Happy New Year and welcome to the start of the Spring Semester! CCAPS-ATD is excited to continue to support our instructors and staff as we prepare to launch our spring courses. Please explore the following information:

Important Reminders

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


  • Instructors Are Now Responsible for Opening Courses: Previously, Academic Technology and Design opened fully online or blended courses one week before the start of the semester to allow students to acclimate to the online environment. Moving forward, instructors will have ownership and be responsible for when their courses open. We recommend that course sites open one week before the beginning of the course start date, but instructors may decide to open courses anytime between two weeks before the course start date and, at a minimum, the day the course begins. View the tutorial to learn more on how to open your course.
  • ATD Requests for Summer ’24: The last day to request ATD assistance for your Summer ‘24 course is April 3, 2024. After this date, requests for work require the approval of the ATD and may not be accommodated before the start of term.
  • Boost your Pedagogical Skills with ICC/MELPICC/MELP offers several short courses to help you enhance your work with Multilingual Students. They are open to all UMN instructional staff. Information contained below on the courses and registration access with your x500:
  • CCAPS Spring Faculty Development Workshops: Please save the date for our re-imagined Faculty Development Workshops (formerly Faculty Development Day). The workshops will consist of panel discussion and a virtual instructor lounge. Check your calendars for meeting invitations:
    • Team Projects: Creating, Supporting and Assessing Group Work: Thursday, 1/11/24, 8:30 am - 10:00 am
    • Feedback: Providing Prompt, Meaningful, and Actionable Feedback to Students: Tuesday, 1/23/24, noon - 1:30 pm

Teaching Tips

Canvas Insights

Altering the Canvas Template:  As a reminder, the Homepage of your Canvas Site dynamically links to the first item on your Modules page. Moving the Overview out of first position on the Modules page will break the links on your course’s Homepage. Please consider carefully before making this change. Contact ATD to discuss best practices for emphasizing content in your course without affecting usability.

Timely Announcements: Don’t forget, the Course Announcements provide the best way to communicate with your students in a timely fashion. Announcements don’t copy from semester to semester, and are the perfect place to communicate about issues that are specific to the current iteration of your course. Contact ATD if you would like help in learning how to use the Canvas Announcements tool.

ATD Highlight

As part of our Digital Accessibility series, in this Highlight we are showcasing Accessibility for Organization and Text Formatting Emphasis! How we organize our documents and format our text matters in regards to making content accessible to all students. Check out our article Accessibility for Organization and Text Formatting Emphasis to get tips on how to improve your content’s readability.