS 13 (Ventura). It has dropped support for macOS 10.15 (Catalina). For more information, please see the Panopto Service Update for November 14, 2022.

What’s New in Gradescope: Improved Student Mobile App

Gradescope, a software tool for grading handwritten work online, recently improved their student mobile app. With this app, available for both iOS and Android, students can take a picture of their handwritten work, convert it to a PDF, and submit it to Gradescope without the need for third-party conversion tools. To learn more, see Gradescope’s documentation on the mobile app.

What’s New in Ed Discussion: Ed Chat

Ed Discussion, UChicago’s supported discussion platform, has added a new feature called Ed Chat. While Ed Discussion features a Q&A-based format, Ed Chat provides a functionality that will be familiar to instructors who have used chat services such as Slack, Discord, or Microsoft Teams. Conversations in Ed Chat are organized into both private and public channels as well as direct messages. This new tool also offers the same robust media and STEM features as Ed Discussion, including runnable code snippets, syntax highlighting, and LaTex math formatting. Starting in January 2023, instructors will be able to enable this feature for their courses. See our blog post on Ed Chat for more information.

What’s New in LinkedIn Learning: Forthcoming Integration with Canvas

Anyone with a CNetID, whether faculty, staff, or students, has access through UChicago to LinkedIn Learning (LiL), which features thousands of courses to help you build personal and professional skills. At some time during Winter Quarter 2023, LiL will be integrated with Canvas. This integration will allow you to link LiL videos, playlists, and collections to your Canvas course site. You will even be able to assign videos to your students in Canvas using the External Tool function, in order to help your students gain the skills needed to complete their coursework successfully. Watch this space for more information!

Further Resources and Getting Help

If you have additional questions, you are welcome to contact ATS. You can drop by our office hours (virtual and in-person; no appointment needed) or schedule a consultation. You may also find it helpful to attend one of our workshops on topics in teaching with technology. Asynchronous video recordings of a number of our workshops are available on our Workshop Descriptions page for you to review at your leisure.

Note: During Winter Recess (Dec. 26 to Jan. 2), ATS staff will be unavailable.

Best of luck in Winter Quarter!

(Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash)