March/April 2022 Release Summary

This is the latest information on changes to UWM’s Digital Learning Environment which includes 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 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
    • March 25, 2022: Enhanced Gradebook Filters
    • April 16, 2022: Apply a Score to All Ungraded Assignments
  • Zoom
    • March 21, 2022: Avatars Based on Facial Recognition
    • April 18, 2022: Gesture Recognition via Webcam
    • April 18, 2022: Whiteboard Redesign
    • April 18, 2022: View Breakout Room Activity


March 25, 2022: Enhanced Gradebook Filters

This feature replaces the original gradebook filtering system which offered several fixed options. This feature enables instructors to create their own customized filters.

  • Before the change: Instructors have the option to filter their gradebook by using the View > Filters menu option, as well as, by using search boxes.
  • After the change: In addition to the search boxes, the Filter “funnel” icon opens a panel where instructors can create their own filters. Filters created can refine the view of the gradebook well beyond what was previously possible.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This instructor productivity improvement enables instructors to simplify the view of their gradebook in new and unique ways that were previously not possible.

Note: At the time of publishing, filters cannot be copied between courses and must be recreated in new courses.

The Enhanced Gradebook Filter feature is currently under development. Instructors are encouraged to leave feedback regarding the functionality of the tool in the Gradebook Filters community site.

For more information:


April 16, 2022: Apply a Score to All Ungraded Assignments

A zero score can be applied to all ungraded items in a grade category or the total points column. Clicking the three-dot ‘kabob’ icon allows instructors to “Apply Score to Ungraded”.

  • Before the change: Assigning a score to ungraded assignments is only possible for individual grade items.
  • After the change: Ungraded, past-due assignments can be set to zero (or any other score) based on assignment group, or for the total score.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This instructor productivity improvement can significantly reduce the turn-around time for releasing final grades to students. This change can also help to minimize the risk of miscalculated final grades.


March 21, 2022: Avatars Based on Facial Recognition

The avatars feature allows users to replace their physical appearance with a 3D animated character. The avatar mirrors facial expressions and head movement.

  • Before the change: Meeting participants participate with either a webcam enabled, or not.
  • After the change: Participants may use animated, 3D avatars which mirror their expressions and body language that are added to their webcam video.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This new feature has wide applications. Making the feature can be a fun activity for a light-hearted ice breaker event. It can also provide an opportunity for participants who are uncomfortable sharing their appearance to project a representation of themselves in a less revealing, and more comfortable way. The functionality may be useful for some roleplaying course activities. In any use case, the feature has the potential to increase inclusivity when used sensibly in the context of a course lesson.

To use this feature in courses, instructors must login to the Zoom web portal and enable the Avatars feature.

April 18, 2022: Gesture Recognition via Webcam

Users can enable gesture recognition in Zoom which translates select real-world gestures into pre-existing reactions in Zoom. Gestures captured by Zoom show in the participant list.

  • Before the change: Reactions from users are inserted to the meeting using the reaction button.
  • After the change: Reactions can be enabled by users so their gestures made in a webcam will generate the equivalent reaction.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This quality-of-life feature improves participants’ ability to non-verbally communicate in meetings. As a result, users can more naturally react and express their sentiment to the meeting.

Users must enable gesture recognition in their Zoom client.

April 18, 2022: Whiteboard Redesign

The Zoom whiteboard tool has been redesigned to be cross-platform, nearly infinite in space, and sharable. They can also be persistent.

  • Before the change: The Zoom whiteboard is a client-based tool where screen sharing was necessary to use the Whiteboard. Basic image and line drawing functionality exists.
  • After the change: The Zoom Whiteboard is a persistent workspace that is attached to users or meetings. The Whiteboard is a digital canvas of nearly infinite size that works independently of screen sharing. It also includes additional shape editing and note taking functionality. Whiteboards can be shared for others to view or edit.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: The Zoom Whiteboard offers a high fidelity, persistent whiteboard that can be flexibly used for group work, longer-term brainstorming and collaboration among groups and class cohorts. Many of the tools in Zoom Whiteboard can facilitate project planning and numerous STEM-focused applications. Zoom Whiteboard also has necessary functionality to collaboratively develop mind maps.

Whiteboards can be created in Zoom meetings, or in users can also create whiteboards in the Zoom desktop client.

April 18, 2022: View Breakout Room Activity

Zoom hosts and co-hosts can see the activity of breakout rooms. At a glance, hosts can see whether audio, cameras and screensharing are used from the room list.

  • Before the change: Hosts/co-hosts need to enter breakout rooms to gauge activity.
  • After the change: Hosts/co-hosts can at-a-glance view the tools in-use in a room to
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This quality-of-life change lets hosts and co-hosts better understand how their breakout rooms are being utilized. It can help them assess whether a room needs to be visited to assess activity.

For additional information refer to Zoom’s documentation on managing breakout rooms.

Additional Changes

  • Canvas LMS
    • February 28, 2022: (For administrators of uws-ce and uws-td courses) Institutional Admins (those who lead comprehensive support for their areas) may edit student grades, use SpeedGrader, and add comments. This change makes the Institutional Admin role behave consistently across the three UWM Canvas accounts. Changes are only made by administrators in courses where consent is granted in-writing or in-person by the course instructor. All changes are auditable.
    • March 16, 2022: When setting Release Options for modules, New Quizzes assignments are listed under the “Quizzes” group along with Classic Quizzes assignments.
    • March 16, 2022: “Friendly Description” values can be set by importing an Outcomes CSV file. These descriptions can also be exported using a CSV.
    • March 19, 2022: (New Quizzes) Language when browsing Item Banks is changed. The “All My Banks” label is replaced with “All Banks”. The “All My Course Banks” label is replaced with “Banks Shared to Course”.
    • March 30, 2022: When editing assignment dates in the Assignments tool, a time may be chosen. Before the change, the time defaulted to 11:59 pm.
    • March 30, 2022: When the Gradebook loads, a throbber—specifically a spinning icon—is shown to indicate that work is underway to show grades.
    • April 13, 2022: In Moderated assignments, SpeedGrader displays whether a student is inactive or concluded just before the assignment submission preview.
    • April 16, 2022: (School/College Support only) The default assignment time is configurable as-needed via a sub-account’s Settings page. The default time is 11:59 pm. School/college support should contact CETL before adjusting this setting.
    • April 16, 2022: (New Quizzes) Item Bank questions can be filtered to “This Course” in addition to “All Banks”, “Institution Banks”, and “Banks Shared to Course”.
    • April 16, 2022: Select emoji can be inserted in submission comments via the Emoji Picker.
    • April 27, 2022: The Feature Options lists for courses, users, and accounts can be filtered for enabled or disabled features.
    • April 27, 2022: Instructors can see the local and course time zone (the home time zone of the UW System Canvas instances) in course Settings, by the course start and end dates.
    • April 27, 2022: When importing shared content, all modules are shown from the destination course, rather than the first 10.
  • Canvas Catalog
    • April 25, 2022: Users can view “Purchases & Enrollments” to see courses they’ve registered, when they registered, and any cost that was associated with the enrollment.
  • Canvas Data Reporting
    • February 18, 2022: (Enterprise and School/College Support) A new dataset representing courses which are using New Quizzes is available to UWM Canvas Institutional Admins. To gain access to this report, contact UWM Canvas Administrators in CETL.
  • Canvas Mobile Apps
    • February 24-April 13, 2022: (Android and iOS Student and Teacher App) The Dashboard can be customized to show one or multiple columns.
    • February 24, 2022: (iOS Student and Teacher App) The “Edit” and “All Courses” options are replaced with “Edit Dashboard”.
    • February 9-24, 2022: (Android and iOS Teacher App) The SpeedGrader Comment library is available while grading. Entries will automatically appear once typing a comment starts.
    • April 13, 2022: (Android Student App) File uploads can be scanned for submission using the “Scanner” icon.
    • April 13, 2022: (Android Student and Teacher App) Anonymous Discussions are opened in a web browser.
    • April 13, 2022: (Android Teacher App) Push notifications can be adjusted from inside the app.
  • org and
    • March 29, 2022: Memory Game supports scoring.
  • Proctorio
    • February 27, 2022: Signatures for attestation can be typed to be more accessible.
  • Zoom

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.