DEU EdTech Quick Tips – Issue 57

In this Issue: The Final Stretch

  • Bridging the Distance Prize – Entry
  • Bridging the Distance Prize – Call for Submissions
  • Meet your DEU ID: Pt.3
  • IT Training Services Final Exam Support
  • From the archive: Administering Written Exams via Canvas
  • DEU support and contact information

Bridging the Distance Prize – Entry

This week’s Bridging the Distance Contest entry comes to us from Lisa Krol at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC). The USLC offers full and part-time EAP programs for international students at the University of Saskatchewan. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing this great learning activity!

Remember, there’s still time to enter the contest before the end of term!

“I love mysteries and lots of other people do too, so I wrote a chapter story that was interspersed throughout a learning module. Students work through academic sections of the course and then practice those same language skills with a chapter of the mystery story.”

Read more about Lisa’s Adding a Little Mysteryactivity and see a sample of the Instructions she provides her students.

Bridging the Distance Prize – Call for Submissions

DEU would like to invite you to contribute to the DEU Digest through a contest and call for submissions. We’re looking to share your short articles and stories highlighting your winning moments with educational technology in online teaching and learning. This just-for-fun contest is open to all faculty, teaching staff as well as learning technology support staff across campus.

As an incentive to participate and a reward for being awesome, DEU will select our favourite story at the end of the term and the winner will receive a Blue Yeti Nano USB condenser microphone! Two runner up prizes will also be awarded!

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Awesome online learning activities
  • Unique uses of a learning technology
  • Connecting with students through technology
  • Unique synchronous strategies/activities
  • Asynchronous activities students loved
  • Group work students didn’t hate
  • Course designs that brought it all together

Contest Submissions can be made to

See the website for full contest details.

Meet your DEU ID

In the third of four DEU Instructional Designer profiles, we’re pleased to introduce you to JR Dingwall!


Looking for a high-level overview of my education and experience? My LinkedIn profile is for you.

I have a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) from the University of Saskatchewan and began my career as many young graduates do, as a substitute teacher. I had the privilege of working in many communities, mostly teaching math, industrial arts, and science. When it came time to have a classroom of my own, I primarily taught industrial arts and media production. Through my time in public schools, I regularly found myself in the position of learning technologies consultant for both students and colleagues. This led me to pursue a graduate degree (M.Ed) focusing on Educational Technology and Design.

As a lifelong learner I seek out opportunities to learn new skills wherever I can. From participating in online communities, enrolling in MOOCs, volunteering with the Canadian Association of Instructional Designers (ACCP-CAID), acquiring a certificate in User Experience Design (OCADu), and even traveling to Finland to learn about teacher education abroad (Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki). Outside of higher education contexts, I direct my passion for learning towards judo and karate.

Since completing the M.Ed program in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, I have had the opportunity to serve in a wide range of roles in a variety of contexts and organizations that fall into two main categories: instructional design, and educational development.


Whether I am teaching, consulting, learning something myself, or working as an ID, my approach is rooted in the foundational principles and ideas of instructional design. I enjoy collaborating with subject matter experts to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction. Whether designing larger projects (e.g., courses and books), or small targeted instruction (e.g., job aids, videos, and interactive learning objects) I begin with investigating the problem, and determine whether and how instruction can be of use. I have applied this process in face-to-face and blended learning environments, but my real passion, and most of my experience, resides within online learning. Whether it is self-paced, cohort-based, synchronous, or asynchronous, I find online learning contexts the most interesting for creating instruction.


Are you working on a teaching and learning project? Just a few examples of how collaborating with me can help you to achieve your goals include:

  • Online course development – whether you are developing an entire course or adjusting a particular element, I can help you to work through the tasks, process, and technology needed.
  • Open textbooks – drawing on my experience as an author and designer of a widely distributed open textbook, I can help you to plan and publish your open textbook including designing interactives and assist with using USask’s OpenPress publishing platform.
  • Interactive content – opportunities to practice and receive timely, specific, and actionable feedback is critical for learning. From simple activities, to scenario-based learning, I can help you through the process and with the technology needed to create interactive learning activities.
  • Reviews and recommendations – if you have an online course or activity and feel it could be improved but don’t quite know where to start, I can provide an initial review and recommendations. From there we can create something that achieves your goals

IT Training Services Final Exam Support

To assist you during Final Exams, IT Training Services is happy to offer learning sessions and drop-in support throughout the month of December.

Drop-In Support

Join us every Wednesday in December to get live Canvas advice, tips, and guidance from our training team. *There are no scheduled topics for these sessions.

Join a drop-in session (11am-12pm, Dec 1, 8, 15, 22)

Scheduled Learning Sessions

Canvas Quiz Security Options – There is no way to guarantee that students aren’t cheating, but we will show you ways to maximize quiz security through your quiz settings and availability. (Nov 30, Dec 7, 14) 

Quiz Settings for AES Students – Learn how to set extended timers, availability windows, and extensions for your students in Canvas. (Dec 2, 9, 16)

Grading (and Regrading) in Canvas – Get to know Canvas SpeedGrader and your options for grading assignments and quizzes. We will also explain how to regrade quiz questions, and download student submissions. (Dec 8, 15, 22)

Assessment in Canvas – Learn how to create assignments, quizzes and discussion boards to assess your students’ learning. (Nov 29, Dec 6. 13)

Canvas Gradebook – Get to know the Canvas gradebook! Weighted grading, hiding grades, and posting grades will also be covered.  (Dec 10, 17, 21)

To sign up for a live session (or view recorded sessions), enroll in the Canvas For Instructors course in the Training and Development Catalog in PAWS.

Reminder: Our Canvas Faculty FAQ page is the one-stop-shop for links to training videos, step-by-step instructions, blog posts, Canvas articles and more!

From the archive: Administering Written Exams via Canvas

It’s that time of year again, exam season is just around the corner. Whether you are teaching online, remote, or even face-to-face, issuing a take-home exam through Canvas can work for your class. To learn more about considerations for using this exam format, and how to set it up in Canvas, check out this post from the DEU Digest archive:

The Canvas Assignments tool can be used for replicating a “take-home” style of exam, or a written exam, in an online or remote course setting. This post will discuss how to decide if this is the right approach for your course, how to set it up in Canvas, and some details for administering it to ensure a smooth launch come exam time.