Part 4: Fall 2016 Labs

42 Sway (in Canvas) with Ian Muehlenhaus — 09.23.2016

As a Microsoft tool to create and share polished, interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more, Sway alone kicks PowerPoint up a notch. Ian Muehlenhaus, from Geography, kicks it up another by integrating Sway in Canvas.


  • Sway is free, cloud-based, and part of the Office 365 suite you can access along with your campus email and calendar.
  • Whereas PowerPoint seems geared for structured presenting/teaching of content in a face-to-face setting, Sway seems more geared for individual, self-paced absorbing/learning of content in a blended or online setting.
  • It’s simple to transform documents created in MS Word into Sways. Sway beautifully maintains the structure while using headings to create a more interactive, animated eDocument that automatically reformats content to fit effectively on whatever screen it is accessed with (i.e. desktop and mobile look different, but are structured similarly).
  • Sway allows (forces?) more focus on content and less on trying to control formatting (you’ll need to let go of some design control with it).

If you’re interested in learning more to get up and running with Sway, watch the videos below or review the Activity sheet.

Active Teaching Labs are held every Friday from 8:30-9:30am in room 120, Middleton Building. Check out the upcoming labs or read the recaps from past labs. To stay informed about upcoming Labs, check back to this website or sign up for regular announcements by sending an email to

Ian’s story:

Want to know what happened next? Watch the discussion video:

What is Sway?



Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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