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Prepare for the Upcoming Term with OTL Resources

Congratulations on completing the fall quarter, and we hope that the end of the fall semester is going well! As a reminder, the OTL observes DU's winter holiday closure. Our office will be closed the week of December 26, reopening Tuesday, January 3. The OTL will also be completely virtual during the week of December 19th. 

We'd love to help you get a jump-start on your upcoming courses! OTL staff will be available throughout December, and we have many online resources you can access at any time. Visit our Prepping for Winter resources to access course planning information and a course preparation checklist, and to get answers to your frequently asked questions.

You can also book a one-on-one consultation with one of our OTL Instructional Designers. Please note that we are using a new system for booking consultations, so make sure to update your saved links!

Ed-Tech Drop-In Hours in January

Join us during our upcoming drop-in hours for support with:

  • Importing and updating Canvas course content
  • Developing and uploading your syllabus
  • Incorporating Zoom and Kaltura into your courses
  • And more!

Tuesday, January 3, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Online via Zoom

Canvas Reminders and Resources

Canvas Template

The OTL has created two Canvas templates that can help you get your Canvas courses set-up quickly and easily - the OTL Advanced Canvas Template and the OTL Canvas Basic Template. These templates utilize CIDI Labs Design Tools to create eye-catching, aesthetically streamlined course shells.

Learn more about each template and which one is right for you in our blog Introducing the Basic and Advanced Canvas Templates. Both templates are available to add to your winter courses through the Canvas Commons. To import the templates in your course, please visit our Knowledge Base for step-by-step instructions. Once you import the template, you will find additional resources within the course for how to use the templates.

Having trouble finding your winter courses in Canvas? Visit our Ed-Tech Knowledge Base to learn how to easily access your courses and add them to your dashboard.

UDOIT Tool for Canvas Accessibility

As you prepare for the upcoming term, consider using UDOIT (Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool) to check the digital accessibility of your Canvas courses! Centering digital accessibility allows for all students to have a better experience interacting and engaging with your course. UDOIT prompts faculty to consider elements such as alternative text, style structure, and video captioning. Learn more in the new OTL Blog from Instructional Designers Kellie Ferguson and Jeff Schwartz, Using UDOIT to Make Your Canvas Course More Accessible!

Scanned PDFs

Do you use photocopied scanned PDFs in your course? A common practice to procure additional readings for students is to scan a paper copy of text. Often times, these files are not fully accessible to all students, including students who use assistive technologies, students who need to be able to search for key words, and students who like to use digital tools to highlight content. Throughout the month of December, consider being proactive and reaching out for support via the OTL Accessibility Request form. Don’t know if your scans are accessible? Check out the OTL Knowledge Base article on Top 8 Characteristics of an Accessible PDF to learn more!

Don't forget to publish!

Once your winter course is ready, don't forget to publish your Canvas course to provide access to your students. You have the capability to publish your course at any time between now and the start of the term. Publishing your course before the first day of classes gives your students a chance to start the term prepared!

Teaching Online - Advanced Practice Starts December 5

Are you interested in exploring Canvas integrations, active learning techniques, and High-Impact Practices? Then join us for the upcoming session of the Teaching Online - Advanced Practice Short Course!

Teaching Online - Advanced Practice starts on December 5 and will help you get a head start on your upcoming courses! You will investigate topics related to multimedia, measuring individual and group learning outcomes, technology that promotes social and cognitive engagement, and more. You can take your time and work on the course at your own pace throughout the month of December and faculty who complete the requirements will receive a stipend!

Register for Teaching Online - Advanced Practice today!

Course Design Institute: Self-Study Version 


Are you planning to design or redesign a course during the time-in-between-terms but wondering how to best go about that? Had you wanted to attend the Course Design Institute this summer, but the timing just didn’t work out? You may be interested in our new self-study version of the Course Design Institute, which will become available on Monday, December 5. This self-paced, asynchronous online experience can support you in designing or redesigning a course that results in significant learning – that is, learning that has the potential to change students’ lives in lasting and important ways. Faculty members who complete this self-study by January 6 are eligible for a stipend. 


Learn more and register for the self-study version of Course Design Institute.

Designing for Significant Learning Workshop

Interested in learning more about course design but don't have time for the Course Design Self-Study? Then you might be interested in joining us for the Designing for Significant Learning workshop on December 7 from 2:00-3:30. In this 90-minute, interactive workshop, you’ll be introduced to the concept of designing for significant learning – that is, learning that has the potential to change students’ lives in lasting and important ways. You’ll also become familiar with two tools/frameworks – the Taxonomy of Significant Learning and the Three-Column Alignment Table - that can support you in this design work, and have the opportunity to practice applying these tools/frameworks in thinking about the design of your own courses. Register for the Designing for Significant Learning workshop.

Upcoming Events

The Office of Teaching and Learning is hosting several events throughout December and into January. Visit the OTL Events Calendar to discover other upcoming events!

Designing for Significant Learning

Wednesday, December 7, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

OTL Conference Room (AAC 345)

Teaching with Video (Zoom and Kaltura)

Monday, December 12, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Online via Zoom

Creating Amazing Instructional Videos

Thursday, December 15, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Online via Zoom

Ed-Tech Drop-In Hours

Tuesday, January 3, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Online via Zoom

Every Term Needs a Plan

Wednesday, January 4, 1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Online via Zoom