Upcoming Student Rating of Teaching  - View Vendor Demonstrations

To ensure that the technology tools OIT offers are serving the University well, OIT periodically evaluates them using the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Currently, the Student Rating of Teaching tool is engaged in this process. An important part of the RFP process is to see demonstrations of the tools. UMN faculty, students, and staff are welcome to view these demos. To request an invitation, complete the Student Rating of Teaching - Vendor Demo form. Learn more on the RFP: Student Rating of Teaching webpage (University sign in required.)

Canvas Updates

In February Canvas deployed a change to the interface to improve accessibility.

Two views of Canvas account menu. Left view has the "Use high contrast" toggle disabled. Right view has the "Use high contrast" toggle enabled.

Course calendars are individually indicated by a specific color and assigned by default unless manually changed by the user. When Use High Contrast is enabled in User Settings, all colors in the Calendar display darker with updated contrast. Users may change their preferred Calendar colors at any time. For more information about the impact of contrast on accessibility, visit Accessible U: Contrast

Please note: If users change their settings to Use High Contrast UI the University of Minnesota color scheme and block M will no longer display. But you can know you are still in the University of Minnesota Canvas instance by looking at the URL: canvas.umn.edu


Recent Zoom updates include:

  • camera icon on a blue circle backgroud
    When self-selecting Zoom Breakout Rooms, participants can quickly expand all or collapse all available breakout rooms. This enhancement makes it easier to find and select the desired breakout, especially when there are many breakout rooms available.
  • Language Interpretation Relay - This allows the host to designate up to 20 participants as interpreters on the web portal or during a Zoom session and allows for interpretation via another interpreter’s audio output. Learn more about Using Language Interpretation in your meeting or webinar.


Ungrading can be described as “any pedagogical practice that moves a student’s focus away from grades and toward learning and growth.” How can “ungrading” inform teaching that relies on traditional forms of assessment and grading for competency? We had a conversation with some instructors who have actively explored “ungrading” as a teaching strategy. Read more about Ungrading.

Mobile-friendly course design

Half of University of Minnesota students use the Canvas Student App to access their courses from mobile devices. In order to gain a better understanding of how course design affects the mobile learning experience read more about Mobile-friendly course design on Extra Points

Additional pronoun options available in Canvas

Canvas now has “she/they” and “he/they” personal pronoun options available from the built-in drop-down menus in Canvas. Check out how to Add Your Personal Pronouns to Your Canvas Profile and see all the options available. Personal pronouns are used when referring to someone or ourselves (I, you, she, they, he, ze). Someone's personal pronouns may be different from what others initially assume. 

Digital Sparks: Spring 2022

Digital Sparks graphic

Join ATSS consultants for lightning-fast Digital Sparks. These high-energy, fast-paced presentations focus on raising awareness of academic technology tools that might be new to you. We have 5 minutes to show you a tool and explain its teaching and learning possibilities. We will consider both university supported tools and non-supported tools and consider the benefits and limitations of each. In short, 5-minute presentations we will showcase new and existing academic technologies - hold on to your seat! Register for Digital Sparks Mar 22, 1 p.m.

Digital Learning Lab

Digital Learning Lab graphic showing a laptop with Canvas on the screen.

The Digital Learning Lab series presents experiential, hands-on sessions offered on a monthly basis. In March ATSS will take a deep dive into using Canvas Rubrics as a way to set up custom or Outcome-based assessment criteria for grading and feedback.
Enroll in the Canvas Rubrics Digital Learning Lab, Mar 31, 1 p.m.

UMN Self-help guides

These guides offer step-by-step instructions and extra guidance to help you complete your tasks.

Other Resources