Learning Technology Updates

Find out What's New in Canvas

New for Spring 2021

Ed Discussion | Hypothesis | Gradescope | Poll Everywhere | Zoom

Ed Discussion

Ed Discussion is replacing Piazza as the online discussion platform supported at Cornell. In addition to supporting student questions and answers, Ed Discussion offers the ability to collaborate on and run code snippets, upload documents and images, complete math equations, embedded video, and annotate images. Threaded discussion board posts can be categorized, private, or even anonymous. Instructors can "endorse" student responses and mark them with feedback. The instructor dashboard can facilitate grading if desired, and Ed Discussion can connect to your Canvas course for easy enrollment. Find out more in our Ed Discussion workshop.


Hypothesis brings discussion directly to course content by enabling students and teachers to add comments and start conversations in the margins of their texts. In this workshop, learn how to use sentence-level note taking or critique on top of classroom readings, news, blogs, scientific articles, books, and other documents. We will also discuss ways to integrate Hypothesis into your teaching strategy. Find out more in our Hypothesis workshop.


Online Assignment Tool (for Instructors)

Gradescope has recently released an Online Assignment feature in a beta stage. Timed Online Assignments allow the use of the Respondus LockDown Browser to help facilitate academic integrity, by preventing them from accessing online materials while they are taking the assessment (see Documentation for instructors and Documentation for students).

Respondus Lockdown Browser (for Instructors)

At the moment, the LockDown Browser feature for online assignments is a beta version, so instructors need to request access in their courses by emailing Gradescope. Although courses on Gradescope do not have access to this feature by default, Gradescope can enable the LockDown Browser functionality for any instructor and course. For more information, contact the Center for Teaching Innovation.

Poll Everywhere

Classroom polling with Poll Everywhere allows instructors to quickly ask a question and instantly receive responses from students during class. Instructors and students can use online/mobile polling with phones (smart and text-only), computers, tablets, and iPads. Instructors can even create surveys after a Zoom class session to allow remote students unable to attend the live class to answer poll questions. Poll Everywhere also integrates into Canvas. Visit the Learning Technologies Resource Library for more information on getting started with Poll Everywhere.

Zoom updates for teaching

To make use of new features, users should update to the most recent available version of the Zoom client application. Please reach out to your local IT Support group for assistance with installing and updating Zoom application on your device.

Select multiple desktop programs for sharing (for instructors and students)

Users can now select multiple desktop programs at the same time for sharing, instead of sharing their entire desktop. Other programs and unoccupied areas in the desktop will not be visible to the viewer. The sharer will always know which applications they are sharing by an extensible green border.

Custom gallery view organization (for instructors)

The meeting host and co-host can now re-order the gallery view to suit their needs and choose whether to deploy this view to participants or allow participants to create their own custom views. Simply click and drag video panes to the position you want them in gallery view, and this layout will remain in place until released.

Multi-pin and multi-spotlight (for instructors and students)

With host permission, users will now be able to pin up to 9 participants on their end. The host can also spotlight up to 9 participants for everyone in the meeting.

User Authentication update (for instructors)

The Only authenticated users can join meetings setting will now always be available when scheduling, even it is not enabled on the Zoom web portal. At Cornell, this setting may be turned off, but users can re-enable it if they would like to make it the default setting when scheduling meetings. To make this change, login at cornell.zoom.us.

Suspend all participant activities (for instructors)

Through an option in the Security panel hosts can now immediately suspend all participant activities, which will mute all video and audio, stop screen sharing, end all breakout rooms, and pause recording.

Microsoft SharePoint integration (for instructors and students)

Meeting attendees can now share files from Microsoft SharePoint directly through the in-meeting chat.

Save a Multi-page Whiteboard (for instructors and students)

Meeting attendees can now save a multi-page whiteboard as a single PDF or multiple PNG files.

Improvements to pre-assigned Breakout Rooms (for instructors)

When the host has pre-assigned breakout rooms, Zoom will now automatically put any attendees joining after the Breakout Rooms have been started in their assigned Breakout Room.

Self-select Breakout Room (for instructors)

The host can now create breakout rooms with the option for participants to self-select which breakout room they would like to join. If enabled, participants can move freely between breakout rooms, without the host’s help. Both the meeting host and participants must be using version 5.3.0 or later of the Zoom client to self-select Breakout Rooms.

Enhanced co-host privileges over Breakout Rooms (for instructors)

Co-hosts have the same breakout room controls as the meeting host, such as starting or ending breakout rooms, assigning participants, etc.

Display Poll Results in Cloud Recordings (for instructors)

Users can enable a setting to display poll results in cloud recordings. This allows cloud recording viewers to see when poll results were shared in the meeting. To configure this feature use the settings tab after logging in at cornell.zoom.us.

Custom recording filenames (for instructors)

Users can now customize the filename of their cloud recordings

Recording Analytics (for instructors)

Users can view the duration of time that attendees viewed a cloud recording. This feature can be found on the recording analytics page for each on-demand recording. The CSV export of cloud recordings contains columns for the number of views and the last watched date.