Wacky Wednesday: Escape Room Challenge (May 8, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.)

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) welcomes faculty and staff to join us for our last Wacky Wednesday of the semester: Escape Room Challenge on May 8 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. This isn’t just any Wacky Wednesday – it is a call to action! Our CATL Team is “locked” in the conference room, and only your wits can help free us!

Join us for a unique, hands-on experience that will not only test your problem-solving skills but also provide you with the knowledge and inspiration to bring the world of escape rooms into your own classroom. In addition to participating in this activity, you’ll hear from instructors who have created both virtual and physical escape rooms by incorporating their own course content and you’ll walk away with a list of resources to help you get started creating your own escape room activity.

Escape rooms can be used to create engaging learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom, so all faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Whether you are looking to fully immerse yourself in the escape room or just pop in to see what the buzz is about, there’s no need to register – just show up ready for fun and learning at the CATL conference room (CL 405C) or join us virtually. If you would like an Outlook Calendar invitation to this event, send us an email!

If you have questions or need accommodations for this event, email CATL (CATL@uwgb.edu).

Sandbox Courses: A Time-Saving Tool for Course Design and Collaboration

Decorative image of sandbox with a toy truck.

The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay uses Canvas as its Learning Management System (LMS). When instructors participate in professional development opportunities offered by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), they often encounter information about creating a Canvas Sandbox course. But what exactly is a sandbox course? This blog post will define what a sandbox course is, what the differences are between a sandbox course and an instructional course, and some different use cases for sandbox courses that will help save you time in the long run.

What is a sandbox course?

A sandbox course is an empty Canvas course shell that can be used for a wide variety of purposes. These courses are not linked to the UWGB course registrar the way instructional courses are. Therefore, Sandbox courses can be used as a testing field or playground within the Canvas environment. Sandbox courses can be used by instructors as a tool to engage with Canvas content and teaching materials with other faculty or staff.

How is a sandbox course different from an instructional course?

  • Sandbox course: A sandbox course can be manually created at any time. These courses are not linked to a specific term within Canvas and do not have term start or end dates. Sandbox courses are not linked to the Registrar or SIS, so they do not have automatic enrollments and do not have any students.
  • Instructional course: An instructional course is created 75 days before the start date of the course as it is listed in the Schedule of Classes. These courses are linked to the UWGB student information system (SIS) which automatically enrolls students. This same system also automatically updates student enrollments as students add and drop courses at the beginning of a term to keep your course enrollments up to date. Both the instructor and students within a Canvas instructional course are added with SIS system sync. Therefore, the only Teachers within an instructional course are those listed as an instructor of record by the Registrar’s Office and only students who officially enroll in a course are added to an instructional course shell.

What are the limitations and benefits of a sandbox course?

Sandbox courses do not have the option to add someone to the course as a “Student.” This is a setting enforced by the University of Wisconsin System. Instructors can, however, utilize the “Student View” option in Canvas to view content in their Sandbox courses as a student would see it. To do so, any modules and content of interest must be published.

Canvas sandbox courses also allow for multiple individuals to have the role of “Teacher” at the same time. As sandbox courses are not linked to the SIS system, these roles can be granted by anyone within the course who has the role of “Teacher”. This allows for multiple instructors to contribute collaboratively to learning materials and activities to a course, or to allow instructors to share content with each other without worry that students will have access to those resources.

How can you utilize a sandbox course (instructors and staff)?

  • Sharing course content with other instructors or staff members while being mindful of FERPA. This is the safest way to share course content between instructors.
  • Preemptively building out your course content prior to the creation of your Instructional Canvas courses (these show up 75 days before the listed course start date). Content built in a sandbox course prior to the creation of an instructional course can be moved into the live instructional course using the Canvas Course Import tool.
  • Make “live” revisions to course content during an active teaching term without impacting the instructional course your students are engaging in. The best way to do this is to build a sandbox course and then copy the course content from your instructional course into the sandbox course. Then you can make reflective edits to that content in the sandbox course without impacting the activities that students have engaged with.
  • Collaborative course design and course building with a co-instructor or designers.
  • Creation of departmental or program trainings for instructors, staff, graduate students, and/or student employees. If you would like to create a course shell for training and development purposes and need to add users with the “Student” role, please reach out to dle@uwgb.edu and a Canvas admin can copy your sandbox into a course shell that supports the Student role.
  • Testing and experimenting to build new activities or assessments using different integrations (LTIs) such as PlayPosit and Hypothesis that are available within in the UWGB Canvas instance.

How do I create a sandbox course?

To create a Canvas sandbox course, you can follow the directions listed in this UWGB Knowledge Base article. There are, however, a few caveats for the creation of a sandbox course in the UWGB instance of Canvas. These conditions are listed below:

Global Navigation how to create a Sandbox


  • You must be enrolled in at least one existing Canvas course as a Teacher. If you are not enrolled in any Canvas courses as a Teacher yet, you can email DLE@uwgb.edu to have a Canvas admin create a sandbox for you.
  • You must access the Sandbox course creation tool, located under the Help menu within the Canvas Global Navigation Menu, from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay instance website (https://uwgby.instructure.com).


Syllabus Snippets

Required Statements

Student Accessibility Services

Syllabi must include a statement that identifies the process for requesting academic accommodations for a disability. For more information see the Student Accessibility Services website.

The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay supports the right of all enrolled students to a full and equal educational opportunity. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is a shared faculty and student responsibility. If you need any academic accommodation due to a disability, you must self-identify and register with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Office. To register, you will need to complete an online application (GB ACCESS) on the Student Accessibility Services website. GB ACCESS empowers you to request accommodations that would best support your learning in each class. Your request will be sent electronically to the SAS Office for review, approval and dissemination to faculty. Accommodations are not automatically available for each class, each term and do not go into effect until the request through GB ACCESS process is complete. Please contact the SAS office if you have any questions about the accommodation process or our role in supporting your learning. Once your request has been sent, the faculty, the SAS office and you can work together to ensure you have equal access. Location of SAS: Student Services Room 1700; phone: (920) 456-2841; email: sas@uwgb.edu and website.

The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay requires that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. Qualified students with disabilities who will require accommodations in this class are encouraged to make their requests through the Student Accessibility Services Office and communicate with that office as soon as possible. Note: Prior to receiving accommodations, verification of eligibility from the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is required. Disability information is confidential. Students can find the application for services on the SAS website or in the SAS Office, Student Services Building, room 1700.

In addition to any required full statement about Student Accessibility Services, Dr. Lisa Aspinwall of the Disability and Advocacy Research Network (DARN) suggests including a statement like the following in your syllabus.

“We are committed not only to the letter but also the spirit of the ADA. If you qualify for accommodations in any aspect of the course, we encourage you to use them, starting with the first class. Please see the professor as soon as possible so that we can work together to make arrangements.”

Academic Integrity

Syllabi must include a statement on academic integrity with a link to UW System’s Academic Integrity Policy (UWS Chapter 14). Consider also including explicit guidelines on the use of tools like generative AI (see the section on AI further below for examples).

The appropriation of others' work as your own is plagiarism and a major citation error. Examples of plagiarism include forgetting to add a "Works Cited" entry for a source you include in your paper; summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting the ideas of others without any citations; and borrowing or purchasing papers from others. Incidents of plagiarism will be handled individually in accordance with UW-Green Bay's Plagiarism Policy.
To avoid any problems, please make sure that you appropriately cite all information you use in course assignments, and that you complete all individual course work independently. If you’re unsure of how to cite your information or what requires citation, I and others are here to help! For more information, please refer to The Learning Centercitation basics from our Libraries, and the UW System’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Potential Online Learning Statements

Active Engagement

Instructors teaching in modalities that rely on online participation may wish to include a statement outlining expectations for student engagement.

Sample statement provided by Nichole LaGrow.

Although this is an online, asynchronous class, there are regular and frequent interactions in our class. A class week begins on a Wednesday at midnight and ends on a Tuesday at 11:59 pm. If a student is unable to engage with activity for an entire week, he/she should contact the instructor to discuss the absence. Extended absences should be processed through the Dean of Students.


Consider providing “netiquette” (net + etiquette) guidelines for students to maintain a more welcoming, comfortable, and effective environment for online communication.

"Netiquette" is the socially and professionally acceptable way to communicate on the Internet. Please abide by these guidelines of "netiquette" when using online communication tools with your classmates and instructor: 

  • Identify yourself. Begin messages with a greeting and close with your name.
  • Avoid sarcasm. It can be misinterpreted causing hurt feelings.
  • Keep the dialog collegial and professional. Some discussion topics may be controversial. 
  • Do not flame—these are outbursts of extreme emotion or opinion. Think twice before you submit a response. You cannot take it back! 
  • Do not use offensive language or profanity. 
  • Use clear subject lines for your posts. 
  • Do not use all caps. It is the online equivalent of YELLING! 
  • Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms—like UNESCO—unless the entire class knows them. 
  • Use emoticons (emotion icons) to clarify your emotions. 
  • Be forgiving. Anyone can make a mistake. 

Communication in online courses is different than face-to-face conversation. To create a welcoming and open classroom environment, let's all practice "netiquette." There are ten simple guidelines you can follow to help us all have a better experience.  

Online Proctoring

As outlined in UW-Green Bay’s Online Test Proctoring Policy, instructors should include a note about their intention to use online proctoring in SIS so students are aware before registering for the class. Instructors who elect to use online proctoring should also include a syllabus statement that alerts students to specific information regarding the proctoring tool and any associated class policies.

Honorlock will proctor your exams this semester. Honorlock is an online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from the comfort of your home. You DO NOT need to create an account or schedule an appointment in advance. Honorlock is available 24/7, and all that is required is a desktop or laptop computer, a working webcam/microphone, your school or a government-issued ID, a stable internet connection, and Google Chrome’s Honorlock Chrome Extension. 

Before you can take a proctored exam you will need Google Chrome installed on your computer and you will need to download the Honorlock Chrome Extension. You cannot take an Honorlock-proctored exam with a mobile device. 

Several of the tests or exams for this class will use Honorlock. When a test or exam uses Honorlock, log into Canvas, go to your course, and click on the exam. Clicking "Launch Proctoring" will begin the Honorlock authentication process, where you will take a picture of yourself, show your ID, and complete a scan of your room. Honorlock will be recording your exam session through your webcam and microphone. During your exam, Honorlock will also record your screen. Honorlock also has an integrity algorithm that can detect search-engine use, so please do not attempt to search for answers, even if it's on a secondary device. 

We’ll have a practice “exam” that will take you through the process from clicking “Launch Proctoring” to completing the authentication process and experiencing the proctoring tool. 

Honorlock support is available 24/7/365. If you encounter any issues, you may contact them through live chat on the support page or within the exam itself. Some guides you should review are Honorlock Minimum System Requirements, Student FAQ, Honorlock Knowledge Base, and How to Use Honorlock Video.  

Policy on Children in Virtual Sessions

Although the original statement was written by the UW System Caregiving Task Force in the context of the pandemic, the version below has been slightly adapted to apply to any course taught in the virtual classroom modality.

Caregivers deserve access to education. I strive to be inclusive to parents and other caregivers, and I ask that all students work with me to create a welcoming environment that is respectful of all forms of diversity, including diversity in caregiving status.

  1. Children may be visible onscreen during class sessions, either in a lap or playing in the background. This includes breastfeeding or chestfeeding [NOTE: this is a term many transmen and non-binary birth parents use] babies. Alternatively, you may turn your camera off if more privacy is required.
  2. Caregivers who anticipate having a child(ren) with them during class sessions are encouraged to wear a headset to help minimize background noise. You may mute your microphone and communicate through the “chat” feature at any point necessary.
  3. Stepping away momentarily for childcare reasons is completely understandable and expected. Simply mute and/or turn off your camera as necessary, and rejoin us when you are able.
  4. While I maintain the same high expectations for all student in my classes regardless of parenting status, I am happy to problem solve with you in a way that makes you feel supported as you strive for school-caregiving balance.

(Based on the policies by Dr. Melissa Cheyney and Dr. Elizabeth Horn care of the UW System caregiving task force)

Other Statements to Consider

Religious Observances Policy

Instructors are encouraged to include a statement on UW System’s Accommodation of Religious Beliefs Policy (UWS Chapter 22). Two statements are are presented below: the first sample statement provides specific policy and accommodation details directly from the Dean of Students office, while the second statement takes a broader, more student friendly approach to cultural and religious observations. See the Dean of Students website for more information. Instructors may also wish to consult the Interfaith Calendar to see if important course dates conflict with religious observances.

Students have the right to reasonable accommodation if their religious practices pose a scheduling conflict with one of their courses (Chapter UWS 22 of the Wisconsin State Legislature Administrative Code). If you have a religious observance that coincides with this class (meetings and/or due dates), let me know by email within the first 3 weeks of the course. We will then work together to develop an alternative scheduling plan. Please know that I encourage students to honor their religious beliefs, and that all requests for religious accommodation will remain confidential.

Persons who have religious or cultural observances that coincide with this class should let the instructor know in writing (by e-mail for example) by [date]. I encourage you to honor your cultural and religious holidays. Please let me know so that we can make a plan to ensure that you do not fall behind in class while you are celebrating a religious or cultural observance.

Student Advocacy or Student Complaints

Students are encouraged to go to their instructor and then chair, etc., if they have a complaint or concern. Instructors are encouraged to include the following or a similar statement on their syllabi.

If you have a concern or complaint about this course, please first try to address it with the instructor. If you continue to have concerns, you should contact the chairperson of the relevant academic unit. Contact information can be found here: https://www.uwgb.edu/provost/directories/academic-programs/.  


Bereavement Policy

For more information see the Deans of Students’ full bereavement policy and procedures.

Upon approval from the Dean of Students, students who experience the death of a loved one are allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Dean of Students, of excused absence. Students may also take a Bereavement Leave of Absence for the semester in which the death occurs. Permission to do so will occur upon consultation with the Dean of Students.

Mental Health and Wellness

We are all human, and we may all be impacted by stress, relationship challenges, and work-life balance issues. We are also all susceptible to common mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and addictive behaviors. These can lead to difficulties with motivation and concentration and impact academic work. All too often we find it hard to ask for help when we need it, but I hope you will reach out and use the free and confidential counseling services available to you through the university. Your health and wellness are important.

Civility and Inclusivity Policies

Many instructors choose to share an inclusivity policy to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

I wish to confirm my conviction that a college campus must be a safe place for the discussion of ideas. As such, I expect each member of the class to treat one another with tolerance for ideas discussed from a variety of perspectives. I respect the dignity of every person and will not allow discrimination against anyone based on religion, age, disability, ethnic origin, race, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. Let’s approach one another with good intentions and openness

Our class is a kind of community, and we are also part of a larger university community that expects civility and inclusivity from its members to help us creative a good learning and living environment for everyone. The classroom should be a place where we can freely exchange ideas. We should, though, be able to disagree with and challenge one another’s ideas in a respectful way that does not involve attacks, insults, or discriminatory language or behaviors. If you have not already, please review UWGB’s Inclusivity & Civility Statement.

"It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you."

Source: Syllabus Checklist – University of Iowa College of Education

The UWGB Land Acknowledgment

In a continuing effort to create a more inclusive community, UW-Green Bay has adopted a formal land acknowledgment to honor our native peoples. UWGB’s land acknowledgment statement was developed by our First Nations faculty. Instructors are encouraged to incorporate the land acknowledgment in their syllabi and/or course welcome module.

We at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay acknowledge the First Nations people who are the original inhabitants of the region. The Ho-Chunk Nation and the Menominee Nation are the original First People of Wisconsin and both Nations have ancient historical and spiritual connections to the land that our institution now resides upon.

Today, Wisconsin is home to 12 First Nations communities including the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Potawatomi Nation, Ojibwe Nation communities, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation, and the Brothertown Indian Nation.

We acknowledge the First Nations People of Wisconsin.

Classroom Environment

Similar to the inclusivity policy, many instructors include language about the sort of environment that enables learning and respectful debate. Some write this in advance of the course, while others include the students in its construction.

Classroom Environment: The classroom should be an arena for voicing opinions and arguments in the spirit of debate, but should also display civility and tolerance. Students will bring different experiences and beliefs to bear on the materials we read, and our discussions must allow for a range of viewpoints to be expressed.  One of the central tenets of feminism is that the “the personal is political.” In other words, knowledge and social change cannot be divorced from lived experience. The ideas and issues that we discuss will often have direct bearing on students’ past experiences or personal philosophies, and it is reasonable to occasionally share these connections.  At the same time, such comments should remain connected to the course readings, and allow for the participation of everyone in the class.

Class environment: In order to provide a stimulating and effective learning environment, everyone is expected to follow shared codes of conduct. As noted above, we will construct our own policies on the first few days of class. In order to foster fruitful discussions we should all strive to create an environment of mutual respect—for it to be mutual, we all have to have a stake.

All interactions in class should be civil, respectful, and supportive of an inclusive learning environment for all students. If you have any concerns about classroom participation or classroom dynamics, I encourage you to speak with me, with Dr. X, the X Department chair, or your advisor. You may also share your concerns with the university through Phoenix Cares.

Civility and Online Etiquette: Civility and decorum are expected at all times. You are welcome to your own opinion and encouraged to express it, but you must do so in a mature and sincere manner. You must also make sure your opinions are informed and well-supported – this is not your personal soapbox. You may find it helpful to review these guidelines for online etiquette.

“The topics that we're covering in this class are often difficult, not just intellectually but emotionally. While I expect there to be rigorous discussion and even disagreement in the course of our class discussions, I ask that you engage in discussion with care and empathy for other members in the classroom. Aim to disagree without becoming disagreeable. In this class, we will not shy away from the uncomfortable. Critically examining and assessing our most basic assumptions and values is not just one of the tasks of philosophy but is an activity vital to living an authentic life. I urge you to have the courage to be uncomfortable in this class. In exchange for your courage, I will work to ensure a classroom environment that supports your taking these intellectual and emotional risks.”

Source: Whitman College

Name and Pronouns

Many instructors choose to list their pronouns along with their name to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

Names and Pronouns: During the first week of class, I will ask you to write your preferred first name on the class sign-in roster. I will also invite you to make a nametag to use in class that includes your gender pronouns. I see sharing gender pronouns as a gesture of respect and a reminder that we should not make assumptions about gender based upon physical appearance, names, etc. If you misgender someone (i.e., call someone who identifies as a woman “he,” or vice versa), the best practice is to apologize (concisely) and move on, without making a big scene.

Names, Pronouns, and Gender: If you have changed your name (officially or unofficially) from what appears in SIS, go by a nickname, or wish to specify a set of appropriate pronouns, please feel free to ask me in person or by email. Everyone in this class has the right to be addressed and understood by their right name and their gender identity, and no one has the right to challenge anyone else’s self-identification. Everyone deserves trust and respect.

Language Inclusivity Policy

When an assignment or discussion does not require formal language, some instructors encourage their students to write and speak in the way that is most natural to them to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

Sample statement provided by Cory Mathieu with slight modification.

I welcome and encourage you to use all of your language resources in this class. This means that all of your ways of speaking and writing are valued in our classroom as long as you continue to show respect for our learning community. I am more concerned about what is communicated than how. That being said, some assignments will require more standardized, formal language so that you have opportunities to practice writing in ways desired in most professions.

Class Attendance Policy

UWGB instructors adopt a wide variety of classroom attendance policies.

Attendance is required, not simply because you need to be present to learn, but also because we need you as part of our learning community. If you miss class, you are responsible for getting notes from a classmate and for checking email and Canvas for updates. If you miss consecutive days of class, please send me an email to inform me of your situation. Please arrive to class on time, as latecomers are a distraction to everybody in the room. Because I give all students three absences without penalty, I do not keep track of the reasons for every absence. If you have a special excused absence, such as university business, military service, or a serious family emergency, however, please do let me know.

Your participation is welcomed and encouraged as this is a gathering place where we can improve our listening and speaking on a range of social problems and issues. Participation will be evaluated in terms of evidence:

  1. of your preparedness for class (timeliness of assignments, demonstrating you have read the materials, etc.)
  2. that you are present in class in both body and mind (alert, paying attention, listening respectfully, etc.)
  3. of your active participation (asking questions, offering your perspective, providing constructive feedback to your colleagues, etc.)
  4. of your leadership and participation in small group discussions in class.

Teaching Philosophy

Many instructors share their teaching philosophy explicitly with students.

My general philosophy is I want to encourage you to think critically and observe the holistic connections between ideas. I am less interested in your recitation of terms and concepts and more in your understanding of how what we discuss in class ties together. I encourage you to challenge and debate what you learn in class, and never be afraid to ask questions.


You can count on me to do these things:

  • Give your exam review one class prior to the exam.
  • I do not have any trick questions on the exam, what we talk about is what you will see.
  • We may go off topic as we explore different questions and ideas that you are interested in instead of what is exactly on the syllabus.
  • I will be as forgiving as I can with attendance, late assignments, and accommodating to you, but I will hold to the rules of the syllabus to ensure understanding and transparency.
  • I will be a resource for you to grow from and a soft landing pad should you make a mistake.
  • We will use collaborative-based learning as much as possible in this class to help you to be engaged in your learning.

Digital Devices in the Classroom

Many instructors include policies about the use of electronic or digital devices within the classroom. There is a wide variety as to how instructors tackle this issue.

Electronic Devices in the Classroom: There is now overwhelming evidence, based on systematic research, that “multi-tasking” with digital devices interferes badly with learning. Even having a smart phone on the table or desk takes a toll on concentration. Please silence and stow (out of sight) all mobile phones during class. No texting or messaging in class. If you are experiencing a personal emergency that requires you to take calls or receive text messages, consider taking advantage of the three emergency absences that I allow. Otherwise, please let me know about your situation and try to minimize disruptions. You may use a laptop computer, e-reader, or tablet in class for referring to assigned course materials, for in-class assignments, and for taking notes (although, based upon research into note-taking, I do not recommend that you try to type notes in class). Please avoid the temptation to check email, browse the web, etc., during class. If you have trouble staying focused on class, I recommend that you turn off wifi access unless you need it for a specific assignment or discussion.

Personal electronics – You may use your laptop or mobile devices to read the e-book version of the text or complete in-class assignments and exercises. However, using them for any activities that are not class-related activities is against course policy. Please also turn your cell phone to silent or turn it off altogether.

Course Materials and Recordings

Materials for this course, including documents, videos, assignments, quizzes, and lectures, were created or assembled specifically to enhance the learning of students in our class. I want you to use the materials for your own studying, but please realize they may be copyrighted or my protected intellectual property. You must get my written consent first if you want to share lectures, videos, readings, etc. with people outside of our class or on any publicly accessible platform (e.g., CourseHero, Quizlet, other websites, listservs, etc.).
To create the most comfortable learning environment possible for your classmates and for me, I do not allow students to record audio or video of my lectures or our class sessions. An exception to this policy can be made if you provide documentation of official accommodations to record through Student Accessibility Services. Please talk to me if you have questions or concerns about this policy.

Generative AI (ChatGPT, etc.)

ChatGPT and other generative AI products are widely used at this point in our world. In this class, we will focus on developing skills such as critical thinking, creativity, generating hypotheses or new ideas, and communication. These are all skills designed to help you in your development and future, which is why for this course, I am requiring that you refrain from using generative AI tools when completing assignments, quizzes, or exams. This includes, but is not limited to, using them to generate or summarize ideas, create text or code, answer questions or discussions, or review material that you have written yourself to obtain feedback. Any such use of generative AI tools will be considered academic dishonesty (please refer to UWS Chapter 14 for more information). Instead, I encourage you to develop your own ideas and engage in independent thinking, as this will help you learn and grow as a student and as a future professional.

In this class, you may have the opportunity to use ChatGPT or related generative AI tools, but only with my expressed permission beforehand. There may be times where we collaborate with these tools during class activities. Please note that signing up for these tools requires providing personal information and data that could be sold or could be susceptible to data breaches. Therefore, it is entirely up to you to decide whether to use them or not. An opt-out assignment will be provided if you choose not to utilize these tools. Please follow my instructions and guidelines to ensure academic integrity, as using these tools without permission or proper citation/disclaimers is considered academic dishonesty (please refer to UWS Chapter 14 for more information). I encourage you to think of using these applications, when appropriate, as a tool that can aid you in your work but not as a substitute for your own ideas. In other words, using these tools should supplement your own ideas rather than replace them. Remember, we desire and strive to develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and relying solely on generative AI tools may hinder that growth.

Late Work/Deadline Policy

Most instructors include transparent language describing late work and/or policies about deadlines on their syllabus.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Late assignments will be accepted as circumstances in life do happen, but please be aware that scores will drop by 10% for each class session late.

Deadlines: Deadlines are important. They help us plan. They motivate us. They keep us on the same page so that we can work together. Submitting your work on time is an important part of completing assignments for college classes, not to mention other aspects of your life. I understand, however, that you may experience an emergency or other circumstance that could prevent you from submitting your work on time. If this happens, please communicate with me as soon as reasonably possible to negotiate an extension. (The only way to get an extension is to ask for it.) Then, when you have completed the assignment, please let me know via email. Keep in mind that if you submit late work, you may miss out on an opportunity to collaborate with or receive feedback from your peers, and your feedback from me may be delayed or reduced, depending on the situation.

Exams (Making Up): Because I understand that illnesses and unexpected emergencies do arise, I will allow you to make up one exam during the semester, under the condition that you exercise due diligence by contacting me with an email or phone message before the end of the class session when the exam takes place. At that time, you must let me know when you can take the exam within the next two business days. It is your responsibility to follow up immediately to schedule a make-up exam. (Note: make-up exams may differ from in-class exams.)

Sample statement provided by Nichole LaGrow.

Each student has one opportunity to request an extension of up to four days to submit the assignment after its due date. In order to use an extension, students should request the additional time at least 24 hours before it is due. To document a personal or familial need that would require you to miss several days of class, please contact the Dean of Students by calling (920) 465-2152. If you are unable to call, a parent or guardian can call on your behalf.

Veterans Services

See also the UW-Green Bay active duty absence policy in full.

Students that are activated for the military may request a complete withdrawal. Individual (not unit) orders are needed if you withdraw during a semester. These orders need to be given to the following offices: Registrar, Student Billing Resources, Financial Aid, and Residence Life (if applicable).

  • Tuition and Fees: Activated students should be given the opportunity to earn their grade or a full refund of tuition should be made.
  • Room and Board: Activated students should be given a refund for the unused portions of room and board contracts.
  • Financial Aid: For students receiving financial aid at the time of their withdrawal, please be aware that the financial aid office is required by federal regulation to calculate the amount of aid (if any) that must be returned. This applies to any student that withdraws and there is not an exception for military deployment. Depending on the amount of aid received and the date of withdrawal in that semester, you may have to repay a percentage of aid to the appropriate aid programs.

If you are interested in doing an independent study during the time you are gone, we encourage you to work out the details with your instructor and fill out the independent study form before you leave. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you plan to take a class while activated. We want to make this process as easy as possible.

  • Email Account: Please contact the IT Service Desk at gbit@uwgb.edu to extend the activation of your UWGB email account.
  • Parking Decal Refund: If withdrawn within the first 4 weeks, you may be eligible for a parking refund. Contact Student Billing Resources for more information.
  • Library Books: Return any library books, media services equipment, etc.
  • Dining Points: Remaining balance of dining points and pass points are refundable less a $25 dollar administration fee.

The federal government provides options for service members who are being deployed for active duty and who have student loans. As a deployed service member, you may be eligible to delay or temporarily suspend making loan payments to reduce the burden on you and your family. In general, service members will fall into one of three categories:

  • Those currently enrolled in school, have taken out student loans, and are being called to active duty.
  • Those within the grace period of their student loans, have yet to make a first payment, and are being called to active duty.
  • Those currently making payments on student loans and are being called to active duty.

The key for you is to contact the lender or the agency that services your student loans to see if you are eligible for the delayed or suspended repayment benefit. Contact your lender or loan holder to learn more about your options.

When you return to UW-Green Bay, you need to apply for readmission. This is to update your account. The admissions office will also need an official transcript for any classes you may have taken at another institution while activated.

The financial aid application is an annual process and you can file your aid application in advance of your readmission to the University. You can file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online by going to FAFSA's website and completing the form for the aid year for which you plan to return.

FERPA and/or HIPPA statement 

The Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the education records of students from kindergarten to graduate school. Read more on UWGB's FERPA overview page.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law designed to protect medical records and the sharing of patient medical data. “Covered Entities” who must comply with these regulations are Health Plans, most Healthcare Providers, and Healthcare Clearinghouses. Read more about HIPPA on the US Department of Health and Human Services official website.

Student Resources to Consider

UW-Green Bay offers a wide variety of services to help support all aspects of our students’ wellbeing and success. Instructors are encouraged to include a link to this directory of student resources in their syllabi. If you choose to copy and paste any of the descriptions into your syllabus instead, make sure you have the most current information the next time you update your syllabus by checking the Student Resources page linked above.

Making Impactful Use of Canvas Analytics in Your Course

Like many websites, Canvas collects data from users as they navigate their courses. Thankfully, unlike many websites, Canvas collects this data not for the purpose of selling it to advertisers but for the purpose of presenting it to instructors. Canvas presents collected student activity data in a course page titled “New Analytics,” which contains charts and tables designed to help instructors make use of this data. While New Analytics contains well-organized representations of course data, it does not prescribe specific actions or provide a formula for making use of the data. In this post, we summarize the data available in New Analytics and recommend ways you can interpret it to take actions in your course that can help improve student outcomes. 

Detecting Course Trends 

New Analytics Window

New Analytics can help reveal trends in student achievement from assignment to assignment and student engagement from week to week. After launching New Analytics from the course navigation menu or the button on the right side of the course Home page, you’ll see a series of tabs across the top of the page. The first two tabs, “Course Grade” and “Weekly Online Activity” have data views that can help you identify course trends. The Course Grade tab has a chart which shows the average grade for each assignment in your course. Each assignment in your course will be represented by a dot on this chart. The dot’s position on the y-axis represents the average grade for that assignment. A quick glance at this chart can help you identify the assignments where the class atypically excelled or struggled and help you confirm—or refute—suspicions you developed about performance trends while grading assignments. Thinking critically about why the class might have been more or less successful on a particular assignment can lead to ideas for course design improvements. A close look at a successful assignment may lead to insights on what works well in a course; a close look at a less successful assignment may reveal a need to incorporate scaffolding assignments and additional support. Clicking on an assignment’s dot on the chart will reveal additional statistics, including a grade distribution chart and the number of missing and late submissions. 

Clicking the Weekly Online Activity tab will show a chart of the average page views and course participation actions during each week of the course. Viewing this chart can help you identify whether engagement with your Canvas course is waning, holding steady, or growing. Beneath the chart is a table of course resources which shows how many students have viewed each item, how many overall views it’s received, and how many times a student has participated (a list of the actions Canvas counts as a “participation” can be found in this Canvas guide). You can sort this table by any of its columns to identify which elements of your course get the most and least engagement. If an important resource in your course isn’t garnering as many views as you’d like it to, ask yourself “why?” and consider ways to either guide your students to that resource or phase it out and incorporate its key content into the resources your students are reliably viewing (Clum, 2021). Look at the resources that have gotten the most views and participation and check for commonalities to gain insight on what captures your students’ attention. You can click on any data point in the Weekly Online Activity chart to open a panel that shows activity data filtered for that specific week. The data in this panel can give you an idea of whether students are keeping up with the pace of your course or whether they are still working through older resources. 

Checking on Individual Students 

New Analytics can also help you identify students who may benefit from an intervention from a professional adviser because they have disengaged with your course or never engaged at all. The Students tab of the New Analytics page shows a table with the following statistics for each student: 

  • Current grade 
  • Percentage of assignment submissions made on time 
  • Last date of a participation action 
  • Last date the student viewed any page in your course 
  • Count of total page views 
  • Count of total participation actions 

You can click any column header on this table to sort the table by that column. Looking at this table during the first few weeks of a term and sorting it by “Page Views” can help you quickly identify students who have not engaged with the Canvas course. Students with no or very low page view counts have not engaged with your course. You can issue an ad-hoc alert in EAB Navigate to request that UW-Green Bay’s professional advising team reach out and help set a student on a path to academic success. 

Clicking on a student’s name in this table will open a student-specific data view that shows that particular student’s assignment grades and weekly activity over time. If you’ve noticed a downturn in a student’s performance or engagement, this view can help back up your observations with data. Comparing a student’s assignment grades or activity with the class average can help you contextualize any trends you see. You can view an individual student’s data alongside the class average on the same chart by adding that student to the filter field above the chart on the Course Grade or Weekly Online Activity tabs.

Sending Smart Messages 

Sending Smart Messages in Canvas

New Analytics also makes it easy to send messages to students who fit certain performance or activity criteria. As you explore the Analytics tool in your course, keep an eye out for the message icon that can be found on most of the tabs and panels. Clicking this icon will begin composing a Canvas Inbox message which you can send to students that meet a customizable criterion related to an assignment grade, weekly activity, or engagement with a specific resource. Here are a few examples of the types of messages you can target through New Analytics: 

  • Check-in with students who haven’t yet viewed the course this week 
  • Send congratulations to the students who did well on an assignment 
  • Encourage a growth mindset for students who struggled with an assignment and point them to helpful resources 
  • Remind students who have missing assignments to make a submission 

These quick instructor encouragements and interventions can help your students stay engaged with the course and on-target to reach their goals (Bostwick & Becker-Blease, 2018). Especially in online asynchronous courses, sending these targeted check-in messages can help establish your presence and ensure that students know you care about their success. 

Try It Out!

Coupling the data in Canvas New Analytics with the observations you make while teaching can help you make accurate judgments about what works well and not so well in your course. It can also help you identify when a student needs some additional support, and the incorporated messaging tool makes it easy to follow-up. We encourage you to open the New Analytics page in your Canvas courses, explore the data within, and ask yourself whether what you see aligns with your assumptions of how students experience your course. Try sending a congratulatory message to the students that excelled on an assignment and a friendly reminder message to the students who owe you work. We’d love to hear about your experience exploring and interpreting the data! Please feel free to reach out to us at CATL@uwgb.edu to tell us your story, ask a question, or request a consultation!


  • Bostwick, K. C. P., & Becker-Blease, K. A. (2018). Quick, Easy Mindset Intervention Can Boost Academic Achievement in Large Introductory Psychology Classes. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 17(2), 177–193. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475725718766426 
  • Clum, K. (2021, May 14). Using canvas analytics to support student success. KatieClum.org. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://katieclum.org/2021/05/14/using-canvas-analytics-to-support-student-success/ 

PlayPosit: Time-Saving Tips

What is PlayPosit? And what can PlayPosit do for you?

What is PlayPosit? PlayPosit is a video resource tool integrated with Canvas that allows instructors to create interactive videos. Using PlayPosit terminology, these videos are referred to as bulbs. Instructors can embed questions or other engagement check-points, called interactions, into recorded lecture videos, YouTube videos, or other Kaltura video recordings. For a more detailed summary of PlayPosit, please see this previous blog created by CATL.

What can PlayPosit do for you? PlayPosit can be used to create alternative learning materials for your course and offers more options besides traditional text-based resources for students to engage with.  Using bulb interactions, you can check student knowledge during a recorded lecture video, provide extra materials via external URL links to highlight a key learning point, provide space for students to anonymously ask clarifying questions, or even allow students to record time-stamped comments and notes for later review. A more detailed breakdown of the different types of interactions offered within PlayPosit bulbs as well as a few use cases like creating quizzes, breaking up long lectures, and much more can be found here.

Increasing Dialogue: How can PlayPosit help you collect student feedback?

Another powerful feature of this tool is that you can also use PlayPosit within your Canvas course to get live, synchronous feedback from your students. In the past, clickers or Kahoot! may have been used as live polling tools, or even Zoom Polls or Microsoft Teams. Now, you can use a similar feature included with UWGB’s PlayPosit license called PlayPosit Broadcast

If you do not wish to use PlayPosit Broadcast as a live polling feature, you can still increase course dialogue by utilizing the Discussion interaction within your bulbs. This type of interaction allows students to leave timestamped comments and questions within a video, creating a discussion forum within the PlayPosit activity itself. Instructors can modify the discussion forum interaction settings to prevent students from seeing their classmates’ comments until they have posted a comment themselves. You can also moderate discussion forum interactions as the instructor within the PlayPosit interface. Creating PlayPosit discussion forums for points may also offer students an alternative to traditional Canvas Discussions.  

Assignments and Beyond: How can PlayPosit be used for low-stakes or ungraded activities?

A common misconception about PlayPosit is that you can only create PlayPosit bulbs as graded Canvas Assignments. This is not the case. If you would like students to take a PlayPosit assessment or engage with an interactive video activity for points that are reflected within your Canvas gradebook, you can indeed build the PlayPosit bulb as an assignment within Canvas, however you can also build ungraded PlayPosit activities for your students. 

Student self-assessment activities and interactive, supplemental video resources can encourage active learning within the classroom, especially for asynchronous learning environments. Both types of student engagement activities can be created using PlayPosit, and may work best as low-stakes assignments or as ungraded items in Canvas. To create an ungraded PlayPosit bulb, add your PlayPosit bulb as an embedded item in a page or as an external tool within a Module. If you still want students to see some sort of grade for self-assessment purposes, you can assign each bulb interaction a point within the PlayPosit interface. While these interactions will display point values within PlayPosit, the points earned by completing interactions will not push back to Canvas and the PlayPosit activity will not be reflected in the Canvas Gradebook. More information on how to create PlayPosit activities that are graded or ungraded in Canvas can be found in the UWGB IT Knowledgebase, UKnowIt.

How can PlayPosit help save instructors time?

PlayPosit isn’t just a resource that will benefit your students and their learning experience within the classroom. It also has many benefits for instructors. There are several features of this tool that can be time savers for you as an instructor! Not only is building a PlayPosit bulb a quick way to enhance your existing course videos, but PlayPosit automatically saves interactions you make for your bulbs within a personal interaction library. PlayPosit also allows you to create templates for individual interactions or sets of interactions. You can then access these individual interactions, located under My Interactions within the PlayPosit interface, or your saved templates for use in future bulbs to make the bulb creation process even faster! For more information on how to access and use these timesaving PlayPosit features, see this PlayPosit resource. Remember, since UWGB possesses a license for this tool, you as an instructor have access to all of these features.  

Beyond saving the interactions and templates you personally create, PlayPosit also allows you to co-edit bulbs with colleagues using the collaborations feature, or to share out PlayPosit bulbs to fellow instructors by using the folders feature. These sharing features can be used together or separately depending on if you wish to include your colleagues as editors, or to simply provide them with a copy of one of your bulbs. For directions on how to share and copy bulbs, please review this PlayPosit resource. Not only can you share individual bulbs within PlayPosit, but you can also collaborate and share interaction templates with your colleagues! For more information on how to collaborate with other instructors, please see this resource provided by PlayPosit.


These are only a few of the features PlayPosit offers instructors and students. If you have any questions about PlayPosit, please feel free to reach out to the UWGB Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning through email (catl@uwgb.edu) or for troubleshooting you can contact PlayPosit customer support through their website (PlayPosit Knowledge) by clicking on “Contact” in the upper right corner. For a more detailed discussion of PlayPosit use cases and how you can harness the tool in your own Canvas course, you can schedule a consultation with CATL here

Helpful Terms and Hints

Bulb – The term used to refer to a PlayPosit interactive video.

Interaction – The term for the different questions, images, audio, or other media resources which can be embedded into a PlayPosit bulb. There is no limit to how many can be included within a bulb.

PlayPosit Designer – This is the interface used to create PlayPosit bulbs, insert your video source, embed interactions, and select bulb settings.

PlayPosit 3.0 Designer – This refers to the current version of PlayPosit software being used.

Learner Made Content – This refers to PlayPosit bulbs and interactions created by learners and submitted for assessment to instructors.

If you do not wish to work in the PlayPosit interface within Canvas and prefer a larger screen to build and edit your videos, you can open your PlayPosit account in any browser. In order to do so however, you must have already opened PlayPosit within your UWGB Canvas account. If you have not yet accessed PlayPosit at UWGB, follow the instructions below. 

How to log into PlayPosit through your UWGB Canvas Account: 

  • First, log into your UWGB Canvas account in one tab of a browser of your choice. 
  • Navigate to the Assignments section if you wish to build a graded PlayPosit activity or to the Pages section for an ungraded PlayPosit activity. 
  • For a Page, create a New Page by clicking on + Page and then click the down arrow to the left of the plug-in icon in the Rich Content Toolbar. The plug-in icon looks like a two-prong plug with a cord. Then click on View All and select PlayPosit. This will open a window with the words Set Link in the top right corner. Click on the words Enter PlayPosit in the middle of the window or Set Link in green on the right side of the window. You should now be in PlayPosit, skip to the last step in these instructions to open PlayPosit in a browser. 
  • For an Assignment, create a New Assignment by clicking on + Assignment, then under Submission Type, select External Tool. Next, click on Find under "Find an External Tool URL" and scroll down then select PlayPosit. A window with the words Link Resource form External Tool will open, click on either Enter PlayPosit or Set Link in green. You should now be in PlayPosit, skip to the last step in these instructions to open PlayPosit in a browser. 
  • Now, in a separate tab in the same browser where you logged into Canvas, open PlayPosit Knowledge. Click on the PlayPosit logo in the upper right portion of the screen. The PlayPosit logo is the image of the dog. This will open your PlayPosit account provided by UWGB. Here you can build, share, and collaborate on bulbs using the larger screen view provided by the browser. To set the link to your desired bulb for a graded Assignment in Canvas or in a Canvas Page however, you should follow the instructions above to open PlayPosit in Canvas then select your bulb. 

Yes, in PlayPosit you can include several video segments into a single bulb. Do this in the Video Segments screen when creating a new bulb. If you would like to change the order of the video segments within your bulb, you can toggle on the Enable drag and drop recording option at the top of the Video Segments screen. Move videos into the order in which you would like them to be seen. Once you are finished, toggle off the Enable drag and drop recording.

Note: For new PlayPosit playlists, you should reorder your video segments before you add interactions. Interactions in a playlist will not move with the video when it is reordered. 

Yes, with the UWGB institutional license PlayPosit will automatically pull in caption files that are already associated with your videos (such as YouTube videos with captions or Kaltura videos. You can also upload caption files directly to PlayPosit such as .vtt and .srt files. 

To check your video for captions, navigate to the My Bulbs page in PlayPosit and follow the steps below. 

  • In the far right of the screen under Actions, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the video you wish to check and then from the dropdown menu select Edit. 

  • Click on the Video Segments tab in the PlayPosit Designer and click on the edit icon (it looks like a gray pencil) for the video you wish to caption. The edit icon is in the upper right corner of the video segment.  

  • Select Edit Video Segment from the options presented. Then click on the Captions tab in the Edit Video Segment screen. 

  • In this screen, you can now have PlayPosit search for available captions, or you can upload your caption file.  
  • To search for captions, click on the View Available YouTube Captions, then select from the available options PlayPosit was able to fetch by checking the box to the right of the desired language choice. Once your choices are finalized, select Download in the bottom right corner to save your choices.