January 2023 Release Summary

This is the latest information on changes to UWM’s Digital Learning Environment which includes changes to Canvas, Proctorio, Zoom, and other services available in Canvas.

Updates are made regularly to bring new features, improve the user experience, and fix bugs. For each item, the change date is provided. Release Summaries are used to communicate planned updates for the given month and may include updates which occurred after the previous update.

Service Maintenance

No maintenance is planned for these changes.

Major Changes

  • Canvas LMS
    • January 23, 2023: New Canvas Training Portal
  • External Tools
    • December 15, 2023-January 20: Introducing Atomic Search

Canvas LMS
January 23, 2023: New Canvas Training Portal

NOTE: Information provided in the Canvas Training Portal is generalized for all Canvas users. Information may be presented which is not applicable or otherwise unavailable in the UW System Digital Learning Environment. Contact CETL for the latest information on UWM-specific training for instructors and students.

A new Canvas Training Portal will be accessible in the Help menu of all Canvas instances. The new portal is built entirely on Canvas itself and relies on existing Canvas technologies to facilitate a better training experience. The training portal provides Instructure-led on-demand and live webinars.

External Tools

December 15, 2023-January 20: Introducing Atomic Search

Atomic Search is a Canvas tool that is available in all courses (For-Credit/SIS, Continuing Education, Training and Development) that will allow any user to search the modules, syllabus, pages, discussions and files of a Canvas course that they have access to in order to find the information they are seeking. Think of it like Google, but specifically for Canvas. Search can be limited to specific courses, or all courses that individuals have access to can be searched.

All users will only be able to search courses, or for materials they are authorized to access. If a file is un-published, for example, a student will be unable to access the file. Likewise, if a course is in the “Archive” list of their courses page, the materials in that course will be unsearchable. Students and instructors can only search materials they are enrolled in, which are browsable at the time of search.

  • Before the change: Students and instructors searching for a specific document, artifact, or resource need to manually search all available courses.
  • After the change: Students and instructor searching for a specific document, artifact, or resource can use a Search option to search through all or a subset of available information in Canvas, based on their access rights.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: Having a viable search option across courses in Canvas increases the ability to access information in courses. Some studies show that 10% of users prefer search over structured navigation. By exposing both past and current information to students, students have more opportunities to build relationships between past and current topics.

To use Atomic Search, click the “Search” link in a course to search materials for just that course. To search all accessible courses , click the “Search” magnifying glass icon in the left-hand Canvas navigation.

Instructors gained access to Atomic Search on December 14, 2022. Students will have access to Atonic Search on or after January 20, 2023.

Atomic Search is being implemented in response to student feedback received during the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Student Usability Study conducted by UW System Administration just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information on the capabilities of Atomic Search, refer to this UWM KB article: Canvas (Search) – Search Canvas course content with Atomic Search.

Additional Changes

  • Canvas LMS
    • January 4, 2023: Some of the Rich Content Editor buttons are single-click, rather than displaying two different functions based on where the user clicks the button. The following buttons have changed: Superscript, Links, Images, Record/Upload Media, Documents, and
    • January 4, 2023: When students print their Grades page, any comments are formatted below the grade item.

Learn More

To learn more about updates, and to see how the changes may affect instructors’ and students’ work, refer to the release note links. Remember that some features may not be enabled for UWM or the UW System.