Academic Technology

Academic Technology is a department within the Office of Information Technology (OIT) that consults with academic audiences within the institution on their curricular and research technology needs. 

Our catalog of services provides details regarding the tools, techniques, and services available to faculty, students and staff at CU Denver and CU Anschutz. However, in general, the Academic Technology team can: 

  • Consult, advise, and train on the use of software in our catalog
  • Collaborate on best practices for teaching with digital tools
  • Partner with faculty, schools, colleges, and departments on implementing innovative ideas in digital pedagogy
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Technology Guides

Roadmap

The Academic Technology Applications and Design team is working on the following projects during the 2021 - 2022 academic year.

Canvas Roadmap Implementation - After listening to feedback from key constituents, a roadmap was created to improve the product and services associated with Canvas. Fourteen key areas were identified and will be worked on during the 2021 - 2022 academic year. See additional tabs for more information. 

Techsmith Knowmia Replacement - Techsmith has discontinued the Knowmia product. Our current contract expires June 30, 2022. A search will begin to find a replacement product and develop a migration plan.

Hypothesis Pilot - Beginning this summer, OIT and Thinqstudio will be partnering on a Hypothesis pilot. Hypothesis is a social annotation tool embedded into Canvas and allows you and your students to make reading more active, visible and more social! This pilot is open to all faculty. More information, including how to sign up, will be coming soon!

Blackboard Ally Adoption and Rollout - Blackboard Ally is a tool provided by OIT and integrated into Canvas to assist in improving the accessibility of your course and course content. We are working with key groups on campus on a larger adoption and rollout plan.

Canvas Data Project - Canvas will be releasing an updated data set in the coming months. OIT will create a series of Tableau dashboards which can be used by all schools and colleges to view and analyze data from Canvas. We are currently working on gathering stakeholder requirements. 

Canvas Enrollment Provisioning Project - OIT will be updating the enrollment provisioning process from CUSIS to Canvas. Enhancements will include more accurate rosters based on CUSIS and quicker provisioning of users (within 5 minutes of CUSIS activity).

Namecoach Implementation - Namecoach is software designed to increase inclusion and belonging. Namecoach will be available to students, faculty, and student-facing staff within Canvas and eventually within CUSIS. 

This is a list of priorities to be started during Summer 2021. Additional details and timelines for completion can be found in the Academic Technology Canvas Roadmap.

Admin: Upgrades - Pilots and/or recommendations for additional software, processes, and features in Canvas.  

  • Subaccount Clean up, Update UIS data feed for courses
  • Ally Programing: Training, Adoption
  • Hypothesis Pilot
  • Techsmith Replacement RFP
  • Canvas Storage Increase (completed)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Programing: Training, Adoption

Academic Technology Website Project - The Academic Technology website is  being developed to house training, support, and resources for faculty, students, and staff in one place.  

  • Newsletter Signup (completed)
  • Share Roadmap (completed)
  • Support Guide (completed)

CUSIS/Canvas Link Project - Working with IDM and UIS, the AT team is assisting with final adjustments to new technology that will increase the accuracy and frequency of data shared between CUSIS and Canvas.  

  • New process for course provisioning (completed)
  • Monitor and validation
  • Documentation for service desk

Guides - Our calendar for this year includes development of new guides with consistent formatting. The Level One Guides will include simple, one-page quick-reference guides for common operations in Canvas for both students and faculty, including third-party tools. The second level of guides will include advanced operations and troubleshooting for less common events and activities in Canvas or general online learning, including third-party tools.    The third level of guides will include high-level course design concepts, pedagogical approaches with specific Canvas tools, and the most complex of Canvas troubleshooting procedures, including third-party tools.   

  • A variety of guides will be developed and uploaded to website       

LTI Approval Process - Modern data privacy risks require that we increase the transparency we expect from third-party tools and vendors. With the security team, we will create a review and approval process for all Canvas LTIs to ensure the safety of Canvas users and their personal information.      

  • Development and implementation of a new approval process for LTIs
  • Implementation of university specific eduapp center in Canvas

Partnerships - OIT and Academic Technology are committed to Shared Governance. We are making a concerted effort to foster transparency and create partnerships across departments.  

  • Collaboration with library
  • Monthly Canvas release notes meeting with stakeholders 

Role Audit Project - In the process of building custom roles in Canvas, we have created some that have overlapping permissions. At the same time, other roles have permissions they don’t need or don’t have the permissions they require. By doing a complete audit on all existing roles and permissions in Canvas, we can take inventory on where we are, and determine the most streamlined and effective way to ensure maximum security and functionality for all users.  

  • Create public definitions of roles
  • Audit user roles and access based on new Canvas permission set
  • Transparency in process for access to Canvas for non-university users
Service Desk Training - We are committed to empowering our OIT Service Desk with the information, resources, and tools they need to be as helpful as possible with Canvas service requests.  
  • Update documentation
  • Regular training schedule
  • Improved collaboration

This is a list of priorities to be started during Fall 2021. Additional details and timelines for completion can be found in the Academic Technology Canvas Roadmap.

Admin: Upgrades - Pilots and/or recommendations for additional software, processes, and features in Canvas. 

  • Update Turnitin to API Integration
  • Namecoach Integration and adoption
  • Techsmith Knowmia replacement
  • Review of SCORM support
  • O365 Integration with Canvas

Course Design Resource - Our Course Design Resource will organize access to pedagogy related training for staff and faculty in one unified repository.

  • Development of course design resources
  • Development of student training module/course

Gradebook Push Project - Explore the possibility of pushing final grades from Canvas to CUSIS.

  • Begin Research

Guides - Our calendar for this year includes development of new guides with consistent formatting. The Level One Guides will include simple, one-page quick-reference guides for common operations in Canvas for both students and faculty, including third-party tools. The second level of guides will include advanced operations and troubleshooting for less common events and activities in Canvas or general online learning, including third-party tools. The third level of guides will include high-level course design concepts, pedagogical approaches with specific Canvas tools, and the most complex of Canvas troubleshooting procedures, including third-party tools. 

  • A variety of guides will be created and posted to the website

Partnerships - OIT and Academic Technology are committed to Shared Governance. We are making a concerted effort to foster transparency and create partnerships across departments.

  • MS Team for Canvas subaccount admins

Role Audit Project - In the process of building custom roles in Canvas, we have created some that have overlapping permissions. At the same time, other roles have permissions they don’t need or don’t have the permissions they require. By doing a complete audit on all existing roles and permissions in Canvas, we can take inventory on where we are, and determine the most streamlined and effective way to ensure maximum security and functionality for all users. 

  • Continued work on role and subaccount audits
  • Begin archive research/ establish protocols 

Service Desk Training - We are committed to empowering our OIT Service Desk with the information, resources, and tools they need to be as helpful as possible with Canvas service requests.

  • Continued support and training to service desk

Canvas Data Project - With the upcoming release of Canvas Data 2.0, we will have more powerful tools for analyzing data stored in Canvas. Alongside this upgrade, we will be developing school-specific dashboards for colleges wishing to customize their insights in a way that best serves the interests of students and faculty.