January 2024 Newsletter

The new year is off to a fantastic start here at Cidi Labs, full of lots of shiny NEWNESS. We kicked off our first in a series of monthly webinars, Kenneth previewed new tools coming to DesignPLUS, and we launched a new Digest focused on bringing together research and action. Keep reading to see all the fresh exciting things coming to you from Cidi Labs!

New Resources

Recent Webinar

Balancing In case you missed it, Florida International University provided inspiring examples of how they have overcome the villains of limited time, resources, and technical skills to successfully develop highly engaging and accessible Canvas courses.

If you’d like to see more of our past webinars, you can access them all on our website.

NEW Video Tutorial: DesignPLUS Customizations

This video introduces DesignPLUS Customizations and the various levels of customization that are available. You can also watch these additional videos that will help you manage your Customizations account settings and build a custom theme!

Want to learn more about DesignPLUS Customizations? Check out the DesignPLUS Admin Guide.

Design Matters Digest

Would you love to hear more reasons why the design of online courses really matters? Building on the very popular Design Matters webinar we held in November, we’ve launched a new monthly email – the Design Matters Digest – to continue bringing together research and action to help you improve the design of your Canvas courses. If you missed our first edition, you can read it here.

Product Updates

We kicked off the year with two minor releases, which you can learn more about in the respective release notes below. Read on for some exciting new features that are coming next month!

Introducing…the NEW Columns Tool for DesignPLUS!

We are super excited to announce the first of a few forthcoming new tools in DesignPLUS: The Columns tool will provide the game-changing ability to create flexible Canvas page layouts that will help you present content in new ways, make better use of space, reduce the need for scrolling, and improve accessibility!

This new tool will be available in early February – keep your eye on the Release Notes for DesignPLUS to learn more!

Coming Soon! The DesignPLUS Library

Have you heard that we are building a cooperative center where you can find and share custom-created DesignPLUS resources, such as Themes, Banner Images, Page Templates, Styles, and much more? The DesignPLUS Library will consist of a) a Canvas course where you can find (and add to!) all the goodies that have been created by other institutions and Cidi Labs, and b) a new tool in the Sidebar that will enable you to easily import the code for these resources into your DesignPLUS Customizations pages so that all can benefit!

To make this exciting new offering as valuable as possible, we need your contributions! Please consider submitting a Theme, Style, Template, or other custom asset that you’ve created using DesignPLUS. Need more motivation? We’re going to be rewarding those who contribute to the Library!

Upcoming Events

DesignPLUS Q&A Sessions

Do you have questions about the new DesignPLUS Sidebar? Join us for an upcoming live Q&A session, hosted by DesignPLUS experts at Cidi Labs who are eager to help answer your questions.

This month we’re hosting two sessions – please be sure to RSVP to secure your spot!

February 8th – 10am MT: RSVP Here

February 21st – 2pm MT: RSVP Here

February’s Webinar
Riding the Wave: Bellevue College’s Faculty Professional Development with Cidi Labs, Thursday, February 22nd at 11am MT

Looking to inspire and train your faculty in instructional design at the same time? Bellevue College used DesignPLUS and TidyUP to create engaging, accessible faculty development courses that excited faculty and helped convert them to start using the tools and practices in their own courses. With the help of tools from Cidi Labs, they designed and built the entire training program in 5 months! You won’t want to miss this free webinar with Betsy Zahrt Geib, Associate Director of Instructional Design and Raji Sundar, Instructional Designer from Bellevue College’s eLearning team.

Upcoming In-Person Events

Here are the events we’ll be attending in the next couple of months, we hope to see you there!

February 2024
TCEA: 3-7 in Austin, TX

March 2024
UCET: 19-20 in Salt Lake City, UT

TXDLA: 25-28 in Galveston, TX

Stay Connected

Find and follow us
Until next month, we hope your new year has started with lots of shiny new goodness as well! ~ The Cidi Labs Team