Academic Technology Updates April 2016: Canvas is improving, Help with Fall course sites, and more!

April 15, 2016
ATG newsletter

The spring term is almost over, and we’re planning for summer and fall! Find out more in our April newsletter.

  • An Improved Canvas Layout
  • Help With Fall Course Sites
  • Active Learning Support: Using Clickers With Canvas
  • What's New In Canvas?

An Improved Canvas Layout

Canvas is getting a facelift! Instructure’s new Canvas user interface (UI) will launch at Harvard on May 31st! The New UI is a significant step forward for Canvas’ design, and we’re excited for the ways it improves the user experience and makes the platform more efficient.

Key updates to the Canvas UI include:

  • Dashboard with Course Cards that represent a user’s courses

  • Streamlined left-hand Global Navigation

  • More Responsive Design for mobile viewing

  • An overall Visual Refresh for the platform

Learn more by watching the short student and faculty introduction videos.

Help With Fall Course Sites

Canvas sites for Fall courses will be available in June. Instructional technologists from the FAS Academic Technology Group will be available this summer to help you prepare your course site. Contact us at to get started.

First time using Canvas? ATG is here to help! 
In addition to email support and drop-in assistance at the Science Center, the FAS Academic Technology Group will be offering on-location office hours for faculty, teaching team members, support staff, and students in multiple campus locations throughout the summer and early fall. Our staff can help orient you to Canvas while assisting you in preparing for the Fall term. 

Active Learning Support: Using Clickers With Canvas 

One of the benefits resulting from the adoption of the Canvas Learning Management System has been the integration with third-party tools and a good case in point is the Turning Technologies clicker registration app. For several years, many courses in FAS, particularly in the Sciences, have used Turning Technologies clickers in the classroom to make lectures more interactive and to gauge students’ understanding of the materials through polling. Read More...

What's New in Canvas? 

If you last used Canvas in 2015, there are several new features now available, including an LTI Library Reserves Tool and an updated ability to Manage People in your course. 

Additionally, ATG is piloting new tools in Canvas! Contact us to learn more about our expanded pilots of VoiceThreadAnnotationsX, and Flashcards, each of which can be seamlessly integrated into your Canvas site.

We Want to Hear from You

ATG is here to help with any aspect of using technology in your courses, any time during the year. Let us know how we can help at

With best wishes,
The FAS Academic Technology Group