Technology Updates (May 12, 2021): Canvas, Webex, Top Hat, WileyPlus, MATLAB Grader, Redshelf, Immediate Access Course Materials, and UDOIT

As we have in the past, the Learning Technologies Team will be doing system and vendor updates in-between Spring Semester and Summer Session I to minimize impact during instruction.  The updates listed below will occur between Thursday, May 13, and Saturday, May 15, 2021, unless otherwise noted.


  • Student Annotation Submissions: Instructors can use an annotated assignment type to upload a file for students to annotate and submit directly in Canvas.
  • Auto-Show Closed Captioning: Allows users to enable captions to show by default in all Canvas videos.
  • User Maintenance Windows: Regular maintenance windows will be implemented for each region, beginning in July 2021. Most maintenance windows will take place sometime between the hours of 12:00 am and 4:00 am local time on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.

Canvas updates will occur on May 15, 2021. See the Canvas Release announcement for more details.


Webex updates will be live on May 12, 2021.

Top Hat

  • Superscript, subscript, and symbol support in questions: Instructors can input superscripts, subscripts, and symbols into the text and answer options for Multiple Choice, Matching, Sorting, and Click on Target Questions.
  • Course-based free trials: When a student is enrolling in a Top Hat course, they will be provided with an option to initiate a 14-day free trial at the checkout page. Initiating the trial will grant the student immediate access to the Top Hat course (including any paid Top Hat products being used in the course such as textbooks or remotely monitored exams). Any work that a student completes within the duration of the trial will be recorded under their name in the course Gradebook.
  • Highlighting, note-taking, and reader location memory: These improvements will allow students using Top Hat via a web browser to highlight in three different colors (green, yellow, and red) as well as add notes to text on a Page both fullscreen view and the preview pane. In addition, when a student returns to a Page, it will open at the same location on the Page as when they exited.
  • Partial grading for Matching and Sorting questions: Students will now receive partial grades for Matching and Sorting questions, commensurate with the number of answer options they correctly match or place.

Top Hat has postponed its updates to June 2021. Read more in the May 2021 Upcoming Release Notes.



  • WileyPLUS becomes WileyPLUS Legacy and will be deprecated on July 30, 2021, in favor of the new WileyPLUS app.
  • New WileyPLUS app: The new app becomes available on May 12, 2021, and gives instructors the freedom and flexibility to tailor curated content and easily manage their courses in order to engage and motivate students. Explore the WileyPLUS Video Tutorials.


  • Redshelf end of life: Iowa State is transitioning from the use of Redshelf for immediate access to course materials, starting with Summer 2021. Redshelf will be disabled on May 13, 2021.
  • VitalSource and Immediate Access Course Materials: VitalSource is the new platform for immediate access course materials at ISU. VitalSource will be added to Canvas on May 13, 2021. Follow the instructions to add the new Immediate Access Course Materials link to your Canvas course.


  • UDOIT end of life: Due to a lack of support, Iowa State is transitioning from the use of UDOIT for course accessibility checking. UDOIT will be disabled on May 13, 2021.
  • Canvas accessibility tools: The accessibility checker and link validator are supported Canvas tools that can be used on any Canvas-created content.

Microsoft OneNote