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TLOS Top 10 for Spring 2023

At the start of the new year we tend to think about setting goals and new beginnings. On Nov. 1, 2022,  Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) had something of a new beginning when it was announced we would be moving from the Division of IT to the Provost’s Office. While reporting lines are changing, TLOS will continue to offer the same services to the university community. We strive to support teaching goals and improve student learning through the thoughtful application of educational technologies. As classes get underway, here are ten things we hope will help faculty prepare for a successful spring semester. 

  1. Try Gradescope in Canvas courses
  2. Gradescope, a Canvas-integrated assessment platform, offers flexible options for grading paper-based, digital, and bubble-sheet quizzes, exams, and homework assignments. The tool pairs AI-assisted grading with instructor-created rubrics to increase the efficiency and consistency of scoring and facilitate more timely feedback. After assignments are graded, faculty can analyze questions to gain a better understanding of student performance. Virginia Tech has secured a one-year license for Gradescope to pilot the platform. Gradescope is available in all Canvas course sites through fall semester 2023 while TLOS evaluates the tool for long-term use. Learn more by watching a brief introductory video. An interest session focused on Scoring Bubble Sheets with Gradescope is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2023, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

  3. Submit an XCaliber Award nomination
  4. The XCaliber Award — shorthand for exceptional, high-caliber contributions to technology-enriched learning activities — celebrates courses and significant projects that demonstrate the exemplary use of technology and student-centered pedagogy. Recipients receive a cash award and a commemorative plaque, and an invitation to showcase their award-winning activities at a special event. To apply for the XCaliber Award, download and complete the nomination packet and submit it to no later than Feb. 22, 2023.

  5. Choose accessible learning materials

    The TLOS Accessible Technologies team provides a collection of services and software to help make course materials accessible. Some popular options include:

  6. Check out Canvas New Quizzes

    New Quizzes is an assessment engine that integrates with Canvas, allowing faculty to access new features, including

    • setting student quiz accommodations for the whole course (not just quiz by quiz).
    • shuffling answers by question.
    • printing quizzes.
    • requiring a waiting period between attempts.
    • using stimulus, ordering, and hot-spot question types.
  7. Classic Quizzes will be discontinued in 2024. To be an early adopter of New Quizzes, use this checklist to get started.

  8. Add LinkedIn Learning videos to courses
  9. LinkedIn Learning offers more than 17,000 on-demand courses and learning paths designed to help users gain new skills and knowledge. Access is free for current Virginia Tech students and employees when they log in at using their VT username and passphrase. An improvement to the LinkedIn Learning Canvas integration makes it easier to add videos to courses. Users can now browse the LinkedIn Learning library from within Canvas and can embed videos on pages and modules.

  10. Request a Cloud-Based Computer Lab
  11. Many Virginia Tech courses rely on computer labs for in-class instruction or homework. Adding a cloud-based computer lab to a Canvas course provides students convenient access to many popular software options with a consistent desktop experience for all users. 

  12. Consider using the modernized Blogs@VT platform
  13. Blogging can be used to enhance course interaction and student learning. At Virginia Tech, TLOS provides the Blogs@VT WordPress platform for course-based or degree-related sites. Request a consultation to explore incorporating blogging into your courses. Note that the legacy site hosted at will be deleted June 30, 2023.

  14. Schedule meetings in Canvas using the Zoom calendar function
  15. An update to the Canvas Zoom integration calendar function now pushes scheduled meetings to appear accurately on the Canvas Calendar for everyone in a Canvas course.

  16. Register for professional development workshops
  17. Registration is open for spring workshops offered through the TLOS Professional Development Network (PDN). Featured topics include outreach and engagement, inclusive pedagogy, assessment, teaching and learning, and research. TLOS hosts in-person workshops in one of four classrooms, with a virtual attendance option for most workshops. Need information about a learning tool or strategy right now? Check out the TLOS On-Demand website.

  18. Get Technical Support
  19. Have a question about using our software or services? Search the 4Help Knowledge Base for step-by-step instructions, request a consultation, or submit a 4Help incident for technical assistance. And coming soon in Canvas, you’ll see a new Help Docs button located near the Support button that will provide quick access to a knowledge base located inside Canvas.

Stay connected with TLOS throughout the semester on Twitter or Facebook for tips, updates, and news about learning technologies. Contact us at with questions or to share an idea.