Instructional Software

LAITS software developers design, build, and support web, multimedia, and database-driven applications advancing top-tier online and classroom instruction, research, and administration both in the College of Liberal Arts and campus-wide.

Our suite of Administrative and Academic Computing services focuses on administrative and advising needs, interacting with other administrative computing units across campus including the Registrar, Admissions, Development, and the Office of the Provost. We develop and maintain systems used campuswide, including Advisors’ Toolkit and Reporting Toolkit, which support data lookup and reporting against student data, course data, instructors, and classrooms.

We design and develop the TOWER Tools, providing the infrastructure for student interaction in highly-interactive online and hybrid courses supported by the Dev Studio, serving over 210,000 enrollments to date.

We designed and maintain the UT Canvas App Store for campus, along with apps including UT Instapoll, Chatter, the UT Student Success Tool, and more, provided to the UT Austin campus for use in classroom, online, and hybrid class settings at no extra cost to instructors or students.

We develop and support Lectures Online, available at no charge to instructors teaching in 112 classrooms. The Lectures Online system records the in class presentation so students can review the material at a later time.

TOWER Tools for Online Courses

We develop and maintain the suite of tools supporting student/TA/instuctor interaction in online courses, serving over 210,000 students to date.

  • Video Stream and Activity Dashboard drives class-day participation
  • Attendance Logging Tool
  • TOWER Chat Tool, with flexible breakouts and persistent group assignments
  • Instapoll Tool
  • Quiz Tool, supporting synchronous quizzing and accommodations at scale
  • ‘Ask a Question in Class’ Tool
  • Video on-demand (VOD) Tool
  • VOD Instapoll Tool
  • Online Course Tech Support Tool, escalating to a live support desk
  • Student Success tools, services, best practices
  • Academic Honesty tools, services, best practices
  • Student Communication tools, services, and best practices

Canvas App Store

Provided by the Dev Studio/LAITS

The Canvas App Store, developed by the Dev Studio, is accessible through each Canvas course, acting as the hub for apps used across campus in classroom-based and online or hybrid courses.

UT Instapoll

Provided by the Dev Studio/LAITS

UT Instapoll is a classroom-response system developed by the Dev Studio. It is installed as an LTI tool in a Canvas course and free for use by faculty, staff and students of The University of Texas at Austin.


Provided by Longhorn Open and the Dev Studio/LAITS

Chatter is a free discussion-board tool originating at UT Austin. Students can communicate in free-form threaded discussions, moderated by a teacher or a TA.

UT Student Success

Provided by the Dev Studio/LAITS

The UT Student Success tool is an easy-to-use reporting and messaging tool that allows instructors and TAs to respond to student inactivity in the Canvas course and remind students about upcoming due dates, all in one place. Drawing on real-time data, the tool helps prevent students from falling behind.

Qualtrics Grade Passback

Provided by Longhorn Open and the Dev Studio/LAITS

This tool allows you to create a survey or quiz in Qualtrics and offer it to your students through Canvas as a graded activity. Grades can be either completion grades, or a grade calculated by Qualtrics.

Peer Review

Provided by the Dev Studio/LAITS

The Peer Review Tool makes grading a peer review assignment much easier. After your students have reviewed and graded their peers, use this tool to easily view individual grades and comments, calculate average scores, identify outliers, export grades to Excel and import average scores to the Canvas grade book.

Lectures Online

Lectures Online is provided on an ‘opt in’ basis for campus, available at no charge to instructors teaching in these 112 classrooms.

Professors teaching in these rooms are contacted by email prior to each semester with information about how to sign up to use the system. If you would like to learn more about Lectures Online, please contact

Administrative and Academic Computing

We are responsible for developing, integrating, and deploying the central administrative systems that support the business processes of the College of Liberal Arts. These systems collectively provide administrative and academic solutions for the business needs of the campus community and enhance the service to students, faculty, and staff.

We pride ourselves in providing customer-friendly services, focusing on efficiency, encouraging innovation, and process improvement, and architecting high quality, secure technology solutions.

For more information about the systems maintained by the Dev Studio for use by CSUs across campus, click here.

If you have any questions or need assistance with a service, please contact us at

Administrative Services

Provides a platform to create and administer an array of Faculty awards. This includes accepting nominations for those awards, assigning committees to review, ranking the award nominees, and recording results of award decisions.

Faculty DatabaseCOLA
Allows administrators to view faculty information. Information displayed is gathered from the college and existing sources on campus.

Graduation ApplicationCOLA
Allows students to apply to the Dean’s Office for graduation, allows degree-certification staff to process those applications, and assists with certifying degrees.  The online graduation application includes an employment survey.

Imaged DocumentsCOLA
Imaged documents by faculty, endowments, and promotion files.

Official Occasion Expense FormCOLA
Allows departmental staff to request expense reimbursement from the Liberal Arts Dean’s Office-Business Affairs office.

Off-Campus Computer UseCOLA
Computer inventory application supporting end-user update of on/off campus status.

Provides students the ability to apply for scholarships online, and gives administrators the ability to set up, review, and award scholarships online. The application was developed and is maintained in conjunction with Education Abroad and its programming team.

Student Paper Proposal Pre-Approval Request
Allows students to submit a paper proposal pre-approval request to faculty.

Advising and Academic Services

We develop and support the University’s advising services, through applications that include the following:

Advisor’s Toolkit
Provides student profile information for use by advisors. Allows for making notes, sending SANs, and creating SUCCESS agreements.

Advisor Waitlist
Provides a queuing system for the Advisor’s Toolkit. It keeps a list of students that are currently waiting to see an advisor, allows students to be added/updated/deleted from the list, and displays history information of the list.

Automation of a number of e-mail groups, a.k.a. “listservs”, which provide communication to a wide variety Liberal Arts Students, Faculty, and Staff. Mailing lists are used as forums for teaching, collaboration, discussion, entertainment, announcements and more.

Provides tools to process and track student academic petitions.

Reporting Toolkit
Generates reports about students, courses, and enrollments. Example reports include:

  • Smart Search reports, which allow staff or advisors to find a wide-range of data for lists of students who meet certain criteria.
  • Course Schedule data can be generated and downloaded to Excel, given a year, semester, and unique-number range.
  • Organized Class Grading Data reports on grading data for each faculty member within a department for organized classes from fall 1998 to present.

Student Registration-Change Request
Allows students to request changes to their registration, such as Q-drops and Withdrawals.

Summer Orientation
Scheduling system used to set up appointments with summer orientation students.

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