Welcome to the Fall semester to all our instructors and staff! CCAPS Academic Technology and Design is very happy to start a new academic year and continue our efforts to provide technological, media enriched, and pedagogical assistance for CCAPS courses. 

Important Reminders

As a reminder, ATD publishes (opens) online/blended courses one week before the start of the semester to allow students to acclimate to the online environment.

  • August 30 @ Noon: ATD Team members will open Fully Online and Blended one week prior to semester start to provide time to acclimate to the online environment. Don’t forget to send your welcome messages this week!
  • September 7: 14 week UMN Courses officially begin. Face-to-face and Internship instructors should publish their courses by this date. How do I publish a course? provides directions if it’s your first time opening your course to students. 
  • Communicating with your students: It is a best practice to contact your students for the first time via MyU → Key Links → Faculty Center → Class Roster. Provide them with a link to the Canvas course site. Encourage students to update Canvas notification preferences to receive your Announcements throughout the semester.
  • Masks on Campus: UMN Twin Cities campuses currently maintain an indoor mask mandate for all students and staff. More information on this mandate can be found on the UMN Twin Cities Face Covering Protocol site, which contains the most current policy that we encourage you to send your students via Announcements before blended or fully in-person courses begin.
  • Academic Calendar: The official OneStop Dates and Deadlines site lists all important dates for the Twin Cities campuses.

Teaching Tips

Group Management and Recording Presentations

  • During the initial weeks of the semester, you may have students add or drop your course from their schedules. If your course contains group projects or activities, you will want to monitor your groups to ensure that they remain balanced and that new additions are placed in a group in a timely fashion. Explore Adding Students to Groups for information and tutorials.
  • Those whose courses utilize the self-signup feature of Canvas group formation will want to remember to turn that feature off after students have self-assigned. More information can be found in Self Sign-up Group Management.
  • We highly recommend adding a Welcome Video and creating recorded Module updates for your course! Explore using Kaltura Capture and Canvas Announcements to reach your students. Watch Record a Presentation with Kaltura Capture to learn how to use these technologies and distribute your videos via Canvas Announcements.

ATD Highlight

This month, we highlight Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Minnesota Historical Society, Avi Viswanathan, as he explains his Leadership Project Podcast in APS 6311: Facilitating Community Driven Leadership. Learn more about the project and its development here: An Interview with Avi Visanathan about the Leadership Project Podcast