DEU EdTech Quick Tips – Issue 66

In this Issue: Get Ready for Spring

    • Prepping for Spring Term (Online Course Beginning-of-Term Checklist)
    • Publishing Your Canvas Course
    • Reminder: WebEx is Being Retired at USask
    • Upcoming PD Opportunities & Conferences
    • DEU Support and Contact Information

Prepping for Spring Term (Online Course Beginning-of-Term Checklist)

On the verge of another new term, you might be running through a mental list to decide if you’ve put all the pieces in place to get your new online (or remote) class up and running. The Online Course Beginning-of-Term Checklist from DEU should cover the essentials, and is recently-updated to reflect some quirks of copying courses within the Canvas LMS. The checklist has more information on how to:

    1. Ready your course content.
      • Copy your Canvas course with the Course Import tool.
      • If applicable, reset the Zoom Meetings in your Canvas course.
      • If applicable, reset Groups in your Canvas course.
      • If applicable, check other third-party LTI (External Tools) functionality in your Canvas course.
    2. Finalize and upload your Syllabus.
    3. Set “Due” dates for graded components for the upcoming term.
    4. Publish your Canvas course.
    5. Make an Announcement and start communicating with your students.
    6. Send a Canvas “Inbox” message to your students.

See the full checklist with related Canvas resources on the DEU Blog.

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Publishing Your Canvas Course

At some point before the start of term deciding to click the publish button in a Canvas course can sometimes feel daunting. If you have eager students emailing and asking for the syllabus before the start of the semester, consider publishing your course once you have designed your Home Page and have the Syllabus posted. The other pieces of your course can be published later when you feel they are ready.

A common question we are asked is if it is a good idea to only release module content as students need it. Our response is usually, no it’s not a good idea. We want students to be able to go in and explore their online course and know what to expect throughout the term, ensuring they have adequate time to prepare. Being able to do this offers students an opportunity to plan ahead if they need to, or to dive deep into an aspect of your course that they are looking forward to.

Recognizing that the term can be busy, staying ahead of students can be challenging for the first offering of a course. Give students access to as much as you can, when you can, and avoid adaptive release. At the Distance Education Unit, one of our priorities is to design online courses with faculty and have them completely ready by the start of the term. If you are interested in finding out more contact us at

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash 

Reminder: WebEx is Being Retired at USask

As previously announced, USask has moved to Zoom as our web conferencing solution and Webex will soon be retired. The last day to use Webex for meetings is this Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Once Webex is retired, recordings made in Webex will no longer be available. If you need to retain any of your Webex recordings, you will need to download them from Webexbefore June 3rd, 2022. You can archive the recordings by uploading them to OneDrive .

If these recordings are to be used in future online course materials, you can upload the videos to your Panopto account and embed them in your Canvas courses in the usual ways.

This also means that MEETS (the scheduler tool within Canvas for integration with Webex) will no longer be accessible. Zoom Meetings is the Canvas scheduler tool to use going forward.

Upcoming PD Opportunities & Conferences

Spring is a busy time for conferences and professional development opportunities abound! Here are a few virtual PD opportunities happening in the next few weeks that offer a focus on topics related to online teaching and learning and educational technology: