June 2021 Release Summary

This is the latest information on changes to UWM’s Digital Learning Environment which include changes to Canvas, Kaltura (a.k.a. My Media), Zoom, and other services available in Canvas. Updates are made regularly to bring new features, improve 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 includes updates which occurred after the previous update.

No downtime is scheduled for these updates.

Major Changes

  • Zoom
    • May 24, 2021: Zoom integration with Canvas
  • Collaborate Ultra
    • June 30, 2021: End-of-service
  • Canvas
    • June 19, 2021: New Quizzes Item banks are sharable with courses, or sub-accounts.
    • June 19, 2021: Comments can be saved for re-use in SpeedGrader.

Zoom integration with Canvas (May 24, 2021)

Through an RFP process, Zoom was selected as the next UW System synchronous communication tool for instruction. Zoom for all UW System institutions is expected to be available for the Fall semester. To make the transition as smooth as possible for UWM’s students and instructors, UW-Milwaukee’s Zoom service was integrated with Canvas on May 24, 2021. The “Zoom (UWM)” link was added to the navigation of all For-Credit, Supplemental and Master courses in Canvas. Additionally, the link can be added to Navigation by the instructor for other Canvas courses.

  • Previously: Collaborate Ultra was available and enabled for all UWM Canvas courses
  • After the change: A new “Zoom (UWM)” link is available for all courses, and is enabled by default in for-credit, supplemental and master/sandbox courses.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: Zoom is a wholly different service from Collaborate Ultra. Students and Instructors may need additional assistance to transition. Zoom is a robust, capable service with extensive mobile support and significantly more capabilities than Collaborate Ultra. While the interface is different, Zoom competently supports instructional activities.

Zoom training for summer instructors is available on the CETL Workshop Registration site.

Going forward, Zoom will be used as the preferred instructional tool for synchronous communication. For administrative purposes, UWM faculty and staff should continue to use Microsoft Teams. Instructors can receive support for Zoom from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Questions about Teams should be directed to the UWM Help Desk.

In July and August, instructors will receive additional information on the Zoom transition as UWM’s Zoom service is replaced by one offered by the UW System for all institutions.

Collaborate Ultra End-of-Service (June 30, 2021)

UW System’s agreement with Blackboard for Collaborate Ultra ends on June 30, 2021. As UWM transitions to Zoom over the Summer, Collaborate Ultra will be removed from Canvas. June 30, 2021 is the last day CU can be used across the UW System in Canvas, and in the My UW System portal. June 29, 2021 is the last day Canvas CU users can guarantee recordings are transferred to My Media automatically.

  • Previously: Collaborate Ultra is available from within Canvas and via the My UW System portal.
  • After the change: Collaborate Ultra will be unavailable in Canvas and My UW System. Recordings will continue to be available in My Media.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: Summer instructors should transition to Zoom as soon as possible to ensure there is no disruption to their courses.

Instructors should check Collaborate Ultra to ensure sessions they need to keep are set to public to ensure the video is copied to My Media. During the Zoom transition, instructors will need to change the way videos are shared to their courses Modules/Home page.

Canvas: New Quizzes Item Banks are Sharable with Courses, or Sub-Accounts (June 19, 2021)

New Quizzes item banks are specific to the user. This change allows instructors to share their item banks with other instructors in a course or in other courses. Administrators can develop item banks and share them with their entire sub-account.

  • Previously: Item banks were only editable by the instructor and collaboratively working on bank development was not possible from within Canvas.
  • After the change: Instructors and administrators can share banks with other users, including those within the same course.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This instructor productivity change ultimately makes the creation of quizzes less error-prone, and collaboration from within Canvas is possible.

Different permissions can be used for each share. Instructor A can have view permissions, while Instructor B can have edit permissions.

CETL and school/college support do not currently recommend using New Quizzes unless it is needed for specific question types or capabilities. Contact CETL or your school/college support for additional information; and continue using Classic Quizzes whenever possible.

Canvas: Comments Can be Saved for Re-Use in SpeedGrader (June 19, 2021)

When writing comments in SpeedGrader for an assignment, graders (Teachers, TA Graders, Graders) can save comments to a library for re-use in any other assignment in any other course in Canvas. When entering feedback for students, clicking the Feedback icon opens a library, where comments can be added, edited, and deleted.

  • Previously: Instructors in courses would need to copy-and-paste feedback templates from a saved file.
  • After the change: The Feedback icon can be used to add, edit, delete, and insert saved feedback templates to speed-up student grading.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This quality-of-life change for instructors and graders will enable assignments feedback to be returned faster to students.

It is important to note that Comment libraries cannot be shared between instructors.

Additional Changes

  • Canvas
    • June 9, 2021: Users can only access ePortfolio if they are enrolled in a course as a student.
    • June 9, 2021: (For UWS-CE courses only) Users invited to a course using the People page need to confirm their email address.
    • June 9, 2021: A drag-and-drop space is added to Assignment submission views for students.
    • June 9, 2021: Rubric criteria can be de-selected in SpeedGrader.
    • June 23, 2021: When using the Rich Content Editor, editing an image shows the URL. Users can change images without deleting and replacing.
    • June 23, 2021: Student Annotation assignments support anonymous peer review.
  • Canvas Mobile Apps
    • Student App for Android – May 26, 2021: All Dashboard favorites can be un-set using the “Unselect All” link.
    • Student App for Android, Teacher App for Android – May 26, 2021: User navigation is re-designed to group options.
    • Teacher App for Android – May 26, 2021: Annotation colors are retained until changed.
  • Zoom
    • May 24, 2021: Android and iOS mobile app users have the option to blur their video background.
    • May 24, 2021: Desktop and mobile users receive privacy notices when recording has started.

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.