Month: September 2023

Video Assignments

Have you ever considered a different format for your assignments? How about having students create an explanatory video of how they analyze and stepped through a homework problem? Or it could be a short video of them applying a course concept in their daily life. Have you thought about offering a video assignments that involve opportunities to practice professional communication skills, project management skills or a practice presentation. Did you know that students can provide a video response to a discussion thread?

Benefits of video assignments

There are many ways to incorporate a video assignment/response into your course content but you may be wondering what benefit(s) does a video assignment provide over the previous written assignment you had originally assigned? The most significant benefit noted by researchers is that students find video assignments to be more beneficial to their own understanding and mastery of the content. By creating a video, it provides students with an opportunities to practice and demonstrate course concepts. This often involves writing out a script, practicing their response or gaining additional information on the topic before creating the video.

Creating a video assignment in Canvas

You will want to begin by creating a Huskycast student assignment folder. Creating this folder will give students access to record and upload video. Once that is complete, you can now go ahead and create the Canvas Video Assignment. Since students may not be familiar with how to create or upload a video assignment in Canvas, you will want to be sure to provide some guidelines on submitting a video assignment.

After students have submitted their video assignment, the instructor can navigate to the assignment in Canvas and click on Speedgrader. Each submitted video will be embedded on the student’s Speedgrader page. The instructor can review the video, add comments and a score.

Other video response opportunities

You may also want to consider other opportunities for a student to provide a short media response. Maybe there is an opportunity in a discussion or an announcement for a student to provide a short media response.? The Rich Content Editor (available on Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages and Quizzes) allows students to record or upload a short video and/or audio media. Video and audio uploads to Canvas can be up to 500 MB. Media recording submissions are not downloadable.

Upload/Record Media

Additional guidance on video assignments

Not sure where to start with incorporating videos assignments into your course content? Or maybe you have some questions about setting up the assignments….if so, feel free to reach out to or contact the CTL at 7-3000.

CTL Lunch and Learn: Accessible and Affordable Learning Materials

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Are you passionate about making higher education more accessible and affordable for your students?  Make plans to attend the next CTL Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, October 10, at noon in the MUB Alumni Lounge, featuring the Committee for Accessible and Affordable Learning Materials (CAALM).

During the luncheon members of CAALM will introduce the committee’s mission and discuss three critical areas of focus that promise to improve the way we approach course materials:

1. Enhancing Course Material Affordability:

Discover how inclusive access agreements with publishers can help reduce the burden of expensive textbooks and course materials. We’ll shed light on innovative strategies to make education more cost-effective without compromising quality.

2. Embracing Open Educational Resources (OER):

Explore the world of Open Educational Resources and learn how to find course materials tailored to your discipline. There is a wealth of freely available resources that can enrich your curriculum while reducing financial strain on your students.

3. Ensuring Digital Accessibility:

It’s time to ensure that your instructional materials are inclusive for all students, regardless of their abilities.  We’ll share insights on the importance of the digital accessibility of course materials, including ebooks, PDF documents, slide presentations, and video recordings.

This Lunch and Learn event promises to be a source of inspiration, innovation, and collaboration.  Lunch will be provided to those who register in advance. We look forward to seeing you there!  Contact the CTL ( with any questions.

Inclusive STEM Teaching Project

Inclusive STEM Teaching ProjectThe Inclusive STEM Teaching Project is offering another 6-week course designed to advance the awareness, self-efficacy, and the ability of faculty, postdocs, and doctoral students to cultivate inclusive STEM learning environments for all their students and to develop themselves as reflective, inclusive practitioners.

The free, instructor-led course begins on October 2 and will require approximately 2-3 hours of participation per week. Instructors can learn more about the course by visiting the edX Inclusive STEM Teaching Project course page. Michigan Tech will not be facilitating a campus learning community this semester.

Contact the CTL if you have questions (487-3000,

Course Design Template

The CTL online team has developed a course design template for face-to-face courses. The course design template will provide you with a solid foundation for good and effective course design. 

Importing the course design template into your course

Step one: Log into MTU Canvas, then click on this link to access  the MTU F2F Course Design Template (If the link does not work, you can Log into MTU Canvas,  click the Commons tab on the black global menu at the left side, and search “MTU F2F”, you will see the MTU F2F Course Design Template). 

Step Two: Click on the template course, click the Import/Download button on the right side of the page, select the course you want to import the template into, and then click Import into course. The template will be imported into your course in a few minutes.

Now you can start to work on your course based on the template. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact CTL online team via

iClicker Classic software transitioning to iClicker Cloud soon

iClicker Cloud

iClicker has announced that the legacy iClicker Classic software will be retired and no longer supported or available at the end of 2023.  For several years now most instructors have used the more robust iClicker Cloud software to engage their students with classroom polls and other features.  iClicker Cloud offers additional polling question types (short answer, target question) not available in the legacy iClicker Classic software.  If you are still using iClicker Classic please make plans to transition to the iClicker Cloud software beginning in the Spring 2024 semester.  This iClicker resource has full details on iClicker Classic transition to iClicker Cloud

Don’t forget that Michigan Tech has a campus site license for iClicker, so instructors can use it as part of their teaching pedagogy at no extra cost to their students.  Please visit our CTL student polling resource page for more information on using polls to engage students in your classes.  A short knowledge base article also reviews the basics of getting started with iClicker Cloud.  Contact the CTL ( if you have questions or need help planning your transition to iClicker Cloud.

Join a CTL book club this fall!

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning invites MTU instructors to participate in a book club this fall focused on digital accessibility.  Join with your faculty colleagues as we read about the importance of addressing digital accessibility in your classes to ensure they are inclusive for all your students.  We’ll review related policies and laws, best practices for addressing digital accessibility issues in your course materials, and identify opportunities for additional professional development.


Book: Guide to Digital Accessibility: Policies, Practices, and Professional Development, Edited by Rae Mancilla and Barbara A. Frey.  The book will be provided to all participants.


The CTL Book Club will meet weekly (for six weeks) beginning the week of October 2 thru the week of November 13 (no meeting during the October 19 recess week). Specific dates/times will be determined based on feedback from participants.  A minimum of five people are required for the book club to proceed, with a maximum capacity of 12 participants.   Please submit your registration to our book club form no later than September 30 . 

Meeting Dates (chapter selections may be modified):

  • Week of October 2: Digital accessibility in higher education (historical perspective laws, standards)
  • Week of October 9: Quality Matters Standard 8 (accessibility & usability)
  • Week of October 23: Designing inclusive and accessible online & hybrid courses 
  • Week of October 30: Scenarios and solutions for accessible courses
  • Week of November 6: Digital accessibility awareness
  • Week of November 13:Technology tools to support digital accessibility

Contact the CTL ( with any questions or for more information.

7 Dimensions of course evaluations

The course evaluation survey is comprised of 7 main questions most commonly known as the 7 dimensions. These 7 dimensions provide students with guided questions in evaluating the teaching and learning process of a course.

As another fall semester begins again, it is often a good time to reflect on these dimensions by reviewing previous course evaluation scores and student feedback in order to seek ways to be continuously improving your courses.

It may be helpful to outline each dimension with some possible classroom strategies that could be incorporated. To get you started, we have outlined each dimension along with one or two strategies you may find useful for each.

  • The instructor was enthusiastic about the subject matter of the course.
    • Share your passion for the topic by incorporating your work experiences, research findings and publication work into your lectures.
  • The instructor communicated the course material clearly.
    • Set up course content in organized modules by weeks, chapters or units within Canvas.
  • The instructor engaged students by encouraging participation during class.
    • Chunk your lectures into 10-15 min. segments. Have students interact with the content for the next 10 mins. before returning to another segment of your lecture. Reference the CTL website for additional active learning strategies.
  • The instructor engaged students by encouraging course preparation, reflection, or other activities outside of class.
    • Offer homework or pre-class activities that allow students to apply the concepts to their current real world situations.
    • Offer social media or collaborative platforms such as google docs in order to share their files with peers and work in real time.
  • The instructor provided timely feedback on my work (homework, assignments, exams, etc.)
    • Utilize grading tools such as Gradescope that allow you to pre-populate your feedback based on student responses.
  • The instructor displayed a personal interest in students and their learning.
    • Provide timely feedback.
    • Try to arrive early to class and stay a few minutes after (if room schedule allows) to have informal conversations with students.
  • The instructor uses technology appropriately.
    • Introduce one or two technologies that complement your lectures. For example, try a digital interactive whiteboard such as jamboard.
    • Engage students with polling questions via iClicker.

Taking time to reflect and plan strategies for each of these dimensions at the beginning of the semester will be beneficial at the end of the semester as students evaluate these seven dimensions and provide feedback on what worked well. If you would like to discuss the Student rating of instruction in more detail, please feel free to reach out to the CTL at 487-3000.