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A few belated gifts from Learning Tech!

Your holiday decorations are probably long gone at this point, but the Learning Tech team has a few final presents for you as we prepare for a new semester. The latest round of features and updates include the ability to easily search for tools and related content, browse and search recorded workshops, review system requirements, and schedule one-on-one consultations.

Select an item below to learn more, or scroll through the list to explore them all:

With the innovative, powerful spotlight search option, you can simplify your navigation throughout Learning Tech and quickly connect with specific tools and related content. Select the Search (magnifying glass) icon in the top right corner of the page to open the search window, or use the command + k (Mac)/control + k (Windows) keyboard commands. Enter a tool name into the search box; matching tools, and any workshops, blog articles, and course trailers associated with them, will be included in the results.

An image of Learning Tech's new spotlight search feature.

Workshops page

Tech Week, a series of interactive workshops featuring UVA faculty and support staff sharing their experiences and recommendations for more than a dozen different tools, debuted last fall. Recordings of these sessions are available on the searchable Workshops page, with more to come.

An image of Learning Tech's Workshops page with video recordings.

Remaining license information

For tools available in limited quantities, such as EquatIO and Otter Voice Notes, the numbers of remaining licenses are prominently displayed in banners on the tool cards on the catalog page, and as part of the license information on the respective tool pages. This allows you to see exactly what’s available—and is a helpful reminder to request a license before they’re gone!

An image showing the number of remaining licenses for Otter Voice Notes.

Enhanced system requirements information

Basic information on system requirements for each of the tools in the Learning Tech catalog was added in a previous update. This information has been significantly expanded to display supported browsers and browser versions for Mac and Windows, and supported operating system versions for iOS and Android.

If you’re using a mobile device and the tool offers a mobile app, a device-specific Install App button will be displayed, allowing you to add the app with just two taps, instead of searching through an app store.

An image of a tool page displaying system requirements.

Consultation scheduling

Several tools, including Digication, Hypothesis, iClicker Cloud, and Peerceptiv, offer opportunities for instructors to meet with support staff directly to share specific questions and obtain personal assistance. These consultations can be scheduled from their respective pages in the Learning Tech catalog by selecting the Schedule Consultation option, which will direct you to the appropriate scheduling service automatically.

An image of the Schedule Consultation option available on select tool pages.

Newsletter archive

Looking for a previous message from the Learning Tech team? Look no further! Web versions of previous messages are available in the Newsletter Archive, which is linked in the footer at the bottom of the page.

An image of Learning Tech's Newsletter page archiving communications.

Annotating OneNote documents in Collab and Canvas with Hypothesis

Hypothesis is a powerful tool accessible through Collab and the School of Education and Human Development’s instance of Canvas that allows readers to add multiple types of annotations to digital texts. Thanks to a valuable new feature, instructors can link documents stored in their OneDrive accounts to their course sites in Collab or Canvas for annotation with Hypothesis. This allows instructors and students to annotate materials without making them publicly available, respecting copyright and privacy guidelines.

The steps below outline the process to add Hypothesis and connect documents in Collab; the process in Canvas is fairly similar. Instructors using Canvas can contact the School of Education Canvas Support team for assistance.

  1. Visit the Lessons tool in a course or collaboration site, select the Add Content tab or one of the Add (plus sign) icons on the page, then select the Add External Tool link. (If the Lessons tool isn’t already included in the site, you can add it quickly and easily.)
An image of the Add Content menu in the Lessons tool, with the Add External Tool option highlighted.
  1. Select the Annotations (Hypothesis) link in the list of available external tools.
  2. Enter a title for the linked document in the Tool Title and Button Text fields, modify the default description in the Tool description field if desired, then select the Save button.
An image of the Configure External Tool page, with text entered in the Tool description, Tool Title, and Button Text fields.
  1. The link to Hypothesis will be added to the Lessons page. Select the link to edit the link and connect your document.
An image of the link to Hypothesis on the Lessons page, with the link highlighted.
  1. If prompted, select the Press to continue to external tool button, then select the Select PDF from OneDrive button. Enter your UVA email address and NetBadge password to sign into your OneDrive account.
  2. A list of your OneNote documents will be displayed in a new window. Select the desired document, then select the Open button to connect it to Hypothesis and allow participants to annotate it.
An image of the OneDrive document selection window.
  1. The document is now connected, and participants can annotate it by selecting any portion of the included text and selecting the Annotate option.
An image of an annotated document in Hypothesis.

It’s that simple! Contact the Learning Tech team if you have any questions as you begin connecting and annotating your texts.

Tech Bytes: A website for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, O365 Q&A, and Scholars’ Lab fellowships

This week’s byte-sized updates:

A portion of the inner wall of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers

Tech Bytes: Captioning data, a request for Miro, O365 accounts for students, and more

This week’s byte-sized updates:

  • In recent surveys, 80 percent of UVA students indicated that captions are or would be helpful to them in some way; 78 percent of students have used captions with recorded materials such as lectures; and 70 percent of students have used captions in Zoom meetings. Numerous advantages of captions were cited, including as a tool for improved comprehension, as an aid for content review, and as an alternative to poor audio quality. The Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) has prepared a helpful captioning infographic that includes these and other helpful statistics and notes. Instructors with questions about captioning can contact SDAC or the Learning Tech team.
An excerpt from SDAC’s captioning infographic
  • Following a request from the School of Architecture, Miro is being reviewed as a potential addition to UVA’s suite of learning technologies. This process includes assessing the tool’s capabilities in a variety of areas, including pedagogical value, accessibility, security and data protection, and financial and other costs. Instructors, staff members, and students interested in Miro are invited to visit the request page in Learning Tech and selecting the Join This Request button to indicate their support and subscribe to receive updates on the review process. Significant support can help the request move forward, so don’t be shy!
An excerpt from the Miro request page
  • Currently, most UVA students use university-provided Google accounts for services such as email, contacts, calendars, and document storage and collaboration. However, the ITS department has announced a project to migrate these accounts from Google to Office 365, which is used by instructors and staff members. Most accounts will be migrated next summer, with the goal that all instructors, staff members, and students will be in Office 365 before the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester. Anyone with questions about this project can contact the Office 365 team at
  • The latest update for the Zoom app is now available for download on desktop and mobile devices. The update includes presentation slide control, polling enhancements, and functionality for chatting with waiting room participants.

Tech Bytes: An LMS project, accessibility updates from Digication, and digital mental health services

This week’s byte-sized updates:

  • UVA is beginning a project to select and implement a new learning management system (LMS) for all undergraduate students. The project will include multiple phases and will be led by a steering committee of representatives from each of the University’s thirteen schools. Throughout the process, there will be opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to participate and share their feedback by responding to surveys, joining focus groups, and testing potential products. More information is available on the LMS project website.
  • Digication will introduce a number of accessibility updates the week of November 8, including improved interaction with screen readers, higher color contrast, and larger spacing. Additional labels and focus indicators will be added as well. A full list of updates is available on the Digication support website.
  • A new partnership between UVA and TimelyMD offers virtual mental health services to all students who have paid the comprehensive health fee, including a dedicated mobile app and twelve free telehealth visits with providers with experience in issues related to higher education.
  • The latest issue of the Arts & Sciences magazine includes a profile of the Cavalier Online Experiences Program (CONEX), a digital program designed to help incoming students strengthen their quantitative skills in preparation for STEM courses.

Tech Bytes: Grant opportunities, a virtual conference, and a new website for LDT

This week’s byte-sized updates:

  • Two grant opportunities are currently available for UVA instructors. The 2021-22 Arts and Sciences General Faculty Teaching Support grant, which is accepting applications from general faculty in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences until November 8, offers support for inviting collaborators to Grounds, registering for virtual conferences, or conducting projects related to pedagogy. The Affordability and Equity grant, which is accepting applications from all UVA faculty teaching two-, three-, or four-credit courses until January 7 of next year, offers support for adopting, adapting, or creating open educational resources (OERs).
  • UVA instructors and students using Collab can register for the upcoming Sakai Virtual Conference for just $5. (Sakai is the open-source platform on which Collab is based.) Proposals for ten-minute lightning talks will be accepted until October 18; general registrations will be accepted until November 9.
  • File uploads in Digication will be unavailable between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM on Wednesday, October 27 due to system maintenance. The tool will remain accessible and no other features will be affected.
  • A&S Learning Design & Technology has released an entirely new website for their team, featuring valuable resources, timely announcements and updates, and options to schedule consultations with their experienced group of instructional designers and technologists.

Faculty share how learning technologies enhance teaching, learning

Small Changes, Big Impact

Created by the University Teaching and Learning Technology Committee, the Small Changes, Big Impact series features UVA and UVA Wise instructors talking about the ways they’re improving the teaching and learning experience. In the videos, some faculty point to a specific learning technology that has been particularly useful in their courses, especially since the shift to online teaching. They share how these tools are promoting student engagement, helping to build community, and streamlining the grading process. Watch their stories below.

Poll Everywhere has been an easy way for School of Education and Human Development Associate Professor Ottilie Austin to give her students a preview of the material for the upcoming week. READ MORE >

Biology Assistant Professor Jessamyn Manson discovered some great opportunities after the pivot to online teaching. She would usually have students do in-person presentations in her upper level seminar course, but during the pandemic, she had them create pre-recorded presentations instead.

Manson also had to rethink how to hold effective office hours. She decided to create weekly Zoom meetings as a space for students to continue to talk to, teach, and inform each other. Manson monitored the chat and popped into the conversation if students had questions, but mainly she just hosted the meeting. These online office hours allowed more people to join and feel comfortable participating. READ MORE >

Drama Lecturer Cady Garey uses Flipgrid to encourage engagement among her students. She feels that the tool helps to create more personal and authentic conversations and give students more practice sharing their ideas in an embodied, spoken form, as opposed to traditional writing assignments. READ MORE >

McIntire Associate Professor Adam Koch realized it was taking him way too long to collect, grade, and return exams when classes transitioned online. Then he found his solution: Gradescope. This online tool allows him to streamline the grading process and also has had other unexpected benefits. READ MORE >

Despite teaching large-enrollment courses, Chemistry Assistant Professor Alicia Frantz is managing to build community among her students with the support of Microsoft Teams. She creates learning communities with 40 students and a graduate TA and each have their own page in Teams for sharing documents, getting together to study, or meeting virtually. She also uses Teams paired with OneNote for office hours. READ MORE >

If you’re interested in sharing your story, email Kristin Sloane at You can also use #smallchangesbigimpact on social media to continue the conversation.

Review our Tech Week 2021 workshops

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Learning Tech | Tech Week 2021

UVA’s inaugural Tech Week included interactive virtual sessions with faculty and staff sharing how they use various learning technologies in their courses and projects. Check out the recordings below to see the tools in action and discover how they can support teaching and learning. Some presenters also provided their slides for review.

Also, tell your colleagues what you think about any tools you’ve used! You can evaluate and share your experiences with each tool in the Learning Tech catalog. Click the Submit Rating buttons below to get started.

Email with any questions or feedback.

Captioning and Accessibility Tools and Services

Presented by Sarah Humphreys, Kristin Roush, and Martina Syvantek, Student Disability Access Center 


Presented by Yitna Firdyiwek, A&S Learning Design & Technology; Tamika Carey, English


Presented by Kevin Tressler, Linda Eastham, Tracy Kelly, and Barbara Reyna, Nursing


Presented by Gail Hunger, A&S Learning Design & Technology; Gretchen Martinet, Statistics

Presented by Taylore Pence and Adam Koch, Commerce


Presented by Jill Martiniuk, Center for Teaching Excellence; Christian Steinmetz, Education

Hypothesis Presentation

iClicker Cloud

Presented by Glen Garrett, Macmillan


Presented by Courtney Beach and Marcus Goldbas, Commerce

Please note this video opens a new window.

Lessons in UVACollab

Presented by Jill Martiniuk, Center for Teaching Excellence; Marina Escámez Ballesta, Spanish

Lessons in UVACollab Presentation

Microsoft Teams

Presented by Rick Reifenstein, Information Technology Services; Rich Ross, Statistics


Presented by Megan Reiley, Peerceptiv; Jennifer Sessions, History

Poll Everywhere

Presented by Alex Greenfelder, Poll Everywhere; Filip Loncke, Dave Stoops, and Kit Tracy, Education


Presented by Sarah Schultz Robinson, Institutional Research and Analytics; Lindsay Wheeler, Center for Teaching Excellence

Join us for Tech Week 2021!

Learning Tech | Tech Week 2021

The past year has presented unprecedented challenges for higher education, but it’s also demonstrated the value of learning technologies and the opportunities they offer for our teaching, learning, and research. As we prepare to return to the classroom this fall, the Learning Tech team and partners across Grounds are joining together to present a series of interactive virtual sessions on more than a dozen tools and strategies, from transforming feedback with Gradescope to fostering textual conversations with Hypothesis to increasing engagement with Poll Everywhere.

Most of these sessions will feature UVA instructors and staff members sharing details and demonstrations of how they use the tools in their courses and projects.

Select the button below to register for sessions, and continue scrolling to browse the complete schedule. You can register for as many sessions as you like. Registrants will also receive links to the meeting recordings after their conclusion, so we encourage you to register for any sessions that interest you, even if you aren’t able to attend them live.

Email with questions.

MONDAY, August 16

  • Gradescope | 10:00-11:00 AM ET with Taylore Pence and Adam Koch, Commerce
  • iClicker Cloud | 10:00-11:00 AM ET with Glen Garrett, Macmillan
  • Hypothesis | 1:00-2:00 PM ET with Jill Martiniuk, Center for Teaching Excellence; Christian Steinmetz, Education
  • Peerceptiv | 2:00-3:00 PM ET with Megan Reiley, Peerceptiv; Jennifer Sessions, History

TUESDAY, August 17

  • Digication | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET with Yitna Firdyiwek, A&S Learning Design & Technology; Tamika Carey, English
  • Poll Everywhere | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET with Alex Greenfelder, Poll Everywhere; Filip Loncke, Dave Stoops, and Kit Tracy, Education

WEDNESDAY, August 18

  • Captioning and Accessibility Tools and Services | 10:00-11:00 AM ET with Sarah Humphreys, Kristin Roush, and Martina Syvantek, Student Disability Access Center 
  • Kaltura | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET with Courtney Beach and Marcus Goldbas, Commerce
  • Flipgrid | 2:00-3:00 PM ET with Kevin Tressler, Linda Eastham, Tracy Kelly, and Barbara Reyna, Nursing

THURSDAY, August 19

  • Microsoft Teams | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET with Rick Reifenstein, Information Technology Services; Rich Ross, Statistics
  • Lessons in UVACollab | 12:00-1:00 PM ET with Jill Martiniuk, Center for Teaching Excellence; Marina Escámez Ballesta, Spanish
  • iClicker Cloud | 1:00-2:00 PM ET with Glen Garrett, Macmillan
  • Qualtrics | 2:00-3:00 PM ET with Sarah Schultz Robinson, Institutional Research and Analytics; Lindsay Wheeler, Center for Teaching Excellence

FRIDAY, August 20

  • Gradescope | 10:00-11:00 AM ET with Gail Hunger, A&S Learning Design & Technology; Gretchen Martinet, Statistics

Highlights from Collab’s upcoming upgrade

On Wednesday, August 18, UVACollab will receive a major system upgrade, with new features and enhancements included in virtually every tool. A selection of some of the most notable additions for teaching and learning are listed below; detailed descriptions of these and almost every other aspect of the system are also included in the Collab online help portal.

Select an item to learn more, or scroll through the list to explore them all:

Note that Collab will be unavailable between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM on the day of the upgrade to complete the necessary technical work—so please plan accordingly!

File Preview for grading in Assignments

The Assignments tool will offer the ability to view assignment submissions alongside the evaluation pane during the grading process, allowing you to review submissions and enter grades simultaneously, without having to navigate back and forth between them.

Select the Grade link below the assignment, then enable the File Preview toggle above the list of submissions. Select a student to view their submission alongside the evaluation pane.

By default, the submission will be displayed on the left, and the evaluation pane will be displayed on the right. To reverse this order, select the Settings (gears) icon above the submission, then select the Dock the grader on the left checkbox.

Individual and group exceptions in Tests & Quizzes

The Tests & Quizzes tool will offer the ability to enable custom access settings for individuals and groups, allowing you to address circumstances such as absences and accessibility accommodations much more easily.

Select the Settings option in the Actions dropdown menu to the right of the assessment, then select Exceptions to Availability Dates and Time Limit. Select the individual or group who will receive the exception, enter the appropriate information, then select the Add an Exception button.

Extra credit questions in Tests & Quizzes

The Tests & Quizzes tool will also offer the ability to designate questions as extra credit. Select the Edit link to the right of the question, then select the Extra Credit checkbox in the list of question settings.

Custom Overview layouts

The Site Settings tool will offer the ability to customize the layout of the Overview page, which serves as the homepage for most course and collaboration sites.

Select the Manage Overview tab to make changes. Widgets associated with the tools included in your site will be displayed; you can arrange them in one or two columns, or remove them from the Overview page if you prefer.

Bulk updates for date settings

The Site Settings tool will also offer the ability to edit date settings for content in a variety of tools in a single location, allowing you to quickly update items imported from previous course or collaboration sites. The option includes all of the key tools with available date settings, including Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Gradebook, Lessons, Resources, and Tests & Quizzes.

Select the Date Manager tab to make changes. Available content will be organized by tool; select the tool, enter new date settings into the fields, then select the Save Changes button.

Automatically generated groups

The Site Settings tool will also offer the ability to automatically generate groups from site participants—the product of a joint project between UVA and Pepperdine University.

Select the Manage Groups tab, then select the Auto Groups tab. Follow the four-step process to create groups based on criteria such as roles, rosters, number of groups, and number of group members.

Name pronunciation

The Profile tool will offer the ability to enter a phonetic pronunciation and an audio recording of your name, encouraging equity by allowing instructors, students, and colleagues to interact more personally and respectfully.

Select your name in the top right corner of the page, then select the Profile link. Tap or place your cursor over Name Pronunciation, then select the Edit link that appears to the right. Enter the phonetic pronunciation into the field, or select the Record button to make a recording. Select the Save changes button to continue.

Featured content templates

The text editor available throughout the system will offer the ability to format content with specialized templates to highlight important concepts, requirements, or deadlines.

Select the Templates button in the top left corner of the editor, then select the desired template to embed it on the page. You can edit the template text after embedding it.

Notifications and reminders

Multiple tools, including the Assignments tool and the Gradebook tool, will offer the ability to send manual or automated reminders to students to complete outstanding assignments before their due dates. A new notifications tool will appear as a megaphone icon in the menu bar at the top of the page and display a global list of recent alerts across all available sites.

Updated integrations with connected tools

The upgrade will also feature updated integrations between Collab and other connected tools—including Gradescope, iClicker Cloud, NowComment, Piazza, and WordPress—in accordance with the latest technical standards. In most cases, the connected tools will continue to look and feel as they did before the upgrade, but with improved stability and performance.

Other news and notes

A few other important items:

Look for additional information and announcements as the upgrade approaches, and contact the Collab Support team with any questions.