Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday by LFS Learning Centre

Setting an out of office notice

June 14, 2022
Out of office reminders are a great way to let your colleagues know that you are unavailable to respond to emails for a period of time and should be used for vacations and sick days. We recommend using the FASmail webportal to set these up (but PC users have other options).  Log into your email at […]

Multifactor Authentication While Travelling

June 7, 2022
If you are travelling outside of Canada, have backup plans for the 2-factor authentications of your online accounts. This includes UBC logins, social media and online banking sites. If you have the authentications set to call or send to your Canadian phone number, and swap phone SIMs, you will not receive the notifications.  For UBC, […]

Zoom Focus Mode

May 31, 2022
Zoom recently added Focus Mode, giving you more control over who appears on-screen. Attendees can hide the video feed and profile pictures of all participants except the host, co-host and spotlighted speakers. Focus Mode can also be used alongside spotlighting to ensure that participant video won’t be recorded or shared with other attendees, which could […]

Fact-check Your Emails For Phishing

May 24, 2022
Did you receive an email or text message informing you of a windfall or other fabulous news? If you are a subscriber to that service or provider, simply go to the official website, login and check your account. If it is legitimate, the refunds and such will be listed.  If you are not a subscriber […]

Password Managers

May 17, 2022
Do you have trouble coming up with secure passwords, remembering them, and reusing the same password on multiple websites and services? Introducing password safes –  these applications will auto generate passwords for each website and store them securely for you. You will only need to create and remember 1 master password that locks your password safe.  […]

Disposing of Computers and Mobiles Devices 

May 10, 2022
Are you disposing of an old computer, phone, or tablet device? It is a best practice to remove any hard drives from computers and resetting mobile devices to the factory default. This will prevent accidental loss of potentially private information.  Drop off computers and devices purchased with UBC funds at the LFS Learning Centre, staff […]

Reporting Phishing

May 3, 2022
If you have successfully identified a suspicious email message, or if you have fallen for the phish, report the incident to the UBC CISO right away at!  The next steps to consider if you fall for a real attack would be to:   Run a full virus scan of the device you used to click on […]

Adding email addresses to Safe Sender List on Outlook

April 26, 2022
Are you noticing emails from your non-UBC senders are ending up in your Junk mailbox? At times, some of these emails can end up in your Junk folder due to the way the email is worded. To ensure these emails from your frequently contacting senders are not affected, you can add them to the safe […]

Manage your Blocked Email Addresses on FASmail to reduce spam

April 19, 2022
Spam and Junk mails can clog up your email inboxes and contain potentially harmful attachments. To ensure you are maintaining a safe inbox as much as possible, you can put frequent junk/spam senders on the blocked email list. This prevents the senders from sending junk/spam email to your inbox. To block senders, you may simply […]

Using DUO Authenticator for non-UBC websites

April 12, 2022
Did you know that the UBC Duo authenticator can be used as two factor authentication (2FA) for non UBC sites? 2FA adds a second level of security when accessing a site that supports its use. This means that anyone who might have access to your login credentials must also have your 2FA device (your mobile […]

Check the UBC Zoom Portal for new features

April 5, 2022
Have you tried the Immersive View or providing your scheduling privileges to someone from your team? Zoom periodically releases new features that enhance the functionality of your Zoom meetings. Some of these features can be tried and tested but may be disabled by default. To enable the new features, you might have to go through […]

Optimize your sound for Zoom!

March 29, 2022
Sound on Zoom is automatically optimized by default. However, in some cases, the mic and speaker you use might need adjustments for optimum sound volume. Sound optimization can be done on the external microphone/speaker device you have connected or in settings on Zoom’s desktop app to ensure you have the right audio levels: On Zoom:a. […]

Backups are important!

March 22, 2022
For computers not connected to the Internet, cloud-based backup tools are not available to backup your data. In this case use an external backup drive, typically a 2 to 4 TB conventional disk-based spinning hard drive, to backup your data on a recurring schedule using a backup software tool. In Windows, File History can be […]

Signing PDFs

March 8, 2022
Asked to sign a PDF but not sure how? Adobe Reader, Acrobat, Preview (on Mac) and other PDF reader apps lets you sign PDFs and embed digital signatures into a PDF. If you’ve received a PDF as an attachment in email or viewing a PDF on the web, Teams, or OneDrive, make sure to download […]

Adding extra time on Canvas Quizzes for students with accommodations

March 1, 2022
You can add time for students with accommodations via Canvas Quizzes. Create your Canvas Quiz and under the ‘Details’ tab, scroll down to the ‘Assign’ section. Create a new assignment group for the students with the time accommodations. While assigning the timing for the quiz, add the different time deadlines for the 2 groups (Accommodation […]

Viewing Your Requests Sent to

February 15, 2022
Did you know that you can view your current and past requests sent to the Learning Centre at To do so, go to, then login with your CWL ID. ServiceNow is the request ticketing system used by the LFS Learning Centre, as well as central units such as UBCIT and CTLT. The ServiceNow portal includes the […]

OneDrive Space Saving Features

February 8, 2022
After synchronising your files on your local computer with OneDrive, you can use the “Free Up Space” feature to reduce the space used up on your local hard disk. The files are still accessible on the cloud, and you can access them from other computers where you’re logged into OneDrive. This is especially helpful for […]

Using AV Carts at Macmillan and FNH Buildings

February 1, 2022
With the university returning to in-person instruction in a week, it’s a good time to re-visit your classroom tech setup. The Learning Centre is available to help you figure out your AV setup and lecture delivery approach. For classes that are discussion-based or require interactions between the students in in-person classrooms and online, you need a […]

Planning your return to in-person teaching

January 25, 2022
With the university returning to in-person instruction in two weeks, it’s a good time to re-visit your classroom tech setup. Additionally, we suggest that you check in with your students to see how your lecture delivery plan will meet their pedagogical needs. The Learning Centre is available to help you figure out your AV setup […]

LFS Learning Centre Pop-Up Studio

January 18, 2022
Polished lecture capture depends strongly on the quality and professionalism of the video and audio setup. The Learning Centre has set up the LFS Learning Centre Pop-up Studio, a recording and live streaming studio, at the MCML 266 to help instructors meet these objectives. The studio comes with professional audio/video recording equipment, streaming software setup, […]

Outstanding Outlook

January 11, 2022
Keeping your email mailbox within a reasonable size ensures that Outlook remains zippy and responsive. It is important to archive your inbox regularly by moving messages out of Outlook, and there are ways to do this that keep your messages searchable and accessible. One step to address this problem at its source is to avoid sending […]

Setting up iClicker Cloud

December 21, 2021
iClicker questions are a good way to poll your students in a synchronous classroom and break the flow of a lecture to bring back students’ attention. With the shift to iClicker Cloud, instructors can now run iClicker without needing an extra remote, straight from the iClicker Cloud Desktop application. iClicker Cloud can also be used in […]

Checking for Service Outages at UBC

December 14, 2021
Widespread outages in internet services can affect numerous apps and websites at UBC. This can often lead to panic, especially during the final exam period. You can find the current information about the status of UBC’s enterprise services at hxxps:// Aside from critical notices and status, other events such as maintenance and scheduled outages are […]

Required Zoom Software Update

December 7, 2021
The latest Zoom release includes a security update. This is mandatory to continue using Zoom after Tues, Dec 14. LFS users can use the Desktop Central agent to perform the update, instructions can be found at Those without admin access will need the help of the Learning Centre IT staff: The latest available version as […]

UBC Library Syllabus Service with LOCR

November 30, 2021
UBC Library’s Scholarly Communications & Copyright office offers a service to help UBC Vancouver instructors clear copyrighted course and teaching materials quickly and easily. The syllabus service allows for instructors to upload course readings/syllabi directly into the Library Online Course Reserves system (LOCR) which is integrated with Canvas and ensures that materials conform with Canadian […]

Cisco myVPN

November 23, 2021
With the ongoing restrictions on fuel purchases by the provincial government, some faculty and staff members might be working remotely in the upcoming week. We recommend that you use UBC’s Cisco myVPN client when connecting to the UBC network from off-campus and when using non-secure wireless networks. myVPN encrypts your data and provides secure access […]

Syncing MS Teams Files on OneDrive

November 16, 2021
You can sync your MS Teams files from your channels and chats to your OneDrive account to have them accessible on your device. To sync, open MS Teams and navigate to a channel or a chat. Select “Files” from your pinned tabs. Click on the “Sync” button on the Action Bar. MS Teams will start […]

Privacy Matters Symposium

November 2, 2021
Data Privacy is an important topic at UBC as we are responsible for substantial amounts of personal and research information of students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors. Protecting this information is a collective responsibility. You can do you part by ensuring you follow FIPPA regulations and avoid clicking on links in spam emails (best identified […]

Mid-Course Feedback

October 19, 2021
LFS has made it mandatory for all courses to collect mid-course feedback. To help you with this, LFS Learning Centre has put together a mid-course feedback template that you can modify and use for your course. The template is available on Canvas and Qualtrics. To add the Mid-Course Feedback template on Canvas, you need to […]

Setting up OneDrive Sync on your device

October 5, 2021
OneDrive is a new personal cloud storage at UBC that keeps files and folders in sync between your computer and the cloud. It will keep track of additions, changes or deletions in your local OneDrive folder with the OneDrive cloud storage and vice versa. Another feature is the sharing of files and folders to other […]

Using Rubrics on Canvas

September 28, 2021
A rubric is scoring guide used to evaluate the quality of responses from your students. Rubrics can be analytic (criteria or traits to be evaluated with levels of performance on each criteria, like excellent, fair, poor) or holistic (integrates all aspects of the work into a single overall criterion). Canvas supports rubrics on assignment questions […]

Captioning Videos in Kaltura

September 21, 2021
Kaltura is equipped to support a free machine transcription. Upon request, any video or audio file uploaded to Kaltura can be captioned by voice-to-text software. Once a file has been uploaded to Kaltura, you can go through these 4 resources to request and refine captions: How to Order Captions How to View your Captions and […]

Backing up Zoom cloud recordings

September 14, 2021
If you want to re-use Zoom cloud recordings in another term, it’s a good idea to download them to ensure you have a copy for future use. A retention policy for Zoom recording storage is being developed and reviewed by UBC. For now, the recordings will remain on the Zoom cloud for at least one year. […]

File sharing and File collaboration on MS Teams

August 31, 2021
MS Teams enables you to work collaboratively with your team on a Word, Excel, OneNote or PowerPoint file. You can share a file with your team either under a chat (stored upto 90 days) or a channel (stored long term). All files can be opened using Office 365 and lets you work simultaneously with other team members. […]

Copying a Canvas course

August 24, 2021
Want to copy over a Canvas course from an earlier term? You can migrate content from a Canvas course you might have previously taught to your new blank course shell. To copy a Canvas course, open the blank course shell and click on “Import Existing Content” on the top-right of your home page (you can […]

Using MS Planner with MS Teams

August 10, 2021
MS Planner is a team task management software that can be used to manage and assign tasks within your team. MS Planner arranges the tasks visually as cards on a board. It is collaborative and can also be used to track team performance. MS Planner can be integrated with your MS Teams channel by your […]

Canvas Mastery Paths

August 3, 2021
Mastery paths in Canvas allow for multiple learning paths through the use of conditionally released content. You can allow for different instruction based on how a student performs on an assignment. This opens up possibilities in pedagogy where you can individualize the learning for students according to their performance and guide them to maximize their […]

Designing Effective Surveys

July 20, 2021
While designing your surveys, keep the following points in mind to maximize your survey participation: Try to keep the surveys as focused and short as possible. If the required survey is long, incentivize participation in the survey (for e.g. with a gift card) Ask direct questions and eliminate ambiguity in your surveys. Use branching logic […]

The Power of Good Audio

July 13, 2021
Good audio is often more important than good video. Don’t believe us? Check out this 2 minute video: Plan out your workstation and recordings to use good equipment. Reach out to Learning Centre for recommendations that will fit best with your use case at

Classrooms & Learning Spaces

July 6, 2021
UBC’s Learning Spaces website has information on classroom and learning space equipment, furniture, capacity and amenities that you can use for your lectures. You can utilize this information to plan your lecture delivery and other needs for the upcoming term. Macmillan Learning Spaces: FNH Learning Spaces: Finding classrooms in other buildings: If you need help understanding […]

Class discussions on Canvas

June 29, 2021
Interactive discussion topics for students can be set up in your Canvas Course. You can create graded or ungraded discussion boards where students can post, read other responses, and reply. To set up Canvas Course discussions, log in to your Canvas course and click on Discussions in the Navigation bar. Click the “+ Discussion” blue […]

Adding H5P content

June 22, 2021
Setting up interactive content via H5P is an easy process! Once you have access to the LFS Site on, you can embed your interactive content on your Canvas or WordPress website. On the site, click on the H5P content on the left side menu bar and click on ‘Add New’. Select the kind of […]

Requesting a course site on MS Teams

June 15, 2021
You can request UBC IT for a team on MS Teams for your courses. This can help you manage student communications and group assignments with ease. Student groups can be created as separate channels which will allow members to independently share files without having access to other groups.  On your MS Teams account, click on […]

Canvas Analytics

June 8, 2021
Do you want to know if your students have a high engagement with your course content? Log in to your Canvas course and click on ‘New Analytics’ (left side menu) to explore your students’ weekly participation statistics and correlate it to their grades. The analytics data can be used for course design and delivery strategies […]

Zoom breakout rooms and keyboard shortcuts:

June 1, 2021
Keeping the LFS graduation reception and Teaching Colloquy in mind, we have put together a list of tech tips you can use during your Zoom sessions: To ensure you can self-assign yourself to breakout rooms, sign in from your Zoom desktop app instead of a web browser. Update your Zoom client if you have a version […]

Pinning documents and websites as tabs on MS Teams channels

May 25, 2021
You can pin important websites and files on your MS Teams channel. This allows quicker access for your team to files or webpages they interact with frequently. As the owner of a ‘Team’, you can click on the (+) icon next to the tabs on the top bar under a ‘Channel’ or a ‘Chat’. You […]

The best fit for video on Canvas? Kaltura and My Media

May 18, 2021
Uploading videos directly to Canvas as a file can fill up your course storage quickly. Instead, upload your videos to ‘My Media’. It is integrated with Kaltura (UBC’s video sharing service) and will not use up your Canvas course storage. You can access Kaltura directly at For more tips on how to use Kaltura, […]

Using the Faculty Service Centre to email important announcements to students in your course

May 11, 2021
Canvas emails and announcements are not the only way to communicate with your students. You can use the email tool in your Faculty Service Centre (FSC) for important communications to ensure they are delivered to your students’ inboxes. To access FSC, please visit For more information, contact the LFS Learning Centre at

Try the LFS Remote Teaching Template for your courses on Canvas

May 4, 2021
Setting up for your course next term? Try using the LFS Remote Teaching Template on Canvas. It aims to create a coherent student experience across LFS and is loaded with a navigable home page, general resources for students, entry/mid-term quizzes and more. You can select to import the complete course template or choose only the […]

Submitting Grades to the Faculty Service Centre

April 27, 2021
This is the week to submit final grades for Term 2! Many instructors use Canvas to calculate students’ grades throughout the term, but final grades need to be submitted to the Faculty Service Centre (FSC). It’s possible to export grades from Canvas and import them into the FSC, but you’ll need to make sure you […]

Setting up backchannels on Zoom during online exams

April 20, 2021
Setting up a backchannel for communications between instructor and TAs can help ensure online exams run smoothly. UBC recommends and approves of using Microsoft Teams for this (unofficially we’ve also heard of people using Slack, WhatsApp and other messaging services).  To set up a backchannel, open the chat on Teams and click on ‘New Chat’ […]

Adding extra time on Canvas Quizzes for students with accommodations

April 13, 2021
You can add time for students with accommodations via Canvas Quizzes. Create your Canvas Quiz and under the ‘Details’ tab, scroll down to the ‘Assign’ section. Create a new assignment group for the students with the time accommodations. While assigning the timing for the quiz, add the different time deadlines for the 2 groups (Accommodation […]

Selecting who shows up on your Zoom recordings via Spotlight feature

April 6, 2021
You can select who shows up on your Zoom recordings by using the “Spotlight” function. Just hover over the video of the speakers, click on the ellipsis (3 dots, …) on the top right and select “Spotlight for everyone”. You can spotlight up to 9 participants. Only those spotlighted will show up on the recordings.  […]