UpThink Consulting

By Micah Murdock, CEO of UpThink Consulting and Associate Director of Online Learning at University of Utah

Timestamped Outline

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:26 What is UpThink Consulting?
  • 5:44 What is the future of higher ed?
  • 17:22 Practical suggestions for here and now
  • 27:01 Using Course Templates (in Canvas)
  • 35:49 External Tool worth knowing about

What is UpThink Consulting?

UpThink primarily focuses on three areas of service:

  • Canvas onboarding and training
  • Instructional design for distance, online and live courses
  • EdTech Adoption Strategies in the classrom

What is the future of higher ed?

  • We are not “going back”
  • Ripe for disruption
  • Technology is the driver (as always)
  • Trends toward industry directed edcuation

Practical suggestions for here and now

  • Do the best you can
  • Take advantage of the support that is available
  • Zoom classes are not online classes
  • Over communicate
  • No, they won’t just “figure it out”
  • Design with consistency
    • Theme and Variation
    • Bounded Choice

Using Course Templates


  • Use a simple clean homepage
  • Simplify the navigation
  • Let the features in Canvas do their job
    • Due dates
    • Syllabus
    • Modules
    • Speedgrader


  • Develop a template import strategy
  • Don’t try to control everything
  • Get some faculty input
  • Get lots of student input
  • Pick your integrations carefully then hold your ground

External Tools worth knowing about

  • Atomic Apps – Search, Discussion, Polls and Assessments
  • Cidi Labs – Design Plus
  • Pronto
  • Yellowdig
  • Gradescope
  • Quizlet
  • Flipgrid
  • Canva
  • Padlet
  • H5P