Teachers get tech ready


Alicia Dougherty, Editor

Faculty, staff and administrators prepared for the new academic year by brushing up on their tech skills over Welcome Week. The Department of Instructional, Communication & Information Technology (ICIT) offered various workshops ranging from light refreshers to more in-depth, hands-on trainings for new employees. 

There are some important updates to the campus’s learning management system (LMS) Canvas, as well as WebEx and even Zoom. 

“UW System Administration (UWSA) enabled UW-Whitewater users to access the Zoom video conferencing platform both through Canvas and the Zoom website using your UW-W Net-ID,” said technology adoption coordinator Kirsten Mortimer. “Only those who previously used Zoom for instructional or business purposes will be impacted by this change.” 

WebEx remains the main supported communication software for campus through WebEx Meetings and WebEx Teams. Rebranding of WebEx and updates occurred over the summer. 

For Canvas, maintenance will now be performed on the first and third Thursdays of each month between 1 – 3 a.m. Important Canvas updates include a new comment library option in speed grader that allows comments to be saved and reused so that the instructor doesn’t have to retype the same feedback each time for assignments needing similar comments. Item banks in quizzes can also now be shared between collaborators. 

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) offered a Canvas open lab during Welcome Week for faculty and instructional staff to learn more about Canvas and consult a local expert on the construction of their courses. Other courses related to the LMS were also offered focusing on navigation, grading, tips and tricks, and more.

  A campus technology overview was also offered at both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses to support, refresh and teach faculty at the university about campus-supported communication, collaboration, and work productivity tools. Library services and online resource sessions were also offered at Whitewater, along with a classroom technology session, a tech session for a blended classroom, and a hands-on tech session for first year structural staff. 

A highlight of the event-filled week included a Technology Open House Wednesday, Aug. 25 that featured interactive demonstrations, raffle prizes and refreshments in the University Center Hamilton Room. ICIT also used the venue to garner feedback about its redesigned Technology Services website. LTC staff are available Monday-Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m. via phone at 262-472-1004 and email [email protected]

“To request a Webex consultation just call or email and an available staff member will send you a link that you can click on to receive assistance,” Mortimer said. “For support with large online events, please contact the LTC as early as possible!”