Monday Minute: Canvas Link Checker


This Monday Minute video shows you how to check your links in Canvas courses to make sure they are all working properly.


OLITS YouTube page with Monday Minute videos

Full schedule of upcoming workshops

OLITS Teaching and Learning Blog

Visit our website to see the latest events and workshops on our training calendar.


Preparing a backup plan for teaching

June 1st through November 30th is hurricane season for the Atlantic and the State of Florida. Given our close proximity to the water, USFSP must prepare for emergency closings due to inclement weather including flooding, tornados, tropical storms and hurricanes. It’s imperative that as a university community, we have alternate plans to continue the teaching and learning process should the campus be closed and not able to reopen due to damage.
The Emergency Preparedness for Your Course document shares information and tutorials to enable faculty to use Canvas to teach and communicate with their students if campus is closed for an extended period of time due to an emergency.

MM: eGrades Submission in Canvas Fall 2019

In today’s Monday Minute video, we will show you how to use the eGrades Submission tool in Canvas to submit midterm or final course grades.

Video image playback start

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David Brodosi
Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services
University Of South Florida St. Petersburg
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Atomic Learning: Online Technology Tutorials for Students & Faculty

As we get further into the semester, students may find themselves in need of training on certain software programs to be able to complete major course activities and assignments such as creating presentations with Prezi or analyzing data using SPSS. When it comes to facilitating that participation and grading assignments, faculty may want a refresher on those programs or how to use certain feedback features in Canvas.

Through the USF system subscription to Atomic Learning, all members of the USF St. Petersburg community have unlimited access to online tutorials for commonly used web and software applications. These online training resources teach you “how do I do that” through a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand tutorial movies.  Topics include Microsoft programs, Adobe programs, Apple programs, Canvas, mobile apps, and much more.

To access this resource, log into Atomic Learning using your USF NetID and password.

Once logged into the Atomic Learning site, you will be able to browse or search for specific programs.

searching atomic learning

After finding the program you wish to learn more about, click on the Series Title to view the available tutorials.


Then click on the title of the tutorial to load the video and learn more about the topic.


For more help with getting started, view this text getting started guide (PDF) or video orientation.

If you have trouble with accessing this resource, contact the USF System Help Desk at 813-974-1222 or

If you have any questions about how to best use this resource for you or integrate it within a course, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services at 727-873-4409.



Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Available This Fall

Starting this Fall, the USF System is making Blackboard Collaborate Ultra available for use in all courses in Canvas.

What is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra? Ultra is a virtual classroom tool that allows you to host synchronous web meetings with your students online. It is similar to Google Hangout, Skype, and our current tool, Blackboard Collaborate. Ultra allows you to use video, audio, chat, polling and screen sharing to interact with your students.

One of the key differences from the original Collaborate is that Ultra is a web-based platform that will not require students to download and launch any programs or meeting files to join the session. This new method can save a lot of time and frustration for both instructors and students. It also boasts a more user friendly interface with intuitive design that makes it easy to interact.

collaborate session demos

Collaborate Ultra. Source:

The one feature that is not present in Ultra, but will remain a part of the original Collaborate, is the use of breakout rooms. If you tend to use your synchronous sessions for collaborative work among smaller groups, you may wish to stick with the original version of Collaborate.

To learn more about the Ultra experience, watch this video.

To learn more about using Ultra within your course, check out these resources from USF Health and Blackboard or contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services.

Adding Ultra to A Canvas Course PDF

Creating an Ultra Session in Canvas PDF

Using Ultra as a Moderator PDF

Getting Started Guide for Students


Innovative Online Learning with Lightboard Technology

If you’re one of the professors who have moved some, or all, of your courses online, there is a new, innovative technology available to use at USF St. Petersburg: it’s called the Lightboard. A Lightboard is similar to a white board. The Lightboard is made of glass and the professor writes facing the audience, versus having their back towards the audience.

In an online environment, it is important to build personal connections with your students. The Lightboard is a great tool for building personal connections because students are seeing your face throughout the video.


How does it work?

No, you don’t need to worry about learning how to write backwards. Using a simple video tool in post-production, we are able to take everything written on the Lightboard and flip the content horizontally.


Above are the production and post-production images, courtesy of a Spanish professor at USFSP: The left side is the original image, while the right side is the flipped image which is done in post-production.


USFSP has used the Lightboard to film various subject matters including Spanish, French, Teaching Elementary Math, and Educational Leadership.

Best practices for filming a video using the Lightboard: 

  • Plan your talk for about five minutes or enough to fill the board.
  • Plan your lecture ahead of recording. Be prepared to write from the beginning to the end of a lecture because erasing the Lightboard takes time and will be done after the lecture is finished.
  • Wear a solid color, preferably blue or green.
  • When writing on the board, leave a space for yourself so students are able to see your face.

Watch this video created by Northwestern University as Michael Peshkin describes his usage of the Lightboard.

For scheduling a time to check out the Lightboard or record a lecture, please contact one of the Instructional Designers in the Library or email me at

Be Mobile with Canvas

Did you know that you can teach with your tablet? Grade papers on your cell phone? Canvas mobile apps give you the power to interact with your course from anywhere and engage your students in mobile learning online or in the classroom.

Check out the full suite of Canvas mobile apps below and contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services to discuss ideas and strategies to effectively incorporate these into your teaching and learning.

Canvas app icon

Canvas by Instructure

Canvas by Instructure

This app is the mobile instance of the Canvas LMS. Through this app you have access all of your courses at USF. You can participate in discussions, post announcements, upload files and video, and manage your Canvas inbox.

Although this app is not optimal for heavy course building, it is a great way to quickly get connected with your course and students.

Available for iPad, iPhone and Android.

speedgrader icon



This app allows you to grade assignments from all of your courses. You will be able to view submissions including text, video and audio. You can grade using points, a letter grade, and/or a rubric. You can provide feedback as comments, audio or video. Once you’ve opened an assignment, you can move between student’s submission with a swipe to the right.

Although the app does not provide the same annotation tools as the SpeedGrader in you web browser on the computer (i.e. comments and strikethrough), this is a quick way to grade quizzes or submissions that don’t need annotations.

Available for iPad and Android.

polls for canvas

Polls for Canvas

Polls for Canvas

This app allows you to instantly assess student comprehension with live, in-class polling using the students’ own smartphones or tablets. You will be able to ask the students true/false or multiple choice questions.

Because Canvas Polls integrates with Canvas courses, participation and performance data is saved for every student.

Available for iPad, iPhone and Android.

Magic marker app icon

Magic Marker

Magic Marker

This app allows you to assess students’ mastery of learning objectives in a face-to-face class. Have the app open and wander around the room during an activity. As you witness students master the objectives of the lesson, track this with the app and it will update the grade book by the time you sit back down.

This app works with the Outcomes tool in Canvas.

Available for iPad.

teacher tools app icon

Teacher Tools

Teacher Tools

This app consists of three tools to make teachers’ lives a little easier. One tool shows pictures of the students to help teachers learn their names. Another tool randomly selects students for activities. The last tool allows teachers to take notes about each student.

Available for Android.