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Fitness in the Parks

Independent Health and the YMCA are making it easy to get fit this summer by offering FREE outdoor classes. All you need to do is show up!

Take a look at the details above, which include the full list of classes offered, regular meeting times and locations around Western New York. Classes run through August 31, along with a few locations that will continue to host through September. To find out more details, you can visit their website at

Submitted by: Bethany Voorhees, executive associate, Office of the President

Start Using Panopto Today

Panopto is a video content management system (CMS) that Canisius College has paid for. It is a lot easier to use than YouTube, Google Drive and similar services for a few reasons. 

Why should you not use YouTube or Google Drive to host your videos?

To start off with, YouTube now puts ads on everything. Even if you don’t necessarily see it on the video(s) when you watch it, your students may be seeing ads for shopping websites and various other products (often catered to them based on their interests), both of which can be disruptive to the flow of the lecture and the note-taking process. Ads could appear right in the middle of your lecture while you are explaining a complex topic. You can private videos and then share a link, but then you are still up against YouTube Studio, not to mention YouTube’s seemingly ever-changing Copyright policies and potential DMCA takedowns.

Additionally, Google Drive is no longer giving Canisius College unlimited space. This may mean that you have to reduce your digital footprint in Google Drive so you are below a certain limit. The easiest way to do that is to move videos out of your Google Drive. Some videos can be over 1GB. So, if you typically did 1 video per week over the course of a semester, that’s 16GB right there. Google Drive also does not do closed captions natively and there is no way to edit a video that has been uploaded. Plus, sometimes sharing the video can be difficult in general. As a quick example, say you link a video in Google Drive for students to view. Maybe you took the extra steps to input individual students’ email addresses to share with. And then you get a panicky email from a student saying that they cannot view the video. Perhaps you forgot to add their email or maybe (and probably more likely) they logged in with a personal Gmail account and forgot to switch to their Canisius account.

So, why should you use Panopto?

Panopto is built right into D2L. You can record, upload, and edit videos without signing into or navigating another platform or service. This streamlines the video creation and upload process, saving you more time in general. It is also quick and easy to add a Panopto Video to your D2L class. Simply click on the Add Activities button and choose Add Panopto Video. You can view a quick tutorial here. The Panopto tools (web recorder and editor) are simple and easy to use as well. However, if you would prefer to use your own video editing software instead and then upload to Panopto, you can do that as well. 

Panopto is secure. You do not have to worry about setting security permissions, adding emails, or trying to determine who is viewing your video. Panopto videos are automatically shared securely only with the student in the class that you uploaded the video. These videos are also set up to make it difficult for students to share them with others. You can also view who has watched your video from the stats page for that video. Here is a quick tutorial on how to access the stats page.

You can also set Panopto up so students can record assignments and presentations. As noted above, this can be a huge help if a student forgets to share the video with you. Any video that a student uploads to the dropbox folder will be shared with you automatically, removing that headache. And grading each student’s video is not much different from grading a paper. This can all be done right from a D2L Dropbox with a few very simple adjustments. View these videos for a brief overview of how to do this.

If you would like some one-on-one training on Panopto, please contact either Tyler Kron-Piatek or Mark Gallimore. If you want to learn more about Panopto yourself, you can view the Panopto Wiki here or view some of the quick tutorials below, which can be viewed in the Getting Started Section of the Panopto Wiki:

Submitted by: Tyler Kron-Piatek, Academic Technologist, COLI

D2L Updates Summer 2022

Pronouns are now available in the Classlist

Image courtesy of D2L

You and your students can now add their pronouns to the Classlist. You will also be able to see their pronouns in their Student Card.

To add your pronouns, click on your icon (it likely has a picture of you) in the upper-right. Then choose Account Settings. The first thing you should see is a section titled “Pronouns”. You must first check the box to “Allow others to see my pronouns”. You can then choose the “Use different pronouns” and type in your pronouns.

Now, when you go to the classlist, you and your students will see your pronouns appear after your name in the Last Name, First Name column. If your students enter their pronouns, you will be able to see them as well.

You can also see a student’s pronouns when you hover over their image when grading a dropbox item, viewing a dicussion, or viewing their progress.

Check out this video to see how to set your preferred pronouns and places where the students’ (and your) pronouns will appear to the rest of the class.

Grade Exemptions

There may be times when you need to exempt a student or students from an assignment, within the grade book.  This means that assignment is not calculated as part of their grade.

The general process:

  1. Go to a grade item that you want to give an exemption on
  2. Find the student you want to give the exemption to and select the checkbox
  3. Select “Exempt” in the upper-left menu
  4. Save and close

D2L will automatically update the grade to a very noticeable grey box with the word “Exempt” and the student will also see “Exempt” on the grade as well. If it is set up properly, the final calculated grade will auto-update as well. It works in reverse, too. if you unexempt a student from a grade, D2L will remember that student’s grade and re-calculate everything.

If you prefer a text and image tutorial, click here. A video tutorial can be viewed here.

New Quiz Editor Screen

Image courtesy of D2L

The Quiz Editor Screen is being updated to be more in line with the Dropbox Editor Screen. View the D2L Article here on it. And here is the COLI tutorial giving a quick overview. This will potentially make making quizzes easier and faster since you don’t have to go through so many pages to change the settings. For now, this will be set to Opt-in. Note, however, that this new screen will become the default at some point in the future.

Quickly Copy Dropboxes

Images courtesy of D2L

If you have ever forgotten to copy a dropbox from a previous course or wanted to use a dropbox from a current course, now you can without having to manually redo it or use the Course Import/Export/Copy tool. Simply click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the dropbox you want to copy and choose “Copy to other courses”. Then find the course you want to copy to and follow the on-screen prompts.

Here is a quick video showing how to copy a dropbox from one course to another.

Rubric Status Now Prominently Displayed

Images courtesy of D2L

In the next update, rubrics will now have their status displayed prominently, making it easier to understand if you are using a published rubric or an archived rubric.

D2L Text Editor Bigger Buttons

Image courtesy of D2L

The D2L Text Editor will not have larger buttons. This will make it easier to see the options available to you and also make it less likely to accidentally click on the wrong option.

Updates to D2L Dropbox Error Messaging

Image courtesy of D2L

Have you ever had a student email you in a panic saying that D2L won’t let them upload to the Dropbox? D2L is now providing an improved error message which may help alleviate this issue. Now, whenever a student uploads a file with an invalid file name, they will get the above message.

For more D2L Tutorials, click here.